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26. Cartoon- Reporters

cartoon earthquake by monicaएक खबर के पीछे जिस तरह से मीडिया पड जाता है उससे बात एक ही बात दिल मे आती है कि बचाओ  … कोई इन खबरिया चैनलों के रिपोर्टरों से बचाओ …

The post Cartoon- Reporters appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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27. Deep Travel: Have you ever gone too far?

Deep Travel 4From Africa I flew to India.

I would return home through Asia, circumnavigate the globe, prove the world was round, see it with my own two eyes.

Bombay. Wow! The smells. The crush of humanity! A beggar with no arms or legs.

My god, he had no face, either.

His begging bowl—if you can picture this—he nudged it along the street with his forehead. I couldn’t look, I couldn’t not look.

For a second I couldn’t breathe.

Have you ever been so far from home that your brain wouldn’t compute?

I don’t know how many rupees I dropped in his bowl, probably a lot, because suddenly and inexplicably I felt more alive. I swore to never again bitch about anything, and isn’t that what travel is about?

Travel puts distance between us and our tired old way of seeing things.

What if you could travel twice as far from home?

What if someone approached you in the lobby of your Bombay hotel with a promise to take you twice as far from home? Would you listen to his pitch?

He is tall and impeccable and impossibly smooth-talking as he invites you to sit down so he can make his case. You’re all ears. Where is this place? How do I get there?

“Very easy, my friend,” he says. “Firstly, you allow me to con you out of all your money.” He is joking, of course, this Mr. Patel. “You have traveler’s cheques, yes? Very good. May I see them? No? All right, later perhaps.”

He hails a waiter and orders wine. “In any case, once you have been fleeced, my goodness, you look in the mirror—are you sick?”

“Depressed, I would think, for sure.”

“No, no, I mean sick, sick. You most certainly need a doctor. Here, I can give you his phone number. He confirms that a parasite infects your blood stream. Perhaps you have been exposed to stagnant water. In Africa? That explains everything. I’m afraid it can be fatal. You must be treated soon. But without money you are going nowhere.”

The wine arrives, a Bordeaux, for goodness sake. Who is this Mr. Patel?

“You cannot escape the heatwave we are having here in Bombay. The humidity in advance of the monsoon is unspeakable. But a cheap hostel is all you can afford, a bare mattress upon which you are lying spread-eagle. You are clinging to it for dear life. Otherwise you would run to the window and hurl yourself onto the street below. Such is your despair. Such is your remorse. You have been such a fool! You no longer trust the thoughts that arise to resolve this calamity. I’m afraid to say, sir, that you thoroughly hate yourself.”

Patel raises a glass in a toast. “You cannot travel farther from home than that, my friend.”

I take what must look like an unsophisticated glub of wine.

“But I can see you are not sold on this expedition. And I understand perfectly. It is not part and parcel of the human condition to collude with one’s own demise. We must go unwittingly. Kicking and screaming as it were. Ha, ha! So be it.”

I have no memory of Patel saying any such things, although I do recall the Bordeaux and that he was a businessman in need of foreign currency for an overseas trip, more than bank regulations allow. He offered me a handsome premium on the face value of my traveler’s cheques, leaving me with cash to convert to currencies for my onward journey.

“We will transact this business over a meal at the Taj Mahal Hotel, yes?”

How to travel too far—be gullible, be greedy, be an idiot!

Taj Mahal Hotel Bombay 1The Bombay Taj, like most 5-star hotels, smells of money. Money having been spent and money being squandered everywhere you look.

Patel threw a heap of rupees at martinis there in the posh mezzanine lounge—and at various kebabs and little lamb chops and chicken tikka—so it didn’t seem inappropriate for me to hand over my traveler’s cheques for his inspection. It seemed appropriate that his uncle, the hotel’s comptroller, should want to verify the cheques. That Patel should confer with his uncle alone sounded suspicious, so I tagged along as far as the elevator where I lost him!

He slipped into an elevator behind doors that closed in my face.

I bolted down the grand marble staircase of the Taj Mahal Hotel to Reception where I learned that no such money manager existed. Three Patels were registered at the Taj and I hammered on each of their doors in vain.

Deep travel—are we there yet?

I applied for a refund at the American Express Office and was told to check back in a week, by which time I would have examined the mug shots of every criminal known to the Bombay Police. By then I could no longer ignore strange fluids leaking from my body. A doctor prescribed antibiotics and a flight home.

Broke but for the cash in my pocket, I downgraded to a hotel without air-conditioning. I remember lying on my bed naked and sweating under a feeble fan and gripping the mattress in mortal fear of having traveled far too far.

I decided to escape Bombay—to Delhi by train.

If Bombay was a sauna, the Rajasthan desert was a furnace. You opened a window at the very real risk of burning yourself. Every whistle stop along the way provided an opportunity to rehydrate, but instead I gorged on ice cream thinking it would cool me down, and I was right. I began to shiver feverishly. And vomit and retch until my muscles seized and I lay on the wooden floor of the 3rd-class carriage as hopeless as a leper.

A leper without arms or legs!

How far from home was I? I had passed self-loathing hours ago. I was going to die and the sooner the better. I was Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. “Go ahead and shoot me,” he tells Ingrid Bergman. “You’ll be doing me a favor.”

This is where the fictional hero bottoms out. If only! If I were a fictional character, my writer would save me here at the heart of my story. But this is a true story and I have no one to blame but myself. What do they call this in India—karma? How much more was I supposed to suffer? How much more could I take?

What was I supposed to do—push my begging bowl with my forehead?

If that’s what it takes, okay!

I heard someone mention the Taj. We were passing through Agra, home of the real fucking Taj Mahal, one of the so-called Wonders of the World. I didn’t have the wherewithal to throw up. There was nothing left. There wasn’t much left of me. I didn’t think I would survive till Delhi.

