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The Magic of the Lost Temple - Sudha Murty

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This was my first Sudha Murty children's book and like all her other books, it did not disappoint. Sudha Murty is an author par excellence in my opinion and I was itching to read another one of her books after finishing all her adult books.

Nooni, born and brought up in Bangalore, lives there with her parents. When her mother needs to attend a training for 6 weeks in Delhi, Nooni grabs the opportunity to spend her summer holidays with her Ajji and Ajja at their village Somanahalli in Karnataka. Idyllic days are spent learning to ride the bicycle, having picnics by the banks of the river, helping her Ajji make papads & pickles, helping with wedding preparations, hearing stories from her Ajja and Ajji and making many friends. Along the way Nooni and her friends stumble upon an archeological find and what ensures is an adventure galore. An heartwarming village way of life, Nooni and her father discover how a simple life can be so enriching. With the constant guidance and teaching…

Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.....It Does Matter in the End

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"People with serious illness have priorities besides simply prolonging their lives. Surveys find that their top concerns include avoiding suffering, strengthening relationships with family and friends, being mentally aware, not being a burden on others, and achieving a sense that their life is complete."

This one sentence was the turning point in the book for me, after which I simply devoured the book. I picked up Being Mortal by Atul Gawande firstly because it was related to medicine and that alone holds a special interest, and secondly because it comes highly recommended. The book is periodically discussed in the group that I am a part of - Senior Reading Raccoons on Facebook and every single person had only good things to say. So it had been on my "to be read" list for far too long and it was the first book I started with in the new year.

But for some reason the first half of the book didn't hold my interest. Though the book talks about different cases, it f…

Chew On This - Debunking Dental Myths

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15 years in private dental practice and I have experienced one thing in common on a daily basis, dental fear which usually stems from believing in dental myths. Other than being greeted by "I hate being here" and "Don't take it personally, but I don't like you" by 80% of the patients, almost all patients strongly believe in one or another hearsay about dentistry, which in fact is just that....hearsay.

So lets bust some common dental myths that we get to hear from the patients.
Dental treatment hurts : We hear this all the time, especially from patients who have had previous unpleasant dental experiences. Dental treatment has advanced and if patients are regular with their dental visits, these visits are uneventful and relatively pain free. Most procedures in the dentist’s chair are totally or mostly painless. Even those procedures that do cause pain can be numbed down to where you are only feeling movement and tugging, not actual pain. The most important thi…

Girls and Boys by Ruhee Advani

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You know 2018 is going to be a great year when you get a book launch invite in the 1st week of January by non other than your niece. What an extremely exciting and proud moment!

I have seen Ruhee grow up from being an ace student and sports person to a beautiful and multi talented young lady. But the most important of it all is that she is one of the nicest people I know with a beautiful soul. The first thing that comes to mind when I ever think about Ruhee are her hugs, the warmth of her tight embrace and the love that simply pours out. She gives the best hugs ever! I had no idea what the book was about, but knowing Ruhee everyone who read it would have something to take away from the stories.
Girls and Boys is her first published book and is a collection of short stories targeted at children between 5-8 years old. It was written by her when she was just 8 years old and according to her the stories depict her ideal world, the way she saw it when she was a little girl. The kids can r…

Prisoners in the Name of Security

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Do you ever feel that despite the many security features in use today to monitor our minute to minute activities, we are not really as safe as it seems, instead are more of a prisoner to our times? I certainly do. Everywhere we go, security cameras man every move that we make. We recently got them in our residential building (albeit late), I have them at my clinic, the kids schools have them and of course the streets where we live. These are done to reduce the crime rate, make us feel safer in our homes and day to day activities, but are they doing their job? Would you be able to trust it a 100%?

At the clinic, I use it more to monitor the staff when I am not around, not for petty thefts but more to make sure the the work rules are being obeyed. And it is indeed a sad fact that in general, staff is true to their word only because they feel they are being watched. Recently I was told that a school in the vicinity has provided the parents with a link to see the security camera stream l…

Ebooks VS Paper Books : The Eternal Debate

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Its been a year or two since I have read a paper book. I bought my first Sony Ebook reader about 9-10 years back and have of course moved onto my second Kindle since then. The quality of reading on an electronic device has greatly improved since then too. Ive used the Sony, Ipad and Kindle to read all these years and in my opinion the Kindle beats them all. At the moment I am using the Kindle Paperwhite and its brilliant.

