After 8 long years…

…after several instances of misgivings

…after wishing I’d not let interruptions stop me

…after cursing self for giving it up

…after agonizing over having lost it forever

…after realising there is no more the confidence that once came so naturally

…after many days of thinking and re-thinking

…after one trial that was not good, and another that was barely satisfactory

…it happened.

Once again, I got on stage. As part of the office band. And sang! This and this 🙂 

I will not comment on how I could have done a LOT better.
I will not comment on how one was way better than the other.
I will not comment on the pathetic sound system or the wrong pitch (which spoiled one) 😀

I will just say I felt on top of the world!
People who gave me the opportunity — the ALKMS Band — I’m eternally grateful! Thank you! 🙂


Licensed to kill


It’s been over two-and-a-half years since I resolved to learn driving. I wrote here how I joined driving classes and had managed to attend almost every class. but well, I had to quit. Well, in my defense, the man who used to come to teach NEVER brushed his teeth! That my classes were early morning, about 6.30 – 7.00, did not help AT ALL. For all I know, he might have been coming right from bed with that stinking mouth of his. Ugh. I shudder to even think of it. I used to attend every class till he began teaching me how to reverse! Moron that he was, he just would not let me use the rear-view mirror. He said I’d to turn around and look back through the rear windshield. And, the very moment I’d look back, he’d also look back! His face then would be inches away from mine, and it’d hit me like a whiplash! The mouth odour, I mean. It was killer. That was the day I quit! Not to mention that he was sleazy and tried to use every opportunity to ‘touch and teach’. *&^$%^&*(*&^%

So well, that was a nightmare. I went back to my philosophy about how I did not need to learn driving, because I always had/have my drivers — dad, brother, brother’s friends and Suraj. At all other times, I have bus and auto drivers 😀 Life moved on. Till I met The Queen of Subtlety (TQS). She was dying to learn driving, and when she told me about it, I randomly commented on how I should also learn, but it has always  been a jinxed effort. That was it. She convinced me to join with her, yelled at me for missing some classes and pushed me to continue even when I was fed up with the folks at the school and wanted to give up.

The two of us joined Maruti Driving School (MDS). We both signed up for evening classes (4.30 – 5.30), since the place was close to office, and we could easily reach. After my first 3-4 classes, I got into a project that had recurring meetings every day at that precise time! I missed some 7-8 classes in a row. According to their system, if per the initial schedule your classes get over on a specific date and if you cross that date for whatever reason, you need to reschedule (and write them an apology letter!). So I wrote apology letter, begged and pleaded to be given a new set of dates. The new set of dates arrived. TQS looked at the dates and timings and randomly commented “All your classes are in the evening”. I was sooo dying with work, I did not even bother to check the date and time to see if she was right. I just took her word for it 😀 Turned out, I had only one class in the evening. All others were in the morning! And it was not on every other day, like the previous time. So on days I could not make it in the morning, and called to say I would not be able to make it, it would turn out I had no class scheduled that day! Long story short, I missed a lot of classes again! That is when I heard from my manager (who had also been a student there once up on a time) that MDS reschedules only once, and after 2 attempts, if you are not regular, they blacklist you. I freaked out. Two years ago, I’d paid Rs 4000 to a man who did not even brush his teeth. I’d now paid MDS Rs 6000. I could not waste money on this anymore! But how was I to explain all the goof-ups?

That is when I made TQS tell the folks at MDS that I was sent out of India on official duty 😀
“But why can’t she call and let us know!?”
“She’s in Singapore, you see. On official duty.”
“So? Can’t she call? If she can tell you, can’t she tell us?”
“Well, you see, she is on international roaming, and did not think it was thaaaat important to call from there.”
“Hmmmm. Ok. Tell her we will send a revised schedule.”

So well, I got another revised schedule, and this time I was a good child. I attended every single class, and finally got it over with. Or so I thought. Well, the RTO was waiting.

