A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Weekend joy

Posted by Pepper on February 23, 2014

So many people around me are doing the 100 Happy Days challenge. While I surely can’t be brave enough to sign up for something that makes me post for 100 days straight, I can definitely use this initiative as an inspiration to write happy posts every now and then. So here I am to note my source of joy for the day.

Today, I spent my afternoon with my bacchas. I have 6 of them in this city. This is exactly why I love living in Mumbai. Like I have repeated a million times already, not just my immediate family but even my extended family lives here. As a result, I have numerous cousins in this city. And I consider their darling kids to be my very own bacchas. The sister and I love them to bits. We spend hours playing with them.

Today morning, my mom’s sister called to let us know that they were dropping in for lunch. She said she would bring her grand kids (my cousin’s kids) along with her. We squealed in excitement. Such impromptu plans bring us much joy. We spent most of our time waiting for them to arrive.

Finally, my babies came. And a lot of fun was had. At 7 and 5, they are very interesting to talk to. I enjoy asking them about their school, who their friends are, what their favourite colour is, and more. Have I told you my cousins kids go to a terrific school? In the right weather, their classes are held outdoors. When all the children in the world are learning to write the alphabet at 3, this school ensures they don’t start learning until 6 and a half. Until then, they train the kids to use their brains and develop their skills in unique ways. They actually tell the parents to not teach the kids to read or write at home, until the school starts readying them. For the initial few years, the kids are far behind other competitive schools, but once the school develops their brains adequately and starts teaching them to read and write, they whiz past the rest at an incredible speed. From what I have seen, their methodology and unusual theory seems to be working beautifully.

What I also love is that they teach the kids some important skills, instead of only focusing on an academic curriculum. They have ‘gardening’ as a subject and spend a significant amount of time learning how to plant and grow vegetation, while being made to understand the need for a greener planet. They get a home cooked nutritious meal everyday and they are made to wash their own plate every single day, right from the age of 5. All the little boys and girls are made to pick up after their own selves and wash the dishes together. For the children, washing their plates has become a way of life. Something they have grown used to and something they don’t think much about at all. I love the silent message the school sends out to them and the non discriminatory environment they are exposing them to.

I keep telling Mint I would *love* our future kids to go to a school like that. But the school fees are enough to cause a dizzy spell. My cousins are doing very well and can afford to send their kids to such schools, but us? I am not sure we have the capacity to fork out that kind of money. It makes me a little sad. Good overall development and a sound education is only available to those who have money. Those who don’t have to settle for schools that are regressive in thought and that preach rote learning.

Anyway, after have gleeful and entertaining conversations with the kids, we decided to play with some clay. We spread out a newspaper and on the bed and got to it. Baby hands and clay are a delight to watch, aren’t they?

clay 1

And speaking of clay, here is something the sister and her friend created a while ago. We had bought a little bucket of clay dough to play with sometime ago and it has been a lot of fun. A very worthwhile buy, I think.


It was such a lovely afternoon. And it is lovely afternoons like these that make me feel so connected to this city. For others, Mumbai is just a city – space starved, crowded and unaffordable. But for me, this is well and truly home. It is where I grew up. It is a way of life. It is where my entire family lives. It is where I spend such afternoons and add to my priced collection of memories.


29 Responses to “Weekend joy”

  1. richa said

    Aise bi schools hote hain? Wow.. rote learning is something that put me off studying with my whole heart…so I’d learn enough to make sail thru the exams. Which school is dat?
    Beautiful work wid d clah there!

  2. What a fun day that was Pepper !! The school sounds very interesting. Playing with sisters kids is so much fun. Best part is there are not your kids and you can get back to your stuff immediately . Having your own kids is so much fun too but they come as 18 year responsibility for parents 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Very well said. Your own kids are an 18 yr responsibility, and probably more. Until we muster up the courage to face it, we have other kids to play with 🙂

  3. The school you mentioned is pretty interesting. It would be nice this methodology is used in all schools. 🙂 & btw nice models with the clay.

  4. Sarah Syed said

    Which school is that. I had done a thorough research on schools here long before we decided to shift but am still skeptical.

    • Pepper said

      I will email. Where are you based?

      • Sarah Syed said

        I’m sending a mail to you, you can reply back 🙂 I know the region where we reside comes into consideration as well. One school I had completely rounded on is so far, the commuting alone would make her tired. Also, Pepper, I later realised that schools may wary in their methodology yet they all strive the same thing and they all produce students warring their own ability to succeed.

  5. What a lovely school! Wish we had more schools like this in India and made them affordable to more than a small section of society.
    Pretty play dough creations indeed:)

  6. R's Mom said

    Ohh..what fun na :):) Thats what I love about being in a place having all cousins around..I used to plead to RD to shift to Calcutta at one point in time just to be with my cousins and their kids…bah he didnt agree :):)

    and I loved those playdoh stuff 🙂 Super nice and yummy looking

  7. No doubts, kids are bundle of happiness…:)

  8. D said

    Which is this school pepper?

  9. Smita said

    What fun!!! We have put my son in a similar school. They follow Waldrof method of teaching 🙂

  10. ashreyamom said

    its nice to play with clay na.. i buy toys for bunty and i end up playing with them.. 🙂

  11. Comfy said

    All these were created by the little ones? Colour me beyond impressed. Such precision! 🙂

    • Pepper said

      Oh no Comfy, these weren’t created by the little ones. They were created by the sister and her friend, and at 21, they’re not as little as they would like to be. Lol.

  12. Sambhav said

    Your lucky you get to stay around the extended family.
    Which school is this? Would love to check if they have something in My town.

  13. sushama said

    Hi Pepper,

    If possible, can you mail the school name please? I am based in Mumbai.

  14. Ruchi said

    Came across your blog from Mad Momma’s links. We live in the US and want to settle down in Mumbai soon but dread putting my 4 year through the educational rat race. This school sounds interesting!! Can you please email me the name of the school?

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