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Why there is music

[Photo credit - Nirmala Patil] Sitting in the dark, my hand softly stroking my belly, I often whispered my love to the tiny infant blooming inside me. I think that’s when music in the form of a mother’s voice first dribbled into my daughter’s ears. That, along with the echo of my beating heart. It’s been four and half years since, and music still continues to fill her ears and our days in myriad ways.  A 2016 study at the University of Southern California’s Brain and Creativity Institute found that musical experiences in childhood can actually accelerate brain development, thereby impacting a child’s intelligence and leading to improvements in other areas – an idea known as “transfer effects”. Repeated studies...

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Summer, a one word poetry

[Photo - Nirmala Patil] Summer, like one word poetry, stirs so much in the heart. It comes, making its intense presence felt in its very coming. Nothing about this season spells subtlety. Mornings feel like the kindling of a fire, noons are fierce and parching, even the evenings and nights are unruly, furling earth’s dust in their wake. But they’re kinder than the day. And fleur-scented. I love summer’s abundance of flowers and the peals of laughter that fill the air as little children frolic outside all day and late into the night. It always brings back my own childhood summers. Of long school holidays spent wandering with friends and playing in aangans (tree-lined courtyards), hot afternoons relishing melons and...

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New born mango leaves and You

[Photo - Nirmala Patil] It’s the first day of phalguna, the last month in the Hindu lunar calendar. she comes running to me in the kitchen and taking me by my hand, she ushers me to the balcony and exclaims excitedly pointing her finger towards a lone mango tree faraway on the hill, ‘ma look, there are new leaves being born on that mango tree! It means it’s soon going to be spring, isn’t it?’ Such a small observation, but when my little girl of four makes it, I’m filled with joy and sweet pride. Because this is the kind of relationship with nature I’ve always hoped to cultivate in my daughter. The kind where she can learn to understand...

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Here's a small wish for you....

As bed time nears we have a negotiation ritual each day. ‘Mama can we please have one story today?' And as I am a little strict about A sticking to her bed time each night, some days I have to decline. She is getting better at her negotiation skills though. Last night she said, “You know, right? I will not always ask you to read me a story and I will not always need a torch light, I will grow up some day”  :( With THAT dialogue and some drama not only did she manage one, but two stories from me!   When I look back now, I realise I have actually learnt a lot from her in the last five...

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