Thursday, 29 May 2014

Children's Summer Cooking Camp

The recipe book provided in the class
Akanksha today attended a one day summer cooking camp. Two days back she searched and got the address of the same. From then onwards she was pestering me to enrol her name. I had a talk with her dad and he gave the go ahead. Since she is so passionate about cake making and the class was concentrating on cake making, he allowed her to join.

Day before yesterday I talked to them and they asked us to join the class to be held the next day. But due to some unavoidable circumstance we could not but we were lucky to find that they had a class today from 11am till 3.30pm. First I was thinking that whenever anybody call them they might just ask them to come over. So with many questions in mind I took Akanksha there. I thought that first I would look at the environment, if it is ok I will let her continue else I would bring her back along.

We reached at the venue 15 minutes before time. The class was in the third floor of a reputed hotel. After we reached the room we rang the door bell. When they opened the door there were already few little girls of Akanksha's age. As we entered the room I had a possitive feeling. The lady who organises the class was already there preparing the materials and an assistant was welcoming the students and their parents and enrolling their names. The room was equipped with enough cooking aids and a big screen is fitted in the front, for all the participants to have a proper view of what the teacher is doing.

After I paid the money they asked me to come and fetch Akanksha at 3.30pm and ask me not to bother about her lunch and all, because they would be taking care of everything. As many more parents had left their daughters there and the ambiance turned out to be quite good I left.

Sharp 3.30pm I was there but from the glass door I could see that the class was still in progress. I waited in the lobby of that floor for sometime but found that a mother went inside, so I also accompanied her. The girls were in their final stage. They were wrapping all the things they prepared in the class. Seeing me the teacher, Mrs. Manju Sethia called me and told me that Akanksha was brilliant in class and that she already knows more than anything a girl of her age should know. She called her a passionate learner. I felt really proud. After that Mrs. Sethia asked the girls to keep on practicing what she had taught. Sharing a few photographs I just clicked with my mobile camera.

The class room

Akanksha smiling after seeing me

The different items they prepared

The cake she prepared but the ganache melted by the rime we reached home 

Akanksha posing with her final product


We thanked the teacher and took her permission to leave and came out. They have handed over everything they were taught in the class. They taught cake making, cake decorating, different types of chocolate making, two types of cookies, cup cakes and cup cake decoration. Akanksha told that they have taught many more recipes which they ate in the class. Akanksha was very happy attending the camp.

Reaching home she prepared a snack with oats, milk and honey which was very tasty. She just mixed one cup of milk, one cup oats and half cup of honey and blended it in a mixer. Then she greased the pre heated bread toaster with a little butter and spread the mixture into it and left it for two minutes and it was ready to eat. She told that her teacher served it with maple syrup but since we did not have the same at home she served with honey and it was really very tasty. She told me that the snack is called waffle and it is very healthy.

Waffle prepared by Akanksha

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Easy Shopping

The box that arrived from Amazon
Akanksha's class teacher has asked all the students to buy couple of books to read during their summer holidays. She had given a long list from among which the students have to choose any two or three books of their choice. From the first day of vacation Akanksha was after her dad to accompany her to the book shop to buy those books. When she was sure that her dad will not be able to take her to the book store she was after me. But it was so hot that I fear going out. So I asked her to search the net and find the best deal. 

I thought that she would take some time searching but to my surprise she searched three sites within minutes. She came to me and told that three sites are showing the same price but Amazon is the best because they are not charging any shipping charge. She also told me that the other sites are charging extra shipping charge for each book, while they will be delivering all the three books together. I was not sure and checked and saw that she was right they are charging shipping charge per book. But I was not sure about Amazon. I never dealt with them. But since the consignment was is COD( cash on delivery) I ordered.


I ordered the three books and a sunscreen lotion for Akanksha on 23rd May and they said that it will be delivered by 29th. Akanksha was not happy with the delivery date. She asked me to plead them to deliver it a little early. I told her that it might be better to cancel the order. Hearing that she no more complained. But I saw her constantly keeping an eye on the Amazon shipment tracking page.


