Unposted Letters : to the one who stole my childhood

Often it happens, what is want to say to someone – remains unsaid. That silence and mum for years builds up in our hearts and minds. Here is a series of “Unposted Letters” which will feature emotions – feelings – thoughts of people who have something to say.
I met you when I was only a child, and was drawn to you.
You were well known and greatly respected in your chosen field. I was delighted to be “liked” by you, and enjoyed the extra support and encouragement you gave me.
You were my coach, my mentor.
In time you became more important to me than my parents, family or friends.
I was happy to be around you, to babysit for you, to have extra training with you.
You were using me. Creating a friendship built on a lie. After one year you made your move. Within weeks you had enveloped me in a giant net, from which I could not escape.
I was too young to understand. I did not have the courage to ask for help.
My friends deserted me.
My reaction to my distress, shame and hurt at what was happening, caused me to become withdrawn at home. My mom and dad could not reach me. Even surrounded by brothers and sisters and loving parents, I was alone.
You had succeeded in your mission.
As I grew up you tightened the noose. You stalked me. Trying to control every moment of my day from a distance.
However you made one miscalculation. I was not as weak as you thought. A combination of my mothers steely nature and my fathers quiet strength, allowed me to break free.
And then I came looking for you.
I discovered many more who were also looking.
You ran, escaping to a faraway country. The news broke. My family struggled. Unwelcome notoriety came knocking on our door. Others took up the call and went looking for you.
A legal loophole stopped us. You can stay where you are.
Some may say we never got justice.
I say that I am well and happy. You took my childhood but that is only a few short years, I have reclaimed my life.
I am glad I will never again see you.
I will never forget what you took from me, nor will I ever forgive you.
But you no longer control my life.
You cannot say that about your own life. You have to be ever watchful. Because wherever you go we find you.
As I hug my husband and hold my children close, I smile and think of you.
Abandoned by your family, pursued by press and authorities with ever increasing financial difficulties.
You are living the life you deserve.
I am writing this letter to let you know,
I too am living the life I deserve!
Guest post by Tric
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Month of March : “In Print”

Month of March

Week 1

Cover Page :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Cover Story :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Week 2

Cover Page :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Cover Story :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Week 3

Cover Page :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Cover Story :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Week 4

Cover Page :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Cover Story :

Sakshi Vashist, Gulf Times

Overwhelming joy of seeing my name IN PRINT.

Thank you MONTH OF MARCH.

How smart is our cell phone habit? : my article in GULF TIMES

When decades ago, Nokia was introduced with its catchy tag line “connecting people”, who knew mobile phones would eventually become more than just a necessity? For years after the first mobile phone was introduced, it remained a luxury item, out of reach to most middle-class users. With the advancement in technology, the number of players in the market increased and mobile phones became more affordable, and therefore ubiquitous.

The first phones had just the bare minimum function of dialing or receiving a call. Later, there was a phenomenal growth of SMS or Short Message Service. With these two functions, the requirement of a “mobile telephone” was met. And today, ‘smartphones’ feature many different useful functions like alarm, calendar, portable camera, Internet connectivity, media players, video recorders, and even GPS units.

Lately, the mobile phone industry took a step forward to introduce smartphones. And like every new product in the market, it remained exclusive for the richer class of customer. In the last few years, however, even this trend has completely changed.

More than two dozen companies have now introduced affordable smartphones in the market. So how has this trend affected the recent generation of users?

Read more here :

http://www.gulf-times.com/technology/233/details/347049/how-smart-is-our-cell-phone-habit?

Please “like” , “share” and give your feedback on the article on the link above.. I would appreciate it 🙂

smartphones

Also an extensive list I prepared for this article :

Applications to check out

General (an app for everyone)

Wikiweb — a Wikipedia app that serves up the usual content crowd-sourced from willing bodies around the world and also visualises the connections between articles.

