Author Archives: Adhya

Konkan Dance Trip

I had gone to Konkan for a dance trip with my dance sir and guru bhaginis just before COVID-19 struck, it was a very new experience for me, I learned lots of things and had a lot of fun!

I wrote tiny notes about our days in Konkan in my phone, so what you’re going to read is a mixture of the notes from then and present me writing this now. Hope that made sense!

Day 1:

We stayed at sir’s house at night, I did not sleep even for a bit, I was tossing and turning the whole night, but yeah we got up at 2 am, had a bath, got ready and loaded into the bus at 3 am. We reached CST at 5 and boarded the train (tejas express) 

Sakshi’s mom had made idli chutney so we all ate that, and then we chatted for a while but then eventually everyone went to sleep except me, I was reading.  When everyone woke up, we played damsharas and a game that sir invented that involved Bharatanatyam shlokas lol. It was really fun! We made a lot of noise. Then at around 12:30 we reached Kudal and came to sir’s Maushi’s place, they have a flat for us here. The complex is really pretty! There are tons of beautiful flowers here.

The flat is on the third floor, so we had to drag our entire luggage up the stairs. Then we were told to go to sleep so that’s what we did. In the evening sir joined us, and we all practised, it went quite well, and then we went and had dinner at maushi’s place.

Day 2!

We took all the things we’d need for today’s performance and stuffed everything into our bus, we went to the mandir, (mandir’s name) and we had a quick rehearsal and sir and tai made arrangements for the stage. We went to sir’s relative’s house, and we looked around at some plants and farms there.

The leaves were super c r u n c h y.

I was having a lot of fun stomping on them, we never get leaves like that in Mumbai. Anyway, we ate lunch (there were pakodas, they were really tasty!) and then we lied down but still kept chatting so sir told us to be quiet and then said whoever makes a noise is a donkey, so we all hushed but sir kept talking to us but when no one answered, he walked out to the porch and started peeking through the windows and making faces to get a reaction out of us. I had no idea why he was doing that but I wanted to laugh so bad!

We all very quickly went to sleep. After some time we got up and got ready. I wasn’t really good at doing makeup that day, it took me longer than it should have.

This is me everyday before I did makeup... I don't really like doing makeup.

This is me after my makeup, I look so different!

We went to Sateri Devi Mandir and got everything ready. For our first performance, Bhagyada Lakshmi, we had some magic candles (those candles that do not blow with the air, they die when the candles get really short) taped on plates and we had to light them just before we went on stage. What happened is we were introduced and got the go signal from sir so tai started lighting our candles. But then a politician or someone took the mic and said they wanted to say something. We all were all like, oh my god, what do we do now? We waited for a while and it became clear that they were going to talk for long, and the candles were burning at a fast rate, the backstage area was really small and it was getting really hot. We started to blow at the candles, but they wouldn’t douse because they were magic candles, we frantically kept blowing non-stop at the candles trying to make them burn slower, and finally after blowing and coughing (there was a lot of smoke) we finally managed to douse the candles. Finally, the politician stopped talking, so we lit the candles again, but we had forgotten that sir’s niece was going to say a few lines too. When we realized what was happening we all did the blowing thing AGAIN, at this point, we were nervously giggling for some reason; we taped an extra candle to all our plates and finally went on stage and danced. 

The dances went quite good, I forgot two steps tho.

We went to yet another relative’s house for the night. We had our costumes spread all around the room, so they could dry. We ate. There was some beetroot salad, and I was gulping it down with some water and I don’t know what happened, I think I choked on it, I started coughing and pink colored water came out my mouth, I was SO embarrassed lol why am I writing this here??

Day 3:

This is what I wrote in my notebook for this day:

We had a long day of going to mandirs and bus rides today. I didn’t even sleep very well because 3 of us were sleeping on the same mattress sharing one chadar and it got really cold and I was on the floor half the time, but whatever. We wore matching dresses today!

