Month: December 2014

2014 in Review

Another year is upon us! As it is with every new year that sneaks upon us every December, I hate it already. I was very sure that 2014 would be crappy, but looking back, it wasn’t as crappy as I had initially expected it to be. Here is a personal roundup –

1. I used a planner for the whole year – I’ve been buying a planner every year the last five years but 2014 was the first year where I actually used it to plan my day as opposed to my usual ritual of writing one sentence and then using it for bookshelf beautification. I think the key to like, really making the most of your planner is by using it purely on a day to day basis. Don’t waste time on filling out birthdays in the “Months” section because it’s 2014, and we’ve all got facebook for that.

2. I learned to be more ambitious…and more open to failure – Failure and me, we’re like those two people who aren’t really friends, but have like 3571 mutual friends and keep commenting and annoying each other on our common friend’s wall posts. We don’t know each other, but we know each other, you know what I mean – the dude is always lurking. This year, I finally sent out that friend request. I started a lot of projects this year, some were great, some were O-K and some, I don’t even know what I was thinking. But all of them, I started with the knowledge that it was TOTALLY OK if it bombed. That really gave me the freedom to go all out and enjoy myself doing those projects and yes, I didn’t do as well as I would’ve liked, but I had fun, I learned a little more about myself and it’s all so much better when failure is a friend. I do not, however, recommend this “friending failure” approach where academics and exams are concerned.


3. I made an effort – So 2014 wasn’t really the greatest year where my friendships were concerned. I had always been lazy in that department, but this year a few things happened where I really was affected to the point where I had to totally rethink the way I created my friendships, and how I maintained them. I started from scratch again, did some spring cleaning for the old, neglected ones, and went out and actively built new ones. I honestly am happier now for the effort that I made. Looking back, I’d like to think of the stuff that went down the drain as the hair that you lose when you shower – it wasn’t strong enough to begin with, and I know that you’re attached to your hair and all, but it’ll be gross if you go try pick it up and put it back, and it’s just hair anyway, it’ll grow back newer, and maybe even better. Analogy mairaatam irundhaalum feeling-a please purinjukonga*.


4. Marriage can be awesome if you’re lucky – I think this is the year where I really felt like damn, so this is what it feels like to be married. Marriage is awesome though. I mean, we are polar opposites, my husband and I, and yet we are having plenty of fun. What annoys me though, is when people expect me to wax eloquent of Arranged Marriage. Every time I/we maintain that I/we got lucky (which I/we did), people get really disappointed, like those old Chinese Men with the long mustaches in the Martial Arts movies because I/we failed to defend Arranged Marriage’s honour. “But you two had an arranged marriage” they say, “and you two are happy!” We are. We really are. But we also know that Marriage (arranged or otherwise) is kind of like jumping into the sea from the Titanic. Sometimes you get the lifeboat manned by an experienced boatman, sometimes, you’re left in the freezing water with someone who’s on a wooden plank that’s big enough for the both of you and yet won’t let you on it while holding on to your hand and claiming to love you all the same.

I’m full of analogies today.

5. I READ MORE BOOKS – I read 20 books this year out of the 24 I had aimed, and that, for me, was the least crappy thing about 2014.


So that was my year. How was yours? Awesome? Crappy? Non-crappy? Just Ok? Here’s hoping 2015 is better 🙂

HAPPYY NEW YEARRRR 

* – Sorry, but I can’t translate this. 

Farmer Falgu Goes To The Market – A Review

Some time ago, the very wonderful Chitra Sounder posed a question on twitter – would anyone be interested in reviewing a Children’s Book, she asked. I volunteered to review, because I like books, and more importantly, I much prefer children’s writing to their grown-up counterparts or any other genre for that matter. There are two reasons why – the first being that the writing, I’ve found, is consistently better, and the second, is that I’m still denial about my own age. Adulthood really doesn’t appeal to me.

ANYWAY, Farmer Falgu Goes To The Market is a lovely little book for the little one you know, or have. I would peg the appropriate age group for this book to be the 5-8 category (although I’ve actually no idea with respect to which age group the publishers have targeted), because I personally felt that each age group would get something different out of the book. The book’s about Farmer Falgu who is heading to the local market with all his lovely fresh fruits, vegetables and eggs, but encounters a difficulties on the way (including an adorable duck family and some hungry goats), that ultimately destroy his bounty. Instead of worrying about how everything’s been ruined, Falgu proceeds to borrow a few pans and starts selling omelettes instead!

The book is very appealing, visually, and the crayon style illustrations are unique and make the whole story pop, which is quite an achievement considering how the emphasis throughout the book is on sounds (the eggs cracked, the pan sizzled, the oink oinks and the maa-maas), so all credit to Kanika Nair!

I believe that it’s important that kids read, for lack of a better word, indigenous writing when they’re in that 5-8 age group because it plays an important role in helping them understand what’s really around them, like Farmer Falgu and his bullock cart, as opposed to quaint English concepts like Golliwogs and Treacle Pudding (also known as the two great disappointments of my childhood because I was never able to find either of them where I lived despite searching in many places and harassing even more people).

I think it must also be said that Indian Children’s Writing, today, is of such better quality when pitted against Indian Fiction Writing in general. When I was younger, and when my parents realized that I liked books, they bought me what they found in the stores then – my mom wasn’t really a reader, but she ensured that I got the best. I grew up on the Little Golden Books before I graduated to Enid Blyton and Carolyn Keene before eventually falling into that black hole called Young Adult (I lost many years to the Princess Diaries). My sister, though, went the Dr.Seuss – Roald Dahl route. Although she followed me into the YA Black Hole of No Return, Varsha read a lot more Indian Children’s Books than I ever did. Karadi Tales, and Tulika were just getting mainstream. True to form, Karadi Tales have been doing an excellent job all these years, and this book is no exception.

Over all, I really enjoyed this book, and I’m twenty five (I’ll be twenty six next year), so if you know any little ones who you want to introduce to good books, do pick up Farmer Falgu Goes To The Market!