I had never felt—and I have never felt since—so far gone.

To be continued…

Have you ever gone too far? WRITE A STORY ABOUT IT!

We are all starving for stories about people who are greedy for life.

[NOTE: If you don’t want to miss any posts in this travel series, please SUBSCRIBE at the top of the page.]

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28. Parenting

कल शाम मणि के घर कोई आए हुए थे वो अपने बच्चे के बारे मे डिस्कस करने आए हुए थे और उसे कह रहे थे कि वो उनके बेटे से बात करे और समझाए कि मेडिकल न लेकर आर्टस ही ले. मुझसे मेरी राय जाननी चाही तो मैने बिल्कुल स्पष्ट कहा कि वो गलत कर रहे हैं अपने बच्चे को हमसे बेहतर कौन समझ सकता है अब उसकी उम्र ऐसी है कि आप दोस्ताना व्यवहार रख कर खुल कर सारी बात करे. आप इधर उधर बात करेंगें, बच्चा कुछ और कहेगा,आप तक कोई और बात पहुचेगी, इस तरह दूरियां भी बढती हैं इसलिए सोच समझ कर ठंडे दिमाग से खुद ही बात करे और इसका हल निकाले.उस समय तो वो उठ कर चले गए शायद उन्हें मेरी बात अच्छी नही लगी पर अभी कुछ देर पहले मेरे पास उन्ही का थैक्स के लिए फोन आया.

उन्होने बताया कि कल रात बेटे से खुल कर बात हो गई है जो उनके मन में कंफ्यूजन था वो दूर हो गया है और वो मेडिकल ही लेगा और उसके निणर्य से वो भी सहमत है. :)  आज बच्चे बेहद संवेदनशील हैं इसलिए बजाय उधर उधर बात करके राय लेने से मित्रवत व्यवहार करते हुए, पेरेंटस को बच्चे से स्वयं ही खुल कर बात करनी चाहिए .

The post Parenting appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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29. FAST FOOD !!!

FAST FOOD !!!

cartoon fast

अहोई अष्टमी मां का व्रत था . वैसे एक दिन पहले भी  बहुत
महिलाओ ने रखा और आज भी बहुत महिलाए रख रही है. मेरी सहेली मणि ने बताया कि व्रत रखना
और अपनो के लिए दुआ मांगना बहुत अच्छा लगता है पर डर भी बहुत लगता है.अयं
इसमे कैसा डर. मेरे पूछने पर उसने कहा कि असल मे, खाना बनाते समय हम महिलाओ
की खाना चखने की बहुत आदत होती है कि नमक वगैरहा ठीक है या नही.
अब व्रत मे भी खाना तो बनाना होता ही है. बस इसलिए अक्सर यही डर बना रहता है कि कही टेस्ट
करने के चक्कर मे ….!!!ह ह हा !!! वैसे बात तो मणि ठीक ही कह रही है !!! ऐसी भूलचूक अक्सर होने वाली होती है !!! पर अक्सर बचाव हो ही जाता है !!!
वैसे शायद इसलिए ही हम महिलाओ को चटोरी की उपाधि मिली हुई है…!!! है ना !! उफ ये फास्ट एंड फास्ट का फूड !!!
है ना !!

The post FAST FOOD !!! appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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30. Talented People

अखबार खोलो तो विज्ञापन. टीवी देखो तो विज्ञापन.फिल्मी कलाकारो को देखो तो वो अपनी फिल्मो के विज्ञापन यानि प्रमोशन के लिए कही भी लाईव नजर आ जाते है.
हे भगवान! वैसे टैलेंट तो हमारे देश मे बिखरा हुआ है. वो अलग बात है कि वो टैलेंट किसी चैनल या अखबार की हैडलाईन नही बनता. अब देखिए ना,बसो की छ्त पर स्टाइल से बैठ कर सफर करते हैं, शराब पीकर ठाठ से वाहन चलाते है. परीक्षा भवन मे मुन्नाभाई टाईप को लाते हैं और ठाठ से किसी टेलेंटिड की तरह नकल मरवाते हैं. वही किसी की नौकरी की काट करने के लिए किसी भी हद तक जा सकते हैं.
अजी टैलेंट तो देखिए नेताओ और सरकारी अफसरो से सैटिंग कर के रखते हैं कि दोनो हाथ घी मे और मुह कडाई मे हो, वही ब्लाग के मामले मे भी बहुत महानुभाव कम नही है हर रोज ब्लाग देखते है पर जब उसे लाईक या कमेट करने की बात आती है तो किसी स्मार्ट और टैलेंटिड बन्दे की तरह बोलेगे अच्छा आपका लिखा??? हमने तो नही देखा!!!!!

क्या कमाल का टैलेंट् है जनाब!! वैसे आप तो ऐसे नही होंगे है ना
अरे मेरा आज का अखबार कहा गया … कही पडोसी फिर से तो नही …. ! !!

