A Drive Along the Picturesque Pacific Coast Highway 1

“Visiting USA? The drive along the coastal highway is a must-do.” So advised our cousins who had made the country their second home.

Aware that Indian driving licence is valid on US roads for about a year, we did not need much coaxing! We rented a car and were soon cruising along the Pacific Coast Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

The satiny black ribbon like road lives up to its claim of being the most picturesque route. It was scenic all along with blue water splashing on rocks, frothing, misting, roaring….every rock and wave was camera worthy. The wide smooth road with hardly any traffic, was flanked by hills on one side and ocean on the other. The ocean changed colours as the sun rose up higher in the sky.

Along the Pacific Coast

Crashing waves make a beautiful picture

Sea and rocks

Scenic… all along the highway

As we reached Monterey Bay, we saw some other tourists walking downhill to a small not much frequented beach. Huge waves crashed on the hills pulling kelp from the ocean and spitting it out on beach.

When the wave subsided, we quickly clicked some pictures because we had not catered for wet clothes and shoes…what with rented car and all.

beach somewhere at Monterey beach

Huge waves crashing on the rocks

Some 190 km south of San Francisco we reached the Bixby Creek bridge which is tallest single-span concrete bridge in world. Till 1932, the residents of Big Sur were almost cut-off in winters as the old coast road used to be impassable.

We couldn’t resist stopping for a quick picture, though leaving the car unattended at Highway was not advisable.

Monterey bay

Bixby Creek Bridge…the tallest single-span concrete bridge in world

Further on, a detour led to Pebble Beach, but we drove to Big Sur instead and stopped at a river-side-inn for a quick bite only to find the food a little too expensive. Moreover, the view of the gurgling stream and birds chirping in the woods from the wooden chairs kept in the stream seemed much inviting than the glass windows and carpeted interiors of the restaurant.

It feels refreshing being closer to nature

It feels refreshing being closer to nature

Big Sur derives its name from Spanish ‘el pais grande del sur‘ and refers to the 90 mile beautiful, rugged coastline between Carmel and Hearst Castle. Highway 1 through Big Sur is called American National Scenic Byway.

It was no doubt beautiful. Many fitness enthusiasts were busy cycling, biking  and running in the bright sun with the breeze bringing in the sea smell.

Big Sur

Scenic views all along the Big Sur

wild plants

Even the wild grass looked beautiful

By the time we reached ‘Whale Watchers Cafe’ we were hungry and the place was very attractive. The sandwiches and salads here were not as costly and we were past the stage of bothering about expenditure!

Whale Watcher's cafe where we had sandwiches...

Whale Watcher’s café where we had sandwiches…

We were told that there were tours to watch Humpback Whales, Orca and White-sided dolphins which were a regular sight in October. We stared past the road side railing in the deep blue ocean but it was just not our lucky day.

over the railing

Beyond the railing, in the deep blue frolic the whales and dolphins

Energised, we sped on as we wanted to make it to Los Angeles before dark. We were advised to avoid the chaotic traffic at LA. Had we, however, gone even a bit more faster, we would have missed the wild seals sun-bathing on a rock.

As we drove past, the corner of my eye caught a sudden movement. I insisted we stop….. And there they were lazing on the rocks! One  seal raised its head to look at us equally surprised as we were!

wild seals

Surprised seals looking right back at us

Later, further ahead we came across a seal spotting deck and to our surprise the beach was full of large elephant-seals playing in sea, snoring, lazing around. it was a rookery where every year the seals come to breed, the alpha males show-off their strength to females and the best man….er…seal wins!!

Huge Elephant Seals lazing on the beach

Huge Elephant Seals lazing on the beach

Sun had set by the time, we left coast highway and drove inland. Even after driving for so long with many stops and the hot sun, we were not the least bit tired instead the breathtaking views that our eyes had literally feasted upon along the PCH 1 had  left us wanting for more …..

