Friday, July 22, 2016

Wonderland in a Box

Have you ever made toys to play with? Paper boats, dresses for dolls and making a dollhouse from a shoe-box have been my favorite activities during my childhood. I took immense pride in my handiwork. If there was any new dress that I liked on the TV, I made it for my doll. As dollhouses were not easily available those days, I made my own from my father’s Bata shoebox. It not only polished my creative skills, but sparked my imagination too. So much so, all the neighborhood kids gathered in our backyard for these DIY projects. We did crafty things, played with them and sometimes, made a story or two. It was so much fun!

I remember my nephew did the same. He always made projects with boards, bottles, and wires. I bet, he inherited his creative genes from me. One of his projects, which totally blew me away with his imagination was a computer model. It was back in the 90s and he made a computer with a box-like monitor and keyboard, with entire qwerty keys. And the cutest thing was the mouse and the wire that attached the keyboard - it was connected with a piece of yarn. I was quite impressed by his eye for detail. He left no stone unturned to make it exactly like the real computer. Also, he had a story to go with it. I don’t recall the entire story, but it about a boy who moved to a new school, he had no friends, so he played games on his computer. I guess, as his parents refused to buy him one, he created his own… that too with a storyline. His artistic endeavor convinced his parents, and they gifted him a computer on his next birthday.

A few days back, I got four Colgate Toothpaste packs, which have a variety of sea-creatures  cut-outs inside it. It’s called Magical Sea World. It’s like having little puppets in hand, which are yearning to be a part of this story. My young niece loved it. We handed her the box. She opened it and entered into the world of magic. She played with the creatures, murmured few things under her breath as if she was naming the creatures… which would later be a part of her story. We asked her what the story was about? Shyly, she narrated a fantastic story of Sadie who hunts treasure from the sea. It was quite endearing to listen to her story on the phone. I wish I could see her enact it with those cartoons. Maybe, next time when I meet her. As I am old school, who prefers such artistic things over video games, I loved this idea of giving a gentle nudge to children in the direction of creativity. It’s fun and educational at the same time. Don’t you think so? Honestly, if I get hold of Magical Sea World, I would create a story and post it on my blog. What about you?

Buy these toothpaste packs, collect all four and let the storyteller in your child come alive. Let them create their own #ColgateMagicalStories. Maybe, your child turns out to be the next J K Rowling or Amish Tripathi.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

I was on a break from reading. This is the first book I read after a gap of over a year. This book is refreshing, not in terms of plot, but in terms of narration. Sentences are simple, crisp and heartfelt. It presents a beautiful picture of Afghanistan... only to make you miserable by presenting the realistic picture later. There is one big secret or guilt that the main lead carries on his chest. And, later he discovers his father whom he idolises has a bigger and darker secret - one that betrays everything he ever stood for.

It's one book that told me that Afghanistan was a beautiful place - with kite flying competition, kids watching English movies, gorgeous winter, ONCE. I feel sad thinking how they live now. 

It's a moving story of dealing with flaws and one where courage is not a trait, but a necessity. 

Recommendation - YES

Happy reading, 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Kick-starting the day on a positive note

While growing up, I was not a morning person. I loved to get up late. After marriage things changed as my husband is completely opposite to me. His day started at 5 and mine began at 8. To work things out, I changed myself. It took me a few weeks to adjust my body clock, but I admit waking up early has brought many positive changes in me. Now, I love mornings. It comes with a new promise and you get to tap it when you wake up early.

What is so special about rising early, you ask? It’s the extra time you get to charge yourself for the day. When you get up early and spend time in the activities that help you energise, you feel your day has turned golden. For me, there are many things that brighten up my morning - a walk, light yoga, meditation and breakfast with any news channel in the background. But my personal favorite is going for a walk in the wee hours. Fresh air, less traffic on the roads and children heading to school. This is one of the sights that turns my good mornings into gold. It refreshes me and gives me new ideas to write.

A shot captured at 5: 30 am in Hackensack

When the weather doesn’t permit, I stay indoors and do light yoga. I stick to basic stretching with breathing exercises. It is when I combine yoga and meditation, my morning turns golden. There is, however, one thing that I do without a miss. At breakfast, I have to watch the news and sip coffee. Yes, not drink, sip. I take 20 minutes to finish a cup of coffee while I leisurely watch News. Watching the news from around the globe with a hot cup of coffee in my hands turns my good morning into gold.

Coming to the morning ritual itself, two days back my family got this beautiful package from Colgate. It’s very fancy with a golden mug, bottle and a brand new - Colgate 360 Charcoal Gold Toothbrush.  The brush has the softest bristles, says my sister. Plus, it looks so elegant that you feel like brushing with it every morning, says my sister again. It cleans all corners of your mouth with less effort. In a mix of gold and black, it's so great that brushing with it can surely turn your good morning into a golden morning. It’s the best toothbrush she has ever used. So, if you want to start your day on a bright note, use this brush and make your morning into #Colgate360GoldMornings

Have a look at the package my family received -