* * *

For young kids (age 5-10)

Eye Paint Animals — discovery tools aimed at energising kids to play, create, invent, explore and learn in enjoyable ways without the limitations of set parameters.

Native Numbers — provides a deeper understanding of number concepts and imperative math vocabulary; builds a strong foundation.

Red in Bed — teaches kids about the colours of the rainbow; each colour gets its own musical note, too.

Bee’s ABCs — singing along to the alphabet song, spelling simple words and learning about pronunciation.

I See Ewe — explore more than 50 shapes, colors, objects and animals; adjustable levels of difficulty, verbal prompts and four different languages included.

Preschool Jobs — learn and explore various professions such as a doctor, astronaut, rock star, police officer and a construction worker, see their work environments and examine the tools that they use each day.

* * *

For middle and high school students (age 11-16)

Tense Builder — teaching the tenses; includes the English words that do not follow the rule, otherwise known as irregular verbs.

MyHomeworkApp — keeps track of homework, projects, tests, and other assignments; set reminders for when things are due, set level of priority and keep track of schedule of classes.

TED Talks — customised quizzes, discussion guides, and other supporting materials to facilitate making a great lesson plan.

Ankidroid — perfect for exam cramming; helps students memorise anything through information flashcards which they can create themselves. Once loaded they can quiz themselves anywhere, anytime.

Wolfram Alpha — uses a vast database and various algorithms to answer to any questions of wide range like physics, chemistry, astronomy, maths, etc.

Khan Academy — over 2,500 free videos on everything from basic maths to venture capitalism

Languages — a fast offline translation dictionary app

* * *

For students appearing for tests (age 13+)

BenchPrep — choose your course (high school, higher education, graduate and professional), choose your device, and study independently or with friends.

SAT Vocab Cards — browse and quiz on 1,000 high-frequency SAT words for free, with 1,000 more available for purchase.

SATLadder — a competition-based question answering structure including over 2,000 SAT questions.

MCAT — features over 2,000 flashcards so you can study on the go.

GRE Word Boost — with 500 essential GRE words in its database, study and quiz anytime.

* * *

For teachers

ClassDojo — teachers can create a free account, add their students’ names and customise the behaviours they want to encourage. During class, positive behaviour is reinforced by dishing out feedback points to students; these feedback points automatically compiles the data into reports, letting teachers monitor progress, trends and share information with parents.

* * *

For parents

Famigo Sandbox — a brilliant and free way of making your Android device safe for your kids. It includes a free app of its own for kids to play as well as listing certified safe apps for parents to browse and choose from. There are no ads or in-app purchases and you get shown games and activities that are platform and child specific.

App Timer Mini (ATM) — simple tool to track user’s time on selected apps; the app timer can be set for all the apps, based on how much time should be spent on each which will be shown on the screen while you are using an app.

* * *

Other fun apps

Auryn Ink — digital watercolour-painting app; feels like real watercolour painting, right down to choosing between wet or dry canvases, and watching the paint dry on the page.

Tapestry — offers short stories from various authors, displayed full-screen rather than in e-book style layout; readers are encouraged to give feedback to the authors too.

Celeste — combines 3D graphics of the heavenly bodies with fun facts about astronomy; aim the device’s camera at the sky and see exactly where each object is located, day or night.

Famous Artists and Their Paintings — learn about more than 100 famous works of art from Michelangelo, Rembrandt, da Vinci and more and test your knowledge with a time-trial quiz.

Britannica Kids — encyclopaedias come alive on a range of topics; info presented alongside videos, games and quizzes.

Robots for iPad — learn about electronics and robotics through videos and interactive examples of more than 100 real life robots like Sony’s Aibo dog.

How it Works: Machines by Geek Kids — get an introduction to engineering and learn how various machines work by taking them apart and reassembling them.

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Feedback . Feedback . Feedback .

a revisit to the land of FAIRY TALES

A few days back, my mother referred to herself as fairy godmother. While we notorious kids laughed at her, there was a pinch on truth in what she said.