Matching rainbow dresses!


We visited three houses first. The adults drank chai at every house and then we visited lots and lots of mandirs. We visited around 7-8 mandirs today. We went to Vetoba mandir, Vithoba mandir and Datta mandir for quick (but not that quick) stage rehearsals. All the mandirs were really beautiful.

Vithoba Mandir


We ate thalis for lunch and Devashree, Sakshi and I chatted and bonded for a bit and Sakshi just ‘in your face-d me’ about Saraswati being Brahma’s daughter instead of his wife and down we’re sitting and researching it. (Saraswati is both Brahma’s wife AND his daughter. Weird.)


The scenery of Konkan is really beautiful tho… I took lots and lots of beautiful pics.

Day 4

We were back at mausi’s house today. We all sat and talked, sir and tai told us many things about dance, and we were all feeling very inspired, we got ready, and went to Vetoba mandir for our performance. It was the best performance ever. I had so much fun, didn’t make a mistake, everything went smoothly. I didn’t feel even a bit tired after the performance, I started singing the Doraemon theme song backstage while packing everything up and Sakshi joined me lol it was so fun!

Now it’s almost like we have fixed seats on the bus, I and Devashree sit together, alternating our chances at the window. While coming back today, we played antakshari, it was lots of fun, the best day of the trip!

Day 5:

Same as usual, we woke up, practised, got ready, went to Vithoba mandir, made arrangements and danced.

Then sir and the tais’ gave an interview to konkan’s local news while we sat and waited outside.

Later we went to a local restaurant for dinner, and I noticed there was only one veg thali, everything else was fish. Konkan’s cuisine has a lot of fish and coconut. 

There were cats roaming around these places, one of them bit sanaya didi, we all started screaming. 

Day 6

Day 6 was the same as day 5, we got ready, went to datta mandir for our performance.


Later we went for dinner and tried to avoid the cats roaming under our tables. 

Day 7 

our last day, we had a performance very late at night, 

I was feeling really nauseous before going on stage, but it slowly melted away as we danced. A few dances in, I saw a person come up the stairs and throw a wad of money into the air as we danced. Sir, who was behind us and didn't see him, heard a wild flutter and turned while continuing to dance, the notes all flew in the air and settled at our feet. Later in a hurried tone between dances, sir told us to take care and not slip on those notes, they were slick new notes. I felt so bad dancing on them. But whatever, it was a great day! I was like, we did it! We finished our dance tour! We went back and slept peacefully, knowing we wouldn't have to wake up as early.

Next day we filmed videos for everyone who had helped us so immensely all these days, we had butterscotch ice cream, and we left for Mumbai in the same train. we had a lot of fun, playing name place animal thing and damsharas. 

We got back home at a very right time, because the next day the western railway trains were stopped!  

I learned a lot of things during this trip, saw lots of new places, met new people, made friends, danced. A lot. And had fun! I was exhausted but extremely happy!

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Book Review: OCDaniel

OCDaniel is a book about a lanky 13 year old boy named Daniel who likes to write, hates football, likes to make up stories with his little sister and has OCD, (which he doesn’t know about.) He can’t help but keep on flipping a light switch on and off and keeps trying to avoid writing the number four. He spends a lot of time hiding these ‘strange habits’ which he calls Zaps, because he doesnt want anyone thinking he’s crazy. Until, he receives a note saying: I need your help; signed by a ‘fellow star child’ and his life gets even weirder.

It was absolutely fun to join Daniel as he joins a girl nicknamed PshycoSara on a murder investigation, follow him as he flails at football games, and getting to know about his struggle with his OCD.

Daniel’s voice is very authentic and relatable, and I found myself cracking up, feeling sad, and grinning the whole time I was reading the book.

