stories, plays, rhymes and other things for children and childlike adults

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


One of my favourite Lalmohun babu moments is when he gets off that camel in Sonar Kella and I must say Rubik's expression in the picture below reminds me so much of my favourite moment from my favourite movie filmed on my favourite Feluda character!!

You can watch the famous camel ride scene here

Friday, July 6, 2012

A Child's Eye: Art by Jesal Chawla, Age 9

Fun things to do with leaves

We see the flowers and appreciate them. We see the trees and give them names. But we take the leaves completely for granted.

Today, let’s pay some attention to the lowly leaf. Let us go to a garden or a park and pick up all the different kinds of leaves we can see. Remember, we will not pluck them from the trees or plants. We will just pick up the ones that have already fallen.

Let us concentrate on the beauty and variety of that green kitchen that provides plant life with its food! Let’s marvel at the myriad shapes, the varied shades and sizes. Let’s pinch them a little and find out if we can smell their tree in them. Let’s caress them and discover their distinctive textures. And when we’ve done all that, let us use our imaginations to see what we can do with our collection of leaves!

1. Put different kinds of long leaves in a vase. They look just as great and last much longer than flowers!
I found a picture of a leaf in a vase on

Doesn't it look beautiful?

2. Let them all dry in the sunlight and put them like pot-pourri in a beautiful glass or crystal bowl on a low table.

3. Press some fresh leaves in thick books for a day or two. Then gently use a wet toothbrush to clean away the skin of the leaf. A fine, white net will be left. When it is dry, you can paint wonderful pictures on the net. Stick your painting on a card and send it to everybody!

We used to do this with peepal leaves when we were children. I found you a picture of this leaf painting on

4. Make a leaf-painting. Collect many kinds of leaves, carefully brush some poster colour on them and press on a white sheet of paper to make paintings. With a little imagination you can make mountains and fishes, birds and animals, huts and trees and even people—all with different shapes and sizes of leaves!


I found this leaf-mobile on

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Kolkata Book Fair

In today’s digital world, people are fast breaking their relationships with books and building new ones with other, more technologically advanced media such as the television, movies, the internet and the like. Every day, with new leaps in innovative methods of communication, people leave books further behind.

This trend is very disturbing. While books retain their importance in some fields, in others they have been totally discarded. One way of combating this disaster is by holding book fairs, the most famous being in Hamburg. The Kolkata book fair is the second biggest book fair in the world after Hamburg in terms of the number of visitors.

The 35th annual Kolkata book fair is being held right now, from the 26th of January to the 6th of February 2011. The venue for this gala affair is Milan Mela, opposite Science City. It is a vibrant affair, the fields buzzing with excitement that the fair unerringly creates every year. It attracts a footfall of more than two hundred thousand visitors every day and all these people are found to be hovering around, going from stall to stall laden with packets of books in their arms.

Many kinds of people visit the fair. There are those that do not buy books, but loiter around the field, visiting shops at random. There are others who visit the fair in order to buy certain books which are available at better prices and in much greater volume at the fair. Still others visit the fair to find books that are unavailable outside the fair. Whatever their purpose, the Kolkata book fair satisfies every person that visits it.

Booksellers and publishers find different ways of attracting customers and their efforts add even more colour to the fair. Some stalls hire personnel to stand outside them and advertise the books available in their stalls. Others give their stalls strange shapes. This year, I have seen stalls that look like busses and cars and trains, like cathedrals and temples and in many enticing colours and designs engineered to draw people into them.

This year, the theme of the Kolkata Book Fair happens is USA. Every year, a country is chosen to be the theme of the fair. The theme stall in the center of the fair is shaped the Capitol to evoke the spirit of the world’s richest democracy. Inside, people can view and buy books and objects that define the United States of America.

The Book Fair is organised by a guild of publishers and booksellers. They manage the entire proceedings and deal with any problems that may arise during the fair.

An important part of the Kolkata Book Fair is the food court. It is designed to cater to the appetites of thousands of people and keep them satiated while they journey from one stall to another. The food is utterly delicious and many go to the Book Fair more for the food than books.

Visiting the Book Fair and seeing the number of people swarming about the place in search of books is a sight of sheer joy, especially if you are one of the thousand book lovers in search of something good to read. The Book Fair shows us that all hope is not lost and that books retain their importance in society even today.

For the short period of time that the Book Fair is on, our dream-world of book-induced magic seems real.


Guru Gharial sits on a muddy bank all day, his eyes three-quarters closed, unmoving, like a dirty, mossy, slimy rock.

You wouldn’t even notice him unless you looked very carefully. He really blends into the marshy, dark green and brown landscape.

And if you did notice him, you’d think he was a lazy critter, sleeping and sunning himself, barely moving all day. You’d be wrong, of course! Guru Gharial can move as fast as lightning when he wants to!

Guru Gharial’s family has been around for a long time—longer than our first human ancestor was a bubble in the earth’s gene-pool! His type has hunted with the dinosaurs.

Guru Gharial is a survivor. His family has lived through meteor showers and cataclysmic climate changes and whatever disaster killed all the dinosaurs.But as he sits and meditates today, he is unsure whether the Gharials, Alligators and Crocodiles will survive the rule of man.