Thursday, August 26, 2010

Painting Fundas for Parent-Kid Conversations

My son, Jyotiraditya loves to draw, color and paint. When I stumbled across an interesting write up in Resurgence March - April 2009, I jotted it down for my reference but forgot to write the name of the author. I regret that but I wish to share what I read with you all here.

So, the excerpt courtesy the British magazine, Resurgence is given below:

"Children doing their first paintings clearly relish the sensuousness of paint and delight in creating seas of chosen color. Their innocence is chipped away at when we ask what the paintings are of. A fear of not knowing what a painting represents is a mask of our safely tethered desire for reading a picture, and for some people, there is the fear of being tricked by that which is not immediately evident and rooted."

What I liked best about the passage is that it gives parents the right set of hints about how to propel a child's creativity in the right way. Before I read this, I used to ask my son when he drew or painted something, "What is this?" I think that it is important to let the painter paint as his imagination guides him. The reasoning can perhaps be dissected later. The actual pleasure lies in painting itself. Purposelessness to any activity is not a terrific idea but beauty cannot be measured, nor can creativity. So, when one asks a child to think in terms of logic, the flight of imagination becomes restricted and a child feels an artificial pressure of trying to measure up to address the question put forth by the parent. Now, after reading this passage, I try to enjoy the drawing or painting and ask, "How did you feel when you were painting this? What did you think about when you did this?"

I must confess the conversation that follows is so spontaneous and educative for me as a parent and for my kid, the little messy artist.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Curb your Sugar Intake, Save Health & Wealth

I've always had my tea without sugar. I don't know why but I have always believed that sugar intake leads to a lot of health related issues later in life. The earlier you learn to curb sugar intake, the better. It sounds boring but it helps to keep fit and spend less too. At least, think about curbing sugar at incremental levels in your life.

Here are some suggestions that will help your health and your pay packet too:

1. Check label and opt for food containing less than 5-7 g per 100 g.

2. Ditch Fizz

3. Cut down sugar in tea and coffee.

4. Limit soft drinks, sweets, biscuits, cakes, puddings.

5. Eat a small piece of cheese at the end of a meal or after a sugar snack. Cheese is alkali and it neutralizes the harmful effect of sugar. Don't make this a habit to eat lots of sugar and then cheese. This can be done once in a while, it is harmful if one uses it as an excuse to have more desserts and sugary food.

6. Use honey as a substitute as it contains fructose which is absorbed more slowly than ordinary sugar and gives more sustained energy.

7. Eats nuts, as they contain magnesium which helps combat fatigue, bloating and mood swings. Also, they enable energy release in every cell of the body.

8. Remember, a can of cola would have at least 7 teaspoons. A chocolate bar would have 8 teaspoons of sugar.

Try this. If you have other useful tips, please share, as that would help us all.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Daniel Craig in Layer Cake

When I saw the DVD of Layer Cake, it didn’t really entice me except for the fact that I like Daniel Craig’s movies. The movie is an adaptation of J.J. Connolly’s novel, Layer Cake. So, yes, I took it with very little interest or anticipation because drug industry related movies don’t really interest me.

The movie is all about the criminal underclass of Britain with interesting insights into how its underworld drug industry works. Daniel Craig is the main protagonist of Layer Cake, and quite convincing as a smooth drug runner who plans to retire early from the hazardous profession. However, his plans are thwarted from all corners. He has to find a way to get a cache of ecstasy pills (worth over 3 million dollars!!) stolen by a low-life gangster gangster called Duke (Foreman) whose nephew Sidney dates the femme fatale Tammy, (starring Sienna Miller) who in turn catches Craig’s attention and love interest. Duke had stolen the tablets from one of Serbia’s most dangerous drug dealers, Dragan, who wants to get those pills back at any cost and believes that Craig has the cache from Duke.

To make the plot more complicated, Craig’s boss Jimmy Price (starring Kenneth Cranham) has two final missions to complete. Price wants him to find the runaway junkie daughter of his old pal and kingpin Eddie Temple (starring Michael Gambon) and deliver the girl safely to him. Then, Price wants Craig to buy the pills from Duke at any cost, without creating a mess.

There are many characters and twists to the plot but this is an out-and-out Daniel Craig movie. In every sequence, Craig’s performance seems flawless, right down to the scene where he realizes that he’s been duped twice, first by Jimmy Price and second, by Eddie Temple.

I liked the movie, particularly the end, where Daniel Craig fights all odds to become the king of the kingpin and yet is shot to death at his moment of his glory, not by another mafia don or the powerful enemies he’s made, but Sidney, the guy whose girl friend he had taken for himself.