Friday, May 30, 2014

Friday Fun-Time!! A super easy Chota Bheem Birthday Party with lots of FREE printables!!

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

I know, I know....  I am a couple of months late in putting this post up but I was out in the midst of wilderness with lots and lots of activity and had absolutely no time!
My little bear turned 5 on 9th March and we had celebrated it with a Chota Bheem Theme on popular demand...
I had already done an Angry Bird theme (click here) for my elder son in the month of February, (just a month back) and was planning on doing a scaled down version this time, but my little one wouldn't have it...
And why would he? He wanted whole nine yards... 
All that had been done for his elder brother....
the cupcakes and the themed cake and face painting- ALL of it and on a grander scale if you please!!
So I took a deep breath and dived right in...
Now for the Angry bird theme... the internet is buzzing with ideas...
but for the Chota Bheem theme- there is not much happening, other than return gifts and theme caps etc...
and where I live, even that is not available!
so I had to think out of the box and turn to my trusted printer for practically everything!
But dont worry-I have got everything laid out for you to throw a fantastic Chota Bheem Party of your own.

Oh and in case anyone is interested in getting thier kids to draw Chota Bheem...
here is a link to a drawing tutorial that I had done earlier of Chota Bheem (click here)
and if your little girl likes to draw Chutki... here is the tutorial of Chutki as well  (click here)



1- We started with a home made square chocolate cake that was decorated with fresh cream icing and Gems (or M&Ms) that the kids love...
and of course the grinning Chota Bheem face drawn very crudely by yours truly....
Even though the cake lacked the finesse of a market bought cake- the kids loved it... and I was happy because everything was fresh and homemade!


The invitation card of the Chota Bheem and the gang inviting you for the PAARTYY!!
(the free printables are there at the end of the post)




And of course the all time party favorites... colorful cupcakes  for the children to drool over!


As usual with the lack of any good party paraphernalia available in our neck of woods...
I had to resort to taking printouts of Chota Bheem and sticking them to Dora the Explorer Party Favor bags...
which was the only party favor bag available here and how could a boys' party have a "Dora the Explorer" in thier midst??



 So stick or rather staple on the Chota Bheem faces onto the shiny party hats and voila...
You have Chota Bheem Party hats as well!!



which the little ones absolutely adored!
its another thing that the flimsy hats didn't stay on for too long!



And now for using my grey cells to come up with Chota Bheem Games...
I just went with very simple games because the kids invited for this party were all younger kids...nearly all below 6-7 years.
So a Blindfolding game where you have to put a laddoo, (circles cut out of yellow chartpaper) onto Chota Bheem's outstretched hands...
the one closest to the right place wins!



Next game was a Treasure Hunt.
I had painted golf balls with yellow poster color to make them look like the yellow laddoos that seems the staple diet of Chota Bheem and then hid about 15 balls all over the garden...
The kids had a blast hunting for the laddoos and the winner of course was the little one who found the most laddoos!

another game was of the tried and tested musical chairs which of course led to a lot of crying and tantrums because none of the little ones wanted to be told that you are out of the game...

So to pacify the howling and to bring back the smiles, I quickly got out my magical face paint and went on a tattoo painting and a face painting spree!
The smiles and the giggles were back, so were a few butterflies and little tigers and the painted Bheem tattoos!



 yummy eats and great music with fantastically simple games and decor...
Now who wants to throw a Chota Bheem party of your own?
I am here to help you along...

for the invites... just print this image twice on an A4 size paper...
fill in the details- stick it in an envelope and you are good to go!




Then these are some more printables that you can use to stick on goody bags, or on top of party hats or wherever else you think you might use them.
Maybe on banners or posters?

I used these printed on A4 paper and cut in the centre and pasted on goody bags!




These were printed on A4 again and then cut out individually and pasted on party hats!


And then these are cupcake toppers...



just right-click+save, print on A4 card stock paper or else if on normal print paper, then glue them on some heavy chart paper and then cut them out.
Tape a toothpick at the back and then stick it onto a cupcake!



 and now as an extra bonus:
how about some Chota Bheem Masks that you can print on A4 paper and punch holes at the sides, add some elastic to hold the masks in place...
Believe me, the kids will love it!






So now Who is going to throw a Chota Bheem Party for thier li'l one??
And I hope you remember to send me an invite as well!!  :-D






Thursday, May 22, 2014

And so the 2014 Election Fever Ends..... till we meet again! :)

And so we lost…
The massive Modi wave has, as expected, swallowed up my brother's election.
Even though it was a by-election and had nothing to do with the tussle going on for the Centre…
But as in war there is always collateral damage and my brother's election was caught up in the middle… just plain wrong timing!
A non-local person, who had done absolutely no campaigning, whose face people saw for the first time in the newspaper when he won…wins just becoz he flaunts a lotus!
Mind you, its a Modi wave, NOT a BJP wave…which is worse I cant say- a dictatorial leader who will have NO one to reign him in or a Party that has been built by fanning the communal feelings in our country and has poisonous people like BJP candidate Giriraj Singh and Togadia who want to ship us all off to Pakistan (click here) or take away our right to build a house anywhere we want (click here)!

