Month: July 2021

kindle paperwhite with the cover of Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance

Book Review: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry

A Fine Balance is a book by Rohinton Mistry. It is a story about India against the backdrop of its political disintegration and decay. The action takes place during the Emergency declared by Indira Gandhi, around 1975-77.  The story involves the lives of four people: Ishvar and Om, tailors; Dina Dalal, an embroideress; and Maneck, a college student. It depicts the lives of these characters in a rapidly changing modern India against the background of social, political and economic tumult. Within this broad canvas, it focuses on the struggles of ordinary people in extraordinary times. We learn of each of their difficult present circumstances and precarious future. The author then flashes back to the past, gradually filling out these characters’ stories and the socio-economic issues. ‘I’m still waiting to meet one who will treat me as his equal. As a fellow human being – that’s all I want, nothing more.’ The central characters: Dina comes from a wealthy Parsi family where she’s reduced to the status of a house help by her brother after their …

How much screen time is too much?

Screen time is one of the most common parenting terms around. While it might seem like a simple concept, it can get complicated when you’re trying to figure out how much screen time is too much. The average screen time during COVID lockdowns have increased drastically for all age groups, and not all of it can be avoided. How much screen time is too much? There is a lot of conflicting advice when it comes to how much screen-time children should have. Sitting in front of the TV or computer all day has long been considered unhealthy, but it’s only recently that doctors have delved into some of the effects and how much screen time is too much. There is no doubt that the current generation of children and teenagers are using computers, smartphones, tablets, and TV for a lot more than just playing games. In fact, children are spending excessive amounts of time in front of a screen. According to statistics, the average screen time for a teenager is about 6 hours in front …

Poo and Fart Books for Kids

Why are farts so funny to little kids? Why are they obsessed with poop? Anything to do with the bottom end of our business instantly piques their interest. Child fascination with poop usually continues to adulthood with some!  Do you get embarrassed to talk about it with your kids, or try to change the topic? Or do you join in with some potty humour of your own? Everyone poops, so why not discuss it without getting flustered? There are plenty of poop book for toddlers. Books about poop are fun and educational. Whether you’re trying to potty train your child or just learn about normal bodily functions, funny poop books are the way to go. These are 2 books on poop and fart that we enjoy reading together. It gives us plenty of laughs and information. We hope you enjoy them too! Does it Fart? By Nick Caruso, Dani Rabaiott,i and illustrated byAlex G. Griffiths: This book started as a result of research for adults, then adapted for younger curious minds. There’s another book in …

Reading Challenge: 2020 (Fantasy Fiction)

The thing that makes fantasy fiction great is that it lets us imagine things we can’t or dare not imagine in our real life. Reading and writing fantasy make us find the parts of ourselves we didn’t even know were there. The mystery, magic and beauty of fantasy stretch out across the ages to touch people who never meet. It connects them on a level beyond words, and that’s what we consider important: finding, connecting and celebrating wonderful stories. Reading a fantasy is like being sucked into another universe. It can be intimidating, especially for adults, who often judge it to be less engaging, or simpler, than fiction that tries to represent everyday life. Fantasy Fiction is my escape from this reality. I love finding new books in the genre that take me to newer places. These are some of my favourites this year. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig: Matt Haig’s latest book, The Midnight Library is about the power of stories. It asks: what happens when someone has read so many books that …

Paper Marbling Tutorial – Fun and Easy

Paper marbling is a great activity for children to get involved with. It is also fantastic for encouraging them to learn about colours and how to blend them together beautifully. Arts and crafts is always a fun thing to get involved with as it requires manual skill. What’s better than having a bit of arts and crafts fun at home? If you’re looking for an easy paper marbling tutorial, then you’ve come to the right place. There are plenty of paper marbling tutorial online with many different paper marbling techniques. Some of them seem quite daunting. We found one that’s so simple that my (then) 4-year-old could do it. Paper marbling with shaving cream is the simplest of all, albeit a little messy – but the kids love a bit of mess too. Shaving cream paper marbling needs just a few basic supplies, some you might already have at home. No need to look for specialised paper marbling supplies. You’ll need Shaving foam Liquid food colouring (mixed in some water) Bowl for the colours (cupcake …