On Oct 20, Saturday, I went to MDS to get my paperwork done and head over to the RTO for the driving license (DL) test. But the previous day’s dinner had poisoned me, and I was real weak. So I decided to go the following week. On Oct 27, Saturday, I went to MDS to get my paperwork done and head over to the RTO for the DL test. And guess what? Since the previous day was Bakrid, RTO was closed that day. So well, left with no choice, I decided to go the next Saturday. I did not despair. I’m a staunch believer in the Malayalam saying “Onnu pizhachaal moonnu” which translates to mean that if your trial fails the first time, it will work ONLY the third time. This one is ALWAYS true in my case. See how I had to get three schedules for my classes? 😀

So, on November 3, Saturday, I went to MDS to get my paperwork done and head over to the RTO for the DL test. No poisons, no holidays, no glitches. After finishing paperwork and simulator test in 15 mins, I headed over to the place I was asked to wait at, for the Inspector who would give us the test. I waited under that tree for 5 hours. Whether I pass the driving test or not, I sure passed the patience test 🙂 I did not walk away! 😀 The inspector came then, took the test, finished it off in 5 minutes, and that was it! 🙂 That evening, I called MDS, and was told I was licensed to kill 😉 The weapon however, would take a month to reach me. Today, it came. A driving license bearing MY name on it.

Moment of joy. Sense of accomplishment. Happiness. Yay! 🙂:)

Dear Queen of Subtlety, I’m deeply indebted to you for making me see this through till the end 🙂 If it weren’t for your incessant yelling and prodding and motivation and encouragement, I would most likely have given up 🙂 Thank You for bringing me some much-wanted joy! 🙂 I owe you a big one 🙂 And every time I’m behind the wheel, every time I open my wallet and see the “D.L. SMART CARD”, I will remember you 🙂

Richard Parker is breathtakingly beautiful!

After months of waiting, today I saw Richard Parker. And Oh My God, is he breathtaking! 🙂

It has been over 4 years since I wrote this. Life of Pi is the best book I’ve read. No other book had me completely flabbergasted, left me wondering if it was fact or fiction. I vividly remember Googling certain things described in the book, to find out if those were for real.

Of all the things in the book, I was most impressed by Richard Parker. Totally taken, completely smitten. Head over heels in love 😀 I was 24 then. Grown up enough to not be taken over by a Bengal tiger, and an imaginary one at that 😀 Well, four years later, Richard Parker stormed into my life with the same enchantment and had me gaping with such glee. What a beauty he is! I thought at least the movie would make me give more importance to Pi 😀 Sorry Pi, Richard Parker stole the show 🙂

I lost count of the number of times i went “oooh!” and “so beautiful” and “awwww” and “wow” over Richard Parker and his antics. The look in his eyes as he hung on to the lifeboat, body immersed in the sea…I wanted to hug him, say it’s alright, you’ll be saved, and squish him! 😀 Gosh, he is so so so beautiful, I can’t stop gushing over him 🙂

Since the day I heard this movie would release by the end of 2012, I’d been waiting, patiently but eagerly. Being a non-movie person, quite a few people were surprised to see HOW much I looked forward to this one’s release 🙂 I normally do not read movie reviews, especially of the ones I intend to watch. I’m particular about having my own views, ones that will no way be coloured or tainted by another person’s views.

Just yesterday, a team of people from work went to watch it, and returned saying they were slightly disappointed; that it was a good watch, but did not meet expectations. I was warned to go without expecting too much. I refused, and the nearer I got to the theatre, my excitement began bubbling within. I sooo wanted and hoped to love it.

I LOVED it. Absolutely loved it. Like, really gobsmacked 😀 I was more than satisfied 🙂 I loved it all. Pondicherry, Munnar, the mighty Pacific Ocean, the meercats. Pi – the liltle boy, Pi – the big boy, Pi – the man. The mother, father, brother, writer. The 3D, the blue whale, the sparkling sea, the visual extravaganza. Most of all, Richard Parker 😀

It was brilliant. It is never possible to make a movie out of a book, doing complete justice to it. And when the book in question is one like Life of Pi, it is all the more difficult. To even endeavor to make a movie out of such a brilliant book itself is an act that deserves much appreciation. To do the kind of justice this one did to the book deserves a bow 🙂 I thought it was awesome! I just wish I went to a better theatre, one with better 3D effects.

It was so goooood, I did not even WANT popcorn! 😀 Now that should say it all!

Richard Parker, you are awesome! 🙂 I dedicate this post to you!

