Contest alert: Write a winter story and get published

Bazinga Box story contestSo it’s going to be holiday time soon for the kids and what better way to start it than with writing your own story?

Bazinga Box invites all those who love children’s stories to participate in their story writing competition and who knows? You will get your story illustrated and published!

Winter is almost here, and they’d love it if you shared some winter stories with them.Think snow, hot chocolate, snowmen, hoodies…the works!

If you can’t think of a new winter story, don’t be disheartened. Instead, why don’t you re-write the classic story of The Ant and The Grasshopper? Give it a twist, add your own to it, and turn it into something fun!

If they like your story, they will get it illustrated by their in-house illustrators, and it will be published with your child’s name and photograph (okay, the child in you is also welcome to participate, but make sure you write your age honestly). Else it’s for kids/ adults of all ages, and if you are collaborating with a child, even better.

And yes, there are goodies to be won as well. Your time starts now.

Chop chop!

HOW TO PARTICIPATE ?

Well, first, email your story to ideas@bazingabox.com and then let me know that you have sent your story in the comment section below – so we don’t miss your entry!

* Entry closes: November 14th at 11pm
* Word limit: 400-600 words
* Preferred: short sentences and easy to read stories, as these will be shared widely
* Be innovative: e.g. a Rhyming Story, a story poem, nonsense stories, just go for it
* Contest is open to all (like I said, as long as there is a child in you)

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About an aunt… and a nephew

GUEST POST BY FAIRY DHARAWAT

Being an aunt makes you feel old.

When you were the youngest  in the family for almost 25 years, and now behold, there’s someone younger, yes it does! You also feel vulnerable as you get a front row seat to a show that could be you in the future.

But it’s not you, and you keep reminding yourself that over and over again.

For a few days when the sister comes over, there is a wave of toys spread around the house. Strangely the room smells too. The house doesn’t seem like it belongs to us. But there he comes, my nephew, reminding us that the amazing elder sister has become a mother. It’s still hard to believe that. Also equally hard is when the sister says I have mellowed down. Is it because of this little tyrant who keeps plucking flowers and leaves to our mild annoyance? Maybe. But the family lights up when the nephew is over and the in laws whine about having to part with their grandson.

But with our family, there is calmness, patience and tolerance. Or the lack of sleep zaps all our energy to muster courage for just about anything.

My nephew is one and a half year old, and his mum says he likes me. He grins when I come over. I don’t think he will remember anything as he’s really young. But it feels good. I never thought I would be good around children. But then the last conversation that I enjoyed was with a five year old where we talked for 25 minutes on why we both preferred reds and purples. I hope to do something like that with my nephew too.

There’s a lack of literature and movies exploring the relationship between aunts and nephews. There are movies about uncles and nephews but not much is written or shown about aunts and nephews. Indian movies tend to show aunt’s regressive attitude towards nephew’s unconventional choices and they generally take solace in the mother. However, if you rummage through the classics, Miss Marple, a character from an Agatha Christie novel, demonstrates a delightful camaraderie with her nephew, Raymond. She’s understanding, wise, fun, and surrounded by welcoming and caring people. Also, she solves a murder here and there. I’ll say I want to be like that. Though finding murders might not be difficult, my crime solving abilities are questionable.

While the blog world is cluttered with dedicated websites on how to be an awesome aunt, I don’t know if I want to be his friend which it all boils down to. He will get friends when he grows up. I want to be special and the one and only. Now being eccentric sounds not all that uninteresting. I am not sure what will be there in the future as my choices and perspectives are changing and unsure to see where it all will lead to.

But an aunt with a guitar who writes stories, tells those stories, writes poetry, reads them on open mics, enjoys  Asterix and Obelix, and who wants to bungee jump and survive to tell the tale, you kind of feel from inside, that it will turn out to be wonderful.

 About the author

Mumbai-based Fairy Dharawat is a wide eyed dame who wants to be everything all at once. While writing grants her monthly pay cheque, this cat loving lass is a curious creature who goes out of her way to remind everyone that, Fairy is indeed her real name (she’s got an ID to prove that).