The real reason to buy the ebook reader at first was my love for gizmos and the thought of being able to carry my entire library with me instead of lugging around a heavy book or two in my purse everyday, sold me to the idea. But now its more a matter of convenience, as the only time I can really read is once the kids are asleep and turning on a reading light to read my paper books is not an option as we co-sleep. The kindle paperwhite has helped me there. The light is bright enough for me to read but not too much so as to disturb the hubby or kids and also the fact…

Kai Po Che

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Kai Po Che, a Gujrati phrase simply means "I have cut" and is commonly used while flying kites. As a kid I remember spending a Sankranti holiday with my cousins who live in Ahmedabad. Those were fun times, seeing the kite fights and the sheer extravagance which with the festival is celebrated in Gujarat.
Though R has gone kite flying with his dad the previous years, this was my first time with them all. Luckily Sankranti was on a Sunday this year and the weekend was well utilised learning to fly the kite.

7 new kites and a couple of old ones from last year were put to good use. Unfortunately it wasn't windy enough to keep the kites up for long but after a lot of tries, an exasperated Dadda managed to get the blue one up there for a pretty long time! And boy were we all excited and impressed! 2 hours, no wind, 1 kite up, scorching sun, sore muscles, tilgul, satisfaction, excitement and dadda gets to be the hero once again! 
The tiny kites have since been converted into sp…

All I Want For Christmas.......

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The earliest memories I have of Christmas are of attending Christmas parties at The Leela Kempinski in the late 80s. The popcorn, chips, cake, games, elephant rides, Santa and gifts were something we looked forward to all year long! Christmas was never a big deal while we were growing up. We enjoyed the 10 days of holidays, a Christmas party or two if we weren’t traveling and that was it.

In 2010, a year and a half after our marriage, my husband and I made our second trip to the US, this time to experience Christmas in NYC. My sister in law lived in Manhattan at that point and we stayed with her for a month. It was one of my best trips till day and the greatest experience ever. Hot chocolate has never tasted as good as it did then, sipping it with quivering lips, cold hands and the snow falling over us! Experiencing a white Christmas in NYC was a dream come true. It was a winter wonderland, complete with grand decorations, Christmas carols, gigantic beautifully decorated Christmas tr…

My Pop Sugar Reading Challenge 2018

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Finding time to read is still a challenge but it’s such a sweet victory to complete every book albeit slower than I’d like. After completing 15 books as pledged last year, I have taken a fairly bold challenge upon myself to complete 30 this year! That’s more than 2 books a month and I’m currently still on my first ones for the year - Being Mortal : Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande and After You by Jojo Moyes. 
So I’ve spent quite a bit of my time (which could have actually been used to read) in making my list for this year. Knowing myself I would probably make changes as we go along but for now I’m using the Popsugar Reading Challenge 2018 for my prompts. 


Here are the books I’ve selected to read. There are 40 prompts and 40 books but the target remains 30 for the year. 
A book made into a movie you’ve already seen - If Only It Were True by March Levy (Based on the movie Just Like Heaven)True crime - Into The Water by Paula HawkinsThe next book in a series you started…

Just one more chapter........

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If someone was to ask me the fondest memories I had as a child, it would be reading. Losing myself in the world of books, imagining myself to be a part of the characters was utter joy. Luckily I had a library across my building that I was a member of and because I frequented the place multiple times a week, the owners knew me very well. They were well stocked and always had the latest books. It started of very casually with my mom suggesting I join the library one summer holiday, to me reading almost all day. Famous Five, Secret Seven, Hardy Boys eventually gave way to Danielle Steel, Michael Crichton and others. On a lighter side Jugheads double digests were my favourites! Ah such fond memories of being in the library, the smell of old and new books, the anticipation of a library visit and bringing back an armload of books, spending hours browsing for books and then rereading the favourites.

Eventually life took over, and novels took a back seat in the 12th grade. It was a refreshin…

Holidays

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The holidays are upon us. Again!! Once upon a time I used to love holidays (mine!!), but now it only seems like very hard work! I have now become a parent who loves a regimented schedule, school for the kids, afternoon nap, playtime or activities, reading and bed time! Of course the scenario is completely different during every vacation.

How do you keep 2 preschoolers creatively busy all day while continuing with your job! Given a choice they could sit all day staring at the iPad screen or playing video games. Luckily for me, I practice independently at my own clinic. That gives me a lot of freedom to plan my day according to the kids schedules. The patients are very understanding of this too!

