26 October, 2014

Festival celebrations with kids

Festive time just ended.. How did you celebrate? 
October is the month of festivals. Isn't it? :)
This year, it started with Dasara, Bakrid and ended with Diwali. 

How can we involve our kids in festivities? I have a few tips..

1. Story connect:

Which kid doesn't like stories? My 3 year old is always eager to listen to new stories. Explaining stories behind each festival make children understand the spirit of festival. We can make kids colour pictures / charts explaining below stories. Older kids can draw pictures on their own.

Every Indian festival is associated with a mythological story. Dasara emphasizes on victory of good over evil. As per Hindu mythology, Rama killed Ravana on VijayaDasami. There is also another story of Goddess Durga who is formed by the pure energy formed by the trinity (Lord Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma), who killed the dangerous demon Mahishasura. 

pic credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/peddhapati/
Bakrid emphasizes on sacrifice. When God ordered Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son Ismail, he dutifully obliged to slaughter his beloved son. Then, a goat appeared instead of his son ready for sacrifice. Thus Muslims celebrate Bakrid to mark the spirit of sacrifice.

Diwali is celebrated as the day Ram returned to Ayodhya with Sita. People celebrate it as festival of lights which symbolizes removal of darkness/ ignorance by knowledge or light. This is also the day when Satyabhama, Krishna's beloved wife defeated demon 'Narakasura'. Usually, everyone will offer pooja to Goddess Lakshmi in the evening of Diwali.

2. Activities for Kids :

Involving kids in different festive activities starting from shopping, selecting diyas, discussing and preparing festival specific dishes, preparing rangolis, decorating home etc., are a very good way to make a fun environment for them.  

Many kids enjoy preparing rangolis made of flowers, pulses, colours, diyas etc., Parental guidance is required while arranging/ lighting diyas. It would be easy to teach colours, patterns and shapes to kids by involving them in preparing rangolis. 

3. DIY crafts:

I prefer simple DIY crafts to teach to my 3 year old. Like this pinterest board from my co-blogger Shruthi on simple and creative crafts. My young kid will be able to do simple greeting cards with rockets, colourful diyas, candles etc., He loves preparing them with my co-operation and showing them proudly to his friends :)
Below wonderful DIY cards are from Shruthi's blog.

4. Festival Specials:

Each festival will have its own way of celebrating it. 
For ex: who can forget crackers on Diwali? Even though we prefer spending less on crackers which will pollute our environment, this custom cannot be completely avoided. We enjoyed bursting crackers from childhood and want our children to experience the same right? This activity is best for parents to spend time with children together, teach them how to burst crackers safely. But, we should also teach them not to spend more money on crackers and pollute environment around us.
pic credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/soham_pablo/

Another important tradition for Diwali is to clean houses, decorate with diyas and invite goddess Lakshmi with puja in the evening. 

There is a tradition to burst Ravana's statue on Dasara in North India to signify that Good wins over evil always. So, these kind of traditions are to be taught to children with their importance.

What do you think are the other ways to involve kids during festival season? Let me know your thoughts in comments :)

I hope you liked this Diwali Dhamaka blog hop. I loved each and every post in the blog hop listed below, do try to read them and share :)

Until next time,

Come join a set of fabulous bloggers sharing their Diwali moments , easy Crafts, DIY ideas, Recipes and book recommendations with you .

Starting from today till Diwali and beyond, each one of us will be writing a post related to Diwali.
Participating blogs
So sit back, relax and check out all the fabulous Diwali Dhamaka posts from the participating blogs in the linky.

Link in your Diwali posts here

20 October, 2014

Improve immunity with Dabur Chyawanprash!

These days, we see more pollution everywhere. Many buildings and apartments are cropping up. Fresh fields and trees are vanishing slowly. Fortunately, Both Andhra and Telangana CMs mention greening as one focus area in their agenda for development. But, we have to see how much time it takes to implement those greening ideas in our cities.

