A curious connection …

A curious connection …

My first post in 2014, as an apple crumble sits baking in the oven. Happy new year! I grew up in a home that on most days had the smell of a freshly baked cake wafting through it. Gooey brownies, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth fudge and cinnamon-ey apple pies vied for our undivided attention with peach crumbles, tarts and jammy sponges. My father’s fast growing pot belly was testament to the awesomeness of the goods prepared by my mother. Surrounded by all this culinary greatness, I hadn’t till the time I got married, really ever cooked. I could make tea and a frothy cup of coffee. The only dish I could claim to have ever put together was a chicken curry. Turns out, I decided to marry a vegetarian. My mother handed me a cookbook as a part of my wedding present – Cooking for brides, bachelors and those who hate cooking by Rohini Singh. A life saver if ever there was one, as I struggled with curries in my little apartment in New York in the days of no skype and limited connectivity to ma. Once my mother gauged that I had it in me to feed others without possibly poisoning them, she handed over what can only be described as The Most Marvelously Magical Treasure Trove of Baking Recipes. Here then was the world of cakes and pies and more such revealed. Did I do anything much with it? Well, just a little fiddle here and a tiny fiddle there, every now and then. That is till I began writing. So here is the rather curious connection. The moment I...

A day at the Junior Writers Bug festival

Put together a bunch of writers, illustrators, folk singers, storytellers, theatre people and more such. Plonk them in the middle of a nature park. Drive in hordes of excited kids and happy parents. Add in the lovely Kitab Khana bookstore. Tie it together with scrumptious food and kulfis of every imaginable flavour on site (the strawberry flavour was rather lipsmacking). And you are sure to have one fun festival. The Junior Writers Bug festival held this weekend at the Maharashtra Nature Park turned out to be one such delight. I spent my Sunday morning with a bunch of excited kids singing and dancing to the Rooster Raga. The song turned out a big hit here as well and we followed it up with colouring in some adorable rooster chicks. Some planned to turn them into greeting cards and others into stick puppets for a read along with the story. Here are a few taking shape… With my session on Bonkers! later in the evening, my 6 year old and I attended a session on Uttaranchal folk tales by Suresh Kala and Avinash Lamba. Even though we couldn’t understand all the words, one got a real feel of the mountains. And a sheepish grin as Suresh translated one of the folk tales being sung out – since it turned out to be a song being sung by a man to his fiancé. Ahem! The kids got into the groove with a beautiful song created for the event with a rather catchy refrain ‘bum chiki bum, chiki bum bum, bum chiki bum…’ Tanvi Bhat, one of the illustrators of the just-gone-to-press History Mystery...

The Junior Writers Bug festival in Mumbai, this weekend!

December 7th – 8th, 2013 at Maharashtra Nature Park, Mumbai With 70 sessions for children over 2 days, this promises to be fun.  If you would like to get your children for my sessions, here are the details: Jive to the Rooster Raga for ages 4-6 Sunday, December 8th, 11:45am – 12:45pm at The Kahaani corner Jump, jive, shake and sing with me as I read from my new book, Rooster Raga. Then create your own little rooster chicks to have them pecking away at your table back home. Time to Go Bonkers for ages 6-9 Sunday, December 8th, 4:15pm – 5:15pm at Nisarg Join me as I read from my book, Bonkers! and enjoy an utterly mad session as I transport you to a world of doggie fun and crazy antics. Share your own stories and learn how to draw your own Bonkers dog. Woof Share...

My woofs, burps and kukaroo-kuroos at Bookaroo

What a delightful and satisfying weekend this was! Bookaroo in Pune had the venue Sambhaji Park packed to capacity, hordes of excited children and lots and lots of storytelling. My session, Jive to the Rooster Raga had delightful moments with the children joining in and dancing with me to the rooster raga. The session on Bonkers had a 200 strong crowd go bonkers as we talked about dogs and madcap adventures, both real and imaginary. We then drew our very own Bonkers dog and after a bit of a debate on whether to give my dog spots, we decided to give him a nice dose of patches. Donning my moustache and turban for Icky, Yucky, Mucky (it was too hot for the robe!) enables me to be that extra bit messy. Burps, slurps and nibbles come to the fore with extra panache once that fuzzy growth appears on my upper lip! We had a riot of splotch monsters come to life at the end of the session with each child creating their own to take home. For art activities around Icky, Yucky, Mucky! do look into the art and teacher kits for the book. A wonderful weekend and I hope that Bookaroo is back in Pune next year. Now, onward to the exciting Junior Writers Bug festival in Mumbai next weekend. Do join me for sessions around Bonkers and Rooster Raga. For session timings and venue click here. Share...