Story: The Future Gardens

The Future Gardens
: Adhya Bhatnagar

There was a beep, and I was sucked into a vacuum.

Everything went black. Darkness surrounded me. When I opened my eyes, I found myself in a small room made up of shining metal. It had no windows or doors; it was like a closed box. I looked around, thinking of ways to get out and then decided against it. This was a strange place, and I didn’t want to get lost. I went close to a wall and slouched against it. I started thinking rapidly and asked myself many questions. “Where am I? What is this place? What is going on? What was the time?” I looked at my watch; it said 3:27. I was so late; mom would be worrying about me.

I felt hungry. My school bag was still hanging on my shoulders. I took it off and opened it, reached out for my chocolate and was about to eat it when suddenly there was a flash of light that almost blinded me. I closed my eyes and opened them only after I was sure that the light was gone. I was alarmed to see three robots staring at me. They were gleaming, white, and had flexible bodies with wheels for their legs.

They wheeled towards me. “Who are you? Why are you here and what is that in your hand? Is that a weapon?” All the robots asked me in a mechanical voice at the same time. I was not going to answer these questions to some robots in a strange place. Instead, I ignored them. When I didn’t answer, the robots repeated the same questions. I got impatient. “Who are you?” I asked them, “and what is this place?” “We are robots,” they replied. “We can’t tell you the name of this place until you tell us where you are from. Security systems enabled.” All the robots replied at once.

None of the answers helped. “Who is your owner?” I asked yet another question hoping for a useful answer. Before the robots could answer, another light flashed. My eyes! I opened them and saw a boy standing in front of me with a remote in his hand. He pressed a red button, and the robots stopped talking. “I am Mike,” he said, “How did you come here?” “I don’t know; I was just coming back from school when I saw a shiny object on the ground. I picked it up, and there was a beep, and I fainted. When I opened my eyes, I found myself here,” I replied.

He asked, “School? What is school?” I was a little surprised he didn’t know. He didn’t wait for an answer, but pressed a button on his watch and said, “It’s all right Sania you can come.” Another flash and a girl came in. “This is Sania,” he told me. “What is school?” the boy repeated. “It is a place where kids go to study,” I replied. “Adults we call teachers teach us and give us assignments at the end of the day that we have to complete. It is called homework.” I explained to them as if explaining some alien from another planet. “Don’t you go to school?” I asked them. “No, in fact, we barely step out from our home. Our robots do all the work for us. The last time I remembered going out was three years back when Mike hid the remote control outside and forgot about it, and I had to go out to find it, it was so difficult with all the smoke around me,” said Sania.

“Tell us more about your school,” said Mike. “Science is my favorite subject,” I said, opened my bag and took out my science book. “What is this?” asked Sania. “A book; don’t you read?” I asked them. “No” came a blunt reply.

I showed them my school calendar. Mike flipped through it. He laughed. “2017! You mean 350 years ago! Is this a joke?” he asked me mockingly. I stared at him blankly. Something clicked in my mind. I asked them, “Are you from the future?” Sania said, “No, we are from the present, and you are from the past.” That’s when it dawned on me; the object lying on the ground was a portal that transported me here! I got quite giddy with excitement, quickly grabbed my science book, and started flipped through the pages. “What is this?” Mike pointed his finger at the picture of a tree. “This is a tree. It gives us oxygen, and we are alive because of this,” I said. “We don’t have trees. They are extinct. We breathe with the help of air giving machines,” said Sania.

I couldn’t believe my ears. Were trees extinct? Was the future of earth going to be like this? I asked them, “Do you know about animals?” “What are animals?” they asked me in surprise. Creatures, beasts, I did not know any other name to describe animals. So I showed them pictures of animals, “Look, this is a tiger, this is an elephant, and these are my favorite animals; dolphins!” “Wow!” They exclaimed, “There are no animals now, only humans!” “Actually, did you know that humans are animals?” I pointed out.

That’s when my stomach grumbled. It must have made a loud noise because Sania laughed loudly and said, “It seems you have been hungry all day.” To be honest, I was. I had not eaten anything since breakfast. I had skipped lunch to play during the school interval, and now I was hungry as a bear. Mike pressed a button on his remote, and a robot flew into the metal wall that opened up for it. The robot flew back in and put a tablet in my hand. “What am I going to do with it?” I laughed, “Do you always eat medicines before eating food?” “This is food!” Mike and Sania replied, “Just suck it, and you will feel better.”

