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Showing posts from May, 2015

Short story: The Blue Ribbon

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“Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we often might win, by fearing to attempt.”  William Shakespeare


Ali Noor stared at the students in the parade ground with a hungry look in his eyes. It was a clear, sunny day and the rehearsals for the Annual Sports Day were in full swing. All his school-mates were busy marching on the field, their footsteps perfectly matching the beat of the drum. 

Some were rehearsing acrobatics while others were practising relay and sack racing. The parade leaders were twirling their batons while the Sports Teacher supervised the practice session. Each student was trying his utmost to display his strength and agility. The whole place was abuzz with noise, colour and excitement.

Ali Noor sat alone under an old tree. Every fibre of his being wanted to be on that sports field, running and marching and proudly raising the red and gold school banner but a tragic reality prevented him from doing so. Ali Noor had been paralysed in his infancy by polio. He …

Let's Make A Difference: A short story

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“There is no happiness except in the realization that we have accomplished something.” Henry Ford 





Ibraheem sat alone in his classroom with an open book in front of him. It was recess time and all the other children were outside. He heard their chatter and the thump-thump of a basketball being dribbled in the playground. Then a shrill whistle from their sports teacher pierced the air as he tried to line up the boys. But Ibraheem’s mind was on the poem they had just read in the Urdu class. 
The poem was about little raindrops. Each raindrop feared that it was too small and insignificant to bring any relief to the dry, parched earth. They all hesitated while man and beast suffered alike under the scorching sun. But their leader told them that if they all fall together, they could ease the suffering and bring respite to the people. When the raindrops fell together, the sun-baked earth rejoiced and the people celebrated Allah’s bounty 
Ibraheem’s mind reflected upon this story and an idea be…

Children's Classics for Summer Holidays

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Mark Twain once said “The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them.”  While books by Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and J.K Rowling are extremely enjoyable and a lot of fun to read, a good classic is something that makes you think about life, its challenges and the courage and determination of its characters in tackling difficult situations.
Many famous writers have written some wonderful classics for children. They are delightful to read and the best time to do so is during the long summer vacations. If the thought of reading an unabridged classic is too daunting, why not choose the shorter version by publishers like Oxford Progressive Readers or Illustrated Classic Editions and get to know those timeless heroes and heroines who live within the pages of these great books.
Let’s take a look at some of the most wonderful classics ever written for children.
King Solomon’s Mines, by H. Rider Haggard
Famous hunter and explorer Allen Quatermain does not w…

Battling Clutter

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Having a clutter free home with one or more energetic kids in the house might seem like an impossible task. As soon as you are done cleaning one corner of the house, two more seem to be clamouring for attention. Babies, toddlers, pre-teens or teens, it does not matter what age group your kids belong to, their scattered belongings can drive you up the wall if you do not have a firm plan on how to counter it.
Sometimes we like to console ourselves with the adage that where there are kids, there’s bound to be some mess. However, research has shown that a cluttered house can have a very negative impact on your mood and health. It makes you feel tired, lethargic and quarrelsome especially if you cannot locate socks, school shoes or important papers buried underneath the mess. And just imagine the horror of unexpected guests walking in through the door with your children’s belongings scattered all over the house!!
Choose toys carefully:
One of the cardinal rules for having a clean house is…

The Treasure Chest

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Deep beneath the blue waters Dwells an old sunken ship In it lies a treasure chest Greed and avarice at its best
Glinting silver coins aplenty, Gold bars and a necklace pearly Some diamond pins and a ruby ring And a glittering crown fit for a king
An ivory fan and sapphire bracelets Jeweled cups and emerald anklets Heap upon heap, mound upon mound There it lies, waiting to be found
The chest took lives of men depraved And the treasure lies in a wet, muddy grave

An Ode to Socks

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My mum bought me a pair of socks With tiny circles and mighty blocks
Pink and purple, blue and white They were quite a pretty sight
My feet were cold, my toes were numb Not wearing socks sure was dumb.
I put them on and they were snug I gave my mum a very big hug.

