DP Daily Prompts: The Great Divide

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When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction?  Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?

Most of the time fiction helps me relax, provided the story interests me. Recently I  read two books both were fiction,one was about a dog’s journey and the second one was about heart beats.

After reading these two books I felt great, I couldn’t help thinking about the dog, how faithful he was, the other one was the story of two wonderful people, how they met, their affection towards each other was magical.

Next I read a non-fiction, it was about the life of a little boy, how poor his family was, how he managed to get adopted when he was lost. It was amazing to know he was only five years old when he was adopted, was taken to Australia by the couple.

His life with the Australian couple was completely different from the one he had when he was with his birth mother and his real siblings. This boy proved though he was living a luxurious life in Australia he did not forget his birth mother and his siblings.

It took him twenty-five years to find his mother and siblings.

The best part is, it was written by the boy himself  after he grew up.I like both fiction and non-fiction.



DP Daily Prompt: Off the Shelf

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If you had enough free time,which book would be the first one you’d like to reread? Why?

If I had enough free time, the first book I’d like to reread is, “A Long Way Home.”

This is the first book I ever read about a five year old boy, who was lost, he tried to find home, he could not,because he was poor no one paid any attention to him.

Call it luck or destiny an older boy listened to him, took him to the police station. He never went to school, his mother was so poor she could barely provide food for them, education was out of question. With his five year old mind he did what a child his age could not possibly do.

He was fortunate to be adopted by an Australian couple, they took him to Australia, fed him, clothed him,sent him to school.

Even though his life changed dramatically, he did not forget his mother or his siblings, every day he reminded himself of his mother and his two brothers and his little sister and hoped he’d find them some day.

He had enough wisdom to make sure not to talk about his mother or his siblings to his parents who adopted him, he did not want them to think he was ungrateful.

When he was old enough and had a computer at his disposal , he looked for his home on the internet. It took him twenty years to finally locate his family in India.

He wrote his memoirs and got it published in 2012. It is unbelievable how such a young child could remember his family that long.

I read his book and felt, his mother was truly blessed to have a child like him.


Book Review written and Posted by Ranu

Yesterday I was able to finish reading the book, “A Long Way Home”.  The author is Saroo Brierley. It’s published by the Penguin Group.

The author was thirty years old when he wrote the book. He has very vividly described the trials he faced as a child. It’s hard to imagine a five year old boy remembering early years of his life in such great detail.

While reading the book I felt he was an extraordinary boy, he looked after his year and a half old sister, while his mother went away to work in an unknown place for days, so she could provide food for her family of five, three sons and a daughter.

He was left alone most of the time with his sister, while his brothers also looked for work.

Saroo the main character was always curious to know where his brothers go everyday. He managed to convince his brother to take him. This was the beginning of the little boy’s arduous journey,  who came close to death a few times but was  saved by unknown strangers.

His older brother had told him to stay where he left him, but Saroo somehow moved from there and ended up in strange  places and was unable to find his home, he did not know the name of the place where he lived, tried his best to describe it to strangers who were busy with their own life and paid no heed to a poor little boy.

Eventually he was lucky an Australian couple adopted him. he had never seen anything good in his life before this, he was surrounded by poverty, coming to Australia exposed him to a life he had never known, he actually could have a room where he could sleep and get meals without asking for it.

All the comfort and good life did not stop him from thinking about his brothers and his sister and mother. Every day he reminded himself about his family he longed to meet. He did not want to forget them and the place he came from. It’s as if he captured the memory of his five years in India, safely tucked away in a corner of his mind, his determination to remember his family was a priority.

His adoptive parents took good care of him fed him clothed him and gave him the opportunity to go to school. He loved them and did not mention the family he left behind, because he did not want to offend them.

He grew up and soon was able to use a computer, he used it to locate the place he came from, it took years to be successful, he did not give up, in the end he was united with his family

I was amazed to read how dedicated he was. When he left India he was only five years old, to be able to find his family after twenty five years is nothing short of a miracle!


DP Daily Prompt: Ripped from the headlines

The 2014 Australian open Grandslam tennis  tournament began yesterday. There are many players on men and women’s side  competing for the trophy ,cash and fame. It is the first grand slam tournament of year 2014. The site of the tournament is  Melbourne,Australia.

