My Dad is going to be a Duck!

The last day of October was a fine one, but I wasn’t yet feeling it. I took myself out to the front-yard with a book and cup of coffee to see what could be done about it. 

It was around the fifth sip that I heard a little voice pipe up, “My father is going to be a duck!”

I grinned. How marvelous to see adults transform into ducks?!

I laughed in spite of myself, and had a short, sweet conversation with the dinosaur wanna-be, born to a duck wanna-be. Life, that hitherto felt dull, suddenly seemed full of possibility. Oh Sweet Halloween!

The children had decorated the front yard and the door step sweetly enough, but I yearned to look at the passionate decorators and what all they had in store for us that evening. One house has pumpkins carved every few feet, another had cobwebs and ghosts flapping and wailing through the cold days. The evening saunter would reveal the true artists, and though I did not know it then, I was in for a real treat that evening.

Very soon, the human stomach beckoned, and I headed into the kitchen to whip up another meal. Really! Why could human beings not be camels or tardigrades?! Why must we be slaves to our stomachs, and have these enticing appetites every few hours? It is all most trying for someone who does not enjoy cooking every meal of every day very much. (Tardigrades can apparently go for 30 years without food!)

Why could we not be like pelicans? When hungry, we could start dipping and dancing for our food, and then idly pedal around in the bays, and lakes. Wouldn’t that be marvelous?

A few hours later, after the never ending jobs of cooking, eating, and cleaning were done, the husband & I set off on a bike ride. The afternoon was slightly windy, and the clouds had scattered beautifully across the skies. As we pedaled rhythmically, my high strung sensibilities started to calm somewhat, but I still felt unmoored.

We stopped to take a break and where usually, I raved about the beauty of the world around us, I sat mute. The husband glanced at me somewhat surprised. It took a few minutes for nature to work its magic. But it did. There was a man who had his dogs on a long leash with him, and they kept trying to go in for a swim in the lake. It made a lovely diversion to watch them splash into the water, and then out again, in again, and out again. The tiny sparkles in the water, with the fall colors of the flora around the lake, slowly but surely raised the spirits.

Dogs swimming in the distance

As we pedaled back, I thought idly how lucky the ducks were. They had no idea that it was Halloween, and I am sure none of them wanted to dress up as human beings, but we wanted a little bit of magic and wanted to dress as ducks. That is as it should be.

That evening, I was an artist on the streets with ducks, dinosaurs, aliens, princesses, ninjas and superheroes.

The family that dressed as a volcano, ash cloud and tornado had my respect.

The house that scared me was the one where I inadvertently stepped on something and a large Aragog-like spider sprang up from the lawns nearby. Sometimes, our imaginations do go too far, but how lovely it is to have it and exercise it on Halloween?!

“Where there is no imagination there is no horror.” Arthur Conan Doyle


The Pirate’s Booty

The son was excited, and it showed. As I walked to school that day, I told him that I usually do not hobnob with the likes of him, and he chuckled. ‘Good one Amma!’

His Halloween costume had arrived just in time. His super-hero backpack clashed with his bright pirate’s costume, but it didn’t seem to bother him in the least. 

I have no idea whether pirates were this brightly dressed in the days of pirating, but mine looked like he had borrowed an idea or two from a parakeet. His pirate T-shirt and matching socks were a bright blue, while the rest of his ensemble was an even brighter red and black. His eye patch and head bandanna were skewed and he looked a happy, if somewhat studious, pirate. 

We walked into the school grounds, and my heart rose with the number of astronauts, super-heroes, and princesses. Even though, Halloween was a muted affair in school this year(There was to be no Halloween Parade because of the pandemic), these children had ensured they dressed up, and the morning chatter was louder than usual. Masked mermaids and cats whisked around – their eyes revealing their true excitement. There were no parades this year, and I felt a little sorry for the children and for myself.

I wanted to revel in the over the top costumes of young children. I wanted to admire the creative ones who took an idea and created something marvelous. I remember a chap a few years ago who came dressed up as a washing machine, holding a detergent can in his hand. All with the help of some cardboard boxes. One time, I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw a cow chatting amiably with Cleopatra in the parade.

