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Archive for November, 2012

Nov
30
2012
Edible Puzzles
Author: Gnaana

 

A fun Friday Find:  a puzzle cutter! How clever!  Available here.

image via Google Images

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Nov
27
2012

We’ve been busy…Hope you’re in the mood for more shopping!

Our Rayil Kids Clothing website is now LIVE and open for Pre-Orders for our Spring ’13 Debut Collection.

A beautiful, versatile East-West collection made with traditional Indian fabrics that your kids will be proud to wear!

Join the fun and reserve your pieces now: www.rayilkids.com

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Nov
21
2012

Lessons learned from a 1-minute short film:

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Nov
19
2012

I don’t often get excited about cars, but our house has been in a state of uber-excitement for the past week over our big Diwali purchase:  the 100% electric Nissan Leaf.

Suddenly driving is less of a chore – and we have lots to share with random, curious strangers.  The kids have even composed their very one “electric car song.”

What I love most (apart from never having to go to a gas station – we plug it into an outlet in our garage) is the programmable climate control – so the car is just the right temperature when we load the kids in the car at 7:45 am.

Of course, we took it to the temple last Friday and almost ran out of charge…we pulled into the driveway with 4 miles to spare.  Learning curve noted.  Good thing we have a good number of EV charging stations around us…

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Nov
16
2012

It dawned on me this past Diwali that I desperately need to expand my repertoire of sweets.  I can probably count on one hand the number of sweets I can make that are actually edible.

I’m not brave enough (nor do I have the time) to learn the complicated Andhra sweets from my mother, and I could never come even remotely close to my mother-in-law’s flawless Mysore Pak, so on my list is Devnaa Indian-Inspired Desserts cookbook.

We featured Devnaa as a Guest Blogger some time ago(see here, here, and here), and I’ve sampled their chocolates, so I’m excited to try their recipes.  Baked Gulab Jamun, Pomegrenate Lime Mousse, and Rasmalai with Strawberry Compote are first up.

image via Devnaa

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Nov
14
2012
Too Much Mithai
Author: Gnaana

Our little lotus Pankaj has been gaining a little weight during this Diwali!

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Nov
12
2012
Happy Deepavali
Author: Gnaana

May the light of goodness be with you always.
Happy Diwali!

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Nov
12
2012
What Diwali Means to Me
Author: Guest Blogger

This post is authored by Bhakti Mathur – author of Amma, Tell Me About DIWALI!.  Originally from Dehli, she is now a banker based in Hong Kong, where she lives with her husband and 2 sons.  The book is the second of a series which aims to introduce children to Indian mythology and festivals.

What does Diwali mean to me?

Magical memories from my childhood.  Shopping in the bazaar with my grandmother in the lead up to Diwali – the stalls stacked with dazzling silks, the smell of sweets being fried, the order in all the chaos around us, and just the sheer buzz in the air.  Then all the excitement at home on Diwali day – competing to create the most elaborate “rangoli” pattern outside the entrance, lighting up scores of diyas in the evening on the roof, and finally, watching in amazement as the night sky was lit up by hundreds of firecrackers going up all over the city all at once.  These are just some of the memories that Diwali still evokes in me.

A time for new beginnings.  Diwali is also the time when everything seems to get a makeover – a new coat of paint on the house, new clothes for everyone and even new resolves for the year ahead!  That is why one seeks the blessing of Lord Ganesha, the God of new beginnings.  And so in a way, Diwali comes around every year to give us a second chance – a chance to look back at the year just spent and be grateful for all that went right and a chance to seek guidance to be better prepared for the year ahead.

And a lesson I never forget to remind myself of.  This comes from a story that my grandmother used to narrate to the bunch of eager children huddled around her on Diwali day.  Here’s how it goes.  Goddess Lakshmi visits earth every year on Diwali to bless us and that is why we light up our houses with diyas so that Lakshmi can find her way in the dark.  One year on Diwali day everyone in the city tried to outdo each other with the number of diyas and lights they used to light up their houses so that  Lakshmi would go to their house first.  But, unable to stand the glare of the lights in the city and repulsed by the brazen efforts to attract her attention, Lakshmi decided to turn back from earth that year.  Suddenly, she saw a lone cottage lit up by only a single faint light.  Curious, she stopped at the cottage and there found an old woman busy sewing.  When Lakshmi asked the woman why her house was not lit up like all the others in the city, she replied that she was a seamstress and was so busy finishing her work and she did not realise it was Diwali that day.  One hearing her answer, Lakshmi was very pleased with her dedication for her work and blessed her with good fortune.  And the lesson is, as my grandmother used to put it, “You can only be blessed with good fortune when you love what you do and do what you love.

Now as a mother of two young boys, I am keen to share with them what Diwali and other festivals mean to me…and this is what inspired me to write the Amma Tell Me Series of which Amma, Tell Me About DIWALI! is the second.  I hope that you and your kids will enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

I would like to end with one of my favourite prayers:

asato ma sadgamaya
tamaso ma jyotirgamaya
mrtyorma amrtam gamaya

Lead me from untruth to truth.
Lead me from darkness to light.
Lead me from death to immortality.

May this year and every year ahead be full of lights for you.  Happy Diwali!

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Nov
9
2012

Today my 4-year-old-daughter is passing out our Diwali Candy Boxes that we’ve been putting together every year (our colours this year are lime green and aubergine).  I put together a simple explanation of Diwali for her class – to present as her Show and Tell.

She is very excited to share this with all her school friends.

Happy Diwali!

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Nov
7
2012

If someone were to ask your kids “What is Diwali?” or “Why do you celebrate Diwali?” – what answer would they give?

I’ve been mulling over this quite a bit – with Diwali on the horizon, there is much excitement and buzz in our house as we decorate, layout clothes and prepare for classroom presentations.  I’m sure they’d like to share this excitement with their school friends.  But if they can’t properly answer the question of What is Diwali?, this will only serve to delegitimize the holiday in everyone’s eyes.

So my goal this week is to make sure my kids can answer this question. They know about the various legends and what the “diya” represents (see previous posts here and here), but here is a simple response that I finally came up with:

We celebrate the goodness in everyone with beautiful lights.

What do you think?  How would you teach your kids to respond?

image: Goan Streetz of Diwali by Piety D’Silvavia Fine Art America

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