On the mighty tiger’s trail.

I decided to take the kids for a holiday to Ranthambore, one of India’s oldest and most magnificent tiger sanctuaries. It’s an advisory  for any parent considering traveling with young toddlers to any safari that this is no easy task. But despite all warnings all in all it was a fairly smooth trip with these two munchkins.

Tiger safaris are hard work. You have to wait patiently, zoom through the woods, sit quietly for long periods and endure the dusty and bumpy terrain of the forest so decide if this is destination is for you, especially if you are travelling with small children.

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Up at 4:30am for a 6:30am flight

We finally saw the Tiger on our 3rd and final safari, but it’s good to warn you that many people don’t see the beast even if they go for 5 safaries. While the guides and naturalists do everything in their power to track the tiger, it’s a waiting game and any sightings depend on the tigers mood and your luck.

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The 2 pug marks of the male and female tiger

We were 20 feet away from 2 tigers mating, we had tracked their pug marks to the tall tiger grass where they go to hide out, we could hear them growling but they refused to come out of the grass. So tiger spotting, like everything in life needs a little bit of LUCK.

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Zayne ready with his binoculars

The mornings were cold, and being from Bombay these kids are really not used to such weather, but not wanting to miss out on anything made them not complain and they sat quietly and sometimes giggled, sometimes cribbed through the bumpy and jumpy terrain while we went looking for this magnificent beast.

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A little grumpy Zoey annoyed for having made to leave her very comfortable and warm bed at 4:30 am.

The entrance to Ranthambore is majestic to say the least. Build around 1100 AD, it’s huge walls canvas the forest. The fort was built mainly to stop any foreign invasion and protect the garh from intruders. To see the real beauty of the fort requires an entire evening and it is a good idea to add it to your itinerary.

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The beautiful Ranthambore Fort that surrounds the wild life sanctuary.
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The old hunting lodge in the middle of the forest in zone 3

The morning safari was a miss for Tigers but we saw so many birds, deers, crocodiles and while the mighty beast eluded us, it really didn’t seem to matter to us.

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No tigers around if the deers are grazing so peacefully.
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Taking a breather from tiger searching
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Zoey enjoying staring at grazing deers.
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Every time we saw the Sambar my daughter would sing Rudolf the red nosed reindeer.

Once we went back to the hotel, we ate lunch, lazed around a bit and then we were ready and excited for our evening safari. While it can be seriously tough juggling 2 toddlers on a safari it CAN be done. Just be prepared for some tantrums, tummy aches, slight fever and a lot of excitement.

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Enjoying the property post the morning safari
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Ready for our evening in the jungles of Ranthambore
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Even when barren, nature wins the contest.
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Ranthambore Sunsets.
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Waiting In anticipation
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These two always find something funny in everything.

So pack those binoculars, bring out the warm clothes and head out a for a safari with the family. It’s a great destination for bonding and if you have some affection for all things outdoorsy, you love nature, and you want to indroduce your children to this magical place called the “Jungle”, then this destination IS definitely for you and your family.

 

 

Swimming Lessons

Learning how to swim is according to me, one of the most important and life saving classes you can enroll your child in. I really don’t know why I waited so long to start them off but they are finally getting swimming lessons.

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As my son is older than the girl, he is enjoying the classes more but I would not take any credit away from her, she does the exercises, jumps the jumps and tries and keeps up with her older brother to the best of her ability.

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But a word of caution, start the smaller ones (below 3) only when they are ready. My children have been used to the pool at the farm so starting swimming classes was not daunting for them, but for some children it can be a traumatic and unpleasant experience.

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Happy Swimming Y’all!

 

…and it’s a wrap!

Break a leg! – Theatrical slang meaning Good luck!

I can safely say that I am the luckiest teacher alive.

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I have the most enthusiastic bunch of children. Be it my own kids or the ones that come to me for Drama Class. They indulge me my madness, and are equally invested in all my shananigans.