The post Talented People appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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31. Beyond Limits 2012

beyound limits

मुश्किलो से भाग जाना आसान होता है, क्योकि हर पल जिंदगी मे इम्तेहान होता है, डरने वालो को कुछ नही मिलता, लडने वालो के कदमो मे सारा जहान होता है….
यह यह पक्तियां अनायास सी मन मे नही आई बल्कि कुछ ऐसे लोगो से मिल कर महसूस हुई जिनके हौसलों के आगे मैं नत मस्तक हूं.
आज दिल्ली मे एक प्रदर्शिनी मे जाना हुआ. श्री राजेंद्र जौहर जोकि 100% विकलांग है. उनकी देखरेख मे इस प्रदर्शिनी का आयोजन किया जा रहा हैं. सन 1992 मे उन्होने Family of Disabled नामक संस्था की शुरुआत की और सन 2001 से प्रदर्शिनी लगानी शुरु की. उनकी सुपुत्री श्रीमति प्रीति जौहर ने सारी जानकारी देते हुए बताया कि उनके पापा की जिंदगी मे एक गम्भीर हादसा हुआ. एक बार तो सारा परिवार हिल गया पर पापा ने हिम्मत दिखाई और इसे चैलेंज की तरह लिया और मानसिक और शारीरिक रुप से विकलांगो की एक संस्था बनाई. संस्था चलाने के लिए फंड बिल्कुल नही थे पर मदर टेरेसा का आशीर्वाद जरुर मिला और यकीनन वो बहुत आत्मबल दे गया.
आरम्भ मे संस्था की शुरुआत घर से ही की. सन 2001 मे ग्रीटिंग कार्ड बनाने से काम शुरु किया. तब सिर्फ एक ही कलाकार साथ थे. देखते ही देखते कला के क्षेत्र मे रुचि रखने वाले विशेष लोग मिलते ही गए. फिर मन मे यह सोच हुई कि इन मानसिक तथा शारीरिक रुप से विकलांग यानि इन विशेष कलाकारो की कलाकारी को दिखाने के लिए कोई मंच होना आवश्यक है पर बात फिर वही सामने आई कि इन सब मे खर्चा बहुत आएगा और फंड बिल्कुल भी नही थे. इसी बीच ईश्वर की असीम कृपा हुई और अर्पना कौर जी से मुलाकात हुई. उन्होने भावनाओ को समझा और उनकी गैलरी मे प्रदर्शिनी लगनी शुरु हो गई. पिछ्ली 11 बार से अर्पना आर्ट गैलरी मे दिसम्बर के महीने मे इन विशेष लोगो दवारा बनाई कलाकृतियो की नुमाईश की जाती है.
आज Beyond Limits – 2012, नामक प्रदर्शिनी मे 49 विशेष कलाकार हिस्सा ले रहे हैं.जिसमे जम्मू, तमिलनाडू,बिहार,पटना, कोलकता,गुजरात, लखनऊ, राजस्थान आदि राज्यो से हैं. इस प्रदर्शिनी मे विभिन्न प्रकार की कला का मिश्रण है. जिसमे विभिन्न प्रकार की चित्रकारी है, sculptures है जोकि bronze और stone मे हैं, ऐसी कलाकारी देख कर खुद ब खुद दांतो तले ऊंगली दब जाती है कि क्या अदभुत कलाकारी है.
ऐसी ही एक कलाकार शीला शर्मा से बात हुई उनके दोनो हाथ नही है और पैरो से चित्रकारी करती हैं.उनके अदभुत साहस ने चकित कर दिया. श्रीमति प्रीति जौहर ने बताया कि आमिर खान के कार्यक्रम सत्यमेव जयते मे भी उनकी संस्था के बारे मे बताया गया उससे भी बहुत आत्मबल मिला.
उनका कहना है कि यह 12वी प्रदर्शिनि है. वो चाहती है कि ज्यादा से ज्यादा लोग आए और इसे देखे सराहें और कलाकारो का आत्मबल बढाए. यह प्रदर्शिनी Arpana Art Gallery, Academy of Fine Arts & Literature, 4/6, Siri Fort Institutional Area, Khel Gaon Marg, दिल्ली मे, 2 दिसम्बर से 8 दिसम्बर तक लगी हुई है. इसका समय है दिन के 11 बजे से शाम के 7 बजे तक.
जाते जाते एक बात फिर जहन मे आ रही है कि….
उम्मीदो की कश्ती को डुबोया नही करते/ साहिल अगर दूर हो तो रोया नही करते/ रखते है जो दिल मे उम्मीद कुछ पाने की / वो लोग जिंदगी मे कुछ खोया नही करते !!!

The post Beyond Limits 2012 appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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32. 26 January

क्या बात है !!! 26 जनवरी के रंग में रंगे अखबार :)
आज सभी चैनल और अखबार तिरंगे के रंग मे सरोबार हैं और कुछ अखबार के विज्ञापन तो अपनी ओर हमारा ध्यान आकर्षित कर रहे हैं जैसा कि एक भारतीय जीवन बीमा निगम का विज्ञापन है …

RepubLIC of india यानि इसमे भी उन्होने LIC खोज लिया. वही एक ने लिखा है on RE_PUBLIC demand 50% offer. ह हा हा !!!
एक ने लिखा है आज और कल दो दिन मात्र 26 रुपए down payment करे और ले जाए सैमसंग का कोई उत्पाद
एक ने 26 को बना दिया कि 2 गुणा वृद्दि तेल और गैस के उत्पाद मे और 6 गुणा वृदि ओवरसीज उत्पाद मे… !!!
एक दुकान के बाहर लिखा था 26 चीजे खरीदो और एक शानदार उपहार पाओ. Surprised
एक चैनल पर 64 गणतंत्र पर 26 ज्वलंत प्रश्न जनता के सामने रख रहा है.
वही एक लेख आया हुआ 26 का सफर बनाम suffer.ह हा !! है ना लोगो की + कुछ मेरी सोच का कमाल !!!
गंणतंत्र दिवस की हार्दिक शुभकामनाएं !!!

The post 26 January appeared first on Monica Gupta.

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33. Keep it up

शाबाश, वाह, बहुत खूब, क्या बात है, लगे रहो, शुभकामनाएं …. !!! बहुत अच्छा लगता है सुनना !!! पर अगर कोई काम अच्छा करे और यह शब्द उसे सुनने को न मिले तो यकीनन मन उदास हो जाता है और काम करने का उत्साह लगभग खत्म हो जाता है. मेरी सोच भी कुछ ऐसी ही है पर 17 नवम्बर को जब सचिन का स्टेडियम से भाषण सुना तब से मन बहुत कुछ सोचने पर मजबूर हो रहा है.