Oh well… I agree that the people of India were desperate for a change and that they are hopeful that for once, there might be a Government that takes a stand on most issues relating to our floundering economy and security and foreign policies etc. etc.
Promises… promises….
Like a lot of people that I met during the door to door campaigning who insisted on explaining to me why Modi is going to be good for our country and should be given a chance …"what harm will he do, tell me?"
And so India has given him a chance… and that question above is something that now time will tell..
A lot has been written over and over again about the whys and the why-nots on all Social media platforms that I don't want to go into it…
just share with you some snippets of an extremely well-written article by a respected citizen of our country- Mr Gopalkrishna Gandhi (a former administrator and diplomat. He was Governor of West Bengal, 2004-2009, and officiating Governor of Bihar, 2005-2006.)
(to read the full article click here)

"Let this historic win be followed by a historic innings, which stuns the world by surprises your supporters may not want of you, but many more would want to see you unfurl..."

"Despite all my huge misgivings about your deserving that rare privilege, I respect someone coming from so sharply disadvantaged a community and family as yours, becoming Prime Minister of India. That fulfils, very quintessentially, the vision of our egalitarian Constitution."

"Why is there, in so many, so much fear, that they dare not voice their fears?
It is because when you address rallies, they want to hear a democrat who carries the Peoplehood of India with him, not an Emperor who issues decrees. Reassure the minorities, Mr. Modi, do not patronise them. “Development” is no substitute to security. You spoke of “the Koran in one hand, a laptop in the other,” or words to that effect. That visual did not quite reassure them because of a counter visual that scares them — of a thug masquerading as a Hindu holding a Hindu epic’s DVD in one hand and a minatory trishul in the other."

"It is in your hands, Mr. Modi, to dispel that. You have the authority and the power to do that, the right and the obligation as well. I would like to believe that, overcoming small-minded advice to the contrary, you will dispel that fear."

"Imperial and ideological exemplars appeal to you. So, be Maharana Pratap in your struggle as you conceive it, but be an Akbar in your repose. Be a Savarkar in your heart, if you must, but be an Ambedkar in your mind. Be an RSS-trained believer in Hindutva in your DNA, if you need to be, but be the Wazir-e-Azam of Hindostan that the 69 per cent who did not vote for you, would want you to be.
With every good wish as you take your place at the helm of our desh,"
All the Best Mr Modi.

And all the Best my dear brother... dont lose heart, because as the saying goes...
You learn more from failure than from success.
Dont let it stop you...
Failure builds character!
I leave you all with some photographs of the people who we met on the ground level of campaigning...
who moved us with thier warmth, and thier simple needs...
thier smiles and positivity in the face of poverty and neglect...
Like the saying goes in the Army...
Lest we forget
(when we get happy and content in our urban cocoon)









and just as I finish writing this I read about this recent Supreme Court acquittal of the Akshardham accused who had been languishing in jail for more than a decade... (read here)
are my fears really so unfounded?




Tuesday, May 13, 2014

On the Election Campaign Trail# 19: Our needs are few... but can you MEET them?



(To read about a bit about who and why of the Election Campaign please click here)


My father passed away in December of 2013...
We didnt even get a few weeks of coming to terms with the irreparable loss and greiving together as a family...
Before we knew it, we were thrust into the midst of the Election fever and we couldn't back off as it was a legacy left to us as a very old political family of many generations (click) 
We had to dive in now,or we were finished, and my father's many years of political life of ups and downs would come to naught...
So, after months of doing the rounds of all the villages and meeting and listening to people and thier grievances and aspirations... we came to a real simple conclusion...
You just have to take care of thier simple basic needs and they are yours for life...
Most villagers dont even have the basic things that we take for granted in our urban cacoon...
and its only when you meet the simple folks of the villages that you realise how far away from reality we are...

They have a few basic needs...


1- Where a few handpumps in each vilage goes a long way in taking care of thier day to day needs...
Not a pipeline worth crores...
Not a huge reservoir or canal or dam...
just a few handpumps...





2- And a concrete road running through the village that connects to the main road and that takes care of the water-logging problems during the monsoons that make the kachchi roads no better than muddy swamps...

(this road incidently had been sanctioned during my father's time and was being built while we canvassed the area...)