Fairy tales. We have all heard them. But when I started writing this post, I could not list more than 4-5 I remembered. My list was:

1. Snow white  and the seven Dwarfs

snow white and 7 dwarfs

2. Aladdin

aladdin

3. Red Riding Hood

red riding hood

4. Cinderella

cinderella

5. Rapunzel

rapunzel

When I hit the Google, I found a huge list of fairy tales. So I could fish for a dozen more fairy tales- the I have heard before sleeping at night. I loved those tales, all of them. The idea of happy ending lingered on even after the tender years of childhood. Thanks to my mom, and her reference to herself 😉

So as a tribute to her, I made a list of qualities of the Fairy Godmother, as told by Disney. And compared with my mom 😉

  • Personality :
  1. Sweet – Check
  2. Kind – Check
  3. Motherly – Check
  4. A bit absent-minded – Check
  • Appearance :
  1. Short – Check (she is the shortest in the family)
  2. Obese – Check (not really – but we love to call her that)
  3. Elderly – Check 
  4. White hair – Check (a few only actually)
  5. Aqua robe with pink inside hood, large lavender bow on the front – hahahahaha NO
  • Occupation : Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother (in retrospect, she does that for a living)
  • Goal : To help Cinderella , To look after Cinderella (Oh, she does that all day long)

Thanks to her, I re-visited my sweet memories. The blissful age of going to sleep without tension of tomorrow. The splendid age of no worries and a belief in perfect endings. The fun age to compare ourselves to the protagonist fairy 😉

Oh, well, that fun age isn’t gone I feel. I mean, aren’t a few of us still waiting for our prince charming 😉

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Interesting links :

a fairy tale on YouTube 😀

Fairy God Mother on Twitter 😉

a cute website on FairyGod Mother 

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# thanks to the illustrations which I found here

Life b4 social networking

I worry.

At times, I worry a lot.

Most of the times, there is no solid reason to my worries.

Just the other day I was worrying, my kids will never know how life was without social networking!

So here is this post, for my future teenage son and daughter, how life used to be when I was a teenager.

  • We had real friends, and we used to “ hang out” by cycling or playing in garden or gathering at someone’s place for a game of carom/ludo/snakes and ladder.
  • Twitter was just the sound of birds!
  • To share photographs of someone’s marriage or function or birthday, we used to click the photo with a camera -> get them printed -> arrange them in photo albums -> show to others when there happens another family gathering! Not as simple as click -> tag -> share.
  • One was popular after an achievement in athletics or academics. Not getting nominated for an online contest started by a bunch of people. Or worse: best dressed, best smile, best hair competitions for people to feel better about themselves!
  • Sending a mail to someone was a BIG deal. School curriculum taught us how to draft an e-mail and for many years we stuck to that code.
  • One e-mail id was enough for one family. Later on (after a few more years) every application/forum/form required an alternate email id.
  • Blogging did not exist till late 1990s and till 2009 it was limited to only a small group of people.
  • Dating was generally face-to-face, not online.
  • Bosses were treated as bosses and Subordinates were treated as subordinates  They met socially only on special occasions and family gatherings, not every day over internet after work hours!
  • “Time pass” included reading newspapers (not e-newspapers), listening to radio, reading novels (not e-books), gardening etc. Ladies occasionally got together for buying vegetables or sharing recipes while their kids played. Men talked about politics or soccer games by actually physically sitting with other men.
  • Acronyms and abbreviations were logical – nt abt nythin v cn mak wid a propr wrd.
  • Long distance was tough! Colorful postcards, letters in envelopes and stamps of different countries/states were the trend.

There was no FB, no Twitter, no Gmail-YahooMail-Hotmail-RediffMail, No WordPress, No Instagram, No Tumblr, No Skype.

Basically, things were more REAL !!!