gazebo on a lawn with pool next to it

Day Trip near Hyderabad – The Baby Elephant Farm

Are you looking for day trip near Hyderabad? Check out the Baby Elephant Farm.  Short trips will give you enough time to learn something new, get refreshed in your mind and have some fun also! Getting away from the noise for some relaxing weekend R&R at a farm stay isn’t something you’ll want to pass on.  They only accept a limited number of people at a time so we had to pre-booked our trip and food. It had been raining all week and we were quite apprehensive about having to spend our time there indoors. Mercifully, the skies cleared up just in time for the weeknd! It took us hardly any time to reach there. It’s a green haven among a city intent on developing through building more concrete structures. The lush greenery, in part because of the monsoons, was a stark contrast to the construction sites all along the route. Our table was set up in a gorgeous shaded gazebo next to a small swimming pool. Our son wanted to immediately get in. After …

banner with 3 books

Reading Challenge: 2020 (Poetry)

I love adding poetry books to my list of yearly reading. It adds just a good variety and unique perspective sometimes.  I’ve been curious about this for a long time now, and when I started – yikes! – my reading comprehension was poor. I had to teach myself everything I knew about poetry. In college, I got a lot of valuable feedback and support which has played a big role in helping me improve my reading skills greatly. I would encourage you to make your reading lists diverse not only by authors but by genre as well.  Mouthful of Forevers by Clementine von Radics: I first read her work on Instagram and found her words powerfully descriptive. I love this collection. The poems are short, most only a line or two, but still convey everything they mean to. “Getting everything you ever wanted does not make you want less” The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse by Charlie Macksey: This is not really a book of poetry but I don’t know which list …

Statue of Mary with a golden crown and sceptre, and Jesus

My Introduction to Becoming a Parent

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a child? Is it hard? Is it stressful? Do you like the changes that are made in your body, your life and yourself when you become a parent? Can you still have a life after a baby? Before you become a parent, every parent you know will tell you how your life is going to change completely. You nod politely thinking yes, of course it is going to change. I know that. Having a child changes your life. What you don’t know is just how completely it does actually change every single aspect of your life. No one can prepare you for that.  It’s not just your daily routine that changes, or it’s like some minor inconveniences that you have to face. Rather, it’s your whole perspective on love and life that is overhauled.  The love you feel for this tiny human cannot be compared to anything you’ve felt before. The responsibility to be the best parent you can be, especially when you’re running …

packaging box covered with wrapping paper repurposed to a cat food holder with a cat doodle on it saying feed me

Creative Ways to Reuse Cardboard Boxes

Up-cycled cardboard boxes is a great project to do, as well as a nice way to use up leftover packaging materials. These boxes have become an affordable way to get creative with your decor and can be transformed in a multitude of ways. What are some of your ideas? Go crazy and make a variety of boxes out of different types of plastic, like bubble wrap, corrugated cardboard or even tea bags. Our imaginations are the limitation here If you’re like me, you mostly shop online. Some are local stores that deliver in baskets they can take back. Mostly, you’re left with a bunch of packaging material of different kinds. I have tried to be cautious while shopping online. I try to group my orders together by the same vendor, but even after all that I usually get items shipped to me individually. Thankfully, I live in a community that’s serious about waste segregation and recycling. We have multiple vendors who come in to collect the dry waste for recycling. I try to reuse as …

top view of a kindle on a lap with the cover of the book Hunger by Roxane Gay. Person on the sofa is holding a coffee cup next to it

Book Review: Hunger by Roxane Gay

Roxane Gay’s memoir Hunger is a startling, brutal, and deeply human account of her relationship with food. I found it to be an emotional read. It was beautiful, infuriating, heartbreaking, and incredibly eye-opening and powerful. I followed Dr Roxane Gay on Twitter long before I read any of her books. Her observations, opinions, and sharp replies always fascinated me. She says things so easily, exactly, and fearlessly – things I wanted to say and in a way I would if I wasn’t scared of confrontations. Hunger is the second book I’ve read of hers, and let me tell you, you need to read it. You might be one of the rare specimens who have a healthy relationship with your body and food. You still need to read it. “This is a popular notion, the idea that the fat among us are carrying a thin woman inside. Each time I see this particular commercial, I think, I ate that thin woman and she was delicious but unsatisfying.”  I love how she writes; her open vulnerability, and …