सचिन ने भाषण के दौरान अपने कोच श्री रमाकांत आचरेकर के बारे मे बताया कि उन्होनें बहुत मेहनत करवाई स्कूटर पर एक मैदान से दूसरे मैदान ले जाते पर पिछले 29 साल में उन्होंने एक बार भी कभी “वेल प्लेड” नहीं कहा। उन्हें डर था कि मैं ज्यादा ही खुश न हो जाऊं और मेहनत करना न छोड़ दूं।’… वाकई में, सचिन की यह बात बहुत कुछ सोचने पर मजबूर कर रही है. बेशक आगे बढने के लिए अपनो का साथ तो चाहिए ही होता पर इसके साथ साथ प्रोत्साहन भी बहुत जरुरी होता है पर सचिन ने इस बात को दिल से नही लगाया और मेहनत मे जुटे रहे. मेरी भी विचार धारा बदल रही है और अगर आप लोगों को भी किसी खास की शाबाशी नही मिल रही है. जिससे आपको बहुत उम्मीद है तो भी कोई बात नही. यकीन मानिए वो बेशक लफ्जों ना बोलें पर दिल से आपका बहुत भला चाह्ते हैं.!!!

स्माईल कीजिए और जुटे रहिए !!!

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34. Cartoon- Media

cartoon media monicamedia.. media.. media… हमारे देश का मीडिया भी कमाल है … अब आप ही देखिए कि अरविंद सुपारी खरीदने गए है पर ब्रेकिंग खबर क्या चल रही है अरविंद केजरीवाल ने सुपारी ली …

अब सुपारी का क्या मतबल निकाला जाएगा … इसके लिए देखते रहिए लाल मिर्ची टीवी … मिलते हैं ब्रेक के बाद :)

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35. “The HEART doesn’t show up as a structural element in most fiction formulas” ~ a Tweet

The fact that the Heart doesn’t show up in most fiction formulas is meant to alarm writers.

One reader must have become alarmed after reading it in my new article: THE HEART OF THE STORY: What Is it, Where Is it, and How Do We Get There?

I’m grateful to writer, Rahma Krambo, for Tweeting it because it reminds me why I’ve been hammering away on this issue for so long. The Heart doesn’t appear in most writing manuals!

Is anybody else alarmed?

It surprises me that I hadn’t previously devoted an article to the Story Heart such as I’ve done here — not on my own blog but over at Helping Writers Become Authors.

Click on over and see what all the ruckus is about.

I have to thank K.M. Weiland for offering her wonderful website for my heart rant. I can’t think of another writer who appreciates what might really be going on in this little-known heart of a story.

Thanks, Katie!

Coming up in a day or two, the next episode in my Travel Series:

Deep Travel: When Have You Gone Too Far?

 

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36. Article- Caring Mother

cartoon -mothers day

देखा जाए तो बात है भी और नही भी है .. असल में, बात ये है कि जब मैं छोटी थी और जब भी स्कूल से घर आती या  खेल कर आती  और मम्मी के हाथ का टेस्टी टेस्टी खाना खाती तो बहुत बार टार्चर कर लेती यानि की ज्यादा खा लेती ओवर ईंटिग कर लेती . खासकर राजमा चावल का बेहद शौक होने के कारण मैं खुद को कंट्रोल नही कर पाती थी और उसी चक्कर में मम्मी अपने हिस्से का भी मुझे दे देती … और मैं झट पट खा लेती और हमेशा सोचती कि जब मैं बडी होऊगी और मेरे बच्चे होंगें तो अपने हिस्से के राजमा चावल तो कभी नही दूंगी …

ह हा हा … मैं बडी भी हो गई बच्चे भी हैं पर आज भी जब बच्चों को खाना अच्छा लगता है चाहे वो राजमा चावल ही क्यों न हों …  और वो और की मांग यानि टार्चर करें   तो मेरा यही जवाब होता है … अरे !! अभी बहुत रखा है रसोई में आप आराम से खाओ…

न जाने देने मे कितनी खुशी मिलती है एक अहसास सा होता है कि खुद का  पॆट तो अपने आप ही भर गया … शायद यही मां होती है ..

 

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37. Cartoon- Mother’s Day 2015

cartoon-mothers dayMothers day हमारा प्यारा … मम्मी को बधाई देते हैं, कार्ड बनाते है और फूल देते हैं … इसके बदले , पता है आज की मम्मी क्या चाह्ती है … मम्मी का कहना है कि … बेटा … अगर तुम मुझे  आज के दिन कुछ देना ही चाह्ते हो तो प्लीज मुझे भी फेसबुक Face book  और वटस अप  Whatsappकरना सिखा दो … लो भई कर लो बात …

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38. Cartoon _ ICU

cartoon- ICU- monicaICU …मे होना खुद मे चिंता का विषय है पर अगर राष्ट्रीय आपदा प्रबंधन खुद ही आई सी यू में हो तो भई … हमारी तो बोलती बंद …

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39. Cartoon_ Birthday

neta gandhi by monica guptaऐसा भी होता है हमारे देश मे भिन्न भिन्न पार्टी है यानि दल है और जब भी कभी नेता का जन्मदिन या पुण्य तिथि  मनाने की बात आती है तो एक  होड सी मच  जाती है कि पहले हम हार पहनाएगे … पहले हम हार पहनाएगे…  ऐसे में पुलिस को ना सिर्फ सम्भालना पडता है बल्कि कई बार तो चार्ज भी करना पड जाता  है … kya    अरे भई लाठी चार्ज :)

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40. Cartoon_ Feel Good

cartoon- feel good - monica भगवान का लाख लाख शुक्र है कि एक दिन हमारा भी आता है सारा साल खुले मे खडे खडे हम इतने गंदे हो जाते हैं कि कोई हमारी सुध नही लेता पर … 2 अक्टूबर आने से पहले हमारी सफाई और धुलाई हो जाती है .. हे राम !!!