“At least they let us dress up for school.” said the fellow spotting the silver lining, and I agreed. 

Tomorrow is Halloween, and I hope the frenzy to decorate and trick-or-treat will be with us again. 

For those who have been feeling life’s frenzies and the earnestness of its many demands, I hope you have a spot of Halloween fun!

Once in a Blue Orange Moon

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. In sunny California it is the time fall weather finally starts to settle in. I pick out pumpkins to set by the door. Most years, my carving takes a back seat, and I settle for painting or sticking outsize eyes and a mouth on it instead.

But we decorate the house – bats and owls stickers fly around avoiding the fake spider webs. Hasty orange construction paper is stuck around the outside light, and all things orange are ready to be displayed for one whole evening.

I remember a few years ago on an evening walk after a vigorous trick-or-treating, I felt a thrill and stood there mesmerized for a moment as an owl flew against the moonlight. I know Zen and Buddhist teachers tell us to enjoy the significance of every moment. I am not sure about every moment but a few moments do  lodge themselves in a magical spot. The owl flying across the moon was one such. I remember standing there bathed in the magic of it all. The owl of course is a visceral being, and was after its prey – nothing more nothing less. Halloween was an affair that was of no consequence to it. 

The blue moon will shine its benign light on us on Halloween. The trick-or-treaters will be thin on the ground, of course, because of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, and I should think bats will not be getting that warm a reception with humanity this year! 

The son got himself a costume that has a mask with an air filter on it keeping with the grim theme the world is cloaked in. “Hint!” I said holding up my hand in a V with two fingers on either side to those who tried to guess what it was on the video camera. The son shook his head disappointed and said, “Your hint is from Star Trek! My costume is from Star Wars!” Ahh well.

The son wore his Halloween costume to class today. This would have to be the poor substitute for the marvelous parade they usually get to attend on Halloween, but he dressed up with gusto . I was excited to see his classmates dressed up too: their tiny passport sized icons on the screen showing me the heads of princesses and pirates would have to do.  Their teacher was kind enough to let me read my book, Halloween in the Jungle, to them. Reading the books to the children is by far one of the best experiences I have had. Their reception to the story, their thoughtful questions thereafter, and their wholehearted enjoyment of the simple story is more than enough for me. Why? Oh why do we lose that marvelous feeling of youth as we grow older?


Tango Tiger, Janny Rat, Boy Elephant, Biso Bison, Spotty Rat and all their delightful pals are heading into their 7th year celebrating Halloween in the Jungle. The Halloween in the Jungle book has since given me immense joy. 

But this time, I feel a special bond to the little tykes as they revel in the clearing by Luda Lake, eating pumpkin pies, drinking orange and persimmon juice, and dancing to the lovely sounds of the musical orchestra with Nighty Nightingale, Owl, Bat and Frog. You see this time, just like the illustrations show, there will be a marvelous full moon night to light up Halloween. 


Blue moons are not as rare as we think, for they come around every 2-3 years. But apparently, this is the first time since World War II that a full moon visible from everywhere in the US coincided with Halloween. I am not one to set much store by signs, but if after the 1944 Halloween full moon, we were able to set the world to rights, surely a Halloween full moon and a blue moon at that should work miracles.

Happy Halloween!

The Magic of Story-Telling

“Stop being a Jellyfish!” said the husband.
“I knew you were going to say that – you are such an open book yourself!” said I.

We both giggled like children at our own pathetic joke. T’was the time for hulking men with or without mustaches and serious women to quack like ducks, twirl like fairies, flex those non-existent abs, and find that little teeny bit of whimsy that adulthood so expertly hides away beneath the layers. Halloween was here.



T’is the time people astound you with their imagination. Who doesn’t like having 3 spidermen knocking on your door all at once? Or to see the twin toddlers dressed as Nemo & Dory? The super-heroes and ninjas cowering behind their larger siblings in Vampire clothing, or the witches cackling hard?