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Weekly Photo Challenge:Monochromatic

At a recent visit to Udaipur we spent time at Fatehsagar lake boating in its placid waters. The lake shimmered in beautiful blues…reflecting the skies and enveloping the distant Aravalli range in its bluish hues..

shades of blue

Fatehsagar Lake at Udaipur

As the evening advanced to surround everything in its darkness, the view transformed completely to the shades of grey….

Fatehsagar Lake at Udaipur

Fatehsagar Lake at Udaipur


Related articles:












Posted in Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Do men really want to treat women as equal……?

These days there is so much hullabaloo about treating women as equals or special…. I did not honestly want to join in this conversation… Why? Because, it is such a farce…. Do men who consider themselves the rule makers and messiah of the society really want to treat women at par? 

Since ages, men have enjoyed the status of ‘Pati-Parameshwar'(Husband is God! Really…???). Did they ever consider it as ‘special treatment’? No Sir! They consider it perfectly normal and their birthright. But the moment you want them to call women their ‘Lakshmi’, ‘Saraswati , ‘Janani’….it is called ‘special treatment’ of women! How many actually even ask their wives before splurging? How many actually send daughters for higher education? How many acknowledge the role their wife plays in bringing up of child?

Men have had, in historical and mythological stories, unquestionable access to multiple partners for sexual gratification inside and outside of institution of marriage….I with whatever little knowledge of mine have not come across women having such freedom! Even ‘Ahilya‘ who was duped by none other than ‘Indra’ himself, into physical intimacy, had to spend ages as stone idol being cursed by ‘husband’ till Lord Rama’s ‘feet‘ touched the idol.  Meanwhile ‘Indra’ till date enjoys the status of ‘God of Gods’…Is that treating women equally? It sure looks like treating men specially!

Today when a woman climbs up the ladder of success, many a times her success is attributed to her physical appearance…. There are women, no doubt, who might have once in a while taken advantage of their sexuality to gain undeserving benefits….but then there are more such men who have indulged in ‘Yes-Sir’ attitude and greased the palms of people to reach higher echelons of their career….. Do they get discussed as often as those women who exploit their gender?

Working women, spend equal hours in office in similar stress situations….but once they are back home it is their problem if the food is not ready, laundry is not done, child’s school work is pending and so on. She comes back home and gets occupied in these house chores…. Honestly, all men please cross your heart and reply…How many have voluntarily assisted their wives in these chores…? Is that treating women equally? If women then demand help from their partners in these chores, why is it called ‘special treatment’? Isn’t it the other way round…aren’t men being treated specially?

Question isn’t whether men know the difference….it is whether they are willing to acknowledge that it is they, all these years, who have enjoyed “Special Treatment”? Question is whether men will now let women have same things which they assume as their rights? Whether they will honour her decisions?

The women, of course wish to have equal basic rights…. who to marry, when to marry, how to dress, what to study, where to spend, when to relax, when and where to work….

And unless the basics are in place…men have no right to gloat that they treat women ‘specially’.

“I’m blogging for the India Today Woman Summit 2015 #WomenPower activity at BlogAdda.”

Related Articles:




Posted in Blogadda, Relationships | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

A journey within…

sai baba“Aarti Sai baba, aarti Sainatha……. (Pray to Saint Saibaba…, pray to Lord Sainath).” I sang along with the monotone chant of the priest which resonated through the garbha-griha (sanctum sanctorum) of the temple of Saibaba at Shirdi.

Shirdi is a small town in Ahmednagar District in state of Maharashtra. Well connected by road and rail it is about 296 km from Mumbai and about 185 km from our city, Pune- a three to three and half hour journey by road if driving by own car. This place is known for the saint Shri Sai Baba, the only saint who is revered by both Hindus and Muslims. His origin is not known but the temple was built around 1922.