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41. Article- Plants

planntplant

कुछ देर पहले मैं  तेज धूप छिपने के बाद पौधों को पानी दे रही थी. अचानक् एक गमले में मुझे लगा कि कुछ पौधे चुप चुप से हैं. वैसे वो अक्सर ऐसे नही रहते हमेशा लहराते हुए मिलते हैं. फिर आज क्या … क्या आज गर्मी ज्यादा तेज है … ओह .. तभी ध्यान आया कि आज मैने  उसी गमले से दो  पौधे निकाल कर अपनी सहेली को दिए थे…शायद तभी वो अकेलापन महसूस कर रहे होंगें और शायद इसीलिए ही चुप से होंगे. बच्चे भी जब घर से बाहर पढाई या नौकरी के लिए जाते है तब मम्मी पापा को भी कुछ ऐसा ही महसूस होता है पर धीरे धीरे जब उन्हे पता चलता है कि बच्चा ठीक है उसका मन लग गया है  तो वो भी सेट हो जाते है .

मेरा मन नही माना और उसी समय मैं उसी सहेली के घर गई वो पौधे देखने . उसने पौधे को बहुत सम्भाल कर  बरामदे में गमले मे लगा कर रखा था. थे तो वो भी चुप चुप पर मुझे पूरा विश्वास है कि नए वातावरण मॆं वो खुद को जल्द ही ढाल लेंगे और खूब खिल उठेंगें …. इसी सोच मे मैं भी खिल गई …

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42. Cartoon – Mandir

cartoon- mandir-monica guptaहे भगवान !!! मंदिर मे गाना …. तेरे मस्त मस्त दो नैन … मेरे दिल का ले गए चैन … अब भगवान जी क्या सोच रहे होंग़ें ये तो भगवान ही जाने … :(

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43. Cartoon- Pollution

cartoon- pollution-birdबहुत प्रदूषण है मम्मी … इसलिए मास्क लगाना पडा

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44. Summer Learning Loss and How to Prevent It

Children Playing

Research shows that students experience about 2.5 months of learning loss when they don’t engage in educational activities over the long summer break.

This means much of what they learned this school year will evaporate during the summer.

However, summer learning loss is preventable. Summer Bridge Activities® – a workbook series – is designed to reinforce grade-level skills and preview upcoming grade skills in only 15 minutes a day.

Students will stay mentally sharp and be prepared for the upcoming year while still having time for summer fun. That is why Summer Bridge Activities remains the #1 choice for parents with school-age children.

Get Summer Bridge Workbooks here now:

Summer Bridge Activities

Summer Bridge Activities – Preschool to Kindergarten

Summer Bridge Activities K - 1st

Summer Bridge Activities – Kindergarten to 1st Grade

Summer-Bridge-Activities-Grades-1-2-Hobbs-Julia-Ann-9781887923040

Summer Bridge Activities – 1st Grade to 2nd Grade

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Summer Bridge Activities – 2nd to 3rd Grade

Unknown

Summer Bridge Activities – 3rd to 4th Grade

Summer Bridge 4th to 5th grade

Summer Bridge Activities – 4th to 5th Grade

Summer Bridge Activities 5th to 6th grade

Summer Bridge Activities – 5th to 6th Grade

Summer Bridge Activities 6th to 7th grade

Summer Bridge Activities – 6th to 7th Grade

Summer Bridge Activities - 7th to 8th grade

Summer Bridge Activities – 7th to 8th Grade

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45. All Done!

The art for The Story I’ll Tell is finally done (!) and now in the hands Lee & Low books. It was an exhausting April because I insisted on re-painting several pages that I had already finished in order to improve them. (Changes, in watercolor world, often mean re-doing the whole thing.) Eventually, though, I had to call it quits and just send it off.

SIT-ship

Apparently the kitten wishes to be shipped as well.

I can’t wait to see how it will look when it’s all done. So far I’ve seen a preview of the jacket design and couldn’t be more excited to share it with you. Soon… soon.

Even though I don’t have any art to show you now, I do have some fun photos!

First off, the studio. Here’s where the magic happens. I only have the one desk, so I move the drawing board and put the computer there if I’m scanning stuff or doing things online. The board on the wall (far left) is blank now, but it usually holds the book’s latest thumbnails so I can see the whole project at a glance. I update the bulletin boards often for inspiration and reference. The large format scanner is a brand new addition. I feel so professional! (Compare to my studio setup five years ago, which involved a travel watercolor set, a folding camping table, and a hand-me-down PowerBook from 2002. And no scanner whatsoever–I took photos of my paintings back then with a crappy old digital camera.)

studio

The studio, looking tidier than usual.

Sometimes I think that thumbnail drawings are the most important part of the process. They don’t look like much and most of them end up in the reject pile, but that’s where it all starts. I love to draw these while sitting at a cafe.

SIT-thumbnails

Too many to fit in the frame.

I make my own dummies at various stages of the process to see how it’s flowing with the page turn.

SIT-dummies

The cat finds the dummies amusing.

More info about the project should be available soon. I’ll keep ya posted.

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46. Can Parents Use Video Games As Lessons In Life?

Engineer, Parent & Former School Teacher Crafts Novel Method For Teachable Moments

In the history of child development, the widespread participation in the use of video games is not only a relatively new phenomenon, but a widespread one, too.

Ninety-seven percent of children and adolescents in the United States play at least one hour per day, according to the American Psychological Association.