There is something so uniquely beautiful about Halloween – the one festival where we can display our idiosyncrasies with grace, be accepted for whatever we are. You want to be a skeleton? That should be fine. Here is some candy for you. Really, buddy? You want to go out in the world in that costume? Well, if this appeals to you, then I suppose you deserve some candy anyway!

How many times in our lives do we get that kind of universal approval?

The husband and I were very proud of our last minute Halloween costumes: an open book & a jellyfish.

The little fairy lights I had taped into place made the jellyfish glow, and I received many compliments – I must say I glowed all evening with the praise, though I did credit the Internet with it.

When people asked me where I got the inspiration from, I replied truthfully that I have always wondered what it must be like to live under the sea, and they invariably laughed at my answer.

But it’s true. Every trip to the aquarium rekindles the magic of another world – right here with us. Reading Gerald Durrell’s essay about scuba diving is enthralling.

I have often wondered how we would have adapted if we had evolved under the ocean. Would we have figured out the laws and physics of the Universe to the extent we have, or would the medium have made little difference in understanding. The Octopus’s evolution to have more neurons than us is truly astounding.

Quanta Magazine: What shape is the universe? Closed or Flat?

It is why I like reading about the intelligence of dolphins and whales: the fact that they have epics the sounds bits of which are roughly the equivalent of our Iliad is amazing. Quote from Carl Sagan’s essay on Whale song:

If the songs of the humpback whale are enunciated as a tonal language, the total information content, the number of bits of information in such songs, is some 10 to the power of 6 bits, about the same as the information content of the Iliad or the Odyssey.

What must their epics say? For all our anthropological worldview, I wonder whether humans figure in them at all. That will be a fine thing to hear – a Dr Dolittle who finally translates a Whale Epic, only to find their world far richer than our own.

Art work by Daughter

I recently re-read the Voyages of Dr Dolittle by Hugh Lofting. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed visualizing myself sailing the seas with his motley group – either by skimming along like a porpoise, or better yet by getting a place inside the giant snail’s back as it sailed along smoothly churning the ocean as it went.

Swimming with Dolphins

We are all children of stories. We need epics and tales of fantasy. Our very own imaginations need an outlet, and Halloween gives us just that. I know my enthusiasm rubs off on the children as they go about planning their costumes. While I am out with a big smile on my face, a number of people give me an indulgent smile as if to say “Aren’t you a bit old for this?”

Mary Oliver gently reminds me to react with this nugget of wisdom:

“You must not ever stop being whimsical. And you must not, ever, give anyone else the responsibility for your life.” 

― Mary Oliver, Wild Geese

Privately, I am happy that our inner child never really leaves us.


Dressed Like a Mom or a Hippie?

“I am not a typical teenager, okay? Everyone always stereotypes teenagers, and we are not like that!”

I nodded (sagely, if I might add.)

“And I am not a drama queen! “, said the teenaged daughter stamping her foot dramatically, though I could already begin to see glimpses of her impish smile twitching there on the corner of her lips. 

“Of course you are not!” I said rolling my eyes, which she promptly caught. “So, when you remember what you are upset about, will you tell me?” I asked her.

Cheeky as she is, she had the good cheer to see the position, and she chuckled. 

“I don’t suppose it is fair for teenagers to be judged this way, especially when they do nothing stereotypical like buying MOM jeans!” I said pushing relentlessly to clinch the deal. 

The chuckle changed to full blown guffaws at this, and she rolled on the bed laughing.

“Appalling those jeans are! I never wear anything like that, and yet you had the cheek to go and pay more for them, and they are called MOM jeans for God’s sake. Not stereotypical at all, my dear!”

Timbered richly with the sound of her laughter, she agreed. “The jeans are pretty terrible! But I took a poll on Insta, and everyone agrees that it is a very good idea. Hippies do dress like that. With a tie-dye t-shirt and a flower headband, it’ll be lit!“

Lit, I am amused to hear, does not mean that she will be lit up in those little fairy lights. In today’s lingo, “Lit means like Awesome, you know Lit?”

“So, Lit is good?”

“Yes! Sheesh!”