I have been visiting the temple as a child with my parents and have seen it grow to its present expanse. I remember the smaller temple of stone, the muddy roads, small shops selling the flower basket for offering in temple, the way-side vendors selling raisins from farms of Nasik, big guavas from Manmad and swarm of scantily dressed beggars pestering for a rupee coin. The temple has expanded to a large complex now with covered area for devotees to stand in a queue before entering the temple. The temple complex is paved and well laid out with water kiosks, donation and sweets’ (prasadam or the blessed food) counters and separate relaxing areas for the devotees.  The shops are bigger, brighter and arranged in a row just outside the temple complex. And the beggars are not to be seen at least near the temple. It is definitely more organised now.

The temple at Shirdi, hosts thousands of devotees everyday throughout the year and though there are covered queue lanes but the number of devotees extend the lane well up to the parking lot. And when the long winding queue finally takes you inside the inner sanctum, you are full of sweat, tired due to the delay, ready to finish off the prayer and move out of the room filled with smoke of incense sticks. The priests also rush you out through the exit without bothering whether your flower basket has been offered on the idol’s feet. And the guard at the exit of inner sanctum forces everybody out shouting loudly in local language Marathi “chala…chala…o, tai…nigha laukar, thambu naka…” (Move…move…O sister! Move fast….Don’t stop!!)

It was August 2002 and we had just received the positive reports of my pregnancy. We were over the moon and I definitely wanted to visit Shirdi Sai Baba temple. On one of the week day we planned the temple visit. It was the monsoon season and weather was pleasant almost every day. The plants and trees all around seemed fresher and had turned a darker shade of emerald-green…. full of life, breathing and soothing the eyes.

Since the journey would take only three hours or so we were not in any particular hurry but still managed to leave home at around seven-thirty with a slight drizzle accompanying us along the route. The road shone black with its dirt all washed clean from the rain. Little puddles came alive as rain drops danced and splashed in them.

We were two young adventurous people, religious just enough to want to visit temple and thank Lord for the wonderful news but not so much as to sing and chant hymns and songs along the way. So, we listened to some catchy music which was in trend then and stopped en-route at the small shack like roadside shops to eat the local junk food, the freshly roasted corn-cob smeared with lemon juice, salt and red chilli powder and the sugary tea brewed then and there on demand. Beyond Ahmednagar, we passed many grape farms where the farmers sold the fresh produce in baskets and small cartons along the roadside. Some little girls dressed in long skirts and blouse also sold ‘gajras’ (flowers strung in thread to adorn hair) of fresh mogra flowers (jasmine).

“O…tai, o mausi…ghya na gajra…..don rupaya la ek… (O sister, o aunty… Please take these floral strings…for two rupees each only)”

I had promptly bought five which was all that she had. The little girl was overjoyed as she had managed to sell all of her merchandise. I still remember her wide grin and curious gaze as I clipped the bunch on my braid.

I had regretted not taking our camera along for this trip because we missed out on so many precious moments… sights that the nature offered and the unadulterated joy of achievement that lit up the faces of simple village folks. Since the devotees are not allowed to take cameras inside the temple precinct so the apprehension of a possible theft of expensive camera from an unattended car in the parking lot ruled our decision of leaving it at home.

I felt quite a satisfaction in making the day of the little villager and with a happy frame of mind we finally reached the temple area. Shirdi was hot as it had not rained there. As we manoeuvred our car into the parking lot, another smaller car with a middle-aged couple and a teenage son, rushed in the parking lot. The occupants were in a hurry it seemed.

The flowers and sweets selling shop vendors always vie for prospective customers at all such temple sites. They yell out the prices of their merchandise to seek attention and almost block the way to steer the customers to their own shop.

“Ya….ya….deva karta phoola ani prasad ghya…taji phoola…shevanti, jhendu, mogra,belpatra….changlya khavya chi barfi….O tai…fakt shambhar chi topli….bagha tar tai ek da..(Come…come…buy flowers and sweets for offering in temple…fresh flowers…marigolds, jasmines and chrysanthemums…milk sweets…O sister…its only for Hundred Rupees ….have a look at least!!)