Naturally, many parents and educators worry that this game time is subtracting from healthy skills children should be developing, such as reading.

“As children grow into teenagers and then young adults, finding your favorite novel as a young person, for example, can have immeasurable benefits by answering questions like: Who am I? What do I value? How do I move forward in life?” says Mark Cheverton (markcheverton.com), a former public school teacher of 15 years, an engineer with GE and a father who was inspired to write novels for his son and other children to help teach life lessons.

“Of course, books – whether print or digital versions – are the best sources for in-depth knowledge about anything, from gardening to history to science and more. Establishing reading as a habit is necessary for the well-being of the world.”

Invasion of the Overworld

Cheverton offers tips for parents who want to encourage healthy habits to their children, including reading and more.

• Find books that reflect video game themes. “Invasion of the Overworld: Book One in the Gameknight999 Series: An Unofficial Minecrafter’s Adventure,” a book by Cheverton, is an effective example. What better way to get a kid to read a book than to offer one that’s about the video games they are obsessed with? In this case, it’s about the popular game Minecraft.

• Parent participation can create additional teachable moments for issues like bullying. “I’ve come to love playing Minecraft with my son, who spent months building things on his server: castles, bridges, underwater cities, factories, everything and anything his imagination could conceive,” Cheverton says. “Video games can have its benefits, too, creating opportunities to communicate with your child on those teachable moments we may dread, like when my son was bullied, but other habits ought to balance a child’s life as well.”

• Computer gaming can have positive benefits with family relationships. It turns out that there has been plenty of research out there on the benefits of parents playing computer games with their kids – not by computer game makers, but by respected universities. Researchers from Arizona State University suggest that “Parents miss a huge opportunity when they walk away from playing video games with their kids.” From Brigham Young University, researchers studied 287 families and looked at how they play video games together. The BYU team found that girls from ages 11 to 16, who played video games with a parent, reported better behavior, more feelings of family closeness and less aggression than girls who played alone or with friends. In addition, there is a great TED talk that discusses game playing and the positive effectives – both for family closeness and health.

• Games like Minecraft may offer an interest in engineering, city planning, etc. Many children who take to games that entail building cities may naturally take an interest later in life in the details of building things in the real world. Of course, children who love video games may want to know how the games themselves work or are of a high quality, which can lead to further interest in technology. Whether it’s a future career in video games, computer programming, engineering or a very long list of high-paying jobs, gaming can lead to good things.

Mark Cheverton
Mark Cheverton (markcheverton.com) majored in physics and math as an undergraduate in college and went on to teach in public schools for 15 years. While teaching he earned a master’s degree in physics. He later went on to work for GE’s Global Research Center, where he researched laser welding , 3D printing, machine vision, process monitoring and machine control. He began writing his Minecraft series to help explain difficult lessons to his son, now 11. Those lessons include taking risks, a willingness to try something difficult and how to be brave. The books also address the sensitive topic of bullying.

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47. Cartoon- Acche Din

कार्टून… मोदी सरकार का एक साल पूरा होने को है पर … पर …. पर … अच्छे दिन  आते हुए ,  दिखाई देते प्रतीत नही हो रहे हो सकता है शायद दूरबीन की मदद से दिखाई दे जाए :(

cartoon- monica -acche din

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48. Messages from the Playground

Healing homophobia before it begins and preventing bullying before it starts

playing-563727-m

“Uncle Chris, is she your girlfriend?” Suddenly I was a teen again. I felt like I did before I was out of the closet and someone would bring up the word “gay.” I could feel the hair on my neck rise, the color burn into my cheeks and the knot in my stomach. How is it that I, who have been out of the closet for 10 years, who’s life is dedicated to LGBT advocacy work, an individual who mentors gay youth and prides himself on visibility, who was in fact visiting Arizona to give a workshop at the EQAZ’s Equality and Justice Conference, have a six year old nephew who doesn’t know his uncle is gay?

I have five nieces and nephews and I absolutely love them all. I sometimes go through kid withdrawals and often joke that I need a “kid fix.” I recently got a “kid fix” in January. I didn’t make it home for the holidays, so while in Arizona my mom had everyone over that I would normally see during Christmas. I even had a childhood friend over, my best friend growing up, Alyssa. Alyssa was pregnant with her second child, which seems to reflect the current trend back home because I feel like everyone I know is having kids. She’s also apparently my nephew’s gay uncle’s girlfriend.

Kids really do say the darndest things because what occurred to me later that night after everyone left was what wasn’t being communicated. Something felt uncomfortably wrong. If my sister’s six year old son was in the dark, did that mean my brother’s kids were as well? What about my cousin’s kids or my friend’s kids? I decided to investigate to find out more.

I began asking around to see why Aaron didn’t know or if he did, why did he ask if Alyssa was my girlfriend. The common theme in all the answers I got had to do with a feeling of discomfort around addressing the conversation. The parents I spoke with didn’t feel like their child was old enough to have the conversation or that they would understand.

This confused me because I remember being a kid and I remember knowing that I was gay even as a young child. In fact, I was the same age as my nephew Aaron when I knew I was gay. Studies show that by age 2 or 3, children start to develop a sense of being male or female, otherwise known as gender identity. By age 3-5, most kids have developed a strong sense of being a boy or a girl and begin to purposefully explore their bodies. Not to say they know what sex is or what being gay or straight is, but they have a sense of their sexuality. As one report I read says, “This is the age (3-5) that children will learn important sexual attitudes from their parents.” Around ages 6-10, kids are especially interested in things like, pregnancy and gender roles and ask questions like, “where do babies come from?” or “is that your girlfriend?” This is also the age where their friends, family, and outside world begin to influence sexual attitudes, these can be seen as what I call the “messages from the playground.”