I sucked on it, it had a sweet-sour taste. it made me feel better, but then I remembered mom. She was going to make my favorite pasta this afternoon for lunch. I told them, “I have to go; mom will be so worried. I was supposed to reach home at quarter to three.” All of a sudden, I missed her and her food.

I kept the books back in the bag and found my chocolate again. I tore open the chocolate bar, broke a piece and offered it to them. Then, I quickly wolfed down the rest. When I finished and licked my fingers clean, I saw them looking at me with a question in their eyes. “Oh!” I said as if I had figured out a hard math problem. “Just eat it, it is sweet. I know you will like it.” They hesitated, but then took a bite. I looked at them curiously. Various expressions changed on their face. Confused, surprised and then happy. This is always the case after you eat chocolate. “It…It tastes intriguing, it tastes different,” said Sania, “I never tasted something like this before, It is yum!” said Mike.

“Guys, I must go now,” I reminded them. “But how are you going to go back?” asked Mike. I scratched my head and looked around, spotted the object which took me here. I picked it up and shouted goodbye. They said goodbye. And then I closed my eyes.

When I heard familiar noises, I opened my eyes slowly. A crow was cawing loudly, and the wind was making sounds rustling through the tree leaves. Cars zoomed by, and some street vendors were shouting out their wares. I felt a tinge of happiness. I thought we are so lucky. I couldn’t believe that after a few hundred years Earth would have no trees or animals! I was happy to be back. And with a contented smile on my face, I ran all my way home.

That night I wrote in my diary:

Life is an exam where the syllabus is unknown, and question papers are not set.
We create our own syllabus. If this is going to be the future, we should strive to change it, so that all the beings on the earth now and after will benefit.

I smiled. If we care for our planet, then Mike and Sania will be able to taste wonderful things like chocolates and pasta. They can play in the gardens.

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Happy Friendship Day! Friendship day crafts!

Friendship day is coming up soon on 5th August, Sunday; and this time, the crafty side of my mind started running, I make my own friendship bracelets every year, like the last time I made them out of quilling; This time, I wanted to do something more than usual. So, I made some cards, rings made with loom bands, personalized letters, and friendship bands. Here’s how I made all of them:

For the personalized cards, I browsed some images on the internet, using the tag: friends drawing. I scrolled down through the images and took screenshots of the ones I liked and then using those images as a base, and inserting my ideas, I made the drawings in my sketchbook and cut them out and then used my new Faber Castell color pencils that I had bought recently to make my cards. Here they are:

 

 

For the friendship bands, I used some foam strips shaped like ice-cream sticks (that’s the best way I could describe them) and stuck a bead on one side, and a loop of thread on the opposite side, so we can wear it. I wrote my friend’s name on top and HFD on the bottom with my name. here they are!

This is how they function:

I also made these rings with loom bands as a bonus:

Here I am sampling all of them:

I made individual personalized letters for all my friends: I wrote all the things I like about them and I added in small messages like, “you are perfectly imperfect!” and; “Roses are red, the sky is blue, sugar is sweet and so are you!”

Here they are:

So these were all my friendship day crafts, you can also make these for your friends and i hope you found these ideas useful. Happy friendship day!

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A walk in the National Park.

We are very fortunate to have Sanjay Gandhi national park, right in the center of Mumbai. I have gone to Sanjay Gandhi national park many times before but I’ve never gone there really early when it’s still dark. My mom and dad go to Sanjay Gandhi national park almost every day for morning walks and they always tell me to come, but I am kinda lazy to get up early in the morning so I just sleep while they go. Mom told me that I really should come. She said “You will really enjoy. You love nature and you can see many stars.” So I kinda got greedy and agreed to go.
I woke up at 4:45 in the morning, brushed my teeth, wore my shoes and was out of the door. When we reached there I was very happy and feeling fresh. It was very cool, and there was no scorching heat which was good. There were not really many stars; I figured out if I wanted to see the stars, I should have woken up earlier. But anyway, it was really dark and it was the first time I saw the park like that. It seemed like a scene from the Jungle Book. The birds were chirping and there was a fresh breeze blowing over my face. We had fun as we walked up to Gandhi Tekri and then mom and dad meditated for some time while I took pictures of the sunrise and flowers. Here they are:

This walk put a smile on my face and I will definitely sacrifice my sleep to go to the national park. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Happy Earth Day!