Since we were not in any hurry so I took time choosing freshest flowers for offering from different shops. A few minutes in one of the shops and I noticed the hurried activity and some loud discontented grumbles from new customers in the shop. The occupants of the small car had landed in the same shop and seemed annoyed with shopkeeper who had allowed us to pick and choose. The woman glared at me so we let them be the first ones to make their purchase. The woman was triumphant on her success and smirked at us before leaving.

I forgot the little incident and proceeded with the flower basket, coconut and sweets to the temple. However we again met the same couple at the shoes’ deposit counter. And from that moment on an unofficial, unsaid race began……where the woman would give me a triumphant look whenever they did something before we could. I found it quite amusing because it really did not matter to us whether we were the first or the last in the temple but it seemed quite important to that woman.

The temple authorities maintain different queues for entry to the ‘garbha-griha’, one for defence personnel and other for civilians. Unawares of this special facility we awaited our turn at the token counter. Unknown to other people in the temple area, yet again at the two queues for token the silent competition was on. The couple hurried past us pushing and elbowing others to reach the token counter before us.

They managed to acquire the tokens before us and stood in the temple’s queue for civilians smirking at us as we still waited for tokens. It was a real long queue and extended well beyond the covered area. The weather was a bit hot and humid and people fanned themselves with stole, hand towels and token slips. There was hardly any breeze. The patience and tolerance level of the sweating crowd was very low. Even an unintended nudge made people break into an argument.

When it was our turn in the queue for the token we were politely asked by the woman at the counter whether we belonged to defense forces. It was then that we realised that there was a separate queue for defense people to enter the inner sanctum of the temple. I was hugely relieved to know that we would avoid the long queue and because the other queue had only ten others ahead of us. We promptly headed towards the queue meant for defense people which was next to the longer queue separated only by a six feet high iron grille.

As we entered our queue, the eyes of the competing couple followed us wondering how we had managed to move ahead of them. By that time, I also engaged in that absurd race. As soon as I realised that our progress was being tracked by the middle aged jealous couple, I too made it obvious that I enjoyed their discomfort and envy.

Ours was a quick entry in the sanctum. Once inside I sang the prayers along with the priest’s monotone……but my attention was divided and I kept searching for the face of that woman among the devotees inside the sanctum. I had hardly thanked the Lord for the wonderful news when we were ushered out.

Once outside the ‘garbha-griha’ we sat at a stepped platform to the left of the winding queues, eating the ‘prasadam’ of coconut and the sweets. The long queue had by then reduced in size. Coincidently however, our “competitors” were still outside and now stood opposite the platform where we sat. The envy and incredulousness was written all over their faces and they argued among themselves pointing at us in a very obvious way. We saw them too and I couldn’t control myself and burst out laughing much to their agitation. I had not intended to make the couple uneasy or jealous but it so happened that in that unsaid race we won!

In the car, on our way back, we discussed and laughed at the strange competition and the grumbling couple. But, then in a moment of self discovery, I realised that I had wasted away those few precious moments inside the temple at the feet of God when I could have prayed wholeheartedly, in such a useless activity. Indulging in unnecessary teasing, I had forgotten the real purpose of my visit to the temple!

Many people go on pilgrimages sometimes braving extreme cold or treacherous climb up the Himalayan slopes or even ill health with a thought that more difficult the obstacles of journey, more the emancipation from sins and yet there I was……. involved in the absurd and petty mocking game!! How good was it to travel from one city to other and indulge in such a conduct? What had I achieved……. sadistic satisfaction? Was that my aim? Had I not intended to seek His blessings and salvation from all deliberate or not so deliberate sins?

We often meet people during our travels some of whom we remember for years for their peculiarities or for what we learn about ourselves due to such encounters. We remembered the family as ‘pushy and impatient’. On retrospection, I realised that the occupants of the small car had brought out the mean side of me to fore!! They would have made some similar opinion about us too…..