The Queen of Subtlety

Subtlety, if you ask me, is not an art possessed and practiced by many. Some think they have it, but don’t. Some actually have it, but never put it into action at the right moment. And well, some others have it, and practice it quite well.

And then there’s Princess (you need to spend 5 continuous minutes with her to know why exactly she is Princess) who does not know that subtlety exists. Which makes her nothing less than The Queen of Subtlety.

Incident #1 why Princess got titled The Queen of Subtlety
Princess and her two friends (which includes me) were on a break; sipping tea at the pantry. There was no one else in the pantry. If the three of us weren’t talking, there would be no other sound there. We were discussing random life issues, friends, relatives and other such. For once, there was ABSOLUTELY no gossip about colleagues happening right then. After a few minutes, our manager’s ex-manager (who still likes to act the part of our manager’s manager) walked in to fill her tea cup. There was a moment of silence right then, as we had just finished a random conversation. For no reason in particular, on seeing the lady that walked in, Princess said “Shhh” at us (but alas, loudly enough for all of the pantry to hear). We were not talking about her, but I’m sure after the “Shhh”, she thought we were. Sigh! 🙄

Incident #2 why Princess got titled The Queen of Subtlety
Princess and I were at our workstations, quietly going about our lives work. And then, Princess rolled her chair towards me and we began discussing something — I’m not sure if it was work or something else. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw our manager’s manager walk into our bay, and launch into a conversation with our manager. I whispered to Princess to check them both out, that they’re colour coded (they were both in red shirts). That’s ALL I said. Princess turned around, looked, and burst out laughing. And then she turned back to me, saw my horrified expression and went “Ooops” and eerily quiet. I dread to even think what he might have thought! Sigh! 🙄

Incident #3 why Princess got titled The Queen of Subtlety
Princess and I work on the 7th Floor of our office building. We have a friend on the Ground Floor. Once, after collecting a courier that Princess received (a reasonably sized box which looked suspicious even to me!), we decided to walk over to our friend and have a chat. As we walked in, I told Princess that we’ll tell our friend we’re here to have a serious meeting with her and her manager, and that Princess was to hide the courier from the friend’s view. We walked to her seat, and found her seat vacant; she was in a meeting room with her team. As we were contemplating whether to stay or leave, the meeting room door opened and the friend’s teammate walked out. Instead of being a normal human being and just staying calm, Princess did something very close to acrobatics and tried to hide the courier box from the girl’s sight (don’t ask me why!!). Of course, quite unsuccessfully at that. We got a look of weird displeasure from that girl. Sigh! 🙄

Incident #4 why Princess got titled The Queen of Subtlety
Princess and I were walking to the pantry, for a cup of tea. Just as we got out of the bay, we saw two foreigners standing by the door, having a serious discussion. I walked on in silence. But not the Princess, oh no! She took one look at the two (fairly older) gentlemen and said “Oooh! Nice.” With smoke coming out of my ears, I hastened my pace, looked at her horrified and asked her what the hell that was! And she explains, “But I meant one of their bags; not them!” Yes, very evident that was. Sigh! 🙄

As The Queen of Subtlety continues to rule, the rest of us are sure that we’ll have many more foot-in-mouth moments, handed over in a golden plate, even without having to say a word! Secretly, I think I need to make new friends.

True friends are hard to come by!

It’s amazing how you can speak right to my heart… Oh, that’s a song.  Not how I meant to start this. 😀

But well, it’s amazing alright. How the best of people always have the best of friends 😉 Like how Calvin has Hobbes; Asterix has Obelix; Tintin has Snowy; the F.R.I.E.N.D.S. have each other; and well, Boban has Moli. 😀

I think the best of the lot is Calvin and Hobbes.

And if I be Calvin, I’ve found my Hobbes 😉 [Or vice-versa, if my ‘Hobbes’ doesn’t like being a tiger 😀 *But for now, you’ll have to make do with being Hobbes. The other option would be to make you Richard Parker, who coincidentally is again a tiger. I think Hobbes is much cuter, nicer and definitely more fun to be with*]

I’m very, very, VERY choosy when it comes to friends—especially the kind that can be ‘Hobbes’. And this one was, well, totally unexpected. Someone I definitely did not see myself ever getting so close to or being such great friends with!