I ran all the way, and as soon as I passed the clearing and saw the wobbly mud path speckled with stones, I paused to take a breath, quietly removed my shoes and placed them besides a rock. And then, on my toes, I entered the woods.

I started walking and taking everything in at once. The long, green, grass, the swaying trees, and the fading stars in the sky. It was nearly dawn. Slowly the sun came up, waking up everyone with him. The birds were the first ones to wake up and their delightful, merry chirps filled the air with joy. And in a minute, everyone woke up. The squirrels gnawed at their freshly picked acorn, the butterflies fluttered from flower to flower sipping the sweet nectar, the rabbits hopped here and there, digging their burrows, the bees hummed busily and the monkeys jumped and chattered in the trees.

A herd of giraffes came to nibble on the green leaves and soon a herd of deer joined them. Nobody noticed me. I walked on until I reached the pond. I stepped into the water and felt the cool, clear water swirl around me and the smooth stones and pebbles felt so soothing to my feet. I took big whiffs of the cool, fresh and sunny breeze and I felt like I was the one with Mother Earth.

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My Poetry Session At Rustomjee Cambridge International School

Before I started homeschooling, I went to RCIS for 5 years, and I really loved the school. So when my mom received a call from Tanya mam, the principal, saying she wanted to meet us, I got happy, surprised and puzzled as well. As I didn't know why she was calling us.

When we met her, she informed there was a literary fest in the school and the school was inviting some authors to give sessions on their books. She invited me as well. We decided that I'd conduct a session for the third graders. I felt very happy and a little nervous too, as I hadn't given a session to such a big group of kids.

 

On 21st March, I woke up with a queer feeling inside me. I had to give the poetry session on my book to around 230 children. I felt kinda nervous. But when I got there and talked to the kids, it all melted away. I recited poems from my book 'My Little World'. Then I invited them to recite the poems, we did a 'word-search' and then I gave them an activity-- "Friends, take a word, think of words that rhyme and relate with your word, and make your own poems."

 

And within a few minutes, everyone came up with their short poems and recited them. Then at the photo session, all the divisions, A to H came to click photos with me and my book. I felt really happy. Thank you Tanya mam and all the teachers for showing confidence in me.

Kids Reading Poems With Me.

Students Reciting Their Poems.

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20 BOOKS I LOVE!

Here are some books that I love the most. I have written about them in a random order. I couldn’t judge which one was my most favorite. (Does that even make sense?)

Well, here are my 20 top favorite books:

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate is one of my top favorite books.

It is about Jackson and his imaginary friend, Crenshaw. Jackson’s family is getting poor and there’s not much food in the fridge, and Jackson is worried they’ll have to move out of their home.

Crenshaw is here to help Jackson, but, is an imaginary friend enough to save the family from losing everything?

Read this amazing book to find out.
I really like the way this book is written and the storyline is great.

Wonder by R. J. Palacio is a great book in my opinion.

It is about August, a normal kid with a not so normal face. August faces a lot of difficulties in his life because of his face and also got bullied in school, but he moves on.

This book has a great message. How you shouldn’t judge someone by their face. I absolutely loved reading it and surely recommend this book to kids and adults as well.

 

One And The Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate is about a gorilla named Ivan.

Ivan is an easy-going gorilla who is used to humans watching his every move through the glass of his cage. He can hardly remember his life in the jungle or what happened to his family.

That is, until a baby elephant called Ruby arrived. Suddenly he sees home through new eyes and knows he must do something to make sure Ruby doesn't end up like him. I love to read this heartwarming tale again and again and this will be one of my most favorite books for a long time.

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At LEast A Fish, Ghosts Don't Eat and Just Like A Bug are three books in the Zain and Ana series written by Anushka Ravishankar.