My husband dislikes going to such overcrowded temples where one has to elbow one’s way in to seek blessing of God.  He always suggests that I should thank God and show my gratitude peacefully at any nearby temple. After this incident I understood how apt his opinion was…..

The temple trip also made me realise that though people are individually civilised and well behaved but their behaviour changes with circumstances they face, as did mine. I should give people some benefit of doubt before pointing fingers at them and at the same time I should keep myself in check before reacting to unfavourable circumstances.

I still go to a temple, wherever I see one but now I avoid a visit during the festivities when there are huge crowds and everyone’s emotions and patience levels are stressed thin. During such times I quietly worship the deity at my home where I can connect with HIM more personally, repent for my follies, beg for favours, air my annoyance and thank Him for the fulfilled wishes. It is more peaceful, satisfying and rewarding. My efforts to keep myself calmer always come out in the prayer:

“God, grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can and the Wisdom to know the difference”

Posted in Life, Relationships | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

7 Things That Define Freedom For Women This Independence Day….

This article has been published at HuffingtonPost India titled “An Independence Day for Women”

I am one of those fortunate few who was born to loving and educated parents who did not find it a burden to raise two daughters when everybody around them was hoping they would plan another pregnancy to beget a male child; who sent their girls for higher education and made them engineers; who let their daughters choose their life-partners irrespective of religion or community; who taught them to stand up against any injustice; who did not believe in paying dowry for ensuring their daughter’s safety and respect….

But for the majority of women, the time stands still…. Honour-killings still happen, female-feticides still snuff out the innocent life, education is still denied, wife’s consent to sex is still disregarded, courts refuse to discuss marital rape issues, people in power still blame women for the crimes against them, forgetting that a nun or the five-year-olds do not behave in a way to entice or lure the rapists, lawyers defend the molesters to dodge punishments….

My daughter is growing up in today’s world. Soon she will be old enough, refusing to be chaperoned at all times… She would want to see the world and explore all opportunities before settling down in a career or selecting her partner. Even if I as a parent grant her all the liberty, will the so-called moral guardians of the society let her be?

After 68 years of Independence, shouldn’t women be free of the tyrannical male and his rules? What does it really mean for us, the women, on this 69th Independence Day of our country?

I believe true independence would be when all women have FREEDOM from:

  • Being aborted…when birth of a girl child is also considered a blessing and brings equal joy to parents…when people stop wishing for birth of their ‘heir’ …that would be freedom.
  • Being judged for clothes they wear…all girls in skirts or shorts are not ‘asking for it’. They are not immoral. If men looked in the eye when speaking to a woman and not stare at her chest or bare legs….that would be freedom!
  • Being attacked or punished for thwarting advances of a lusting perverted man… women are not sex toys…when a girl or a woman steps out of her home without the fear of being attacked by acid, being raped or beaten for refusing sex….that would be freedom!
  • Being killed for falling in love…. When caste, religion, language, community are no longer hindrances in choosing a life partner…when no woman is prescribed death for marrying outside community… that would mean  liberation for women.
  • Being banned from religious places for having periods. Puberty is a gift from the Gods to women to nurture future life…it is neither their shame, nor punishment and definitely not anything impure.
  • Being denied higher education. When every little girl can dream to become a teacher, a pilot, doctor, engineer…when people stop assigning kitchen and four walls of a house as the only domain of women…when women can opine about financial and other matters at every home… that would bring freedom.
  • Being punished for Dowry… When ‘Arranged Marriages’ will do away with dowry…when all that a marriage ceremony would mean blessings and love only…when the mother-in-law, being a woman herself, will stand by her daughter-in-law at every step in her new beginnings…when brides won’t be burned or forced to commit suicides…that day would be a free day.

When women will not be the birds with clipped wings, but kites soaring in sky with gay abandon into the winds of change….that would truly be the INDEPENDENCE DAY!!