The time I first met Hobbes, I never thought we’d ever strike a chord. Hobbes seemed a very serious, withdrawn person. The kind that is so withdrawn, they barely look up at you when you’re being introduced to them and quickly nod before going back to their work. Uh uh…definitely not the kind who would be friends with someone goofy like me 😀 So well, I maintained a distance, and was always just courteous and polite.

I liked Hobbes, but that was about it. In the meantime, I also heard bits of conversation here and there of Hobbes being this serious person; people seemed to be quite scared of Hobbes, and I saw very few people being comfortable and carefree around Hobbes—cementing my impression of Hobbes as someone who could not easily be “friended”. Well, that impression lasted about a week.

Till I first heard Hobbes laugh. It was a loud, clear, right-from-the heart guffaw. Yes, a guffaw. You have to hear it to know what I mean 😀 Despite not knowing what the joke was or who it was shared with, I found myself looking up and smiling at Hobbes. Well, to be precise, at the back of Hobbes’ head! 😀 And that was when I figured Hobbes out: in an instant. And I liked Hobbes a lot more then 🙂

Only someone that’s completely genuine, sincere, adorable and so full of humour can ever laugh like that. Seriously. Laughter—especially the kind that emanated from Hobbes that day, and many, many times after that—is something that will give away a person’s character immediately: it can tell you who is fake, who is real 🙂 Hobbes was definitely very, very real! I figured I could be myself, goofy and well, just me. The only question was if Hobbes wanted that. Hehe.

You need to know the nuances of laughter to be able to figure people out 😀 When I shared that piece of insight once, Hobbes said “I refuse to laugh like that from now on!” 😀 Well, the damage was done already, my dear 😀 Hobbes once told me “Not everyone retorts to me the way you do. You picked my sense of humour too fast. And I’m not like this to everyone either. I appear serious, proud and very quiet. It’s a facade…kind of a protection that I put around myself.” Well, I’m glad I broke through the facade, and damaged your “aura” (which I still insist on never having noticed :P). I now have a friend for life—and an awesome one at that 😉

When I look back now, I still cannot believe Hobbes and I became friends. I would never have believed it if someone had told me then that Hobbes and I would become such friends someday. I would’ve scoffed, I suppose 😉 But well, we did become friends…though very, very, very gradually.

With Jaya, my best friend—an alter ego, maybe I should say—it took just about 5 minutes for us to bond and become friends for life. Was I not so choosy then, you ask? Well, is it tough to like yourself in 5 minutes? 😉 Anyway, I thought a friend as valuable as that would never come by a second time. I was wrong. I guess 2 really is a good number for me 🙂

Hobbes is perhaps one other person who is equally choosy about friends. I guess we have both had enough experiences that hold us back, make us take our time to fully understand another person before going from ‘just friends’ to ‘great friends’. And now, I can say without a moment’s hesitation that Hobbes is a “great” friend to have.

I’ve seen Hobbes in good times and bad—and I have immeasurable respect for the way Hobbes wades through it all.

Hobbes’ sense of humour and quick wit, for one. It can leave you laughing uncontrollably till you end up gasping for air at times…OR leave you so stunned, you wouldn’t know whether to laugh or just gawk. Spontaneity at its best. Certain conclusions and one-liners Hobbes comes up with are…well…bloody hilarious. Something you just do not expect from a person who appears “serious, proud and very quiet”.

There are times when Hobbes gets washed over by a wave of depression…and I pretend not to understand that and keep insisting that Hobbes smile at least “half a smile” 😀 *Hobbes, I really do understand when you’re in the dumps, but there is nothing I can do to help you at such times. Apart from telling you to smile! Apart from listening and saying “Hmmm”*

There are times when I am pissed off with something and I go crib to Hobbes—knowing very well that my problems are nothing compared to Hobbes’. But well, me being me, I still crib 😀 I could go on and on and on and on, and Hobbes would patiently listen. There would be nothing Hobbes will have to say, to help me, but listen Hobbes will. No questions asked, no judgements made. And all this, while I am just making a mountain out of a miniscule mole hill. 🙂