And on my feet, they were kept
I wore them even while I slept
They are brown, once they were pink. They were clean but now they stink.
Now all I need is a new pair of socks. With tiny circles and mighty blocks
Pink and purple, blue and white Won’t they be a pretty sight?

16 Tips To Help You Prepare For Motherhood

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Motherhood is a great blessing but it always manages to catch you unprepared. No matter how much you read about it or get information from family members, friends, doctors and media, there is something about the real experience that is slightly surreal and at times bizarre.
Failure to plan means planning to fail and you cannot embrace an important role like motherhood without a lot of practice. So whether you are about to become a new mom or there is going to be another addition to the family, here’s what you should do:
Once a week, collect at least three children… you can borrow them from your neighbours or conscript nephews and nieces for this purpose…. and go shopping for grocery with them. Learn to glare, scold and discipline them while ignoring the amused looks from other shoppers. 
Forget what words like being ‘clean’ and ‘sweet smelling’ mean.  Get in the habit of having milk, custard, yoghurt, mashed banana, cerelac and egg yolk being burped, dribbled, spitted and vomited upon yo…

Get Set before You Go

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The arrival of a new baby is always a matter of great happiness….and one has to admit, a great deal of added housework and responsibilities too. In spite of its small size, the bundle of joy in your arms can increase your workload manifold and occupy a great deal of space in terms of baby clothes, baby products and whatnot.
Whether you are about to give birth for the first time or the fourth, there are a few basic things that you should tackle beforehand. Many women suffer from depression, stress and post-natal blues because they are not physically and mentally prepared to cope with all the added housework. Of course the hormones do not help either.
Give your house a thorough cleaningYou might not consider it a priority but cleaning the house from top to bottom is one of the best things expectant mothers can do before giving birth. In between the second and third trimester, go over each room of your house critically and get rid of all debris and clutter. 
If carpets, curtains and other l…

Taste of Hunger: A Poem

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Have you ever tasted hunger? Have you ever been its prey? Do you know what it means When hunger comes to stay?
A little loan from a shark Brought misery upon us all Every day he would come Push a little and watch us fall
“The money you pay is not enough! Your farm and crops, goats and cattle All mine as your debt remains.” In silence, the village saw the losing battle
One day he took it all and threw us out As our village watched behind curtains tattered Evil triumphed when compassion failed Cruelty laughed as humanity shattered
We have been hungry for many a days. Or weeks or months or perhaps some years Can no one heed our pleas for help? Does no one care, does no one hear?


Stars Beyond Number

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Just using your eyes On a clear, dark night Look up at the skies To find a wondrous sight
Stars beyond number, Making patterns gay Helping weary travellers, Go along their way
Their black, velvety cushion Stretched across the horizon Like little drops of diamonds They glitter and glisten
Pegasus and Perseus, North Star and Leo Libra and Aquarius, Hydra and Scorpio
All major constellations Moving across the sky Looking at the stargazers As they play I Spy.

Have Teeth Like Pearls

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Are you going to eat that red, juicy apple? 

Yes! Take a bite with your strong, white teeth and munch, crunch and chew till it is broken into small pieces, making it easy for you to swallow and digest it. 

Have you ever wondered about your teeth and the important role they play in your life?

Healthy teeth and gums are important for our overall health, eating, swallowing, smiling and even talking. Come on, let us take a look at your teeth and see if you are taking good care of them.
Enemy AttackBacteria are our teeth’s number one enemy but only when we keep the defences down. So you can say that actually it is ourbad habits and poor food choices that are our teeth’s biggest enemy. Let us take a look at some of the most common teeth problems that we face.
Cavities:When we eat, the bacteria in our mouth produce a sticky substance called plaque which covers our tooth enamel. If this plaque is not removed regularly by proper brushing, it coats our teeth. The acids then start to eat away the ena…

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