The materials inside after we opened the box
On 26th morning when I woke up I saw Akanksha was awoke before me. She came to me running and said that Amazon had texted that they would deliver the material that day. I checked my phone and yes she was right. The whole day Akanksha was so excited that she opened the door each and every time she heard a footstep outside. But to her surprise the courier did not arrive till 6 in the evening. She then went to their site and opened an online chatting window with their customer service. I never knew about the availability of such a service. When I told her that I would not chat she wrote it herself and the customer service representative told that the material was out for delivery and that it would be delivered by the end of the day. She then told me since it is an international service they might be working as per their time schedule and she went to take a bath, leaving me grinning.


The three books and the sunscreen lotion
Within twenty minutes of Akanksha's interaction with the CS representative the courier arrived. It was sent through FedEx. The packaging was done very nicely. Hearing the door bell Akanksha, who takes so much time while taking a bath, came out within minutes. I showed her the parcel and she was jumping with joy. She asked me not to open and take proper picture so that I could write my experience with Amazon in my blog. She said that since I wrote about Flipkart I should also share my experience with Amazon and I think she was right.



It was my first deal with Amazon and it was excellent and hassle free. We just put the order and nothing else did we do and the material was at our door steps within 36 hours. It was a great feeling and I am loving online shopping.



Monday, 26 May 2014

Past Memories...

Today I was just going through my old photos and videos at Picasa and I came over a small video clip of two and a half year old Akanksha, dancing at the tune of Suhag Chand Bodoni Dhoni Nacho toh Dekhi, a Bengali folk song. It was shoot by Anindya after we returned from the Annual function of her play school. It was not the dance she performed at the function but was one of her favourite songs and she used to dance the whole day. How time flies. Never thought that this little angel of us would grow up so fast. Nothing special but just thought of sharing. 

video

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Online Shopping

"Your laptop is now a vintage. Its of no use. The battery is totally gone and now the new technology is so advanced that Apple stopped manufacturing parts of this vintage model. But if you are lucky to get a battery, it might cost you around Rs. 13,000- 14,000. But that too we can't assure you that we  will be able to get you one". These were the lines uttered by the employees of the few Apple service centers available in our city whom we approached for purchasing a new battery for our Macbook. We were upset to loose our favorite laptop. I was literally mad at them for depicting it as a vintage. It was only six years old and was running fine. We never had a problem with it except that one day the battery stopped working and how, we have no idea.


My vintage Macbook
Now, we were left with only one laptop at home which my husband carried office. After he came back from office there was a tug-of-war between me an Akanksha for the same and when he was out of station we had to spent days without it. I was  upset as I was not able to concentrate on my blog and Akanksha would always complain and ask for a new one. But since my husband is a Mac maniac he was not ready to buy anything but a Mac. But it was too costly at that moment as we had some recent huge monetary outflow. Yet we were thinking of buying one on EMI. 

We were searching the net for the latest version of Mac. Akanksha was eying for a MacBook Air but the cost was quite high. In the mean time Anindya might be filling the pinch in his pocket. He was desperately searching the net, not for a new laptop but for the battery of our old one. One evening after returning from office he said that he had found the battery on Flipkart. But he said that he was not sure if they would be able to deliver the same as they charged only Rs.2500/- whereas the service centre people asked us so much. I was quite content hearing it and assured him that if Flipkart is showing the material available that it is sure to come. But my husband was not able to believe that the thing he was searching for so many days was so easily available. 

The battery delivered by Flipkart
To Anindya's surprise, not only that the material was so easily available at such a cheaper rate but it was delivered before time. After I received the material I called up Anindya and told him that the material was delivered, he asked me to open and see if the material was really inside. I told him that Flipkart is a renowned online name, they will certainly not compromise with their service. Then he asked me to take pictures of the same and send him via mail. After he got the photographs he was content that the material was right but he came early from office to see if it really works and fixed it into the laptop and gave a broad smile when it worked. It was good to see him relaxed from the burden of buying a new computer just for the sake of our happiness. 


My laptop working fine
We were so thankful to Flipkart for solving our problem so easily and that too at such a cheaper rate. The only difference with the battery is that the logo of Apple is not there. But we are satisfied that our favorite computer is once again working fine. Yet confused how the people of the service centre could not provide us even when we were ready to pay what they asked for. It might be because the one we purchased is a made in China product and Apple will certainly not compromise with their brand. 