We were discussing her proposed ensemble for Halloween. She wants to dress up as a hippie, and went out with her father and bought MOM jeans. In all fairness, she asked me for them, and I said, “MOM jeans?! Why not just wear my jeans with a belt?”

Ever the voice of reason, that’s me.

She rolled her eyes  (not in typical teenage fashion, since we are on the point of not stereotyping these saintly marvelous children)


Her creative side was in full blast. All she had read in her Greek myths, watched in her television shows: shows with raucous characters & sketchy parenting; combined to give her the idea for her Halloween costume. The idea was soundly seconded by her little Gryffindor brother, and her could-have-been-Gryffindor (if only he resisted the idea) father.

What blows my mind is how Marketing departments function. They took a bunch of overstocked baggy jeans that were languishing in the lots ever since the skinny jeans came into fashion, and gave it a name called MOM jeans and these children are willingly wearing them. I must learn some of that for my own sake. I have some long skirts that apparently are “Not Lit!”, that just may be made “Lit” again. Let’s see.

Should I dress as a teenager? Accessorize with sass, punch with pizzazz and cut being droll like a troll? That’ll be like totally lit!

Happy Halloween everyone!

For the Love of ( Halloween & the Environment) – Part 2

In Part 1 of the Halloween post, I had written about deciding on an Environment themed costume for Halloween for myself. I settled upon a Tree. We had a whole hour ahead of us to plan, execute and pull it off. I don’t know whether you have tried impersonating trees, it is very easy. You send your husband to buy something, say a car or some green cloth for the tree depending on your mood, get out a piece of cardboard and some green paint. You then set your children to cut and paint a tree-top and you sit back and you wonder how to pull off looking like a tree trunk and you are set. Ask some creative friend of yours to finish up the costume, stand back and project the spirituality of stolid trees. Like Booker. T. Washington said, “There is no power on Earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple and useful life.”

There is no power on Earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple and useful life. - Booker. T. Washington
There is no power on Earth that can neutralize the influence of a high, simple and useful life. – Booker. T. Washington

Trees are wonderful and soothing. Their stoic presence, their sturdy silence and their useful practical lives should say it all. Setting aside the fact I cannot produce oxygen, or hold a sturdy silence, or be stoic, or useful, I could be a Tree. I need to stand rooted and sway a bit in the breeze. How hard can it be? I just have to be out and about for people on candy-highs on Halloween night to flock to me for some calm.

The Silent Spectator.

That went well. I only spent the whole evening explaining to all and sundry who I was. Have you tried impersonating a Tree? It is a spiritual experience in and of itself. It is not easy. For one. I don’t see Tree Costumes, so you cannot pick one up and pull it on. For another, it is dashed hard to hoist the top of a tree on a hat. It flops back and forth and does not stay sturdy. I am sure that plenty of people on Pinterest will tell you how to do it, but I can tell you how not to do it. Especially, if you try to work with a cowboy hat.

How to make a Tree Costume
How to make a Tree Costume

So, with some excellent suggestions from my friends and children, we morphed it into a Tree Nymph whose express aim was to Save Trees. I tied the painted tree around my torso, wore brown pants so my legs would serve as the trunk and then wrapped my head with flowers to look like a Tree Nymph. I don’t know how Tree Nymphs look, but neither does the majority of the populace, so now they know. They look like me.

I must say I rather enjoyed myself. The son was Spiderman and the pair of us went around telling everyone that “Amma saves trees, and Son saves Humans”. When else could I have sported that Green nail polish the daughter and I picked up so we could have Rainbow themed nails?

Is this a Tree Nymph? If you haven't seen one, then yes.
Is this a Tree Nymph? If you haven’t seen one, then yes.

Say what you will about the rains that washed the Sun-dried California after Halloween, a small irrational part of me was happy. As a Tree-Nymph, had I invited the clouds over? It was certainly part of my original theme. The husband had even suggested I walk around with a large water droplet. But we did not have time to cut and color the water droplet. I sat relishing the sounds of the fresh patter of the rain, smelling the parched Earth drinking in the moisture, and enjoying a hot cup of tea in my hands.