When it comes to a fault, Hobbes does not see if there’s friendship or enmity. If Hobbes has to blast, Hobbes will blast. Despite being such close friends, I’ve been blasted too (which surprised a few people because we were supposed to be ‘friends’; now who blasts friends, huh?). Well, I do. Hobbes does, too. What are friends for, if they can’t correct you when you’re wrong? If there’s credit to be given, Hobbes gives it generously—again, irrespective of friendship or enmity. I think that’s a fabulous quality: to be able to separate life from work 🙂

If you are a friend, Hobbes will perhaps die for you. Well, not literally, of course. But if you want Hobbes to do something for you, Hobbes will do it, despite perhaps not liking it at all. It always surprises me, because I would never do that! I’ve kidded about certain things, and Hobbes always agreed to do it, even after admitting it may not be the best thing to do. Maybe one should NOT be so fiercely loyal to friends. You never know how loyal your ‘friend’ is to you. *Note the point, Hobbes :)*

There are times when Hobbes deserves a kick—for judging people wrongly, for making the wrong ‘friends’, for trusting the wrong people (repeatedly, at that), for helping the ones who do not deserve to be helped…and in all this process, getting hurt. But well, can’t be helped…because Hobbes is Hobbes. I like that 🙂 *No matter what the other person is or does, you have to be you, Hobbes :)*.

Yes, now that I think about it, I really like that! People come and go, some even walk over Hobbes, leaving bruises…but the next time they need help, Hobbes does not think twice before helping (and most probably getting hurt again). Though I’ve blasted Hobbes for that many times, I think that’s amazing. *Remain so, just stop expecting any gratitude, whatsoever. And I still will blast you the next time you do that :D* In Hobbes’ own words, “You fool me once – you are clever; You fool me twice – I am stupid; Hobbes is not stupid; wow, I like that line”.  I do too 😀 😀

Of course, Hobbes has faults. Well, who doesn’t (except me!), right? Hobbes frets too much about the past; is too perfect and orderly (yes, that’s a fault!); goes into a shell and refuses to talk about it if something upsets Hobbes; does not appreciate telegrams (!); is not a great fan of Calvin & Hobbes despite being christened Hobbes (!!); thinks an i10 is better than a Punto (bah); aaaaaand walks way too fast 😀 😀 Saddest of all, Hobbes does not forgive the mistakes made by self (if they can be called ‘mistakes’, which I personally don’t think is what those are; I think everything is a lesson, a learning, an experience…it makes you one bit stronger, one bit wiser). *You need to get over them, Hobbes. I know it is easier said than done, but you have to. Otherwise, you won’t really get time to make new mistakes 🙂 What’s life without mistakes, to crib over and learn from?*

There are times Hobbes can be absolutely morbid, absolutely mind-numbing and absolutely shocking. I have fallen off my chair quite often at certain things Hobbes said. I’ve laughed sooooo much that I’ve gone so red in the face, making Hobbes all alarmed that something might happen to me. 😀

I’ve also gaped in awe at certain other things. Like the courage, the perseverance, the patience, the sense, the logic. Most importantly, the pure will to survive and succeed.

The most amazing thing, however, is the way Hobbes can get up or down to any age level 😀 Right from 5 to 50 😉 We are capable of being two kids fighting over who is better than the other…and can, in the blink of an eye, be two very mature adults, having a serious discussion on life’s complexities 😀

We have long conversations and longer spells of comfortable silences. I read somewhere “The best kind of friend is one with whom you sit on a bench, saying nothing and when you get up and go, you feel as if you had the best conversation of your life!” Oh, I believe that to the last word now 🙂

*Hobbes, I’m immensely grateful to you for the companionship you gave during some real bad times; for listening to all my cribbing like it was the most important thing at that moment; for guiding me on when I needed directions; for the many, many coffee breaks and walks; for the many deals; for some real impressive pep talks; for the umpteen laughs; for all the mentorship; for cheering me up when I was depressed; for making September 2011 a bearable ordeal; for correcting me when I was wrong; for being a true friend all the time. And most importantly, for being the delight that you are…for being you.* 🙂

Friendship is a rather strange thing. It is not about going out together and ‘having fun’ all the time; it’s not about having weekend trips together; it is not about lavishing gifts on them; it’s not about sitting around a table together and secretly wondering if you have everything your friend has. Most importantly, it’s NOT about being supportive even when your ‘friend’ is obviously wrong: that’s being the goody-goody, I’m-there-for-you-whatever-you-do Samaritan. Friends don’t let each other tread the wrong path.