If you are a tennis fan,you think you know who has the best shot. The commentators have already picked the winner based on last year’s result. I listened to the predictions,I thought nothing in life is guaranteed.

The best players can have a bad day,which is possible and lose to someone whose ranking is one hundred or lower. I’m always afraid to say this one will win, I’d rather watch the tournament and hope my player is lucky. I believe luck plays a huge role.

The player needs to win seven matches to show off the much desired trophy. While we may think Oh seven my player will win hands down, but, I say, “It’s a long walk to the winner’s circle.”


My Job In Gander Academy

Cover of "The Principal"

Fourth Grade
Fourth Grade (Photo credit: edgeplot)


English: Photo of Jonathan G. Meath portraying...

English: Photo of Jonathan G. Meath portraying Santa Claus. Date approximate. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


First day of fourth grade


A typical classroom library (probably 3rd grad...
A typical classroom library (probably 3rd grade) at an American elementary school (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Gander Academy is in the province of Newfoundland,Canada.It is an elementary school.It is a school for children from kindergarten to grade six. I was hired to teach grade four.There are five grade four classrooms with five teachers. Out of these there is one for French immersion. My classroom was four Blue. I was a new teacher.I had to remember the colour of my classroom. On the first day the kids were lined up to go to their respective teachers. My class of thirty-three marched in, took their seats, and looked at me. I was not the kind of teacher,they expected to see. I was wearing a Saree,I had long hair and I was not Caucasian. The darlings were exposed to someone they had not seen before. They exchanged glances,whispered, then they were quiet.


When I started teaching,one of them said to the one beside him.’She talks funny.’ Then one named James was irritated by this remark, ‘he felt he needed to come to my rescue.’ James gave him a piercing look and replied,’No she doesn’t, My mom also has the same accent,you know nothing,people from England has this accent.’ So I was saved from opening my mouth. The boys and girls were sizing me up at this point.I was going along smoothly. Since it was the first day for us.I distributed the text books. They had their exercise books,a separate one for each subject and pencils, erasers and the geometry set.We were ready to start. The kids were anxious to go home and tell their parents regarding me who is so different from the others. This became evident,on parent -teacher interviews.


On the day of the interview,the parents wanted to see who I was,the kids were so excited to tell them? Gander is a very small town,it has a population of ten thousand and I’m sure some of them  have seen me. My husband was an ophthalmologist. Half of the population probably had trouble with their eyes, so to know  me was not unusual. When they came to see me regarding their children,they realized I was the one they were referring to. The day went very well,I was able to  tell the parents some positive facts with regard to their children. However there was one mother who wasn’t quite sure how to react when she heard her child has an Indian teacher. At this point I feel I should let my readers know when one comes from that part of the globe,they are Indians. She went to the Principal and voiced her opinion. The Principal wanted to ease her mind,he told her I was the most qualified teacher in the school and she shouldn’t be concerned. As soon as she stepped into my classroom she confessed  her feeling and also what the principal had told her.


There was one problem I noticed. Although they all were in the fourth grade, their ability varied from one another. Some were extremely capable,some could read well,some couldn’t,same was true of Mathematics,and other subjects.


Then came the month of December. The boys and girls were extremely restless.Their discussion centered around Santa Claus. They had to let me know what Santa will bring for them. They knew it beforehand because they wrote to him and alerted him of their preference. Santa never fails,it is his duty to keep the children happy. One day I saw a variety of gifts on my desk.I tried to review the situation,my brain refused to co-operate. Disappointed by my inability I opted to go to one of the senior teachers to solve this mystery. Oh she told me,’these are for you, and you have to accept them.’ Later on I learned ,at this time of the year,all the teachers are given gifts by their students and it was absolutely normal.At the end of that day I went home with all the gifts, my husband had all sorts of questions, I chose to ignore him.


Before the school was closed for Christmas, we had a Christmas party.Then we had an assembly,we all gathered in the auditorium to hear what the principal had to say.We sang a few Christmas carols. The assembly was over.It was time for us to collect our gifts and wish each other a very merry Christmas and a happy,”NEW Year!”


