Movember. Never knew of it until this November. Akank’s school was teeming with Mo bro’s and ‘sistas’ this morning with the men sporting moustaches that they have grown all of November and the girls with neatly drawn Mo’s, to help spread the awareness of prostrate cancer in men. There were two other events combined with the Mo Friday. It was a family breakfast morning and a sale for charity to support the different foundations and causes the school supports. The School is also hosting a Cambodian all girls basket ball team for which the kids at school were sporting tattoos of the Cambodian National flag on their skin. Akank is also busy practicing for the UN day celebrations in the first week of December. Akank is a part of the choir, Irish dancing and a music ensemble and is in practice the whole day for weeks at stretch. With all this, it is a surprise that they get any academic work done at school the whole of November!
Monthly Archives: November 2010
Back in the days when I was at school, Wednesdays were assigned as colour dress days. That was the day of the week, that we were allowed to be at school wearing clothes other than uniforms. That was the day, my mother chose what I would wear to school. Not that I had too many clothes in the wardrobe to choose from. There was a dress from the birthday, one from Diwali or another festival and a few from previous birthday’s and Diwali’s and other festivals of the previous years. I was never given a choice. Even then, my ma would be stressed out on Wednesdays. She resented the fact that I would ask to wear something different from what she chose.
Today was mufti day at school for Akank. She does not get ‘colour dress’ days every week. She is allowed to be in mufti only when there is a fund collection drive at school. Even with these rare occasions, my stress quotient gets tested, even though she has more clothes than I did in my days. Like this morning, Akank tried out six different combination before she settled on one that I did not approve. As such we have a tight schedule between her wake up time and the time by which the school pick up arrives. With this added confusion of what- would- be- the- perfect- dress- to -be- seen- in -at- school, there was little time for breakfast and saying thanks for blessings received. What I chose for her was ‘ I wore that for last Mufti day’ or ‘ my friends have seen me in that already’ or ‘ I wore that last time to the movies’. What she chose would be either ‘ too short’ or a wrong choice because of a reason known only to moms. Between us, we woke the house up. With my ‘ I wish- you-showed- half- the interest- in your subjects’ and with her retorts of ‘ ‘you- always- have- to -connect- everything- to- subjects’ I think we even woke the neighbors.
All the time, my ma, who is visiting us, was listening. When Akank left for school she came around to talk to me. She casually remarked that it looked like I had a tough morning. When I began telling her about what the noise was about, she gleefully chuckled and reminded me of my growing up days and said something that sounded like ‘pay back time’.
I have never missed a book fair if it has happened in the vicinity of where I lived. I can say it with authority that for the past eleven years, I have always been to a book fair at least once a year. Another fact I am absolutely sure about is this- It was easier to pick books for Akank when she was younger than she is now.When she was a toddler, I didn’t have to go beyond the racks marked ‘books for toddlers’. Even though I have never picked bath time books, squeaky books or pop up books there were plenty of books with colorful pictures, words,books in the shape of shopping bags and balloons, XXL sized coloring books in our library. Then came a time when I was picking books based on movies we watched. Akank found the movie books fascinating since she could look at the frozen frames of her favorite scenes from the movies in glossy stills. A book fair was a good place to pick such books and our libraries were filled with junior movie novels. I continue to pick them even now. Then we moved to the Harry Potter phase. I didn’t have to pick the HP books from Book fairs since the whole family from me to my nephew and niece were reading them and Akank took to them earlier than her peers. She has hence read them about 7 times and can quiz trivia from the books to her money’s worth!The book fairs became haunts for books based on Televised series- The Hannah Montanas, The Suite life of Zack and Cody’s, The Mary Kate and Ashley’s and the High School musicals. I am relieved that Akank outgrew the girlie serials phase since she turned eleven. Her library is teeming with those books still but I notice that she never pulls them out for a re read. Thank God for Christopher Paolini and Akank’s fascination for dragons and dragon riders, she took to the Inheritance Cycle and stayed with it for another seven rounds of reading. Meanwhile, book fairs became the choice place for looking out new authors, encyclopedias of dog breeds, horse breeds, underwater sea life, dinosaurs and what have you. Akank’s enchantment with dogs helped me through many book fairs when I would find a treasure trove of dog based stories. Those remain some of the fondest books that Akank grew up with even today.
Another magical journey was the Percy Jackson series. But then again,we did not wait for book fairs to pick those. Soon that was followed by Stephenie Meyer and the darling vampires and werewolves that took Akank’s world by storm. She can’t stop reading them over and over again. ( Good ROI for us who spend on those books!)
The last book fair I went to was this week. I spent over three hours browsing the entire fair for books that might be interesting for Akank. Now I find that I cannot restrict myself to just junior novel racks, but have to do the entire fair at least one time around to look at all the books to find books that she will read for sure. Over the years, I have found out that Akank finds pixies and fairies silly ( that explains why there were no Enid Blytons when she was littler) detective stores boring ( No Nancy Drew’s for her), Boy groups and children groups mildly interesting ( The entire collection of Famous fives, Secret Sevens from her nephew’s library was donated). What she is intrigued by are the wizards, witches, children who can magically be transported to other Worlds and talk to animals ( CS Lewis knew just how to touch the right chords with the Chronicles of Narnia!) dragon riders ( whoever heard of those!), demi Gods, vampires and werewolves. Fantasy. That is the genre Akank is addicted to reading.
This time around I played it safe by choosing books that would only add to the intrigue. Here are the books I picked – An unauthorized Harry Potter that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about the series and did not know who to ask, an unauthorized guide to the Twilight series, another book that has other authors talking about Stephenie Meyer’s series. I continue to buy books about Dogs, so ‘the ultimate dog lover’s book with advice for a happy and healthy dog and a book that tells you what happens when stray’s start talking back ( wild!). and a few unauthorized biographies of a few starts in Hollywood that she likes ( Ashely Tisdale, Corbin Bleu and Taylor Lautner).
As I guessed, I was right. I think the word unauthorized in the titles I picked, did the trick. Akank is excited with the new additions to her library.