When I read it for the first time, (yes, I’ve gone back to the book and re-read it at least four more times) and I was nearing the end of the book, I was just praying and begging for it to not end. I loved the characters so much, I wanted to know more and more about them, their stories. But yeah, it ended. (But guess what? There’s a prequel for OCDaniel in the voice of Sara now! It’s called ‘Sara And The Search For Normal!’ I’m so excited to read it!)

This book is about friendship, family, and neurodiversity. It’s about feeling different and finding people who understand you. I totally recommend it.

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15 things that make me happy!

Yesterday, I got a sudden idea of writing a list of 15 things that make me happy and this is what I wrote: (in no particular order)

  • Getting a new book: holding a new book in my hand, smelling it, reading it and just letting the fact that I got a whole new story to explore through this book sink in, is an amazing feeling.
  • Eating cold watermelon in the summer: just the fresh juiciness of cold watermelon bursting in my mouth after a sweaty bicycle ride in the hot sun is so soothing.
  • Dancing in the rain: I love the rains + I love dancing = I love dancing in the rains! I really enjoy the feeling of raindrops on me and rhythmic sounds they make. Usually when it rains, I belt out old hindi songs and just dance!
  • Swinging: swinging is so exhilarating! It makes me feel like I’m soaring. And especially after I watched a Disney show called Andi Mack, (swings are a vital part of it) I’ve fallen in love with swinging even more.
  • Petting dogs: dogs are such beautiful animals, they’re so faithful and kind and everforgiving; bless their hearts. Petting them while they wag their tails is so wholesome.
  • Lying in the grass and stargazing: we don’t have a lot of grass in Mumbai, let alone stars, but whenever we are out of town, I always sprawl out on the grass and look at the stars. It’s really calming. Even in mumbai, I make it a point to look up everyday and count the visible stars and shout, “HI ORION!” if I see him.
  • Eating maggi/drinking sugarcane juice: these ones are two of my most supreme favorite foods. Eating/drinking them gives me a lot of joy.
  • Making an artwork that I feel proud about: After I finish an artwork, it feels incomplete. I feel I can do so much more in my art, do so much better, make so many improvements in it. But once in a while I feel proud of it and that feels good.
  • Curling up in a blanket to read a book: that, and having no one to interrupt you, and getting to go on a journey with your favorite characters while sitting in a place, it’s a wonderful thing.
  • Cycling/Skating with the wind blowing in my face while I sing songs to myself.
  • Making up stories in my head.
  • Hugs.
  • Getting genuine appreciation.
  • Getting surprise gifts.
  • Jumping on a trampoline

You know what, it was so fun to think of things that make me happy, it made me smile a lot. I think you should go ahead and make your own list of things that make you happy! Have a nice day! Bye!

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That feeling of getting a new book.

I just love getting good new books, you know? It’s so fun, I just get so hyped up while looking for the next few books that I want to order to read, surfing on the net, reading book reviews, and then ordering them. And then the wait starts; days stretch ahead… but then this message pings on the phone: your order will be delivered today.

And I sit there in anticipation and excitement, waiting for it to arrive. Then the doorbell rings and I run to open the door and to me at that moment, the mailman seems just like a celestial messenger bearing precious gifts in his hand.

I always try to hold my excitement in, but I end up grinning so hard, my cheeks hurt. As soon as I sign and stuff, and the door closes behind me, I let out a squeal of joy and go and hug my parents and thank them for ordering the books, then rip the packaging apart and turn the book around in my hands, smell it, run to my bookshelves, put the book up in my bookshelf (colour coded+mood coded) admire it, run back to my family, tell them I’m reading it so they’d better not disturb me, find a corner in the house, fill it with pillows and then sink in to read the book.

That is, if my mom doesn’t take the book away and tell me to finish all my tasks first, because she knows that I wont do anything if I start reading, and that usually ends up in me begging and wheedling her to give me the book. She sometimes gives in and sometimes doesn’t. I just have to hope she does.

I’ll need to write a seperate blog about the actual reading of the book, and one about finishing a good book and one about people interrupting me when I read, that’s just so ugh! Well anyway, stay tuned for that!