English: Fraser Valley Elementary School classroom

English: Fraser Valley Elementary School classroom (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Alphie and his family visits the Qutub Minar

view at the base of qutub minar

Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The word,Qutub Minar made Alphie consider Gepetto’s need for a guide.Sometimes it helps,if one can pronounce the foreign words correctly.At least close to the real word.Gepetto was a child,it would help him immensely.The Qutub Minar is such a famous building,it would be fun to be able to say it correctly.Alphie decided to ask their waiter,if he could find a guide for them.The waiter was all smiles ,”I know the person you are looking for,she can speak English and Urdu,let me look for her,I will be back in a few minutes.” The waiter was back with the guide and let them introduce themselves.The guide came and said,”Hello,I am Ranu,I am your guide,before we go any where,I would like to know your names.Susan stepped forward and introduced herself,”I am Susan”,she said,then it was Alphie’s turn,”I am Alphie”. Gepetto was a bit nervous,he said rather meekly, “I am Gepetto.”, “I am sorry,what is your name,can you repeat it again?” “,My name is Gepetto.” He was annoyed because he had to repeat his name.Ranu thought,she will have to be friendly with the boy and started a conversation with him. “Say,she said,if you don’t mind,can I ask you something?” Gepetto was starting to feel quite comfortable talking to the guide. ” What is it Ma’m?” he replied.”Why did your parents name you,Gepetto?” He answered,”my Dad will be able to explain,he is the one who is responsible for my name”. Alphie told her,”When Gepetto was a baby ,I noticed,he was very fond of looking at the picture of Pinochio,I thought great I will name him Gepetto.” Ranu said,”Why not Pinochio?” “You see I thought the problem with that name was,if my son ever lied,his nose will get longer,I could not deal with it.”  “Oh I see,she said,it is only a story. In reality it is far from happening,think about it,if every liar’s nose got long, there will almost be too many.Sometimes I think it is a fine way for God to punish people,I mostly mean the politicians they never tell the truth.”

After getting introduced they hired a cab and went on their way to see, “The Qutub Minar”.Ranu gave the family a short story about the building.It was constructed in 1192 by Qutub-ud-din Aibak,and later completed by Iltutmish.The conical tower is an example of Indo-Islamic Afghan architecture.Impressively as you can see,it is surrounded by a lush green garden,this is a perfect place for visitors.The tourists love to visit this place.It is a masterpiece of Mughal architecture.The verses of the holy Quran are carved on the sandstone walls of the Qutub Minar.It is the pride of Delhi.They decided to walk around the lush green lawns of the building.Alphie took a lot of pictures,he made sure his family was in the pictures he took.

Gepetto was getting restless he wanted to run around on the lawn,his parents gave him the permission and told him to stay within the area.After getting his exercise,Gepetto was hungry and wanted something to eat.Susan knew when travelling with children,it is necessary to carry a food basket.They found a very beautiful spot and sat down to eat something and rest as well.Gepetto then decided he needed to learn some simple words to impress everyone.They found a perfect spot to start the learning process.

The first word was Qutub Minar.Ranu told him Qutub was the name of the person responsible for getting it constructed.She began to explain how to say the word.”She said Qutub has two parts or syllables,Qu and tub,the letter “Q”gives a guttural sound,it is made from the back of the throat,I don’t want to confuse you,the safest letter is to use “K” instead ,so try ku(koo)the next part is,” tub”you don’t say( tub) but’ toob’,You join ku+toob= kutoob,try few times and it will be easy”.Minar” is easy it is ,”me+naar”,me+naar=minar.There bravo you got it.Repeat it a few times and you will know it by this evening.”

Then there is the common sentence,the people ask a stranger,”Aap ka naam kia hai?’ what is your name? The family realized they had spent a long time in the lawns of the Qutub Minar.It was time to go back to the hotel.They bid good-bye to the guide and headed back to the hotel.


To be continued!

Qutub Minar (Hindi : ?????? ????? Urdu: ??? ??...

Qutub Minar (Hindi : ?????? ????? Urdu: ??? ????) is the tallest brick minaret in the world, and an important example of Indo-Islamic Architecture. The tower is in the Qutab complex in South Delhi, India. The Qutab Minar and its monuments are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Qutub Minar is 72.5 metres high (237.8 ft) and requires 399 steps to get to the top. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Qutub Minar

Qutub Minar (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alphie and his family’s dinner invitation

Many types of sushi ready to eat.

McDonald's in Moscow
McDonald’s in Moscow (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Image:Fish, chips & mushy peas

Image:Fish, chips & mushy peas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Fast food in Yambol, Bulgaria Българс...

