Just passing on a link for Random House India's new blog which invites a guest writer to contribute a column every fortnight or so. Here's a brilliant one on Indian humor (or the lack thereof) by playwright and screenplay writer, Anubhav Pal.
~By Anu. I know this is not a baby website. But trust me, whatever you're doing in life... when you have a baby... everything becomes about the baby! A generation ago, some babies quite happily slept in a dresser drawer. I'm not sure I'm stern enough to perpetuate that tradition... but I've also tried not to buy up loads of superfluous stuff. Most of my son's clothes are hand me downs (apart from the bagload my shopaholic mother and aunts went out and bought!) I bought a second hand changing table... and luckily rescued this handmade wooden cradle both I and my mother were rocked to sleep in from my grandfather's house in Jammu! Other than that, for what it's worth, here are my top ten recommendations of things you'll probably need/want if you're having your first baby. It ain't exactly journalism, but I did end up doing a lot of research to find products that were super useful and built to last:
~By Anu. When my little brother, Kapil, was six, we visited India together. Waiting for a train at New Delhi Railway Station, a dishevelled little boy, about the same age approached us. He offered to shine Kapil's sneakers. I'd seen beggar children before. But at that moment, I was suddenly pierced by the stunning disparity: Kapil, in his American clothes, loved and nurtured, still innocent and sheltered... and the little shoeshine boy, who ought to have been the same. What other deprivations did he already know that Kapil would never, ever experience?
When our son, Maurya, was born a few months ago, Tarquin and I both strongly felt that the start of his life should be marked by passing on our good fortune. So we decided to make a donation to an organization in Delhi well known for its passionate efforts to rescue, educate and liberate children forced to work for survival.
Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save Childhood Movement), rescues thousands of children from forced labour. It helps educate, train and reunite children with their families, as well as lobbying to strengthen Indian child protection laws (an uphill struggle to say the least!). If anyone is interested in donating to them from outside India, just email me by clicking on the link at the top right, and I can put you in touch. Somewhere, a desperate child and parents need your help.