Mogly’s Camp – Stars, Bonfire, Good Food, Laughter, and Conversations!

Twinkle twinkle little star.

How I wonder where you are?

Up above the sky so high,

Like a diamond in the sky.

When was the last time you could look at the night sky and see the stars twinkling?

Spending a night at Mogly’s farm was exciting and adventurous on so many levels. I got to see the stars shine down, and as I sat around the bonfire watching the children laugh and play, I smiled to myself.


The mailer I received said come pitch your own tents, go on a scavenger hunt, dance around the bonfire. That was just the tip of the iceberg.

We did and learned so much more in less than 24 hours that we spent at the farm.


For me, personally taking my older one for this camp was important to explain to him two things: 1) that I could be an outdoor person too, 2) going out does not necessarily mean staying in a hotel. Did I achieve these? Yes!

The excitement started with us having to choose a spot to pitch our tents. Once we chose the spot, we got down to fixing it all up and setting it up. We lay the mattresses, rolled out our sleeping bags and we were set.

Each kid at the farm was thrilled to see their tent all set up. All they would have liked to do was get in and snuggle in.

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The first activity was a scavenger hunt, kids were divided into groups of two and off they went in search of things like something sticky, something yellow, something colorful, and something edible.

Each team felt like they were embarking on a journey, one child took charge of reading out what was on the list and the other firmly held a bag in hand to collect the things.

They ran into the enchanted forest and climbed up the tree house. They walked by the pool and came sliding down the slope.


Each child guarding what their team had gathered, making sure they were the ones to collect them all first.

Take away from this: instilling in them the ability to think on their feet. Something edible the list said; while one team plucked some tangerines, another group got a karripatta leaf. Something yellow saw one group getting marigold and another a leaf, which had turned yellow.

As they were busy hunting, the choolah’s were getting ready for the kids to experience cooking the traditional way. It was a first for me as well, sitting before an open fire trying to make maggi.

The highlight of this activity will perhaps remain ‘maggi’. However, what they learned will also always stay with them.

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Take away from this: The little ones learned how cow dung and wood are used to start a fire. With different kids using different saucepans they also found some maggi getting done faster and others taking longer. The happiness of having cooked their own meal was visible on each of their faces.

No camp is complete without a bonfire, some dancing and singing, and ofcourse sitting around telling each other horror stories.

We did all of that. We also sat in quiet and heard the birds and ducks. It was such a beautiful night!

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With so much excitement for the day, the kids were out like a log.

The next morning began at 6:30 am and off we all went to meet Mahima the gayiya. The kids got to see the milking of the cow and even identified all the vegetables growing there. We found beetroot, cabbage, broccoli, garlic, potato, and cauliflower. Each child also got to take home a cauliflower.

The chance to bask in the sun was so inviting and that’s exactly what I did. I watched as the kids jumped up and down on the trampoline and sat there feeling so satisfied.

Will I recommend it to other parents: Oh, YES!


Things to note:

  1. Carry a mosquito repellent with you.
  2. I would recommend sleeping in something full sleeves to avoid getting bitten, it didn’t happen but just as a precaution.
  3. Carry a torchlight and ensure you walk around looking for insects and butterflies.
  4. A notepad and a pen, the setting might just inspire the creativity in you.
  5. A fully charged camera/mobile to capture the moments.

How a printer made me feel empowered!

I cannot even begin to describe the happiness I felt when my HP deskjet all-in-one printer arrived last evening. I was waiting all evening for the delivery guy to come by. My older son was wondering why I was so anxious. “What are you waiting for, amma? he asked me. “Printer,” I said. “You are waiting for a printer?” he asked not understanding it one bit.

I don’t think I can explain it either, why I was waiting so anxiously for the delivery.

At about 6.30 pm the package arrived and in less than 20 minutes I had set it all up. I usually stay away from most electronic gadgets and wait for the husband to work on setting it all up. But this time it was all up to me.

Believe me when I say this – the satisfaction of setting it all up was so immense. I felt like I’d scaled some mountain.

I quickly tested the printer by printing a page and knew I’m all set.

Why is this so important you must wonder. The sense of power this instilled in me was tremendous.

I stopped working from an office set up almost five years ago. I have since then been working on different projects, but none that required me to step out of my home. I was getting so sedentary and comfortable with my environment.

Printing anything meant I would email it to the husband who would get it from his work place. This was a great system until I realised how silly it was. I must admit that while I wanted to buy the printer on my own without any help, I did ‘consult’ with the husband before placing the order.

For me getting this printer is so much more than it just being a gadget. It made me feel alive and in control.

I’ve spent a good portion of my writing time morning just printing things. The whirring sound that the printer is making is truly music to my ears.

Here’s to all of us finding that one thing that makes us feel alive.

C for Courage 

How often after making a mistake do you own up and say sorry? I speak for myself when I say this –  saying sorry or owning up to a mistake isn’t easy. It’s the right thing to do but is never easy. 

A few days ago, I was having a conversation with my husband and we were debating about how the word extempore is pronounced. I was most certain that I was saying it right. After much deliberation we decided to ask google to be the referee. 

As luck would have it, I was wrong and the husband was right. All this while our older son was sitting close by and watching our heated exchange. 

He looked at me and said, “Amma, you were wrong.” “Hmmm, yes,” I said without really acknowledging it. 

He went on, “you should say sorry to Appa.” 

Such an important lesson, taught to me  in such a subtle way. Let’s have the courage to say sorry where it is due. It doesn’t make us any smaller. 