You might be wondering why I am suddenly talking about pollution and de-forestation here. All parents of young children in this generation might be thinking about these topics. Our children doesn't have a healthy, pollution-free environment as we had in our childhood. They are more susceptible to cold, cough and fever. We as kids, used to eat all types of fruits, juices, ice creams and chocolates. But, our kids easily catch cold by drinking outside water or some local ice cream or juice. I feel bad keeping my kid away from citrus fruits and sweets waiting for cold/ cough to completely reduce. Else, he gets throat infection very often. We cannot change the environment around us except for growing more trees around our house and keeping surroundings clean. We cannot protect our kids from auto mobile pollution in cities. So, what is the solution?

When I asked my doctor, he said, your child will improve immunity with good and nutritious food and slowly overcome the health problems of frequent cold, cough, throat infection and fever. There is a contradiction in this statement. Fruits are known to improve immunity, but we cannot give all types of fruits to them when child has frequent cold and cough as some aggravate cold too(like water melon, mausambi, orange, grapes, custard apple etc.,). Doctor suggested me to give only pappaya, suppota, mango when child has cold). When I was researching on other food items which improve immunity, my uncle suggested me to use Dabur Chyawanprash. Oh! how come I forgot this Ayurvedic medicine which is tasty? Now I remember that my father used to give 1 spoon of Chyawanprash daily to me and my sister. Thanks to my uncle for reminding this.. It helped my kid to improve immunity to greater extent and he doesn't get sick often now!

Chyawanprash has herbs like amla, Giloy(guduchi) and more than 40 other natural ingredients. It strengthens body's natural defence mechanism by stimulating natural killer cells. Natural killer cells increase immunity by fighting with infections and virus in the body. 

A healthy child makes a happy home. What do you say? If child is healthy, it brings peace and happiness to the parents as this is the primary concern for them.I hope you too would try the same for your children if they fall sick often. :) Let me know if there are any other products like these which improve immunity naturally. 

Until next time,

11 October, 2014

Danger zone in the beach

Linking this to the Fiction Challenge ‘From 15 to 50′ hosted by Shailaja V of The moving Quill

It was a wonderful evening for Srija on the beach
Waves coming off one after the other, kissing her feet and going away
She didn't realize that she was in a danger zone

Until her happiness went away by a 6 foot high tsunami like wave.

Word Prompt: Happiness
Phrase Prompt: On the beach
Word count: 46

Until next time,

#flash fiction #from 15 to 50

01 October, 2014

Fraudster by RV Raman - [Book Review]

Book Details:
Title: Fraudster
Author : RV Raman
Publisher: Hachette
Genre: Crime thriller
No. of pages: 272
Source : A free copy for review from writersmelon.com

This is a corporate thriller with banking and audit backdrop. A commission is enquiring about a fraud in banking sector where loans were disbursed by banks to some companies taking few properties as collateral which were too much overvalued than actual price. The properties were shown as 4 to 5 times more value than original to get the loans from the bank. Due to the negligence of bank senior and junior management, these kind of loans pushed these banks to bankruptcy. 

Story starts with the murder of a young banking professional Shruthi who deposes to the commission on the fraud. This murder is followed by a series of murders of Mr.Visht and Mr. Subbu who were also somewhat related to the enquiry commission appointed for the investigation of fraud. Inspector Ranade connects all the dots and tries to the find the actual culprit for all these murders. Varsha, Kunal, Manish and Ashwin are some other characters who help him in the investigation. 

My Take:
Author is successful in keeping reader in suspense till the end. All clues are open to the reader allowing him to guess the fraudster, but it is not easy. Characterization of Varsha, Kunal and Ranade  is good. Smallest details about banking jargon and hacking of blackberry and mail servers are explained well. Still, I felt, there is not much clarity in the story. At some places, it becomes confusing. We wonder if it is practically possible to plan fraud of such kind which involves multiple small companies who take loans from banks by overvaluing their assets even with political support. 

Overall rating: 3/5
I would recommend this to anyone who loves fiction and crime thrillers. Story is fast paced, well explained and climax is good. But, this book didn't attract me like any Sidney Sheldon novel. 

You can purchase book from flipkart at discounted price here (Rs.175/-).

Until next time,

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