English: Fast food in Yambol, Bulgaria Български: Заведение за бързо хранене в Ямбол (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Alphie and his family had a wonderful time in Sydney.Their vacation will be over in a couple of days.one day,he was thinking of Charlie,he was such an amazing host.Alphie thought he must see Charlie’s dad.The following morning,both families went to see Charlie’s Dad.Dr.Edward was a physician.He always made sure his son and the grandson took proper care of their health.Sometimes Charlie did not quite appreciate the way his father  gave lectures on health.He was afraid his Dad would talk to Alphie about over weight.He did not want to tell his friend about his Dad’s obsession.

On their way to Dr. Edwards house,Charlie tried very hard to tell Alphie that his Dad loves to talk about his work.Alphie was not receptive enough.There is nothing worse than dealing with someone or talking to him,when he is immersed in his own thoughts.Charlie played a trick to bring him back to reality.He said,”Hey Alph, what were you saying about the bird crane?” Alphie almost fell off his seat,there was no chance of getting out,they were still in the car.Alphie’s wife,Susan interjected, “Charlie,this certainly will bring Alph down to earth, The word crane is all he needs to hear.”

“Really,said Charlie,why is “Crane” such an important word?” Well, good old Alph,got the chance he was looking for.Without any fanfare,he began his story of,how he outwit his master.Charlie listened halfheartedly,Gepetto was embarrassed about his father’s anecdote and exclaimed,”Are we there yet,I am sooooo hungry?”

Gepetto saved the day for Charlie.The house could be seen from a few yards, Charlie said,”this is the drive way”,he stopped .”Come out everyone,Mom And Dad are waiting,he said.” Gepetto ,out of nowhere cried out ,”good die mate.”

The first thing Dr.Edward noticed was how obese Alphie was.He decided to have a heart to heart conversation with Alphie about his health.Mary called everyone ,”  Dinner is served,she said.” Gepetto who already announced in the car,he was peckish.took his seat without any further delay.While all the family members were taking their seat,Gepetto was busy looking at the mouth-watering food.Gepetto noticed the roast and could not help himself,he asked about the bird.Mary told him it was a crane. “Crane!but the crane has only one leg,Aunt Mary”,no they have two,” she replied. “My Dad said.” So Alphie had to explain,why he said that. The room was filled with laughter.Bobby who did not think it was funny,said, “Uncle Alphie you lied,my teacher said,we should never lie.” Alphie’s face turned beet red,he looked side ways and wanted to change the subject,His buddy,Charlie came to his rescue.He suggested they should have dessert in the living room.Everyone agreed.Dessert was Charlie’s favourite,an apple pie!

After dinner,Dr. Edwards called Alphie to his room.Not knowing what to expect,he took cautious steps to reach the doctor’s chamber. ” Unaware of what was coming to him,Alphie froze in his chair,waiting to know what was on the mind of the doctor.  Without waiting Dr.Edwards decided to tell why he wanted to see him alone.”You see,Alphie,being a physician I always think I must alert the people I know,why I must talk about health.There are so many people in our country suffering from heart disease,diabetes,the government spends millions of dollars for health care.As long as we have these fast food chains,there is no hope of saving the population.”

“At first we were thrilled to have Mcdonalds,Burger King,Pizza Hut,Doughnut village.Now we know it was a mistake to have these fast food places.It is up to us to curtail our intake of these foods.You have a very young family you must think  about them and start getting fit.I will give you a list of food you should take,it will help you,said Dr Edwards.”

Bobby wanted to show his mastery of the Australia slang,he said in a rather strong audible voice “Beut” grandpa,everyone laughed and got into the car.All in all it was an interesting evening.They were glad to be home

To be continued!

Alphie and Charlie’s Family Visit The Sydney Opera House

English: Sydney Opera House tiling, Sydney, Au...

English: Sydney Opera House tiling, Sydney, Australia. Deutsch: Das Dach der Oper mit den vielen Kacheln im Detail (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Sydney Opera House with a tall ship i...

English: Sydney Opera House with a tall ship in the foreground (part of the 350.org day of action) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The foyer of the Opera Theatre in the...

Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House, Australia.
Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House, Australia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Concert Theatre of Sydney Opera H...