Friendship is definitely about being there for each other, through good times and bad. But more importantly, it’s about being a critic and a guide. Goof around, have fun, call each other names, pull each other’s legs, land a surprise, lend a shoulder. But when your friend is wrong, have the courage to point it out, help the person correct the wrong and get back into the right. Be an unconditional friend, but be a valuable one first. That’s when you’re a true friend.

Which is why…


Guess with Hobbes, I just got damn lucky 🙂


P.S.: Hobbes, here’s wishing you a fantastic new beginning that remains fantastic till the end. What you leave behind, is definitely something that is best left behind 🙂

P.S. of P.S.: I’m not to be held responsible if being known as “Hobbes” does further damage to your “aura” 😀 😀

P.S. of P.S. of P.S.: I still insist: there is no aura 😀 😛

My first toy…

Penguin Race

Penguin Race

…was this penguin race, which I absolutely adored. Well, if I remember right, it was my brother’s. My aunt got it for him, but well, me and the brother being best friends, we only had “our” toys. I remember the quiet evening we spent together, watching the penguins open their little door, come out one after the other, get on the slide and race. The most wonderful part was watching them go “plop, plop, plop” up the stairs. Now, when I think of it, I can’t remember why it was called a penguin “race”, because there was no way they could race each other 😀 I’m sure that toy is one main reason I’ve always LOVED penguins!

Two years later, the penguin race was broken to many pieces by a cousin, and I howled away to glory when the aunt chided “stop crying. it’s just a toy.” I still wonder if she realises it was never “just a toy”. It was my many evenings’ activity with my brother; a huge part of my childhood then; a factor that bonded us so well, apart from many others; my first memories of the joy of “sharing”.

Squeaky Rubber Toy Horse

Toy Horse

Another favourite toy, was a rubber squeaky toy horse. I remember the many evenings I’ve spent making that lifeless little animal hop all over my room. I have no idea what I was thinking. That was in 1992. And when we shifted from that house and relocated to Guruvayur, I left my toy horse behind, and was depressed about it! In 2002, when we returned to our own house (I was in Std 12 then; yea, go calculate my age 😛 I’m 26, silly! :D)  I spotted a sunbleached, moss-covered, barely-recognisable rubber squeaky toy horse on our sunshade. I still remember how overjoyed I was! I picked it up, cleaned it (it was even mis-shapen after 10 years of heat and rain and cold and dirt and dust and loneliness) and took it to mom to ask her if she recognised it. She did, and she thought I was crazy 😛 But I can’t tell you how much of my childhood came rushing back — not just about the times I played with it, but about the time spent living in that house, and a million other joyful memories!

Game of Life

Game of Life

Then there were the two Barbie dolls, which I cared for like they were my kids; then came the G.I. Joes (yea, I was a tomboy for a few years 😀 :D), the cars, the guns; the the soft toys, the teddy bears, the tweety, the monkey. The bunny, the rabbit, the piggy, the somersaulting pup!

There were board games aplenty: Memory (a visual recall game that’s excellent for stimulating memory power, observation and identification); Scrabbles (of course, the famous vocabulary andword power builder); Monopoly (the one that brings out the businessman/woman in you); Life (about life itself, insurances, loans, family, health and what not).

Building Blocks

Building Blocks

Needless to say, each game/toy had a lot of special memories attached to it; a lot of learning; a lot of wisdom; a lot of joy, fun and happiness. I still love toys — I’m not ashamed to say this out in public. Give me a little car, I’ll play with it 😀 Give me a penguin race, I’ll be as fascinated as I then was! Give me a box of memory cards, you wont hear from me for a looong while. Give me a soft bunny toy, I’d love to play puppetry with it (yes, I even use different voices for different dialogues! 😀 ) Yes, so I LOVE toys, and I love to see kids playing with them.