Posted in Relationships, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

An Unfinished House of Prayer

Whenever I have visited any place of worship, a sense of peace has prevailed…. I can hear my heart beating ,  the rhythmic breathing and my brain clock ticking. I have realized I can ‘talk’  to ‘HIM’ to my heart’s content when I am inside a place of worship….but I usually avoid the time of the day when other devotees throng to the temples or churches…somehow I find it not favourable for my calm.

I have been to many churches within India… the silence in churches sort of envelopes you, automatically inspiring one to talk in hushed tones…. the high Gothic arches and ribbed ceiling tend to echo smallest of sound which reminds me to lower my usual boisterous voice. The churches, however that I have visited are complete structures but last year in October, I walked into a beautiful almost 123 years old Episcopal Church of St John the Divine in Bronx, New York. This construction of this church began in 1892…but it is still unfinished!!

St John the Divine Cathedral

They at church, told us that the funding, for now,  is directed to service of community. Some part of the Cathedral was destroyed in 2001 due to fire in the north transept but the church was reopened in 2008 after renovation.

Of all the churches that I have visited, this was the only one where I saw statues of world leaders who had visited the church, on the pulpit walls… Mahatma Gandhi, His holiness Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Abraham Lincoln…I could identify these many but there were many whose statues were displayed.

Pulpit wall with statues of world leaders

Another fascinating features were two huge birds; a pair of Phoenixes, male Feng and Huang the female fashioned out of salvage and architectural debris from construction site at World Financial Centre, Beijing, that were exhibited in the soaring nave of the church.  The birds are the brainchild of internationally acclaimed artist Xu Bing.

Phoenix made from debris

The light that filtered through the beautiful stained glass windows created a mystic aura in the church.

stained glass windowstained glass window

Stained glass windows

The Cathedral and its surrounding gardens and buildings in 11 acres are collectively called as The Close and is the site for annual St Francis Day fair. ‘The Close’ comprises of Pulpit Lawn, Peace Fountain, Biblical Garden and the Cathedral gardens.

Pulpit Lawn is a part of The Close

Pulpit Lawn is a part of The Close

Peace Fountain; The Close

Peace Fountain; The Close

The exterior of the church was equally adorned with figures of angels and saints.

Exterior walls with saints

Exterior walls with saints

There were a few cafes and restaurants near the church….the Hungarian Pastry shop looked quite tempting but our tour bus arrived at the stop almost at the same time as we finished the church tour…. In a foreign place for the first time we chose to skip the shop and head back to the familiarity of our hotel room.

Will visit some another day….




Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Smart Gadgets: How much is enough?

When I was a two-year old, all I worried was about a cloth-stuffed doll with a red frock handmade by my grandmother and my blue blanket more than anything else. At three, for my first pencil…. I do not remember any of this but that is what my mother tells me!

My mother still laments how I let, the first black and white camera that my parents had, slip from my hand into the Arabian Sea. My parents were visiting Goa with a two-and-a-half-year old me. My mother tired of carrying me around, put me down near a rock at the ferry point and entrusted me with the camera for a minute or so. By the time she decided to hold the camera again, it was already drowning in the sea!!

Our home did not have a television till I was in sixth grade in school….there was one big ‘Bush’ radio though and a ‘Philips’ LP player and we were not allowed to play with the knobs and needle of the radio and player!!

Why am I remembering all this now? Because, aaj kal ke bacchhe are born into a household which has at least one big screen television, music system with radio, CD and cassette player(till few years back), another music system in an air-conditioned car and at least one mobile ( smart phone, these days) at home!!

I am not jealous…not at all. In fact I feel our childhood which was free of all these distractions was much much better and healthier than it is for kids of today. When I was a kid the teachers at school made me hold crayons and toys  for enhancing motor skills….