 

They are about Zain and Ana, two best friends and all the experiments and adventures they have. I really like the humorous writing and storyline of these books. Out of these three books, 'Ghosts don't eat' is probably my favorite but I really like the other two as well.

Here are some books by E. Nesbit which will always be on my favorite list.

The language and the writing of these books are a bit old fashioned as they were written a century ago, in the early 1900s. These books are about children having fun at the railway station, going to places on their magic carpet, having their wishes granted by a sand fairy, or being invisible.

These books have a really great narrative and dialogues and the kids in these books are so natural, having fights and arguments with their siblings and then making up.

I wish I could have adventures with them.

 

Here are some more books I like:

 


The Secret Garden
and
A Little Princess are written by Frances Hodgson Burnett.

The novels are really descriptive and the narration is so good you see it all happening in front of your eyes.

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell is narrated by Black Beauty, a horse and all that happens in his life.

It is a wonderful, heart- touching story.
It's a classic that you must read.

 
 

The first books I read after learning to read were books by Dr. Seuss. I still read them sometimes. These books have wonderful rhyming and are easy to read. I still put books by Dr. Seuss on my top list.

 

Matilda and Charlie's Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl are fantastic, full of quirkiness and fun. Every child must read these books.

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Grandma's Bag Of Stories and The Magic Of The Lost Temple are the books by Sudha Murty that I like.

 
 

Let's Go Time Travelling by Subhadra Sen Gupta is a book about life in India through the ages. It is full of amusing illustrations and fun.

 
 
 
 

Ruskin Bond’s Children’s Omnibus is a collection of Ruskin Bond’s stories for children including some great stories like the blue umbrella and cricket for a crocodile.

 
 
 
 

So these are my top 20 favorite books. Comment down below about your favorite books and your thoughts.

Happy reading!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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HOLI

I love Holi, it is my favourite festival. The thing that I love the most is getting up with that wonderful feeling in the morning of the day when I know what a wonderful day it will be. I get up as quick as I can, have my breakfast and race down to the playground. I call all my friends and we spend the first half of the day drenching each other with water.

I gave up using water or water balloons the year before, to save water, so now I only bring my homemade Holi colours. It is so good to see everyone, small kids, big kids, adults all coming together running here and there, having battles of colour, laughing with each other. After coming home, I have a good, warm bath and then we all sit together and eat lunch. In the evening, we play and have fun.

I just love this festival of colours. It is a day when everyone has fun and is a day of bonding.

Wishing you a happy Holi!

picture credit: http://glorioushimalaya.com/

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Republic Day

I and my friends always wait eagerly for 26th of Jan, not just because it is republic day, but also because it is the only event that there is a celebration of our building. There are games, food,  dance and of course, the flag hoisting. A day or two before Republic day is the best because there is a stage put up, all the cars are cleared out of the parking lot and there are lights put up. We all love to squeeze in beneath the stage and play hide and seek and jump on the stage and do stunts and antics and dance and play a game that we invented called ‘Creature.’ kids of all ages come and nobody minds when we jump on the stage and act like monkeys.

I and my friends are always eager to perform and we do something every year. we run up and down everyone’s house to call them for last minute rehearsals and practice the same thing again and again. We did two dances this year one on the song Shubhaarambh as the welcome dance and one dance about the lives of soldiers.

On Republic day, we start the day with the flag hosting some adults give speeches and sing songs. We kids are also invited to sing a song or give a speech. I along with two of my friends sang Vande Mataram. Then we eat breakfast. Our building provides for all the meals and it is very fun to sit on the playground and eat our meal together. All my friends gather and we enjoy the day together. Next are the games. Some people who volunteer, are in charge of the games, and the bigger children help in making the race track. We have racing for different age groups, and then different types of games. This year we also had a slow cycling race (sadly I couldn’t win) we eat lunch, and then run to someone’s house for a rehearsal. Then we go down and play until evening until its time to go to get ready for our dances and then assemble for the performance to start. We remove all the hours of practice on to the stage and then run to change for the next performance. After the programme, we go eat dinner, play for a while and go to sleep. here are some pictures of my day.

Me holding the national flag.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are the pictures of my soldier dance. (sorry cause they are a little shaky)

Pictures of my welcome dance.

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