Sydney Opera House under construction, 1968

Sydney Opera House under construction, 1968 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the third day’s visit,the children were happy to go wherever the adults wanted them to see and visit.The task was quite simple.The adults were interested to take a tour of,”The Sydney Opera House.” Although Charlie and his parents lived in Sydney,Charlie didn’t see the opera house.It was a gorgeous day for sight-seeing.Gepetto and Bobby were having the time of their life.All the two cared about was,no school,therefore no homework,plenty of junk food to eat and moving from place to place.This was the kind of life they always dreamed about,but they are tasting it now.They are wishing,”Time would stand still for them”.We all know that it cannot be so,all good times must come to an end.Suddenly Bobby dozed off and dreamed his teacher was yelling at him,saying,”,Bobby did you hit Angela,why is she crying,answer me now or you will be sent to the principal’s office?” In his dream,Bobby cried out loud,”No I did not do anything to her,she always gets me into trouble,I hate her.”Bobby,Bobby wake up you just had a night mare,you are not in school.We have reached the Opera house.”

They all got off and made their way into the concert hall,Alphie read about all the important buildings and volunteered to be their guide.He began with,”this is the concert hall,there are 2679 seats.They still have to book their seats when there is a concert.Gepetto was so impressed,he could not say anything.At last he broke his silence,”Mom,Dad can we stay here a bit longer,It is awesome,did you bring a camera Dad,can you take a picture,I want to show everything I have seen to my friends in school?Susan,Gepettos, Mom was relieved to hear her son talking,even if it sounded gibberish.The last place they visited was the utzon room.it was named after the architect Jon utzon from Denmark.

In the end Gepetto wanted to show off.This is what he said,”Chuck a sicky mate.”(take the day off sick from work when you are perfectly healthy.)

Bobby said ,”Ace!(excellent)Charlie hollered okay everyone,let’s be on our way,”Mate.”

Alphie and his family’s second day in Sydney ,Australia

Coat of arms of Western Australia

Coat of arms of Western Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Sandgroper (insect) - specimen of Wes...

English: Sandgroper (insect) – specimen of Western Australian Museum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Opera House, Sydney, Australia Deutsc...

English: Opera House, Sydney, Australia Deutsch: Opera House, Sydney, Australien (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After breakfast the two families sat in the living room to discuss their plan.Charlie, who was  a resident of Sydney,told his pal,there are a few interesting places,they could visit.These were Charlie’s picks.:1. Bondi beach

2.Sydney Opera House

3.Power House Museum(PHM)

4.Manly Scenic Walkway

5.Catch A Flavor Of the Aussie


The families had to decide in a hurry which one to pick first.They all voted to pick up number 5 first.Since Charlie told them,in case they wanted to get along well with the Aussies,It will be wise to grab a quick lesson or two at Australian slangs.Catch a flavor of the Aussie English.

“Good die mate”—don’t be surprised  if your Aussie friend,talked about your death,because he didn’t,you just heard it wrong.Charlie continued to talk about some of the slangs.He began saying,”In my initial days at down under,I often got stumbled at the special Aussie usage of the English language.Australians have their own lingo and accent and it’s very useful to pick up a few phrase commonly used.”Good onya” means you have done a good job,”No worries” or “NO Dramas” can be added to finish any conversation and at times as a reply to a thank you,”A Banana Bender”,is a Queenslander,”Tassie” A Tasmanian,”Pommie”,an Englishman and a “Sandgroper”is a Western Australian and everyone else is just a mate.Most Australians have an amazing sense of humour.After the initial orientation,they were yet to decide,where will they go first.The unanimous decision was Bondi Beach.They looked at the photographs and felt it would be a relaxing visit.

They packed their bags,the ladies were in-charge of the food.What is a vacation without food?when all the necessities were packed.Charlie beckoned the families to get on board.On their way to the beach they saw some amazing things.Unfortunately they could not stop and walk around.They had to hurry on to the beach, before it got overcrowded.Charlie reached the destination in record time.

Gepetto and Bobby were anxious to get their swimming gear on and jump into the water.The boys were thrilled,they did not have to do anything, it was left for the grown-ups.They were only meant to breathe the fresh air,have a few lapse of swimming,eat,drink and be merry.Talk about “,Merry?”They had that covered.However the fabulous day was about to end.And it was time for the passengers to get into the car and head home.Back in the house they talked about the beach and how much fun they had.Gepetto and Alphie could not stop talking about the food  prepared by the ladies! It was a lovely end of the second day.

“Good die mate.”

To be continued!