Archive for the ‘KIDS’ Category

I am from oatmeal,
served fresh in the morning,
with a brown sugar dress, and raisin sequins
I am from penalties and corners,
Part of a center forwarded game
I am from the dainty Japanese maple, whose tender limbs,
once provided a scarlet seat,

I am from the delicate Kawai,
upright and ebony, sounding each morning,
a single flaw etched into it’s spotless exterior

I am from the corroded brandy table,
minuscule pits of sadness scratched into it’s front
From the upside-down stink horns, residing in the crevices of mildewed fir bark

I am from dirt covered cuticles,
jagged nails, a bruise or two embodied into my skin

I am from rich pumpkin pie,
creamy whipped cream,
From Mom’s delicious gravy covered chicken
I am from Chai in the evening,
from Hola and Bonjour
From A job worth doing is a job worth doing well

Hidden notes to self,
pages of markings,
in a shuffle of half shreddd loose-leaf
Kept safely,untouched ,
in it’s own glass case

In….It’s own imaginary Louvre


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What is such a pure color?

Might it be a dove, soaring the skies?

Free, away from the arguments of the world

Is it as pure as love?

The feeling of bliss?

Or the clouds up in heaven

Sweet smells of jasmines

Blooming in a garden

Scents drifting away in the cool air

Would it be the sky at dawn?

Embroidered with fog?

Or snowflakes falling gently from the sky.

Sweet sugar icing, upon a cake.

Is it that?

Seven colors.

To form only one.

White is a mystery.

I do wonder,



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Trees rustled softly in the wind and crickets chirped.  It was a cold night.  I trembled under my blanket.  The air had a misty, damp smell and the only noise I heard in my tent was the swift shaking of the hood as it swayed in the soft winds of the night.

I pulled the blanket over me,  zipped all the windows shut and snuggled to keep me warm.  I could not move much either on a airbed as they would bounce and the sheets would slip off exposing the cold top of the bed.  Slowly staring into the night sky, making shapes out of the stars visible thru the nets on top of the tent, I must have dozed off into a deep sleep.

The next morning, the Sun shining thru all possible vents in the tent, a pinkish grey color radiated through the helpless tent.  The lake across from our tent shimmered with the reflecting light of the sun.  Some early birds had already hit the water with their paddle boats and little yachts.  I woke up to take in the morning glory and decided to jog.  Jog all the way up to the breakfast area.  Yeah, it was already 7:30am – thinking all along, “Hope I am not late for Breakfast.”

Some habits die hard!!! Ciao. Pooja

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2004-030.jpgFirst time I went to School…..by Pooja Kini

I hid behind my mother’s arm, squeezing her hand tightly. What is school going to be like? Is it fun? I am only two! It is way too early!! This Montessori thing, I did not like it one bit!! “Mom, I don’t want to….” I kept telling my mom. I did not want to go. A scary lady popped out of nowhere. I was surprised to see her and wondered, ” Where did she come from?”

“Hi!” she exclaimed. “I am your teacher, Libby! We are going to have a lot of fun! What is your name?” I looked at mom to ask her if it was alright to tell her. Because, I knew never to talk to strangers. She nodded yes, and so I told Libby my name. Just after that, Libby took me over to the crammed classroom! “Bye Mom!” I shouted loudly. Ms. Libby told me to sit on the rug for story time. As I did so, something queer caught my eye! I’d never seen it before! Amidst the classroom crowded as a beehive, I spotted it, in the middle of all the reds, greens and blues. Just smack in there, was a rope. What then looked like a rope. Not just by itself, but tied to a kid’s shoe. Little did I realize that it was shoe lace. I had never worn shoes with laces and this was quite amusing to me. “Oh NO!, he is tied up so he cannot run”! I crawled across to him and pulled the rope. It came out. “Yeah! I said to myself”.

Ms Libby called out loudly, “Pooja, go to the library and put your head down!”. I cried, scared and wanting to go home.”Now”, she called. Sniffing, I ran! Hot tears blurred my eyes and dyed my cheeks bright red. It was only a few minutes until Ms. Libby soothingly called, “Pooja, please come here”. I did so. ” You cannot pull shoe laces”! I nodded. “Come on, let us have some fun!” Suddenly, I wanted to come back to school with Libby, tomorrow!