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Book Review: The Remarkable Journey Of Coyote Sunrise

Whenever I sit down to make a big art piece, I always like having to listen to audio books, as it makes it even more fun. So, when I sat down to work on a big drawing, and was surfing through Scribd, looking for an audio book, I saw The Remarkable Journey Of Coyote Sunrise, written by Dan Gemeinhart. They say, don’t judge book by its cover. But when I see a funky and/or beautiful book cover, I gravitate towards it, ignoring the others. Which I shouldn’t, but I do. So, when I saw a girl with sunglasses sitting on top of a school bus with a kitten, I just had to listen to it. So, I plopped on my earphones, got my pencil, and hit play.

Coyote Sunrise has been living with her dad on a school bus for 5 years, driving around the United States, ever since her mom and sisters died in a car accident; never going back to their home. never looking back.

Until, Coyote finds out that a park in her neighborhood was getting grazed down. She had buried a memory box there along with her mom and sisters and she just had to get it back before it got lost forever. The only problem was that she had to make her dad drive all the way across the country to the park without him knowing it. As she hatches plans and goes on this one heck of a journey, she is joined by an array of quirky yet amazing strangers, all going through something in their lives.

I was so invested in that story; I loved every single character in it. Coyote. Rodeo. Salvador. Lester. Val. Ivan.  EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM. I was rooting for them and smiling and chuckling and tearing up and sighing throughout the whole audio-book. You should definitely read/listen to it.

Written from Coyote’s point of view, this book discusses everything from slushies, kittens and good books to friendship, love and kindness.

Some quotes from the book:

“Losing something can sure make you realize how much you loved it, even if you knew you loved it all along”

“Maybe we’re all a little broken. Maybe we’re all a little fragile. Maybe that’s why we need each other so much.”

“I just wanted everyone to be happy. It’s hard, though, when everyone carries around a heart inside them that is so loud and so strong and so easily broken.”

“Sometimes trusting someone is about the scariest thing you can do. But you know what? It’s a lot less scary than being all alone.”

“And every book ever written is about love, really, whether it knows it or not. So, yeah, I know a thing or two about love.”

There were way too many beautiful lines in this book, which I’m probably going to do note down and put up here someday, when I get a hard copy of this book.

This is the kind of book that makes you happy and sad at the same time, you know, and obviously it made me laugh out way more times than I can count. So yeah, if you are into contemporary fiction, you should DEFINITELY read this book. Its brilliant.

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Playing around with Papier Theatre!

Papier Theatre is a miniature form of theatre. Back in the 19th century, parents used to make small stages and puppets out of paper and put up a show for their kids. Recently, I went to a workshop for Papier Theatre conducted by Frederic Simon, a french puppeteer. I learned how to make the whole stage and backdrop from a cardboard box, I and my group, we painted different backgrounds, made puppets and our props from wires, paper and cardboard. Simultaneously, Frederic sir showed us how we can make puppets from things lying around your house. Things like scrap paper, cloth, your fingers, and he put up mini examples for us which left us in rapture! It seemed as the puppets in his hand had come alive. With all the puppets and the theatre we made, we put up a show in the end. It was named The Golden Bird. The other groups had put up spectacular shows too. It was a wonderful experience! Here are a few pictures from the workshop:

Our theatre, puppets and props.
My fellow puppeteers at the workshop.
Close up.
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My experience at an art exhibition!

I recently went to an art exhibition with my dad and I thought that I’d share my thoughts about it here.

As soon as we stepped inside the hall, I was like, “whoa!” I was almost blinded by the aura of all that amazing art around me.

There were lots of modern art, abstract art, landscapes, realistic sketches and paintings, and many conceptual artworks. I didn’t care about the concepts as much as I cared about the art. As we passed through the exhibits, I kept making notes for myself while I observed them carefully, and thinking, what I like in this painting, what colors are used, what is the composition?