Messages from the playground are the subconscious beliefs we ALL pick up from our childhood about what it means to be a boy, a girl, to be gay or straight, to be black, to be white, etc. We allhave them. They formulate our belief system and it’s our belief systems that control the way we operate our lives.

My cousin, who just celebrated her son’s second birthday, is a proud mom. She and 20 of her high school friends have monthly playdates where they all get together, hang out, and watch their kids play. She recently posted a picture on Facebook of all the moms with their kids and I got to thinking, those moms absolutely love their children. Each one of those women was beam-ing with joy at being a mom. I would venture to say that each one of those moms would do anything for their kid and only wants the absolute best for them and their life. I also thought, statistically speaking, at least one or two of those kids are gay. Studies show that anywhere from 2-10% of Americans identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. This does not take into account people who aren’t out of the closet or don’t identify as being gay. There’s also the “1 in 10” theory that some still refer to, the idea that 1 in 10 people identify as having same sex attraction.

I got to thinking how many of those moms have considered the possibility that their child is gay. I’m not saying those moms are homophobic, what I am addressing, though, is the fact we do live in a heteronormative society. You are assumed straight upon birth, which creates the closet experience.

The dictionary’s definition of a term called benign neglect is “an attitude or policy of ignoring an often delicate or undesirable situation that one is held to be responsible for dealing with.” Benign neglect was a policy proposed in 1969 by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, President Nixon’s Urban Affairs Advisor. During which, Moynihan sent the President a memo many view as controversial, suggesting, “The time may have come when the issue of race could benefit from a period of ‘benign neglect.’”

I went to a lecture last summer where they suggested that benign neglect and racism in the US is directly correlated to such recent events as the death of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. Just because something is benign doesn’t mean it’s not harmful. Not communicating something communicates something.

My sister not having a conversation with her kids about her gay brother communicates something. I say that from a loving place for my sister and for the other mothers I’ve talked to. I never recall anyone in my family ever saying, “Chris, being gay is wrong and you will go to hell.” But it’s something that I picked up from my surroundings, what wasn’t being communicated, the benign neglect, which formulated MY messages from the playground – the subconscious beliefs I had about what it meant to be gay; the internalized homophobia I developed in my childhood.

Internalized homophobia is something that all gay people have to some degree. “To grow up in a society that is overwhelmingly and stiflingly homophobic and to somehow escape unscathed would be miraculous,” says famous drag queen, Panti Bliss, who recently gave a TED talk that’s now gone viral. It’s important to acknowledge because it sheds light on something within the gay community that has to do with shame. If any of us, gay or straight, has any guilt or shame whatsoever, we will subconsciously seek punishment. That could look like many things, but includes and is not limited to, self-deprecating behavior, unhappiness, depression, unhealthy relationships, etc.

Dr. Brene Brown, a shame and vulnerability research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, shows that kids start shutting parts of themselves down around middle school. She refers to 4th and 5th grade as the “creativity slump” because kids begin to compare themselves to each other. Her studies show that shame-prone children are more likely to commit suicide, drop out of school, engage in high risk sexual behavior, and experience increased drug use.

I remember walking home from school in 6th or 7th grade. I was by myself and hadn’t even left the school yard, when I suddenly felt someone walk up behind me and whisper in my ear, “faggot.” I literally froze. I was petrified. The first thing I thought was, “oh my god, people know.” The secret I had worked tirelessly day in and day out at hiding was suddenly acknowledged. If he knew, then others must know as well. I remember feeling so much shame I didn’t even turn around. I just kept walking, pretending I didn’t hear what he said.

Shame is something that all humans experience to some degree. For the gay community, the closet is the place most of us spend the majority of our developmental years in and is a hotbed for shame. Benign neglect is something that perpetuates being in the closet. Not communicating something communicates something. Research shows that shame and addiction are so closely related they don’t know where one starts and the other begins. Shame is also highly correlated with addiction and suicide. The Trevor Project, a suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization I volunteer in, shows that suicide is the second leading cause of death among young people ages 10-24. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth are four times more likely, and questioning youth are three times more likely, to attempt suicide in comparison to their straight peers. And nearly half of young transgender people have seriously thought about taking their lives, and one quarter report having made a suicide attempt.

I began to think about the young kids who know they’re gay but don’t know what to call it or how to address it, how they have feelings of being different and that something is wrong with them. For a child who feels guilty or as though something is wrong with them, they often isolate and withdraw. It made me think about an episode on Oprah I watched many years ago where she interviewed four convicted child sex offenders. She wanted to understand why pedophiles do what they do and to her discovery, they intentionally and methodically seek out vulnerable children. The children who are away from the group, detached, quiet, otherwise withdrawn.

By talking about shame, we are exposing it and nipping it in the bud. Having uncomfortable conversations with children at a young age doesn’t put them at risk, instead, it does the opposite. It keeps them from risk. Dr. Brown says, “if you put shame in a petri dish, it only needs three things to grow: secrecy, silence and judgment. If you put shame in a petri dish and douce it with empathy it can’t survive. Shame can’t survive being spoken.”

My sister may or may not have a gay child. My cousin or her friends may or may not have gay children. But they might. To apply benign neglect and hope to have the conversation when their child comes out communicates something. It communicates that they’re uncomfortable with the conversation, which implies that it’s different, further perpetuating guilt, shame, and the closet experience.

Finally, why “messages from the playground?” The way I see it, we all played on the same playground. No matter where you’re from or how old you are, there are certain societal messages that we collectively agree with and using something lighthearted while discussing shame is very important if you want to have a conversation that lasts longer than two minutes. In my experi-ence, we hear the words homophobia or internalized homophobia, and we either shut down, change the subject, or deny that we have it.