“Next year, let’s all go environment themed. Maybe that will end the drought. If a Tree Nymph can bring rains, ….”, I crowed, and stepped out of my door to see an uprooted tree.

I hope you all had a Happy Halloween. I did.

For the Love of ( Halloween & the Environment) – Part 1

Usually, when Halloween rolls around, I am left out. What I mean is that I am the butler, the enabler, the inefficient decorator, the bad make-up doer, the scrambler, the chef, the doler of chocolates. But I am rarely one of the featuring stars in the evening’s show. When I say these things, I don’t want you running off with the idea of a pestilential sulker dulling Halloween. Far from it. I may decorate like a wet cracker, but there is one thing I bring to the evening – enthusiasm. One of my friends once said after witnessing a football game played by kindergartners that there was more enthusiasm than skill in the game. Exactly how I like to slot myself in the Halloween throng of emotions.

When I smile after hoisting a ghastly costume on folks, I smile widely, deeply and with affection. It gives the wearer confidence as they head out into the Halloween night. I like Halloween, for it is the one night when it is okay for serious minded adults who think of worldly problems to go out and publicly quack like ducks. It is often an illuminating experience to see that people give more attention to one’s quacks as a duck, than their most reasoned and logical arguments. It is all good – imagine if the Hippoceres lightened up.

What?! Don't listen to me now! I am just Quacking!
What?! Don’t listen to me now! I am just Quacking!

If you like Halloween so much, why is it you don’t make more of an effort to dress up yourself? You ask. My answer drips in selfless service. There is usually a gaggle of folk around me needing attention – the costumes have to be just so and the food needs to be just so-so, the parents or parents-in-law have to be convinced to loosen up for Halloween and there it is. By the time the vampires, fairies  and super-heroes come laden with plastic pumpkins, I have barely had time to lay the dinner on the table and grab a devil-hairband bought years ago, and smile (I have been accused of being the friendliest devil known to mankind, thereby failing spectacularly in even the simplest of costumes.)

This time, Halloween was on a Saturday and I had more time and energy on my hands. I started planning a whole two hours ahead that I wanted to be something too. Not just that. I was the decisive force: I wanted my costume to be Environment Themed. In what I thought was a brilliant teachable moment, I said that if we don’t save the environment, we won’t need Halloween Decorations at all, since the macabre stuff we see as Halloween Decorations, would be the sorry state of Earth.

Look at the sorry state of Earth here:

The husband gave me a shocked, dismal look. The meaning of that look needs a much stronger pen than my own to record. I realized that far from a Teaching Moment, it could well become a Traumatic Moment, and swiftly swerved the conv. towards suggestions.

That did the trick. Ask us to talk and give suggestions, we trip over one another. There was a lot of shouting and a few good suggestions.

We need Water, Save Water, Less Plastic, More running water: (rivers, brooks), Recycle better, Anti Deforestation, More Trees, Drop of Water, Become a Cloud, No Toys (The toddler son came up with this and said proudly that he did not want to play with his toys anymore, and that I could give them all away, and not buy anymore. The pride on his face I tell you! It would have been a lot more virtuous if he had remembered that at the Lego Store the next day). The daughter said that I should crusade against oil spills since they harm animals, why not a Clean Ocean-Reef? Or Be a Farm.

The Wind in the Reefs
An Ocean Reef – How in the name of Willow’s Marina Reefs can this be made into a Halloween Costume in an hour?

I wonder if you notice a theme here: viz: Dashed hard to pull off. No dropping into a store and plucking a costume from the Shelf here. It would have to be made. I have already written about the complete lack of skills in areas like that.

The daughter said I needed to keep an open mind and try, or I’ll never know. I heeded her advice. How hard could it be?

Coming up Next: Part 2

The Decorative Bug – Part 2

Every year as I walk by homes where the residents have gone to great pains to celebrate and decorate their house for the Holidays or Halloween, two things happen.

One: I take a tiny hammer to the brain and give it a rap  – right there on the skull where it ought to remind you to say “Ouch!”

Two: I convince myself that I should indeed decorate the house and I get started like a damp fire cracker. I make a lot of noise, sizzle about a bit, generate a lot of smoke and then die out without doing anything brilliant.

