Freedom from bias through toys – Indian Independence Day special

There’s an assortment of toys lying at various corners of my apartment. From soft toys to remote-controlled gadgets suitable for his age group, the soon to turn three-year-old cherishes every single purchase. Until a certain point, his favorite play items were pieces of paper, empty cartons, and discarded boxes. His next favorite became the huge collection of soft toys that were mostly accumulated as gifts. But the preferences shifted at every phase of growing up.

However, if there’s any toy set that has maintained the consistency of being his favorite for a year now, it will have to the plastic kitchen set meant for kids in the age group of 2 – 5 years. Other than the fact that we get to eat some delicious items cooked by him, this set also has a high sentimental value for him. It was gifted to my son on his second birthday by our cook who saved up money so that she could give him a gift.

When toys stand for freedom from bias

Today is India’s 72nd Independence Day. Decades back, there were ample opportunities to move out and make a more developed country my home. But I chose to stay back for reasons close to my heart. Despite the number of years, it pains to see that my motherland is still shackled by quite a few regressive thoughts and practices. My son and his kitchen set are not mere toys in our household. They stand for our thoughts in trying to bring a change in the tiniest of ways, It is our way to break the taboo associated with gender stereotyping or casteism.

This post is part of the Tuesday Photo Challenge on the theme ‘Toy’ this week.

Linking up with Wordless Wednesday created by Esha and Natasha.

The beauty of symmetry in rows


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My husband and I have always grabbed the slightest of opportunities to travel to the unexplored destinations. During our first road trip from Mysore (Karnataka, India) to Kodaikanal (Tamil Nadu, India), we were exhausted after traveling for nine hours. As we got down near the reception, this is the first sight that greeted us beyond which lay the cloud embraced hills.

The row of flower pots
The row of flower pots – Kodaikanal

The row of flower pots arranged symmetrically added to the beauty of the place. During our three days stay there, we realized that almost everything about the resort followed an alignment in the pattern of rows. The planning of cottages or placing of chairs and flower pots were evidence to our conclusion.

The beauty in symmetery
The beauty in symmetry – Kodaikanal

At times, I wish I knew how to arrange my life into a neat and symmetrical pattern of rows since chaos seems to be a permanent guest here.

This post is part of the Tuesday Photo Challenge on the theme of ‘Row’ this week. Linking this up with Wordless Wednesday created by Esha and Natasha as well.

The field that connected nature with civilization

A Field amidst nature
The field that connected nature with civilization

This picture was clicked at Munnar, Kerala (India). As a married couple, this was the first hill station we had traveled together embarking on the first of many travel journeys that followed suit. Driving down from Mysore, it took us eleven hours to reach this beautiful town in Kerala yet the scenic beauty was enough to rejuvenate our soul. The field in this picture was the grazing ground for the animals but during the tiffin break, it also served as the play ground for the school kids on the opposite side of the road. The field was surrounded by houses, schools, offices and a research laboratory beyond which started the hills. We stood mesmerized by the rare and peaceful co-existence of nature and civilization.

This post is part of the Tuesday Photo Challenge on the theme ‘Field’ this week.

Linking up with Esha and Natasha as my third Wordless Wednesday post.

Wind in my hair gave wings to my dreams


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Despite loving hills and mountains, I have always had a major fear of heights. In 2009, I had been freshly recruited as a Branch Manager for one of India’s topmost private banks. Along with another twenty-three campus recruits from different B-schools in the country, we were sent for a month-long training program at the Bank’s training center in Khandala (Maharashtra). Over the weekend, few of us started planning short trips to the nearby cities of Pune, Lavasa, Lonavala, Panchgani and Mahabaleshwar. After a daylong tour at Mahabaleshwar, the last destination was an age-old temple post which we had planned to return back to our center. Just adjacent to this temple, we located a cliff that provided an amazing view of the surrounding. Confident of my unwillingness to climb the cliff, the team had begun retracing their steps when the gutsy wind swept my hair over my face, giving me a hitherto unknown strength. Along with my friends, I climbed the cliff to a safe zone near its edge by letting go of all my inhibitions. As I stood there breathing in the beauty of nature, the feeling was that of an achiever. I still say that I have never felt so liberated even till today.

This post is part of the Tuesday Photo Challenge with the theme ‘Wind’ this week.

Linking up with Esha and Natasha as my second Wordless Wednesday post.

Passing on the love of playing football

My 69-year-old father used to be an avid footballer in his youth. Despite circumstantial constraints, he managed to make it to the District team before recurring asthma attacks forced him to quit the game forever. Ever since my toddler started preschool three months back, he has developed an extreme fondness for the game of football. On observing this, my father has started taking a renewed interest in playing this game with my son. I realize that this playtime is one of the strongest bonds between a grandfather and his grandson where the older generation passes on his experience, love, and learnings of the game to the future generation.

The game of life
Play on

This post is a part of Tuesday Photo Challenge with the theme ‘Play’ this week.

Linking up with Esha and Natasha as my first Wordless Wednesday post.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – New

The theme for Tuesday Photo Challenge this week is New. The idea is to bring about a fresh (new) look at things.

This picture was clicked on 22nd September -2015, few hours after my son was born. After an extremely complicated pregnancy and equally difficult c-section, the feeling of seeing your own flesh and blood in the form of a new life is beyond expression. With him, began a new journey of motherhood for me. Gradually my husband and I realized how this new member of the family has brought in a new perspective to our lives, new priorities for us and many other new aspects that were non-existent until then.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – All time favorite

This is the last week of the Weekly Photo Challenge and there couldn’t have been a better signing off than through the theme of an all time favorite photo. On the personal front, last two months had been extremely hectic with the A2Z challenge in April and the launch of my first e-book ‘Deal of Death’ in May. However the topic for WPC was enough to evoke the feeling of homecoming in  me. Here’s a personal favorite capture of the city I call home now – Kolkata, India.

I wasn’t born here. In fact I barely stayed here for three years during the course of my graduation before hopping onto other places for higher studies and professional commitments. Except an apartment, nothing in the city felt close to my heart until my son was born here in 2015. Over the last few years, I have learnt to embrace the city as my own as my preschooler goes around creating memories in it. While Kolkata is usually represented in the pictures through its old world charm, here’s a snap taken from the terrace of our high-rise building capturing its new essence of life.

Kolkata, India – May 2018