And now, when I look back on all the toys that we had,  my bother and I, I  realise that we had very few — i repeat: VERY FEW — toys that were meant for individual play. Most of our toys required two people to play…and if it didn’t, I think we took it up on ourselves to make it work that way, because that’s how we were conditioned with most of our other toys! I don’t know if it was intentional on our parents’ part to give us toys that made us share time, space and joy. I must ask. But whatever that was, we learnt the art of sharing, of building memories together, of learning to call it “ours” than “mine” or “yours”, of happily extending it to other kids, of openheartedly sharing our time, space and toys for the happiness of our cousins and friends…

And today, when I see toys or go to a toystore, I do not long for toys I never had as a kid — but I always long for my childhood to come back: those evenings where we would wait for Amma to return from work while the penguins went up and down the slides and steps… 🙂

Childhood is a time to remember…a phase of life when one is carefree, filled with innocence and finds joy in everything — the joy of learning, the joy of spending time with friends, the joy of playing with toys and the joy of having fun! I think toys are an integral part of childhood. They play a major role in moulding a child’s temperament, behaviour, personality and ideals. They instill the concepts of sharing, team playing, being responsible and so on.

Childhood definitely is a time to remember, and look back to longingly. And it is sad and heartbreaking that a huge number of children the world over have nothing but misery, loneliness and almost-nothing to look back to, remember, or long for!

So, when one fine day at work, I got this in a mail, I was sure I wanted to:


Donate a toy: make a difference.

We formed a group within office, collected toys from wherever we could, segregated it by age and gift wrapped it. We now plan to take them around to a few NGOs with the help of Toybank officials, so we can see for ourselves the joy on the kids’ faces when they open up their gift wraps 🙂 I’m already excited!

We held a 2-week drive at office, and here’s an overview of what we collected: over 200 toys ranging from soft toys and figure toys to board games, building blocks, card games, balls, colouring books, and coloring sets…

I must say, we all had a gala time, sorting toys, ooh-ing and aah-ing over some real superb ones, thanking the many people who cared to give these away, even kidding about planning to take a few home 😉 We didn’t, of course: but I say that because some of the toys were REALLY AWESOME, and I sincerely am grateful to the parents who decided to give them away, and to others who decided to BUY NEW ONES since they didn’t have any at home! And all the while, we kept saying how much fun the kids who’d receive them would have, when we ourselves were enjoying so much.

Here are a few pics of what we collected and wrapped 🙂

Naimika pushing the complete load of wraped toys to the storeroom :D

Naimika pushing the complete load of wrapped toys to the storeroom (long story, sigh!) 😀

Some of them, as we were gift wrapping them all

As we were gift wrapping them all

The toys we segregated before wrapping them up

The toys we segregated before wrapping them up

I urge all of you to take this up as an initiative in your respective organizations and bring a load of joy to some kids whom you’ve never even seen before! Toybank has a presence in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, UK and Bhutan. Even if you’re in a city where Toybank does NOT have its presence,I’m sure you can identify a few NGOs that would LOVE to take in these toys for the kids who they give a home to!

It’s an experience you’ll cherish for life. I can guarantee that! 🙂


Toybank stresses on the need for non-formal education through play for every child. The basic philosophy of this organization is centered on providing toys to children who have no access to them. Toybank will identify NGOs, municipal schools and hospitals for the distribution of the toys. Toybank has a presence in Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, UK and Bhutan.

Toybank’s mission includes:
>> Ensuring that children from under privileged backgrounds receive toys through collection and distributions.   >> Bridging the gap between children from different backgrounds by creative play/group events/community events.   >> Making play space available for children through toy libraries using available infrastructure; to reclaim open public spaces for children.   >>Designing and provide toys that are context specific, and to have toys made in local languages as well.

Toybank accepts new and old/used toys as long as they are still in presentable/working conditions. They accept all kinds of toys, except for those that promote racial or violence streaks (like barbie dolls, guns, artillery, etc.). They also accept stationary: crayons, colour pencils and paints, solouring books, story books, notepads/books, pens and pencils, etc.


This post is part of BlogAdda’s Bloggers Social Responsibility (BSR) initiative. I am exercising my BSR by supporting Toybank.

You can too, with three very simple steps. Visit and support the NGO’s cause.

You can also take a step further, contribute as much as you can, and spread awareness about this wonderful initiative 🙂

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