3-And just a few hours of electricity, so that they are able to charge thier phones...

hahaha....yes, thats what they said...
and yes, they do have phones!

Now how difficult is providing these basic things with the crores of money that the Government gives for just this purpose?
unless you want to line your pockets with it?

Sometimes all a person NEEDS is a hand to hold,
patience to listen, 
and a heart to understand...









If you desire to make a difference in the world...
YOU must be different from the world...



Friday, May 9, 2014

On the Election Campaign Trail#18: Tranquility in the midst of chaos...

Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers


To continue with my rural posts of India in the midst of Elections 2014... here's another one :)


(To read about a bit about who and why of the Election Campaign please click here)





tranquility: (trang-kwil-i-tee)
n. the quality or state of being free 
from distraction; free from disturbance;
quiet; calm; stillness; peacefulness.



Thursday, May 8, 2014

On the Election Campaign trail# And so we Voted!


(To read about a bit about who and why of the Election Campaign please click here)



So finally the 30th of April came and went... the day our constituency of Fatehpur went to vote...
The days leading upto it were hectic and nerve-racking and we had no desire to eat-drink or sleep...
the count down had begun and the hours were less...
there was still that village to cover or this mohalla that needed to be reminded of our "nishan" and our candidate...
Its said that while you might have a number of months to do your canvassing leading upto the elections- to cover ground and visit each house in each lane, but its always the last couple of weeks that make or break the election...
the tempo picks up, and the voter that you may have brainwashed or convinced earlier to join your ranks may just do an about turn and join the opposing party because of something you said or did or didn't do in the last few days...
So reiterating it over and over again till the head buzzes with the right naam and right nishan is what all the elections wallahs do in the last few days....
The last few hours of the last day are spent finding out if all our confirmed voters (read same caste or religion coz the Uttar Pradesh Elections are all caste and religion based, no matter how much you want to deny it) have had thier voter ID cards/ voting slips delivered to them...
In fact till the wee hours of the last night leading up to the voting, we were hunting down the BLOs (the people who deliver the voting slips) of the various mohallas and insisting that they give the slips to the people whose names are there on the voting list and NOT hide them in thier pockets (two of them actually had bundles of these slips in thier pockets and had to be forced to distribute them)
You might say that these voting slips dont matter if your name is there on the voting list and you have an ID card to your name... 
But what of the nameless, ID-less rickshaw puller or kabadi-wallah or vegetable seller whose voting slip is the only way to exercise his right to vote, who doesnt even have a ration card leave alone the famous "Adhar card"?
and whose vote is actually the vote that can make or break our election!!
and who is not being given the voting slip coz he belongs to a particular community or caste and so shouldn't be allowed to vote?
When you look at the Elections at a micro-level....you realise the immense struggle that the downtrodden, the common man faces, who has no ID, no ration card, no Adhar card, no proof that he even exists....
and he barely exists... day from struggling day....
and to be cheated of his right to vote, to chose his own leader? 
But then I am digressing...sorry!

And then the D-Day looms and we get up at the break of dawn...
stomach all clenched and everyone all fired up...
Our boys, our teams are posted at each street along with thier bikes and lots of tempos and rickshaws to ferry the old and the infirm as well as women who have too far to walk to get to the voting booths...
Me, my brother and my mom and a few other people in thier unmarked cars... the flying squad or so we liked to call ourselves...
rushing to every booth to see if things were going smoothly...
A couple of tempos overturn...we rush there and have them replaced!
A few frantic calls from our voters to say that they cant vote...
why?
because their names are on the deceased lists even though they are carrying thier voter ids as well as thier driving licence...
One voter even had her passport as an ID proof...
We rush there and speak to the officials, argue and plead because there are quite a few of them, but to no avail... 
they are sent home with the "assurance" that they will get a chance to vote in the next election when thier names have been added on...
what a farce!
And so the hot and blazing day flies by... as we fly by... from booth to booth- passing on refreshments and cool drinks to our hard working teams who are going home to home... persuading, pleading, and getting everyone to caste thier votes!
And before I know it... 
its over.
Its 6 o'clock and I get home to crash on the bed...
....jumping up with the sudden realisation that I didn't manage to take even a single photograph of this momentuos day!!!
without thinking I haul the camera and rush out only to come back, disappointed...
the crowds have dispersed...
the voting booths closed...
and everyone heading home.
But even then, just to appease my disappointed soul-
I take a few shots of the nearby smiling happy faces with the proud raised finger...




Oh and for everyone who is following these posts of "On the Election Campaign Trail" 
the final counting is on the 16th of May...
So till then I will continue to post the images and the sights that have moved me this one and a half month of eye-opening campaigning!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...