I thought about how much improving my art needs and what can I do to improve it?

One thing that felt prominent to me in these artworks was the brilliant use of lighting and the color combinations to make the art look more real and eye catching. That is definitely what I need to work for in my art.

My most favorite artwork there was this portrait of a girl made by charcoal but it looked so real we thought it was a photo. I and my dad, we just stood there with our hands on our hips and stared at that girl. 🙂 It was unbelievable!

The detail that people put into their drawings left me spellbound. The techniques were very unique and I liked how many of the artworks played with textures.

There is so much in scope for me and the exhibition was very inspiring and it was great learning experience. I’m definitely going to go to more art exhibitions as much as I can!

 

 

 

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15 Book I LOVE! (updated version)

So… I was reading my blog ‘20 Books I LOVE!’ and I was like, “my list of favorite books has changed so much, I need to do a new one!” So, here’s an updated version of 15 books I LOVE!

I like reading preteen/teen realistic fiction, the kind of ones where the recommended age is 11-14, you know?

  • Just Like Jackie
  • OCDaniel
  • When friendship followed me home
  • Touching Spirit Bear
  • Inside Out And Back Again

These ones right here ☝ are my absolute faves. They are my TOP 5 picks for my favorite books, and tying very closely with them are these ones right here 👇

  • The Night Diary
  • When You Reach Me
  • Moon Over Manifest
  • The Ghost Of Spirit Bear
  • What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible
  • Ms. Bixby’s Last Day
  • Sadie (this ones a full on YA!)

And these right here 👇 are the books that I’m including from my last list because they are still in my favorites:

  • Wonder (I’ve read it at least 20 times!)
  • Books by Dr. Suess
  • The One & The Only Ivan

Also, I felt like including some books in here because I enjoyed them and didn’t want them to feel left out, so here you go: The list of books that I like:

  • Framed, Vanished, Trapped
  • Summerlost
  • The Zain & Ana series
  • Your Turn Now & YTN 2
  • Soar
  • Ruskin Bond’s Children’s Omnibus
  • Let’s go time travelling
  • The Railway Children and Five Children & It
  • Auggie and me

These ones are great for fun, light reading, and I like taking them along with me on a train rides and stuff like that.

If you’re like me and like reading preteen realistic fiction, then do give these a try and let me know your thoughts about them in the comment section below.

These were all the books I love, I’m going to write separate reviews for them, (the post would be too long otherwise) so stay tuned for that!

 

 

 

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Rain!

I’m the kind of person who loves rains.

I love the coolness of it.

I love how it washes the dirt away from the trees and makes them look so glistening and new and green.

I love the pitter-patter sound it makes.

I love all the muddy puddles that it brings with it. I don’t care if people say I’m too old to jump in puddles, I still do. It’s so fun!

I don’t get the term rainy day blues, or why people complain about the rain so much.

The rain doesn’t make me grumpy, instead it makes me more joyous, it makes me want to sing raag malhaar.

And to all the people who hate the rain, come on people, have you ever smelled the smell of the earth after it rains? It’s so blissful.

Thank you for reading my banter about the rains.

I’ll go now, bye!

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Happy Onam!

Onam is a hindu festival celebrated primarily in Kerala after the rice harvest.

The story of Onam goes like this: There was a king named Bali who ruled over the land of Kerala. He was very generous and kind but also a bit proud. One day a small brahmin came to him and asked for land that he could cover with three footsteps. He was in fact an avatar of lord Vishnu. The king looked at the small size of the brahmin and agreed. The brahmin suddenly started to grow in size and became bigger and bigger. He scaled the whole Earth with his first step. Then he scaled the sky with his next step. There was no place for his next step. Bali offered him his head. Vamana put his next step on Bali’s head pushing him to the ground. From then on, every year Bali visits his kingdom once a year and people celebrate Onam for welcoming him.

I made this artwork for Onam:

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