I’ve since talked to my sister, my brother, and other members of my family about being open with their kids. My five nieces and nephews are now very aware that Alyssa is not my girlfriend. I’ve also been talking to everyone I know about Messages from the Playground. My goal is to create a more open dialogue within the gay community around internalized homophobia and to raise awareness with parents about the possibility they may or may not have a gay child. At the very least, their children will jump rope or play tag with one on the playground. My ultimate goal is to heal homophobia before it begins and prevent bullying before it starts. Because as I recently read, “If we want to end internalized homophobia, we need to first end homophobia. It’s as simple as that.”

My invitation to you is to consider the messages from the playground you have about what it means to be a woman or a man. What about having a gay child? What about race? What about being gay? What about being straight? Think about what beliefs you have and how they impact your life, either positively or negatively. Our beliefs tell our story. By confronting your messages from the playground, you’re bringing them to the light. Once you bring something to the light, it can’t hurt you anymore.

And if the thought has ever crossed your mind of whether or not your child is gay, don’t not talk about it. Not communicating something communicates something. We’re in a time where the argument is no longer around whether or not homosexuality is a choice, the argument is around the choice whether or not to unconditionally support the child you love. As a parent, you have the potential to change the trajectory of your child’s life by being patient, supportive, and vulnerable. There are many resources, professional groups and individuals that are out there. Ask for guidance, follow your heart, and continue being the parent you’re capable of being.

As Bob Proctor says, “Kids are making up their mind, we’ve got to change ours. It’s a lot easier to make up your mind than it is to change it.”

Chris Chris Tompkins is a life coach, advocate, student of life and teacher of all things he learns. His purpose is to reconnect folks with their spirituality or help them to find it for the first time. A lot of his work focuses on the gay and lesbian community, as so many have a negative association with religion and/or spirituality because of the messages they heard growing up. He likes to go in, uncover belief systems, and work with folks on developing awareness to live healthier and happier lives.

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49. Cartoon- Tweet Tweet

तुम्हारा Pass word क्या है
अमीरी
सलाम साब

जिसका पासवर्ड अमीरी हो .. रुपया पैसा हो उसने  जब एक्सीटेंट किया तो  डरना क्या…

बेशक फिल्मी लाईफ में वो हीरो हैं पर बहुतों की नजर में अब वो हीरों नही और उनही मे से मैं भी   एक हूं

cartoon -monica-car

 

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50. Hey WhatsApp !!!

cartoon - CCTV- likehi… WhatsApp !!! कहिए क्या चल रहा है … !!!

मेरे जानकार का  एक वटस अप ग्रुप है जिसमे उसके ज्यादातर परिवार वाले और बहुत अपने खास दोस्त है. दोस्त भी ऐसे जिन्हें वो अपने परिवार के तरह समझता है . उसी ग्रुप में उसने मुझे भी शामिल कर लिया. हालाकि मैने बहुत मना किया क्योकि बहुत बोरिंग हो जाता है ग्रुप की पोस्ट झेलना. खैर इस बात को बहुत समय हो गया और अब मुझे ज्यादा महसूस भी नही होता इक्का दुक्का पढ कर बाकि डिलीट कर देती हूं .

सबसे ज्यादा भरमार रहती है जन्मदिन , शादी के साल गिरह पर बधाई की. अगर सौ सदस्य हैं तो सभी बधाई देगें कुछ तो डबल डबल मैसेज करेंगें..उस दिन बहुत भरमार रहती है और दूसरे मैसेज होते है चुटकुले .. उस पर भी हा हा हीही हूहू वाले बहुत संदेश त्वरित होते हैं पर पिछले कुछ दिनों पहले मैने एक बात नोट की और आप से शेयर कर रही हूं

हुआ यू कि उस ग्रुप की एक लडकी ने माता पिता पर छोटा सा article  लिखा. एक घंटा बीत गया किसी का कोई कमेंट, smile   या थम्स अप नही आया. फिर आधा घंटे बाद कुछ हलचल हुई और किसी ने पति पत्नी पर एक joke  डाला और देखते ही देखते उस पर कमेंटस आने लगे. ये बात कही दब कर रह गई. फिर कुछ दिन बाद उसी परिवार मे किसी ने अपनी poem  डाली … फिर आधा धंटा चुप्पी छा गई. ऐसा लगा मानो सभी को सांप सूघ गया . कोई रिएक्शन नही. पर मैने देरी नही की और कविता को सराहा और उसे और लिखने के लिए प्रेरित किया. तभी वो लडकी जिसने लेख लिखा था उसने भी लिखा कि बहुत अच्छी लिखी है. कुछ देर बाद   उस लडकी ने मुझे फोन करके थैक्स बोला और यह भी कहा कि वो भविष्य में भी लिखेगी पर उसे हर बार उसे  प्रोत्साहित करना होगाऔर कुछ सही नही लगा तो समझान होगा:) मैने खुशी खुशी इस बात को स्वीकार कर लिया.

मुद्दे की बात ये है कि चाहे  birthday  हो या सालगिरह या चुटकुले पर हा हा ही ही करना … यह हर एक कोई कर लेता है पर किसी की पीठ थपथपना या मोटीवेट करना यह हर किसी के बस की बात नही… और जो लोग लगातार मोटीवेट करते हैं वो दूसरों के दिल में एक खास ही जगह बना लेते हैं और उनके प्रिय बन जाते हैं … पर बहुत लोगों को यह कला नही आती … फिल्म स्टार की तारीफ कर देग़ें हीरोईन की तारीफ कर देंगें पर जब बात अपनो की तारीफ की आएगी तो … तो … तो ….. !!!

जी क्या कहा आपने .. अब आप भी किसी न किसी को जरुर प्रोत्साहित करेंगें … अरे वाह ये हुई न बात … आप को भी शुभकामनाएं :)

Best wishes :)

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