About a moon

Re has a special thing for the moon. Every night without fail, he looks out for it and when it is not visible, he asks, “Has the moon come?”

Some days we can see it from our living room window, some days we actually walk back with it. Some days we sight it from the park, or on our way back from the beach, or driving back, from the car.

Last week, Re and I were driving back from the library and Re claimed the moon was ‘follering us’. And indeed Mr Moon tailed behind for quite a while and then, the car took a right turn northwards and suddenly, he vanished out of sight.

“Oh no! The moon has taken the wrong way,” he exclaimed.

Oh, really?

“Yes. I think he got lost!” Re seemed very concerned.

“Don’t worry. He’ll find his way back. He should just ask somebody for directions,” I replied.

“Yes, moon must ask for dilekshuns!”

Which I am sure he did. Because by the time we reached home, there he was, again.

The other day, it was new moon day and Re as usual was looking for his favourite evening buddy. I pointed out the crescent and said, “Look! There he is!”

“No, that’s not the moon. That’s the moon’s cuzzin.”

And that’s how the gibbous moon came to known as the moon’s brother and the half-moon as the moon’s sister. There are no-show days of course. When I tell him that the moon has gone for his cuzzin’s birthday party. Or to his naani’s house. Or that it’s a holiday and he is still sleeping, so will come late tonight.

Some day, I will have to tell him that they are all just one person. Right now, I don’t have the heart, so I am letting Re enjoy the visual of a large moon family, complete with dada, mamma, cuzzin, brother, sister and whatnot.

To Re of course, the moon is whole, luscious and in all its glory. We still haven’t got talking about waxing and waning, although a friend, Meera sent me this delicious story about it.  I am planning to read it to Re soon. You can read it here:

Someday we are going to ask the moon over for a playdate. And his cuzzin. Yes, we are.

You are invited too.

My first short story: The Lion who loved strawberry oatmeal

(So I wrote this for a friend’s child and boy, I have never been so nervous!)

Onceupatime, there was a Sheep called Purple. He had purple wool, because when he was a little baby, one day he went to play Holi with some children in his building.  He saw these big mounds of color that the children had heaped up to play color-color with, and he got really excited. He really liked the purple mountain, so he decided to roll in it. He did, and when he came out, he was all purple. When he went home that day, his mama said, “Go have a bath quickly, otherwise you will be purple for the rest of your life.” He said, “But I like being purple. Can I stay like this only?”

“Okay, if that’s you want. But people can be annoying, and they will keep asking you why you are purple. So you better watch out.”

And that is exactly what happened. Every time, Purple went out to play, or to eat grass and shrubs (which he did very often), all the goats, pigs, cows, horses, ducks and geese on the farm always asked him, “But why are you purple?” “Your mama and dada are both white. Isn’t that odd?”

One day, Purple got fed up of this constant questioning, so he decided to wander off to the jungle to make some new friends. By the time he reached the jungle, it was night time, and he was tired and hungry, so he found a nice warm cave and went and slept in it. In the morning he woke up, stretched himself nicely, and as was his habit, called out to his mom,

“Mommeeeee, I want to eat something. Can we have strawberry oatmeal?”

He didn’t see or hear his mommeee. Instead he heard a rather gruff voice.

“Grrrr… who is this mommeee who makes strawberry oatmeal?” the voice said. It was a LION!  A HUGE LION, WHOSE HAIR COVERED ALL OF HIS FACE AND EARS AND FOREHEAD AND ALMOST HIS EYES!

Purple was very scared, but he remembered what his mommee said. “Don’t be afraid of anyone, even if they are much bigger or louder than you. Be calm, and you will always be ok.”

“Oh, that’s my mommee in the farm, she makes the most yummy strawberry oatmeal. Slurp slurp…!”

“Really,?” said the Lion. “Can I also have some?”