The Brilliant Firecrackers hobnob with the Wet One
The Brilliant Firecrackers hobnob with the Wet One

Year after year, I tell myself that the next year I shall be the dry fire cracker, and shall delight all around me with my brilliant sparks and I try. Only, I have never been the creative do-it-yourself-er. The maximum brilliance my pumpkin carving has reached was posted on  the blog five years ago. (  The eyes were gouged out with great difficulty and the smile was anything but.

The Pride of our Efforts
The Pride of our Efforts

I’d call it a childish attempt, if I had not seen the attempts made by children and how vastly superior they were to my own. Not only that, for a week after that brave attempt, I was sore in muscles I did not know existed and I cheesed the pumpkin-carving after that. Only pumpkin craving remains now. My neighbors put me to shame with attempts like this:

The Neighbor's Pumpkins
The Neighbor’s Pumpkins

Last year, I steamed out of the house like a tank engine and came back with Halloween decorations that will make my house dazzle and not just that, uplift the whole neighborhood. I know my faults, so I went in for foam stickers with a bit of sparkle on them. We stuck spiders on the garage door and some foam stickers on the door. It looked beautiful and frightful enough. We even had a few children come and coo.

For the whole year after that we have had partial Halloween decorations – the foam stickers refuse to come off and the spiders stuck on the door remain there (well, some of them fell off on their own, the others remain, joined at times by their live brethren). The cobwebs are entirely natural and add to the aura of the place.


If you ask me what I did for Christmas, I will gallantly point you to the lights hanging outside. They have simply not been taken down ever since and we have blue and white icicle lights twinkling  all year through. They light up the space for the spiders well enough should they need a little help. The thing is, I was so proud of our lights that I refused to take them down in January. Then, by the time February rolled around, my enthusiasm for Spring took over and the lights were forgotten.

The last time we had put up lights, I almost died of heart failure for one, and the husband almost fell off a six-foot ladder for another, so I was not going to take this brilliant easy lighting system down in a hurry (I notice I haven’t written about it yet, and probably should. A thrilling tale and I wish to do it justice. )

What horrors do you wish to inflict this time? You ask. I am thinking and rubbing that soft spot in the skull for ideas. I may go in for the tablecloth decoration once again. I bought one of those Halloween themed disposable tablecloths and stuck them on the door. I was so pleased with myself with that one.

I tell myself every year to buck up one of these years and try my hand at decorating something nice for Halloween or Christmas. How I admire people who have that creative bent of mind?  Sigh.

Raining on the Parade

I bowled along as usual trying to catch my commuter train. My bag was flung behind me with a velocity that can knock rhinos off their feet, my car beeped hurriedly as I locked it and I charged as fast as the recently rain-soaked streets would allow me to. Why I don’t leave just 2 minutes earlier is a lingering soul-searching question. There are days when there is a game and the trains are crowded, but these are mostly during the evening commute, not mornings. But this morning was different. People were milling around the station first thing in the morning. All of them were dressed in Orange and Black, like they belonged to some sort of Halloween fraternity. Closer observation, however, revealed that they were devoted followers of the SF Giants team and that team, having won the game, was having a victory parade that day to which all the enthusiastic fans were going. I could have checked the news before leaving I suppose, but that would have made me charge for the next train not this one.

I squeezed myself onto the train, and hoped for the best. What I was not ready for, was for folks to glare at me just because I was not dressed in Orange & Black. I was wearing a pretty royal blue and black skirt and I admit I could have been more warmly dressed for it was a rainy sort of day. (I could also have checked the weather before starting. ) But I still did not think that people would be so worried about my feeling cold. I mean, their concern was touching and a trifle disconcerting. Freedom of dress and all that, what?  (I suppose that is not a fundamental freedom, but it felt like it was worth tacking one on, on that long train ride) There was a guy who looked at me and pointedly yelled, “Giants Rule!” to great back-thumping and cheer. I smiled ruefully and looked down avoiding all eye-contact. (Avoiding eye contact is another art you master over the years of traveling with a wide variety of co-passengers : some dotty, some dodgy, some rude, some out to make an ass of you, but mostly ordinary folk like myself that no one wants to bother with.)

