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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What’s A Full Blue, Super, Blood Moon Eclipse?

I’m really looking forward to 31st Jan because on that day, something epic is going to happen. A full BLUE, SUPER, BLOOD moon eclipse! Not just a full moon eclipse, but a full BLUE, SUPER, BLOOD moon eclipse! A three in one! I can’t wait and I am feeling so impatient even though it is just a day away.

A full moon eclipse is when the sun, the moon, and the earth get in a straight line and the earth comes in front of the moon blocking the light from the sun and creates a shadow over the moon.

A blue moon is when a full moon appears two times in a month and the second time is called a blue moon. It doesn’t mean that the moon looks blue or something but it is just a term given to the full moon if it appears two times in a month. This is very rare and maybe that’s why there’s this phrase that says: ‘Once in a blue moon.’

A supermoon is when the moon comes the closest to the earth or is at perihelion which means it is at the closest point to earth and can appear 14 percent bigger and 30 percent brighter than normal.

A blood moon is when, during an eclipse when earth casts a red-tinted shadow on the surface of the moon, and it appears to be a rusty, reddish copper kind of color. This happens because the rays of the sun are made of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. When the sun rays hit the atmosphere of the earth, most of the colors get scattered away and the color red remains. Due to which we see a blood moon during a full moon eclipse.

All these all together make the full blue, super, blood eclipse. This eclipse is occurring after 152 years and this is a chance of a lifetime. I wouldn’t miss it for anything.

 

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Making art is a joy.

I was getting into an artsy mood which is the best kind of mood to be in, as it gets my creative juices flowing, I sat down on the table and just started making something abstract. I took the colours green and purple and a little bit of blue and made lines and free flowing brush strokes going the opposite way and mixing all those colours, turning them into kind of grey. I broke from my artsy mood and asked myself, now look what you have gone and done, the painting is ruined! Now what to do? I shook my head a few times and took a deep breath and told myself it isn’t ruined just think of something creative and it will turn this into a masterpiece. I remind myself time to time of what mako said in her video of mandala; Makoccino is a YouTube channel that has painting and Diy tutorials.
This is what she said: We often stress ourselves over the end result of our painting or any work, not enjoying the process of the painting and ruining it in that process. We should not stress on the end result but the process of making it. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece it is a work of mind and creativity. And the most important thing is you enjoy what you are doing. (I changed her words when I tell myself but the thought is the same). Anyway, I let my painting dry and then took a marker and started drawing a half mandala. I didn’t made it to be exact and it was a little crooked on one side. But I didn’t care and then went ahead and created some spirals and doodled in them and created this painting. I loved it and told myself: didn’t I tell you? Don’t, I repeat don’t care about anything and let your creative juices flow.
Ps: In case you are wondering, this is exactly what mako said:
‘That we shouldn’t focus too much on the end result, but instead, we should focus on the process. Similar to life, we should just enjoy it and live to the fullest instead of worrying and overthinking every time. Instead of worrying it will mess up or the end result will look ugly, that people won’t like it, why don’t we just focus on the process of creating.’
You should check out her channel on YouTube if you love art like me.

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Organising My Bookshelf

I love reading and have a lot of books in my collection, but they were getting very unorganized, so I decided to do something about it. I have a rack, in which I keep my books. At first, I had organized my books according to the colors of the spine, and I arranged them very nicely and they were very beautiful to look at. It seemed as if there was a rainbow in my rack! It was very good looking, but it wasn’t practical to always keep the books in the exact same place as before. I managed it for a few days, but then it started to get very tough afterwards because after I read a book, I would just put it anywhere in my rack and sometimes when I needed a book, I would have to look for it all over the place and sometimes I couldn’t even find it. I was looking for a book named ‘Ambushed’ and I had thought I had forgotten it somewhere, only to find it buried in a mess of books and magazines after 4-5 months! So, this time I decided to think of a better way of organizing my books. I browsed on the web and these were some of the ideas:

Arrange the books alphabetically
Arrange the books according to size
Arrange the books by color
Arrange the books by genre
Arrange the books by date

I did a quick question-answer session in my mind.