“Yes, sure, I can take you home, my mommeee will make some for you.” Purple really liked Lion. What’s your name? I will have to tell her who’s coming.

“I am Punk,” said the Lion.

Purple really liked Punk. He was the only friend who didn’t ask him why he was purple. He was also big and strong and he could learn how to roar from him.

So Purple and Punk went to the farm, and Purple noticed how long Punk’s steps were, even though he was much bigger. “I must do some yoga, like my mommeee said, he thought. It will make my legs stronger.”

As they approached the farm, Purple saw that all his farm friends were nowhere in sight and he wondered why. He then called out to his mommee. “Mommmmeeeeee, where are you? Look I brought a friend for breakfast. He loves strawberry oatmeal too.”

His mommeee slowly came out from hiding, and walked up to him slowly, cautiously.

“Where have you been, Purple? We have been so worried.”

“Oh, just went for a walk mommeee, sorry I forgot to tell you. This is my friend, Punk, the Lion. Don’t you love his hair?”

His mommeee then took Purple aside and whispered to him, “Do you know who he is? He is a lion, and he eats animals like us. Why have you brought him here? See how you have scared the other farm animals away?”

Purple thought deeply. “But mamma, he is a good boy. He let me sleep in his cave, and we’ve been having such a good time. I am sure he will not harm us. Let me talk to him.”

So Purple went and had a little chat with Punk. “You see, my mommeee and friends are scared of you. They think you may eat them. So you will have to promise me you won’t do that. Else mommeee won’t make you any strawberry oatmeal.”

Punk laughed really loudly. It sounded scary and funny at the same time.

“Oh that…. I should have told you, I have turned fruitarian. Doctor’s advice. I have too much bad cholesterol,” he said.

Purple couldn’t believe his ears. “Really? That’s great!”

“And guess what, I really like fruits. I mean there are over 500 fruits in the jungle. So much variety! I was actually bored of eating the same old meat,” said Punk.

“Yay! High five,” said Purple.

Soon they both said down and shared a huge bowl of strawberry oatmeal. Punk said he had never had something so delicious. Purple was so happy.

 (Do you have a story to share? Mail me at mommygolightly@gmail.com and I will put it up here with due credit. I also promise to read it to Re!) 

Conversations about Chhota Bheem, shoe-towels, Shrek and other people in my universe

“Mamma, I want to watch chhotabim!”
“But you haven’t had your lunch. Even chhotabim must be eating lunch at lunch time.”
“But chhotabim have soooomany laddoo no?”

*Thinking, WTF, okay, I will try another strategy*

Do you know that there is no teevee in Paloma’s house?
But there is teevee in my house no? Come, let’s watch chotabim!

***

Re comes home from school, takes off his ‘rainy’ shoes and runs to the bathroom to rinse them. He then turns to me and says, “Mamma, where is my shoe towel?”
“Your WHAT?” *wondering what the fuck is a shoe towel*
“Shoe towel, mamma. I need to wipe my shoes.”
I hand him a rag and say, “Here, use this!”
He shakes his head in annoyance, and then runs to pull out a dainty pink face towel from the drawer and says, “Onwy like this it can be.”
Said towel has now been to places it has never been before.

***

“Mamma, you are making me upset. Then I am going to run away!”
“Where?”
“There.”
“Where there?”
“There there.”
“But where are you goving?”
“I am goving to my angry room.”

Nice. Now I want an angry island.

***

Mamma, you be quiet. You don’t scream, okay?
I am not screaming. I am being assertive.
Then don’t be othertive.

***

Re and I watching Shrek 2. The scene where Fiona cups Shrek’s face in her hands and gives him that lovey dovey look. Re is overwhelmed (the sentimental fool!)

“Oh, so sweet, that didi is so happy with her dadda!”
“That’s not her dadda, that’s her husband,” I say.
“What’s a hubband?”
AHHH… what an opening, I think. My mind is brimming with all the evil things I can say to answer this question. Instead, I say:
“It’s what a mamma calls a dadda.”