One thing I must say, I have purchased a lot through Flipkart - right from books to clothes to bags to kitchen machinery to this battery and every time they just got better with their service. They never let us down and online shopping is just so fun.

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Salvation

Lots of renovation works had made the surrounding of Rabindra Sarobar dry and dusty for which I stopped going there for my evening walks. The ruined view of the park would pain my heart. The boundary walls being broken and people from the nearby slums come and wash clothes, clean utensils even bath there and pollute the water. Trucks bringing materials for the renovation etc etc left the park in a mess. It literally stopped me from going there.

Today my driver did not turn out and my dotty had her swimming classes. But I was in no mood to go out in this scorching sun.  Co-incidentally her dad was home and he drove her to her swimming class.

The swimming pool being just adjacent to the lake premise, my man took the camera along with him. After he came back I was delighted to see the photographs. The lake once again got back its greenery. He said that construction work is still in progress yet its not that bad. Though I do not believe a man's eye in terms of cleanliness yet the photographs talked a lot. I think now I can to go and have a look . Here I am sharing some photographs with you all.



The other end of the park

A portion of the island

The island where migratory birds comes through out the year

This tree slowly and steadily lost its bark itself

It has no bark on its trunk

Lots of high rises surrounding the lake

Rowers rowing 

The gulmohar tree in its full bloom


The other side of the lake

 
The bridge connecting the two banks of the lake..


  
A statue of a couple-the tree depicting the man and the vine the woman


  
The island which was dry has gained a lot of its greenery

  
Construction work in progress

  
The make shift tent houses of the labourers still there

Hoping that the lake will once again gain its beauty and serenity I today conclude here and last but not the least thank my man for taking the trouble to click such beautiful photographs for me. 




Monday, 19 May 2014

Lai Haroaba Festival

Few days back on one of his visits to Manipur, my husband was fortunate enough to attend the festival of Lai Haroaba, in the states of Manipur. The festival of Lai Haroaba is celebrated every year in the month of May. He attended the Maibi Dance, a dance form performed in this particular festival. I do not know much about the festival, so just sharing the beautiful photographs he clicked there. Below are some informations I collected from Wikipedia......




Wikipedia Information : Lai Haraoba is a Manipuri festival, and is associated with Meiteis, celebrated to please traditional deities.Celebrated in honour of the sylvan deities known as Umang Lai,the festival represents the worship of traditional deities and ancestors. The festival is in part a recollection of the creation stories played the deities with the first origin of this universe and evolution of the plants and animals through the will of Atiya Shidaba. Translated, Lai Haraoba means "merry making of the Gods".

The musicians
The drummers and singers


Wikipedia Information : The origin of the festival is that the gods held the first Lai Haraoba on the Koubru hill, so that their descendants should imitate them and perform the same as it had been done by the deities so that they will never forget the secret and sacred story of the creation of this universe and the birth of the different lives on this earth.


Wikipedia Information : The participants, the maiba and maibis (priest and priestesses), the dolairengba (the bearers of the palanquin), the pena khongba (the player of an indigenous string instrument), the chong paibas (the special umbrella bearers), the sword and spear (Thang-Ta) bearers, Kwagok-Sengok pubas (the bearers of the ornamented vessels for betel nuts, flower and money for donations and awards to the top participants) and all the other members who should take part in this festival strictly follow the disciples of keeping celibacy during the festival.











Saturday, 17 May 2014

New Hope

Photo courtesy : Google 
Yesterday was a memorable day for our country India, one of the largest democracy in the world. Of late the whole of our nation is under turmoil. There is price hike in every sphere of life, unemployment, value of money fell considerably, terrorism, illegal invasions, inflation was at its high, corruption was also at all time high, no safety for women, the government was convicted of one scam after other,. etc etc. In short the government of our country was a total failure. They were not able to deliver or it would not be wrong to say that they were least bothered about bringing any difference. It was like a total monarchical reign. People seemed helpless. 