Since we were not travelling anywhere for the holidays this time, we spent time at home painting, playing Jenga, playing with the Monster Truck (A Christmas gift from their Grandparents) pretend playing with a new supermarket toy set for hours! And of course watching TV and playing video games!

Slow Down - A letter to my 5 & 2 year olds

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Conversations with the five year old have become more thought provoking these days. From the innocent questions he asks to the compassion he shows towards everyone and everything, makes me wonder when he grew up. It’s the little things he says and does that can make your heart melt.

The other day he took my makeup kit to play with. He pulled out the eyeshadow and asked me to give him more colors. I explained to him that I had only one for now. And when he asked “why? Is it very expensive?” I replied “Yes.”  After a quick thought he said, “Mamma when I grow up I’ll give you lots of money to buy all colors of eyeshadow for yourself .”  Now I’m sure every child says things like this but when your child says it to you, it makes you thank your blessings.

I love the innocence they see the world with and hope it stays that way for as long as possible. A few weeks back while playing in the garden, his grandma wanted him to distance himself from some older boys who were playing rough. So she …

Desert Rose

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When the hubby suggested an overseas holiday with 2 preschoolers, I laughed at him until I had tears streaming down my face. Was he really serious? The 2 of us alone with the 2 of them for 8 long days. Maybe he had been working too long and too hard. Did he forget that our house looked like a hurricane had hit every weekend!

Maybe it was too early in the morning and he was sleep talking. A cup of coffee later, a picture of the many possible disastrous outcomes of this idea were painted but he stood his ground. Then like a typical Indian "Ma" I used the last resort I could, to change his mind....."what will I feed them there!?"

But as days went by, swayed by the phoren shopping promises and all that we could "see and do," I too was bitten by the travel bug and the deal was sealed. Tickets were booked and hotel reservations made. Only thing left now was the to pray to all the Indian Gods to help maintain my sanity.

All pandemonium broke loose 4 days before…

Dinosaurs are the new Dolls

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"Dadda....look Dinosaur....Aaaahhhhhhhaaaaahhh!!!!"

Our home is filled with squeals like this all day long. Screen time is dedicated to watching dinosaurs dancing, singing, teaching colours, numbers and alphabets (the things you can find on you tube!). Voice search is put to full use and "dinosaur videos" fill up the app history. Dancing to Dinosaur Stomp with Mother Goose Club and Dinosaur Song with Blippi is an obsession.

The Dinosaur pets are bathed, fed, tucked into bed. All other stuffed animals and family members are scared with threats that the dinosaur will eat them up.

Ah the joys of watching your 2 year old take HER dinosaur for a walk or a stroll in a doll stroller! Or better yet, insist that the big blue T Rex goes where ever she does! Even if it means her Dadda has to carry them both for a walk down the road.

On a trip to Build A Bear, where I hope she picks a "My Little Pony", my free spirited, strong willed 2 year old picks out a blue T-Re…

Ronav’s first experience with Canvas painting

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Back in January this year, Ronav’s grandparents gifted him an easel, canvas papers and paints.  We spent one Saturday afternoon creating this finger painting. He painted the entire thing himself with a few inputs from me.  At that time he had little knowledge of what the roots of trees really do. So when I explained the roots help in anchorage and nutrition, he made them round and big to give his trees maximum nutrients.  He also painted two suns. When I asked him the reason for doing that, this was his explanation “One sun is up in the sky to give us light and one sun is close to my trees to help them grow stronger and  taller quickly.” The imaginative minds of young kids!  Needless to say that we have saved this one! 





A Dentist’s Views On Childrens Dental Care - An interview by KanikaG

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When an author and blogger friend approached me to shed light on some dental issues for kids for her blog, I wondered if I could do justice to her questions.

Kanika G is a mother of 2 witty and beautiful girls. She herself is a physicist and a published author and blogs at Mom’s Best Friend. A must visit to read lovely children's stories, picture books, parenting blog posts, short stories for grown ups, articles pertaining to women's issues, recipes, poetry and more.

This is the interview and you can read all about it here too. KanikaG has asked all these questions and I’ve tried my best to address them to the best my knowledge and ability. 
Thank you KanikaG for this! 



How long have you been a practicing dentist and how often do you work with kids?I have been into private practice close to 15 years now and work closely with kids almost on a daily basis in the form of providing them dental treatment at my clinic and conducting dental camps and lectures at schools. When should paren…