Q. Shall I arrange the books alphabetically?
A. Do you think you can manage that? No way!

Q. Shall I arrange the books by size?
A. Hmmm, maybe.

Q. Shall I arrange the books by color?
A. You already tried that, it looked beautiful, but didn’t work very well for you.

Q. Shall I arrange the books by genre?
A. I can, but maybe in a different way.

Q. Shall I arrange the books by date?
A. I don’t think so.

I liked the sort by genre idea best, but I decided to change it a little. It said, sort the non-fiction and fiction first, and then you can sort them into smaller groups like fantasy, mystery, horror etc. I had mostly fictional books and just 4-5 books which were non-fictional. So instead, I decided to sort them according to moods. For instance adventurous mood, cheerful mood, kinda serious mood and quiet mood. I also made groups like short stories, tell me whys and magazines. Oh, and I also reserved an area for my favourite books like, some of them were by my favourite authors, like E Nesbit’s ‘railway children’ and ‘five children and it’, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s ‘the secret garden, and ‘a little princess’, and all the books of Dr. Suess that I have. I also kept the books, ‘Wonder’ by R J Palacio, and ‘One and the only Ivan’ and ‘Crenshaw’ by Katherine Applegate. I also kept the books according to size, in each of the genres. I labeled the genres and it all looked great!

I started by removing the books from the top shelves and categorized them. Then I removed another shelf of books and did that. I did it one shelf at a time because I knew if I removed all of them at once, I would get lazy to do all the work and postpone it. The top three shelves were done and I was very pleased with myself. (Not bragging.) I cleaned off the layer of dust that had settled on the shelves and rearranged the books neatly. I still managed to make a tiny rainbow in the cheerful mood genre with the books! I also made a category yet to read, for books that I hadn’t read yet. There were about 15 books waiting to be read. I would have been very happy to give some of them to my brother because some of them were not exactly my kind of books. But still, I’ll try to read them. When I came to the 2 lower shelves, I kinda started to get nervous and asked myself if I should remove the books from the shelves because I would usually do a little bit of cleaning on the upper shelves, but never bothered to work on the lower ones and they were getting really messy and were filled up with mostly magazines and papers and craft books. I told myself I can do it, and I took the shelf out and all the mess fell on the ground. I cleaned it up and arranged my books and then on the lower one I arranged magazines and craft books and it looked so good. I was really happy because it really needed cleaning and now it is very neat and functional. But there is still a lot of mess on the floor ( I had put it out of the way while I took the photos,) and I still have to clean it!

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It seems that I am on a quilling spree!

This is the hair band I made for my friend

It seems that I’m on a quilling spree!
Quilling is an art that involves rolling long strips of paper to form different shapes and patterns.
I loved quilling and used to make lots of coils and make flowers and butterflies but I did not finish making anything as it took a lot of time to roll all the long strips so my mother bought me an automated quilling machine that quills all our coils in a jiffy! It is called the super quiller. She bought it from a website named Quill On. And then, as soon as I got my hands on the super quiller, I could not keep it down! I made a pink hair band on the first day and wore it when I went to play. All my friends admired it and I thought of making another one. This time, I made it entirely with shades of green. My friends loved it and the next day 3 of my friends came at my home with their quilling strips and hair bands! We all sat and made those together. One of my friends made a rainbow themed hair band and another made a food themed one! One of them asked me to make it and I’m still working on that. One auntie asked me make one for her almost two year old girl and one friend is still asking me to make a  pair of quilling earrings for her. I am so happy and want to go on for forever!

second doll I made

earrings for my friend

the green hairband

close up of the rainbow hairband

 

a crimped flower

a Malaysian flower

food collection

 

earrings for my mother’s friend

earrings for my mother

my quilling hairbands

this is the first doll I made

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