But for how long can the general public be fooled in a democracy. The people were annoyed. They wanted a change, they wanted a person who would be able to deliver and a leader who would be fearless and lead the people. They, the one whom the ruling party had taken for granted had shown that in a democracy you cannot take everything for granted and that to be in power you will have to deliver.

We, after casting our vote. Picture quality is poor.

The people of India have elected their new leader Mr. Narendra Modi. Their annoyance was so much that they almost wiped out the ruling Congress party from the national scene. They have voted for Mr. Modi's party and have given him more than he needed to form an independent government free of any allies. Now, it is up to Mr. Modi and his team how they live up to the expectations of the people of the nation. We too feel proud that we voted, though our contribution did not help him as his party candidate in our constituency did not win. Still we are happy and content to practice our democratic right.


We, as the citizen of a free democratic country can do nothing but hope that this time we would get a stable government who will work for the development of the country as promised. Else he should not forget that the results can always be vice-versa. Happy that this time the whole nation has come out in huge numbers, fearless of any outcome. The people were desperate for a change. 


There were great celebration in the whole country in the hope of a new beginning. We too celebrated at our home. Lots of friends and relatives visited and long and short distance calls kept us busy the whole day. There were talks of new government, new hopes, disagreements too, songs, dances etc. Akanksha made a cake for the occasion and I prepared many dishes for the guests to relish on. 

Cake with the party Logo prepared by Akanksha

Starters served by me and many more served but did not get chance to take pictures..



Sunday, 4 May 2014

The Secret Scroll

The scroll made by Akanksha
Yesterday night after returning from her dance class Akanksha was doing something with paper and sticks. I scolded her of again cutting papers and dirtying the house and asked to go to sleep. She said that she need to carry it to school. Without bothering to find out what it was I asked her to complete it in the morning. She also obliged and went to sleep. 

 Today morning we were supposed to be at Akanska's school for a parent's orientation program. I was not liking the idea of having the same on a Saturday because only on Saturdays and Sundays I am able to sleep a bit more. Also after the child attending the school for six long years I was wondering what was the use of a parent's orientation program all over again. Since, we were supposed to reach school by 10.50am I slept a little more than usual. After I woke up I found Akanksha again toying with the paper and sticks. She awoke before me. Some how three of us got ready by 10.30am. Since my husband had office he was not very happy with the idea that he also had to accompany us.

We reached school 10 minutes behind schedule. We were being welcomed by a senior girl and guided to our seat into the auditorium. The principal was already delivering her welcome speech. Listening to her speech we could make out that since the children had recently been promoted to middle school the parents are invited for a formal introduction to the class teacher, the subject teachers, the co-ordinator, the councillor etc. My husband was not feeling comfortable and was complaining in my ears that he was unnecessarily been fetched there. He said that he had many important tasks at office. I did not react to any of his allegations as it might have messed up the situation. 

After the speech of the Principal, the vice principal came on the dais and introduced all the teachers to the parents, then the co-ordinator had a power point presentation and one to one interaction of the parents and teachers took place which was very informative. All this was followed by a colourful dance performance by few students of both the sections. 

Words scrolled by Akanksha
The Principal concluded the meeting by inviting the parents to join her for refreshments arranged outside the auditorium after the children hand over a scroll with a  secret message they had written for their parents. All the children who were sitting at the back came running to their parents and handed over the scroll. It was the secret thing that Akanksha was doing yesterday night. I opened the scroll and found a beautiful message written for us. She wrote -"Dear Mom and Dad, you are actually the message of God sent to me by him because he can't come to me. From Akanksha".

Going through the words tears rolled down my eyes and while showing the same to my husband I saw his eyes moistened too. After I looked around I was surprised to see the emotions in the eyes of each parents. I do not know from where she wrote it, if anybody helped her or had she written it herself, I am least bothered but I am happy that she had chosen such wonder words for us. 

It was an utterly pleasant and emotional moment the teachers created. The act made us speechless and we could expect nothing more from the teachers but just bow our heads in respect of how wonderfully they are helping to grow our children. We are really proud to send our daughter to Loreto House which always make us realise that our daughter will grow to a well mannered and respectable human being. 

My husband was so touched by the gesture that he called it a magical thing that the teachers did. He no more complained of accompanying us. He said it was just wonderful and it was wonderful indeed.