They went up on stage and gave it their ALL. They performed flawlessly (which is good) but more importantly they had a blast (much, much better)

Children need to be encouraged to be themselves, to go on stage and use this medium as a catalyst to express themselves. I’ve noticed that drama is an excellent medium for self expression and a cathartic one at that!

So motivate your little ones to be a part of a drama club, get evolved and enjoy the brilliance of being a part of a theatre production.

If they are not inclined towards acting they can help out in the other various departments. We made our own costumes, painted our props and all the children helped set up the stage. The entire process was done together and that is just as fun, if not more important than putting up the final show.

Stay tuned for our next production. A self written Christmas play with home made props and costumes.

Till we meet again remember this little gem..

” There’s no Business like Show Business”

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Making props:Part Deux.

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…and we go again. Making props!

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The Caterpillar, The Mushroom                                   The Cheshire Cat’s costume                                      The Mad Tea party scene,                                          The Red Queen,                                                                    My little munchkins are “oh so keen”

we have so much to do                                                       Hearts, Hearts, Hearts – it’s much ado

Alice In Wonderland is so much fun                               But the work is a zillion into one                             Lets not worry too much though                             Our happy helpers are on the floor

Making props, Saving the day                                 Let’s all shout HipHip Hooray!

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Making props…

Every year my drama class puts up an annual stage production. It’s a very exciting time for us as my class kids enjoy the entire process of production as much as they all love to be on stage.

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This year for the production I have chosen my most favourite book of all time, Alice In Wonderland. So I put my kids to work and we have begun making the props.

Right now we are doing the backdrop and as I have absolutely no budget for Set Design my little helpers are saving the day. ( Useful tip: This is not child labour. It’s building character )

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While my son is the Door Mouse in the play, my daughter has decided that she is going to help me direct and works closely with me on all departments.

Especially the dressing up part.

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Stay tuned for more photos and information on this front …

 

Visiting my Grandmother.

I took the children to Shimla to meet my Grandmother who lives up in the hills. She may be 80 years of age but she has more oomph and style than any 20 year old I know.

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Shimla is a hill station in India and it was a very popular holiday destination with the British pre 1947, when they colonised India. Steeped in history this little gem has retained its old world charm and I get a feeling of nostalgia every time I go a- visiting.

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My mom’s father was a Major General in the Indian Army and every time I go to Shimla I am reminded of that amazing legacy one can only inherit, if you are lucky enough.

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Both the babies were in such good spirits they didn’t trouble one bit. Infact it was quite the opposite. They were perfectly behaved and enjoyed the holiday with the kind of enthusiasm and excitement that comes within the territory of being a mother to a couple of highly energetic and sparkling toddlers.

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The highlights of the trip for the children and for us were the daily treks to the Mall Road, binging on delicious softies, going on horse rides, seeing monkeys, and eating chocolate eclairs from a bakery that has been around since pre historic times (one that still manages to capture the taste of my childhood).

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Needless to say it was an excellent holiday.

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Oh! How we love the small joys of life.

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Balls Pools & Balloons

Does your child have an unhealthy obsession with ball pools?!

Mine do!

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My girl is one such mutt who will gravitate towards a ball pool even though I have told her repeatedly that they are nothing more than germ infested pits. But who can explain anything to a stubborn, strong willed child!

My son also loves them, but he listens and understands reason.

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My daughter is another story all together.

She is fearless and jumps into them with such abandon you’d think it was Uncle Scrooge jumping into his pool of money.

Kiddie Birthday parties are where the real actions at! This week when we went “partying” my daughter sourced a balloon for herself quite easily. While she was the envy of many-a-children, her big brother looked at her balloon with so much love that she told him to hold on to her bright yellow one and then proceeded to conjure up a lovely blue one for him.

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This story is not yet done, this little thing then guarded both the balloons for the entire duration of the party and made sure they didnt fall in to the evil clutches of the envious older boys who were intent on stealing hers and her big brothers balloons.

I have never been more prouder of her.

My son is a timid, soft hearted fellow, but my girl is a lioness and I have no doubt she will protect her older brother with the same grit she did those balloons for the rest of her life.

What more could a mother ask for.