The Garden Festival

was held at The Garden of Five Senses, Saidulajab. This is at the height of spring. So the place is in bloom and you can almost get giddy on the beauty of it. It’s funny how we don’t realise the impact nature has on our kids. The moment we took the kids in, they went nuts, smelling flowers, trying to pluck (they got a yell for that!) and generally going nuts running around, drinking up the gorgeousness of it. If and when I buy a professional camera I am going to make you guys very happy. As of now I leave you with this.

Check out these huge balls of flowers. How huge? Oh, let me see, I’m going to put the Bean in front of one for perspective!

And then these funny animals and birds created on wire frames. They’re strange, but anyone can see they take a lot of effort.

In case you had no idea HOW much the Bean loves elephants, take a look at this picture.

Bean, what is your favourite animal?  – Elephants!

Bean, what birthday cake do you want? –  An elephant cake, mama!

Bean, what do you want to be when you grow up?  – an elephant, mama!

And also, little gharounda stuff – is there an English word for that?

The most beautiful cactii. Did I just say beautiful and cactii in the same sentence?

And the most amazing bonsai on rock…

At one point the kids got lost in the midst of the flowers and I was reminded of a Hindi movie!

There were dancers….

There were installations in brass ….

Plenty of water bodies that posed a constant challenge – The Bean wanted to dive in, we needed to keep her out…

She finally almost won that round when she saw … what else..? Elephants! Stone elephants in a shallow pond. She charged ahead and in a second was over the railing and was about to land with a crash on her head when I screeched louder than I have in my entire life. The OA and I battled and pushed through crowds that she’d just sliced through with her err.. height advantage (?). He caught her by her leg before she went right over. I shook her till her teeth rattled. She and the Brat shamelessly grinned. Obviously I am doing something wrong if NOBODY is scared of me 😦

I think someone could have gone home that day and blogged about the terrible parents who left their little child unattended and she almost drowned.:D

Anyway, while we’re on it, I read about this lovely spring festival held by Himanshu of Red Earth. Read about it here and see Madhu Kapparath’s lovely pics. I’ve had the privilege of working with him too.

A quickie poll and some info

So UTBT is running a poll here on home languages and learning a second language. If you have any opinion whatsoever on what language your kids should be learning at home and how you want to go about it, do go and give your valuable opinion here. It would really help her so do spare some time for it.

I’d be happy to hear about it in my comments section too.

Also, a guide for those taking autos in Delhi by a friend of mine. Here goes

I dread to travel around Delhi in auto rickshaws. It’s horribly stressful. They refuse, overcharge, misbehave and harass us most of the time. So here are few options to set things straight.

  • Make sure you note the vehicle no before you get in.
  • Check the website link http://www.delhitrafficpolice.nic.in/sms-services-6767.htm and follow the instructions. It really works.
  • Call 100, register your complaint and the PCR vans in the area you are in, arrive in no time to help out.
  • When the driver refuses to go by the meter, agree to go at the rate he announces. As soon as you spot a traffic booth or a traffic policeman on your way, inform them
  • When they refuse to go where you need to, get into the rickshaw and call the police, and don’t get out until they reach the spot.

It’s worked for me, brilliantly. Delhi police is improving, in fact am rather impressed. Give them a chance and exercise your right.

The original plan for the long weekend

… was to drive out of Delhi, spend a large amount of money on the stay and show the kids something of the country they live in. But a late Thursday night did us in and we were really not up to more driving and sleeping in strange beds. So I spent Rs 199 and bought us a reprieve in the form of a finger painting kit and the kids a half day of sheer joy.

Half way through I got so caught up in the fun that I picked out stones and pebbles lying in my garden and tried my hand at painting some rocks. One is supposed to be a tortoise and the other, a frog.  If you want to laugh at my distinct lack of talent go do it behind my back!

These two err… works of art *koff koff* are by my children. I’ve displayed them in my living room and am hoping they don’t drop it on their toes when they enthusiastically rush to show it to encouraging visitors.

This is was the Brat’s cereal bowl. The maid chipped it while washing so I filched it to use as a planter. As expected, he threw a tiny tantrum but has not just forgiven me but now forgotten and moved on. He really is his father’s son!

Saturday was spent at the zoo. With Dipta and family. As well as BEV and her family. It was a lovely day and weather gods smiled upon us. The kids had a blast except at the end when they had a near meltdown out of sheer exhaustion. Here I present two new monkeys up in the trees at the zoo.

A rhino fascinates the Brat

All the kids watch a bear in awe

The Bean is spoilt by her beloved Deetto.… as he carries her around and shows her all the birds.

And finally on Sunday we visited the Dastkari Nature Bazaar.  The OA was a little worried as were a lot of shop keepers because I let the kids touch a lot of their breakable ware. But I think its time we let them learn to touch stuff that doesn’t belong to them, even if it’s breakable, especially if its breakable and show them how to be gentle with it instead of keeping the blanket ban. I assured the shopkeepers that any damages would be borne by me and they looked at me as though I was nuts. I should have pointed out that I am a mad momma, after all!

So heart in mouth, breath held, we began … and to my surprise they were both rather good. The Bean has my motor skills which is not a good thing and needs a stricter eye. The Brat, like his father has excellent motor skills and is gentle even without being asked to. They handled Jaipur blue pottery, Andretta pottery, and all sorts of other stuff. Eventually they grew a little restless and rough which is when the OA and I pulled them out of there. All in all, a very packed weekend.

As I’ve whined before, the Delhi winter is coming to an end and I haven’t even done half of what I wanted to with the kids. I love this city and in my enthusiasm to share it with them I end up exhausted, over-extended and half dead most weekends and theres still so much more to go. The Mughal Gardens have opened up and before you know it they’ll have shut for the year too. I think the sense of being overwhelmed stems from the feeling of introducing my two loves to each other – my babies and my Delhi. Muaah.

As winter bids adieu

I click a few sights to store away in my memory and on my blog. It’s the last few days of feeding geese and ducks at Lodhi Gardens.

Fathers and children bond while feeding ducks (thats Dipta sitting between Joy and the Brat and the OA standing between the Brat and the Bean on a cycle) and mothers laze on rugs under leafy trees, putting out lunch.

The Brat and Joy play rugby (!!) on lawns that bear witness to thousands of baby feet…

… and the Bean for some reason tackles her father  – I guess it seemed like a better option than the scrimmage on the right.

Children come and children go… the old monuments go on forever…

It’s goodbye to dense fog on the balcony at 10.30 am…

… and farewell to the last few days of fighting for space in sunlit paths. Draped with ease across bits of  furniture and struggling to form alphabets…

…spread out over the carpet and reading aloud in a crystal clear voice…

… and adieu to that perfectly comfortable spot for a cosy mamma-daughter breakfast…

Or a quiet sibling moment where you collude and run away with mamma’s phone to hide in the pappassan and play games.

The X’mas tree comes down and is carefully packed away for the year. No baby hands fighting for the angel at the top.

Sunday afternoons no longer be spent in the park, learning to play war games.

And the Rose Garden that is an every evening option, slowly grows too warm for afternoon frisbee.

For dancing in the sunlight…

For chasing frisbees and discovering worms…

It’s time to put out the tasla of coal and sambrani (frankinsense) lit every evening after a hot oil massage and bath, filling the room with that lovely wintery smell. As the embers glow gently before finally going out, I say a little prayer, thanking the Almighty for a wonderful season. Until next winter then…