Today, many parents let their kids not only handle and use smart phones but also buy them costly I-pads and Tabs. The kids no more indulge in careless running around, getting hands dirty in soil, wait for their turn at the park swings or innovate some outlandish idea with pillows and sofa cushions at home!!


Our neighbour’s son…a mere two-year old playing on smart phone

The kids today are more adept at handling a smart phone from a tender age of almost two than they are interested in holding a pencil.

Our neighbours’ son plays games and slides the screen of smart phone so easily without batting an eyelid….and I on the other hand could not even understand what the game was all about in first few minutes!!

When my daughter was born twelve years ago, we did not have a smart phone. This year my husband gifted me an advanced version of smart phone. I was of course excited but more than me, it was my daughter who was happy and itching to use the phone! We follow a rule at our home, that the person for whom some thing has been brought would be the first to use it and then the rest of the family would handle the item. Being busy with the mundane chores of the house while my husband switched the SIM-card from the old mobile set to the new smart phone, I allowed our daughter to ‘see’ the new phone first.

A good half hour later, when I was finished with loading the washing machine and boiling the milk, I handled the new phone for the first time. To my surprise, it already had my daughter’s image set as wall paper and ‘Talking Angela’ purring for attention!

It took me two days to understand all about the new phone and when I was not looking, my ‘tween’ daughter was creating, deleting, editing, uploading, downloading, shooting, recording, saving, filing away on it…. God knows what all!!

She finds time to watch animated movies on the You-Tube(Oh! Thank god for that!! And she has still not insisted on opening a Facebook account though her friends have it), plays ‘Mah-Jong Titans’, ‘Purble Place’ and many other games on the laptop, has a favourite site ‘Kizi.com’ for some internet games…. as far as my knowledge goes.

She is one of the toppers of her class but still I find it pretty frustrating to see her glued to these gadgets at home for, what I consider, a considerable  time. Our arguments  pretty much always revolve around this topic. She has quite a knack of sketching if she decides to draw one of the days, but the problem is that such days are far and few. She has a Synthesiser  which she has almost stopped playing since the day she discovered smart phone and laptop.

Personally, I am not comfortable allowing kids to spend time in front of televisions, laptops, gaming consoles, smartphones and all other ‘digital’ educational platforms.

I want my child to go out in sun, get wet in rain, smell the fresh wetness of rain drenched earth, see the flowers, birds, bees, play with friends, run wild, cycle, bruise herself, defend herself from a bully, read a paperback cover to cover, discover a pebble, a shell, a snail, watch the waves ebb, enjoy the setting sun, count the stars, draw patterns in sky, imagine different shapes of clouds, name the constellation overhead, feel the chill of the mountains, the gurgle of the river, the roar of the ocean and feel the wind in her hair…..

Nature has so many things to teach, if only we take our kids for such experiences during every school vacation. All the sciences, geography, sound… can be learnt practically out there….better than any artificial aid!! How would a child know the real sound of crashing wave on a rock, on a digital aid? How would a child know what to do if a real bee stings? How would a child see the little dewdrop shimmer on an early morning leaf on a digital aid? Isn’t the real experience better than the simulated one?

A limited exposure is of course necessary, but let us not thrust in their hands, the controls of gaming consoles, smart phones, laptops and other such mediums, just for our convenience, just for making them stay out of our hair….

Let us count with them on fingers, with matchstick, with butterflies….let us sing along with them all the rhymes and songs with animated facial expressions and see them grin ear to ear….let us make them fly kites of all shapes and sizes….. let us make them pick up stones, paper, grains to feel the weight….let us make them try holding on to the sand….let us show them how a seed germinates in the garden and how a flower blooms….. Let us give them the confidence to speak  and ask their doubts and not just stare at the screens without totally understanding… Let us be with them to teach and to play!

“This blogger contest is supported by Kid Social Shell, a unique digital parenting platform with 11 gaming-learning apps. Use it play 3D nursery rhymes, counting number games, shapes games, fun math worksheets, coloring games and more!”

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment