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Arjun learns a lesson

Arjun and Saket were playing cricket. Mishra aunty called them and said, ‘Arjun, Saket, It is so hot. Why are you playing cricket now?’

Arjun looked at her and said, ‘Dadi, its our vacations now and we are getting bored at home’

‘But beta, it is hot now, you will fall sick’, said Mishra aunty.

The boys kept playing.

After some time Mishra aunty called them, Saket, Arjun come, I have made some shikanji, It is so refreshing’.

The boys could not resist the cool drink and ran towards Dadi’s home

And while they munched on some biscuits and had some cool shikanji, Dadi was busy. She kept a mango in the centre of some funny apparatus which had a wooden plank with a knife attached to it. The plank had a depression in the centre. Dadi kept a mango in the depression and brought the knife down. Cutting the mango into two neat halves. Then she kept each half and then bisected them again.

‘What are you doing, dadi’, asked Saket

‘Cutting mangoes’, told Dadi simply.

‘Yes’, but for what’, asked Saket

‘For pickles. After I cut them, I will apply some salt and some haldi and keep it in the sun for some time’, said Dadi

‘Arjun, will  you help me in cutting these mangoes’, said she

‘Me, why?? I am not a girl’, said he.

‘And what do you mean by that’, Dadi asked

‘Only girls do this work. I mean all this kitchen work’, said he.

‘And what are boys supposed to do?’, asked Dadi.

‘Umm, drive cars, go to office….’said Arjun

‘Why then does you mom drive a car and go to office’, said dadi, And I have seen your father cooking sometimes’.

‘Oh that is when mom is sick or too busy’, said he.

‘Oh then why does Sanjiv Kapoor become a chef, after all cooking is a girl’s job’, retorted Dadi

All this was confusing Arjun. He had just assumed that cooking was a girl’s domain and had never thought more than that.

‘Beta, one should know or at least try to know everything. There is nothing as boys work and girls work’, said dadi.

Saket meanwhile was trying his hand in cutting mangoes. He squealed in delight as one piece flew and fell far away. After a few strokes but he was cutting fine.

Arjun’s hand itched to try tha apparatus once. But he felt shy. finally curiosity took over and he asked, ‘May I try it once’.

In no time both boys were taking turns and having a good time.

Dadi smiled. She had managed to put some sense in Arjun and whats more a full bag of mangoes had been cut for making pickle. Her work had been simplified.

Mummy hurried to make dinner, she had been late from office and she was sure Arjun must be famished. As such she felt guilty on leaving him alone the full day and if she didn’t give him food at right times she felt even more guilty.

Arjun came into the kitchen.

‘Wait son, just 15 more minutes and I will serve you dinner’, said she

‘No mama, it is alright, I came to help you. Do you need help in cutting vegetables??’, he asked

His mom meanwhile stared at him in shock.

 

 

 

 

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Gopala

This post is for posterity sake. I hope I will live enough to be able to tell this story to my grandchild/ren

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Krishna is tired and so he rests under a tree in the forest. Soon he falls asleep. Radha is passing by and she feels happy to see her Krishna. And so she starts to sing and dance. One of Krishna’s cows hears her and comes to see her. She likes her act and so she sits down to watch her.

In some time Krishna wakes up and sees Radha. Both of them begin to sing and dance.

Then Krishna sees the cow and asks her to go graze some grass. The cow refuses. Krishna pushes the cow, but she does not move. Then Krishna puts a rubber band(??) on her neck and pulls. The cow falls down unconscious.

Then Krishna carries her and makes her sleep on her bed. Because Krishna is Gopala, the cowherd boy; the well-wisher of the cows.

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No people, this is not my story. It is the creation of my five-year old, written here for records. 😀

Going away

Ketan took out his bag, stuffed in his new jeans, a couple of T-shirts, some comics, a pack of biscuits, his water bottle closed the zip and went near the door. He was just closing the door when her remembered his nani’s words-Never go out without telling anyone at home. And so he came in, went near Mama’s and Baba’s room and said,’I am going.’

‘Where?’, Mama asked.

‘Away’, he said

Ahaa’, said Mama, ‘And why are you going away?’

‘You don’t let me play on your mobile or the computer, you don’t let me eat chocolates for breakfast, you wake me up early, so I am going away.’

‘Hmm, you can play outside with y our friends, chocolates are bad when eaten too much and you have to get up early to go to school.’

Thoughtful and then,’ You don’t love me so you don’t let me do anything my way, so I am going away’.

‘And where will you go?’

‘To Sneh Sadan’.

‘Sneh sadan is for children who don’t have Mama and Baba’.

Thoughtful…..

‘And then there is no TV or computer… and you have to eat very fast and clean your own plate. And you don’t get chocolates too.’

‘No problem, there will be a lot of other kids to play.’

‘Oh yes, there will be but you will have to sleep by yourself, no one will sing lullabies for you. And yes no hot water for bath.’

‘You mean I will have to take bath by myself?’

‘Yes and that too cooold water.’

‘By the way, I have made some gulab jamuns, want to have some?’

‘No, no I am going away.’

‘Al right, I will call Neha and give her.’

‘You will give Neha?’, asks Ketan

‘Yes I will call her up and then give her some gulab jamuns and then we will play hide and seek and then maybe I will invite her for lunch too and after lunch I will sing a nice lullaby and make her take a nap and…..’

‘What you will make her live here only or what?’

‘Good idea. With you not here I will feel lonely. And as such Neha’s mom goes to work and she has to stay with the maid, so I will ask her mom to leave her here only. What say?’, said Mama

‘gulad jamun, did you say?’

‘Yes and paneer for lunch’.

‘And you will call Neha here?’

‘Yes, it would be so fun, I will dress her up in nice flowery frocks, plait her hair and…’

‘Hmm I think I will postpone my going away for another day.’

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For more of Ketan, check here

Salad!!

Daddy brought home a bag of vegetables.

“Why have you bought vegetables? The refrigerator is already full of them”, said Mummy.

I saw some fresh cucumber, carrots and some lemons at a roadside vendor, could not resist buying them’, he replied with a sheepish smile.

“Yeah, they do look good, alright, I will somehow stuff them into the vegetable tray”, and she went to the refrigerator.

And so she made some space in the already stuffed tray and kept the three.

“Stop moving around so much, you are quashing me,” said Cucumbers

‘Quashing me…’, mimicked Carrot,”its you who is taking so much space.’

“No you take more space and you are hard not me. If you keep on shifting, you will mash me”, cucumber moaned.

‘Stop you two’, your fight and see what it has cost me’, said lemon and they moved to see that juice was coming out of some of the lemons.

‘Tell this carrot to be still,’ said cucumber

“Why, don’t you move a bit’, yelled carrot.

And they both started fighting, the refrigerator shaked, the utensils jangled.

Mummy came to see what the noise was and then she remembered about the carrots and cucumbers. As such she was feeling hungry and so she took out a carrot, a cucumber a green chilly, a lemon.

Grated the carrot, the cucumber, cut the chillies, squeezed some lemon, added some salt and chat masala and tasted it.

Mmmm the sweetness of the carrots, the crispness of the cucumber combined with the tangy taste of the lemon, all together with the chilly, such a refreshing filling meal for a hot summer day.

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In case you wonder what this is, it is just a nonsensical story to engage a bored four-year old in his summer vacation.

But it sure was refreshing to return to kids fiction after a long time.

Off to school……………..

Daddy and mummy were busy with some forms. The current problem was which nursery school to send Jeet to.

‘Well’, Daddy said, ‘I think the New Age school is good, it has a lot of extra curricular activities especially sports.’

‘But currently we should look at a school which will give a good base. Montessori system will be good. He is in his formative stage so we shoul see some school which gives him a good foundation.’ Answered mummy and so they kept on discussing.

And in the night, Octo asked, ‘what is a school?’

‘School is a place where education is given’, answered Pinku.

‘And what is education?’

‘Education is a lot of things, it means to read and to write, it also means learning to behave in a group, discipline, it also means having friends and playing with them’, elaborated Owly.

‘Seems like a yuck place to me’, said Hooty

‘No, Hooty its actually a fun place to be. You get to learn so many things in school, like why the sun shines, the stars twinkle, why we have to eat etc. Also you learn crafts, drawing and best of all you learn to play a lot of games’ said Pinku.

‘If that is so then why don’t we go to school?’, this was Greeny.

‘Hmmm’, said Owly ‘that’s because we live in the open and nature teaches us a lot of things. Like when the morning rays touch our skin, we know that its time to rise. When we feel hungry we know that we have to go and hunt for our food. We also learn to store food for the cold winter months, this teaches us discipline too. When the bigger animals come to prey we learn to defend ourselves. We learn that we have to stay in a group to defend ourselves.’

‘And yes when we stay in a group we learn to share and grow, we play together and grow together. Humans live in closed spaces and so to learn all these things they have to go to school,’ added Pinkoo.

‘Hmm so does it mean that now Jeet will go to school, learn new things, have new friends and forget us,’ this was Hooty who lived in perpetual fear that Jeet will forget him.

‘Partially yes, Hooty. Jeet is growing up he will find new things, have new friends, his interests will change and yes he will slowly lose interest in us. But yes we are his first friends and he will always draw comfort on seeing us.

Colors

‘Ouch my whole body is aching’, said Pinku.
‘Why Pinku?’ asked Toady.

Jeet cuddled and threw me around so much that I can barely do anything. Each part of me is aching terribly’, he said with a sigh.

‘But you are so lucky, Pinku, he loves you so much that he cuddles and wrestles with you. Me, he barely sees nowadays’, said Hooty in a small voice.

‘there he goes again with his complaints’, remarked Doggy, while Octo and Greeny chorused together- Hooty is being green, Hooty is being green…

‘What do you mean by that, what is being green mean?’ asked Hooty.

‘They mean that you are green with envy’, said Owly.

‘Green with envy?’, asked Hooty

Yes when a person is jealous we say that he is green or green with envy’, answered Owly.

‘Oh that’s nice, so the color green is linked with envy’, said Hooty

‘Yes’, said Pinku,’ there are some other colours too which are linked with some other meanings’.
‘oh tell me, tell me about them’, asked Hooty.

Wll there is white. White is the color of the clouds and the color of dove. White also symbolizes peace’, said Toady.

‘Have you seen a traffic light, Hooty’, asked Doggy.

‘Yes I have seen one in one of Jeets book’

‘Well a traffic light is used to control traffic on a busy road, there are three colors on a traffic light, do you know which all?’

‘Yes I do I do… Green, yellow and Red, answered Hooty.

‘Well, the red tells us to stop, the yellow to be cautious and green is to go or to start.’, said Doggy.

‘But just now you told green is for envy, now you are telling me that green is to start.’ Said a confused Hooty.

‘Well, green is used to signify envy but in a traffic light it means to start’, said the wise Owly.

‘Tell me some more, some more,’ said the eager Hooty.

Hmm blue is the color of the sky and the ocean but its also linked with sadness, like when someone is sad; he says that-I am feeling blue’, said Octo

‘And black is a color of authority’, added Greeny

Hmm is that why when Jeet’s father goes for some important meeting he wears a black Suit,’ asked Hooty.

‘Yes you can say so’, said Pinku.

‘Tell me more, more, said an eager Hooty.

‘My dear Hooty, for the time being this is enough, why don’t you try to remember these at present, and we will tell you more when you have learnt this fully’, said Toady.

Owww’, said Hooty and started giggling.

‘Why what happened, asked Doggy.

Ocot and Greeny are green, does it mean that they are always jealous’, said Hooty with a twinkle in his eye.

And everyone smiled except the two Octopuses.

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For more on Jeet and his animal farm check on http://bhagyashree-searchingself.blogspot.com/2009/08/new-addition.html

A new addition

Today I am embarking on writng short stories for kids. Lets see how I fair
A NEW ADDITION

Jeet’s Animal Farm

‘Jeet see what I have got for you.’

‘What is it daddy?’, asked Jeet.

‘I have got 2 octopuses for your Animal Farm. Lets see what all you have got in your farm now. You have Pinku,-the Teddy Bear, then You have Toady, then there is Doggy, there is Owly the big owl and Hooty the small owl and now these two,’ said Daddy.

‘What is an Octopus, Daddy?’, asked Jeet.

‘Hmm . Octopus live in the ocean like fish and have eight feet.’

‘What is an Ocean, Daddy.’

‘Ocean is a big body of water, remember when we had been to India we flew over lots of water, that’s called an ocean. And before you ask any more questions I have to freshen up and we will have lunch. ‘

The whole day Jeet played with the Octopuses. He named one as Octo and the other as Greeny and night he slept with one on each side. When mummy was sure he was fast asleep, she slowly removed them and kept them with the other toys and switched off the lights.

As soon as it was dark, there came a sound-bam and someone said ‘Ouch’.

‘What happened Octo?’, asked Owly.

‘Someone kicked my back and it hurts’, said Octo.

‘Haa ha ‘, laughed Doggy.

‘Croak, croak’ said a disgruntled Toady

Pinku and Hooty said nothing.

And so it was the whole night either Octo was pushed or Greeny was kicked and so on. Owly knew what was happening but thought that whoever was misbehaving would stop.

The next day too Jeet was engrossed with his twin Octopus, he would put one on his head and one on his shoulder or talk to them and so on.

That night too Someone kicked Octo so hard that he crashed on the wardrobe and something shook inside it and a tiny sound came- ‘tring’

Mummy was awake in an instant and switched on the light. ‘I heard some noise—oh poor Octo has fallen down but how come it has fallen so far from the sofa, is there a mouse here?’ And she picked Octo up and kept with the other toys and switched off the lights.

‘Help me , help me’, cried Hooty. Greeny was on Hooty’s head and all his feet were around his neck.

‘What happened Greeny, why are you on Hootys head?’, Asked Pinku.

‘That’s because from yesterday Hooty has been bothering Octo and Greeny’, the wise owly said, ‘isn’t it Octo?’

‘yes, ‘ said Octo.

‘Leave him Octo and Hooty, you tell us why you have been behaving so badly?, said Doggy.

‘I hate those two, said Hooty.

‘But why Hooty’, asked Owly in his deep gruff voice.

‘Because of them Jeet has stopped playing with me, oh how I hate them,’ said Hooty.

With this answer everyone started laughing except Hooty.

‘Why are you laughing’, screamed Hooty.

‘Because you are jealous’, said Doggy, ’but you shouldn’t be.’

Why not’ , asked Hooty

‘Children are like that, new things attract them. Before you came I was his favourite, and before me Toady. In short Jeet is attracted to new things.’ Said Doggy.

‘Is it like that Owly’, asked Hooty.

Yes my dear. Jeet always plays with new things but it does not mean he forgets the others. Now and then doesn’t he play with me or the others. Don’t you see when he is sad he hugs Pinku and when he wants to talk he comes and talks to me?’ Said Owly.

‘Yes’ said Hooty.

‘Its because Octo and Greeny are new that he is paying so much attention to them. After some time he will get some other toy and he will start playing with them. And one fine day he wont like playing with tus- his soft toys and will stop playing with us’, Said Owly.

‘Oh is it’, said Hooty

‘yes’ said Toady in his croaky voice, ‘ he will like to play with cars, and guns and other big boy stuff.’

‘oh no ‘, said Hooty in a small voice.

‘But we are always ther for you Hooty and we will always be together, you will never be lonely.’ Said Doggy, ‘ssso come you three be friends and we will all stay together.

‘Oh ok said Hooty and hugged the two octopuses and they all became friends.

And peace reigned again in Jeets Animal Farm