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Abraham Lincoln


Last saturday, I visited my dear friends Prashanth & Meera’s home. We were to go out as families to celebrate our birthdays. (Prashanth and I share birthdays on successive dates). While at his home office, watching the cricket match between India and Australia, I happened to notice a framed reprint of a letter written by Abraham Lincoln to the headmaster of his son’s school. I read it a few times. I truly treasure it. I might have reflected on it all thru that evening and the following day. I decided, I have to post the contents of that letter on my blog – lest some of my dear friends don’t get to read it OR not make its reading an accident, but rather, a necessity that will define a purpose – a rather good one!

“He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just and are not true. But teach him if you can, the wonder of books.. but also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun and flowers on a green hillside.

In school, teach him it is far more honorable to fall than to cheat…..

Teach to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him he is wrong.

Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with the tough.

Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone getting on the bandwagon…

Teach him to listen to all men; but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good that comes through.

Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad… Teach him there is no shame in tears.

Teach him to scoff at cynics and to be beware of too much sweetness.. Teach him to sell his brawn and brain to highest bidders, but never to put a price on his heart and soul. Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob.. and stand and fight if thinks he is right.

Treat him gently, but do not cuddle him, because only the test of fire makes fine steel. Let him have the courage to be impatient.. Let him have the patience to be brave. Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself, because then he will have faith in humankind.

This is a big order, but see what you can do. . He is such a fine little fellow my son!

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I Can Make A Difference

By conserving water… one drop at a time

By saving the forest… one tree at a time

By flexing power… one room at a time

I Can Make A Difference…..

By caring for the homeless… one blanket at a time

By fighting poverty… one meal at a time

By helping cure juvenile diabetes… one child at a time

I Can Make A Difference….

By making all smile… one face at a time

By spreading joy… one Christmas at a time

By sharing love… one heart at a time

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 Ever since my childhood, one of the most exciting time for us as kids was to go to our Dad’s office and spend a day. While it started as a fun thing, over years it morphed into some kind of a learning exercise. We used to at first help keep things in order, stamp an envelope, sort mail etc and gradually we were allowed to type a letter on the typewriters (remember those?).

To me it has been the most valuable internship I ever received. I went on to work in my dad’s office until I graduated, in various departments and locations – all of it pro bono. Today, I look back and wonder what skills, awareness and discoveries would have been impossible without that initiative. And the experience-memories-reward ….Priceless!!

Every time we had an opportunity, we have tried to let our kids visit our office and “hang around” my work place. I believe apart from the fun time they have with papers, staplers, markers and revolving chairs, they also get to observe our behavior at work.

I know for sure that I began to observe aspects of conduct, negotiation, phone manners, communication that I picked watching my dad and his colleagues at work. I also began recognizing how hard he used to work to make ends meet. This provided a deep rooted appreciation for hard work, diligence, work ethic and respect for my dad and his colleagues.

Today being the ‘National Bring Your Child to Work’ day, I had an excellent opportunity to take my child to my office and to the event at our new office facility.  AAA and Bishop Ranch had organized a fantastic show. Apart from being able to pick some cool gifts and goodies, children were exposed to limitless possibilities their future had for them. They got a chance to talk to safety experts, health experts, get pedestrian tips, climb aboard a real NASCAR simulator and enjoy a lot of great snacks and food.

I was particularly impressed with the Fire, Police, Emergency departments’ participation. Kids got a chance to get into each of these vehicles and experience first hand what the feeling is like. They got a chance to talk to a few courteous experts and ask lots of questions.  Some of which were –  Is that cap of yours heavy? (to a fireman) Does that let you call home and talk to your kids? (pointing to a radio transmitter in a police car),  Do you drop your kid to school in this van? ( sitting in an ambulance van), Where is the car seat for your child in this fire engine? Etc.,

Going around, meeting wonderful people, other lucky kids, a delightful clown, sipping on the juices and the popsicles handed out, the children were on cloud 9.

As we were leaving after two hours of pure sunshine filled joy, one of the Ambulance volunteer asked my five year old about his experience.  The reply was, “It was the best-est day ever – I was in a Race car, Cop car, Fire Engine AND and ambulance the same day…cool!!!! I now have to decide what I want to be when I grow up!!!”

Thanks to a novel concept and thanks to community friendly facilities like Bishop Ranch and organizations like AAA that add a new dimension to the concept and make it fun.

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