Thank you darling child for yet again teaching me something. 


B for Blessing

 Motherhood is so many things put together. It’s pleasure and pain in equal parts. No one tells you about the pain but having a support system around you makes it a tad bit easier. 

My mother stood by me during both my deliveries and helped both me and the boys gain strength. The first time around she just took over and the first three months went by only because she was there. 

Whether it was staying up at night calming a howling colicky baby, or just entertaining him when he didn’t want to sleep – she was always there. 

The second time around she had fractured her foot and yet she was by my side from the hospital to home where she took charge and ensured everything was in order. 

There is no way I could have done this without her. She is indeed a blessing not just for me but also for my kids. I hope I am able to instil half of what she has in my brother and me. 

At my older ones birthday party two days ago, one of his friends asked, “do you have two mothers?” While technically the answer to that is a no, in reality the answer is very much a YES. My mother is as much a mother to my sons as I am.


A for Appreciation 

A week of viral fever had left me completely drained of all energy and enthusiasm. With the husband travelling I had to ensure that both the kids were looked after, fed, chaperoned to school and back, and went about their regular activities. Basically life went on at its usual pace and it didn’t really matter that I was unwell. 

Once the husband returned he suggested we all step out and have a good meal, while I wasn’t up to a meal out yet I was looking forward to just getting out. “Let’s go have coffee instead,” I suggested. 

Just as I was getting ready I heard a loud noise outside and my heart sank knowing fully well that something was broken and it would need fixing. I stormed out of my room asking the boys what they’d broken. 

Thankfully it was just a plastic water bottle that fell from the table. After cleaning up the split water, I strapped the younger one into the the high chair and went into the room to get ready. 

Five minutes later as I stepped out my older one says, “Amma, you are looking so nice in this dress. You look like a princess. No no a queen.” 

As parents we all work so hard to do the right thing for our kids and when the kids say things like this, it makes you so proud. 

This act of appreciation will go a long way and I will always remember it fondly. 


Let’s learn to love, without conditions

‘Boys don’t cry.’ 

‘Don’t be a sissy.’ 

‘Come on toughen up, you are a man.’ 

Haven’t we all heard statements like this often enough. My child is a creature of habit and likes to do things a certain way. Every day he gives me a kiss and a hug before he gets into school. Unfortunately he wasn’t able to do that yesterday and what followed were huge tears and heartbreak.

Knowing fully well that this could dampen his day at school I sent out a quick mail to his teachers giving them a heads up of what had transpired outside. 

In the afternoon when I went to pick him up, one of his teachers in a slightly miffed tone told me that I should toughen my boy a little. I cringed but refrained from saying anything.

As I turned to walk out, his class teacher from last year and his present class teacher walked up to me and said, ‘oh, we were looking for you. We have to share something with you.’ My heart sank, I wondered what I would be told. 

His teacher smiled and started speaking, ‘this little fellow ( ruffles R’s hair) comes up to me today in the corridor and complements me on the saree I am wearing. He then walks back to his class and suddenly turns around comes running and asks me if I can do him a favour. I asked him to go ahead and ask me and here’s what he said.’ 

By now I had eased my heart and was listening to every word she was saying. ‘He asked me to get the exact same saree for you and was very particular that he would only want this same colour,’ she said. 

At this point his current class teacher pitched in to say that he’s such a caring and sensitive child. Children like this are very rare today. 

And just like that I was smiling again. 

It is so important to let these children be. Let’s not try and mould and change their inherent traits. We will be doing them the greatest disservice if we change them or steer them in a direction they aren’t meant to take. 

Let’s let them be 🙂 

Birthdays today! 

Birthdays – until I had children I never thought it would be such a huge thing. Birthdays always meant celebration at home; sandwiches, mini pizzas, samosa ( as we grew older), wafers, and juice. 

Games at these parties were what my mother would come up with. 1 minute challenges, passing the parcel, paper dance, and some random dancing. 

Photographs would be clicked by my father and the roll would be given for developing once it got over. Some pictures would be great, some obscure, and some just laughable. But so much fun. 

Return gifts – would almost always be stationary. Pencil boxes, fancy erasers, sharpeners, pencils, colours. 

Today it’s a different world out there. There’s insane amount of planning that is needed to pull of a good birthday. Hats off to all parents who painstakingly put these parties together. From the decor to the food to the cake to the outfit that the child and parents wear needs planning. Birthdays were so much simpler when I was growing up. 

A friend asked me if I would be there at a birthday party and I asked which one. Then I realised I wasn’t invited to it so said no to my friend. Note how I say ‘I’ wasn’t invited, birthdays now are more for the adults to socialise than the children really. 

Since a bunch of others were invited to the party and I was perhaps one of the few mothers who wasn’t, I felt bad. 

I didn’t realise that I had carried this sadness home. After dinner I was sitting alone and trying to read when my son came up to me and asked what’s wrong. 

Me – nothing at all

Son – you are looking sad Amma 

Me- smiling, just thinking about something

Son- prodding, but what?

Me- some birthday party that we are not invited to

Son- whose? 

Me- I tell him the name 

Son- who is that?

Me- that’s when it struck me. While I may be feeling sad about not being invited to a party where everyone else has been, my child was right – he didn’t know the child at all. What sense would it make to be invited? 

Lesson learnt – don’t try and be everywhere with everyone. It’s not possible and you won’t do justice to either them or yourself. Choose well and stay happy!