All Talk and No Action Friday, December 30, 2011

Another reason that made 2011 wonderful was the opportunity to play a dutiful aunt to different sets of nieces and nephews.

Gaming parlours, television and shopping malls have cast their net far and in my opinion, most parents in cities, lack creative ideas to engage and help kids grow. It annoys me to see 9 and 10 year olds whiling away their vacations on Facebook. The other extreme of endless tuitions is equally frustrating.

The post is not so much about my skills but about the places I took these kids to. 

Nehru Planetarium, Taraporewala Aquarium and Juhu beach.

The amount of joy, awe and entertainment shot through the roof at Nehru Planetarium. The place offers much to pique a kid's curiosity. Hell, adults have been known to squirm with delight during the screening of space shows.

Aquarium, on the other hand, even though unclean and poorly maintained, managed to interest the kids.

Juhu beach is an easy bet and always saves the day.

And if everything else fails, the streets of Mumbai and the local trains are a fun way to spend your day. 

Some of my most cherished memories of summer vacations are of my father driving us across the city or taking us on foot tours through the lanes of Mumbai. I don't think we missed visiting any major area of Mumbai. Infact, we had been to all of Mumbai. Come vacations and my brother and I made endless lists of must see places, with several repetitions over the years. My father never tired of revisiting these places, pointing at buildings or narrating special stories about various localities.

When Vashi and other regions in New Bombay grew, we made an excited visit to all railway stations on the harbour line and understood how and why they were better than the older railway stations

One of our most interesting trips was a night spent outside the international airport. We spotted every departing airplane through the holes in the boundary wall and learned about the faraway lands these airplanes took people to.

We are no longer kids and our family outings are not the same anymore. Yet, a lot of my early education happened through the sights and sounds of Mumbai.

Thanks to my parents, I was happy to put these memories to good use this year.

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