I was glad to get off at my station, only to be met with more stares as I walked down the crowded streets towards my office. The rain was coming down pretty heavily and I was enjoying the raindrops and trying to navigate the crowds. The parade was to pass through the main street artery of the city and people were spilling out of liquor stores and doughnut shops. The combination of excess sugar and liquor on a rainy morning was a bit too much to contemplate. I was glad to enter my office and look down safely on the crowds from the window. That was atmosphere enough for me.  I checked the news on arrival and found that I had missed a triple hat draw: It was the SF giants parade, Halloween and Critical Mass (which means all cyclists take to the streets and blow traffic flows to the wind from their rooftops). Combine all three events together to imagine the traffic snarls and train crowds.

Various reports jostled at me : The local school authorities had requested folks to attend school that day instead of the Giants Parade. Another report said that it was to be an alcohol-free day. I grinned and sneaked a peek at the street below. It was 9:00 in the morning and the liquor store across the street looked like a very busy place! A number of children, evidently of school-age had not listened to the school authorities pleas and were looking happy and excited too. The sea of Orange & Black was like watching a large, mutating cloud. Strangely exciting and slightly unnerving.

Giants Rule

It was only when I touched upon the topic of dress with a colleague that he enlightened me on the stares. Apparently, I was dressed in the colors of the opposing team that the Giants had battled so valiantly to win against. As if the weather gods were not doing it enough, I had rained on their parade. The staunch supporters of the Orange & Black Giants team,  who braved the colds and rain, probably thought it was excessively rude of me to flaunt the opposing teams colors on their faces. Sigh. I can only thank my stars that people were nice enough to not do anything more than glare at me. Still, it seemed prudent to cover up with a jacket on the ride back home! One can never be sure of the effects of a day full of alcohol, rain and sugar, can we?

Happy All Hallows Eve

Did you know November 1st is Saints Day? With Halloween around the corner, I thought it might be fun to see how the word evolved. So, here goes:

November 1st is All Saints Day

Therefore, October 31st is All Saints Eve

October 31st is All Hallows Eve (‘Hallow’ also means to make holy or respect greatly and hence, synonymous with Saints)

October 31st is All Hallows Even (It is the evening after all)

When you try to say ‘Happy All Hallows Even’ about 30 times in 2 minutes, you get at ‘Happy Halloween’. (I suggest you try the exercise in private.)

All this is fine so far, but if you are unsure as to how All Saints Day got associated with ghosts, ghouls, spirits and ugly decor, please check out this news item that walks you through the progression of Halloween over the centuries.

In the meanwhile, two diabolically different worlds are coming together in the household this year for Halloween. A perfectly poised Hermione Granger (replete with the fake British accent) from the Harry Potter Universe will boss around 3 year old Lightning McQueen. Uncharacteristically, for Lightning McQueen, he will listen humbly and follow unquestioningly all the directions that Hermione sets forth for him. So what if the Harry Potter Universe is still using floating candles and speaking Latin, while Lightning McQueen is off touring the world and racing big-time? Who said there should be no collision between fictional worlds?

Speaking of fictional worlds, it is time for us to peek into that lovely forest with all the animals to see what they are doing to celebrate Halloween. Halloween In The Jungle is now available in the iBook store. Tango Tiger, Oby Elephant, Biso Bison, Percy Parrot, Zebo Zebra and many more join in this adventure to make Halloween a success in the Jungle. Please grab a copy, and listen to the story while sipping some pumpkin juice from Farmer Hasalot’s pumpkin patch.

Halloween In The Jungle
Halloween In The Jungle:

The Jungle is a busy place with Halloween approaching, eerie orchestra sounds, pumpkin juice and lemonade stalls, spiders at work. You must feel just a little bit compelled to chip in, right?

The Jungle is a busy place preparing for the Halloween Party
The Jungle is a busy place preparing for the Halloween Party

Happy Halloween! May the force be with you!

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