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The Boy In The Cupboard

posted Jun 5, 2016, 8:44 PM by Kanika G   [ updated Jul 27, 2016, 8:45 PM ]

“Hello. I am Prakash. Are you the new guests here?” Prakash nervously looked around the room. Tania gauged, that he was about 10 years old.

“Yes we are. I am Tania. We just got in, half an hour ago. Are you staying in that room?” Tania pointed at the door across the dining room. The hotel was a quaint one with a large central dining room and 5 doors around it, each leading to a spacious guest room.

Prakash nodded. Before he could say anything else, a girl showed up.

“Did you let him out?” She giggled. The girl was probably 8. Prakash was desperately trying to tell her to be quiet, but she did not notice any of his frantic signalling.

Tania furrowed her brows. “Let him out. What do you mean by that? Let whom out of where?”

Prakash rolled his eyes in exasperation at the girl. Then he turned to Tania. “This is my sister Priya. May we come in?”

“Sure. My parents and sister are on the lawn, out there.” Tania pointed at the large window all the way across the room.

“Good, then we can talk. We need to tell you something. But do you promise to keep it a secret?”

“No. I don't like making blind promises. You don't have to tell me if you don't want to.” Tania got herself a drink of water. “Do you want some?”

Prakash shuffled his feet. “No we are fine. Have you unpacked yet?”

“Not yet. My parents wanted to relax first. But I took out the board games and put them in that cupboard.” Tania pointed to the cupboard at the corner of the room. “Want to ...” But she stopped when she saw the look of horror on Prakash's face. Priya looked pretty scared too.

“What happened? You look like you have seen a ghost.” Tania laughed.

“You opened that cupboard!” Prakash blurted out in dismay.

“Yes. There are no ghosts in it. I promise.”

“Did you open it properly?” Priya asked in a small voice.

“Sure. I put my board games there. Why are you two being so wierd? Come I'll show you.”

Tania showed them all the games she had brought along. “Mama thinks I carry too many of these on vacation. What do you think?”

Prakash and Priya had not heard a word she had said. They were goggling at the cupboard in disbelief. Then Priya started crying. “What do you think happened to him?”

“To whom? What are you talking about? Is this some silly secret stuff again?” Tania said impatiently.

“Quit playing games with us. Did you let a little boy out of this cupboard?” Prakash's eyes were narrow slits.

Tania stared at him like he was unhinged. “What would a little boy be doing in a closed cupboard? Are you two completely mad?”

“Was the cupboard door locked from the outside when you came in?” Prakash was starting to panick.

“Yes it was. What exactly did you two do?”

Prakash and Priya looked at each other. “There is a 4 year old boy, Amit, staying with his family in the room next to yours. He kept following us around and asking annoying questions. We told him to go away. But he just kept following us around.” Priya was now sobbing and she could not go on.

So Prakash took over. “The house keeping staff opened this room to clean it up. When they finished, they just bolted the door, but they did not lock it. We were so fed up with him, we lured him in here and locked him in the cupboard. Then we left the room and bolted it. He was shouting, but he could barely be heard outside.”

“Are you monsters, or what?” Tania was appalled.

“It was just a little prank. We meant to let him out in 5 minutes. But then our mother called out to tell us to wear our hats, because of the strong afternoon sun. We thought that would be quick, but mama said we looked filthy and insisted on washing us. We tried to get away, but one thing led to another, and we did not realise that it had been over half an hour. What could have happened to him?” Prakash too looked like he might cry.

Tania softened. “You really are sorry, aren't you?”

“Yes we are. But that doesn't matter. I'll go tell his parents and ours. I really can't imagine what happened to him. I hope he is okay and that we find him soon.” Prakash got up to open the door.

“Wait!” Tania called out. “Priya, why don't you wash your face in the bathroom first? Don't worry. I think it will all work out.”

“You are very kind Tania.” Priya walked to the bathroom. Then she screamed. “Aaaah! Prakash come here.”

“What happened Priya? Are you okay?” Prakash rushed over, stubbing his toe on the dresser, but he barely noticed.

What he saw, in the bathroom, made his eyes pop out. “Oh! Thank god” He was so relieved. But then anger clouded his expression as he saw Amit's cherubic face grinning at him. “How did you get here? You were here all along, weren't you? ” Prakash advanced towards him menacingly. Amit was scared.

Tania tapped Prakash on the shoulder. “Now, now, Prakash. Don't lose your temper again.”

Parkash looked like he would explode. It took a couple of minutes, but, eventually, he calmed down. “Sorry, I do lose my temper easily. But how did you get out, Amit?”

Now that Prakash had cooled off, Amit felt braver. “Tania, let me out.” He smiled sheepishly.

“What? You lied to us. I asked you if you had let him out.” Prakash glared at Tania.

Tania stood up straight, threw her shoulders back and crossed her arms. “I did not lie. I asked you why a little boy would be inside a closed cupboard.”

“Yes. That is true.” Priya chimed in. “So what happened?” she asked full of curiosity.

“The bell boy brought our luggage in and my family went straight to the lawn. Only I was here, unpacking my board games.When I opened the cupboard to put my board games in, poor Amit was sitting quietly looking terrified. He had shouted himself hoarse for 10 minutes, and when no one came to his rescue, he just sat quietly. So I let him out.” Tania tapped her toes.

“We are really sorry Amit. We were just fed up with your questions and t
hought it would be funny to prank you. We did not mean for you to be left there so long. We are really sorry we frightened you so much. I realize now, it was quite a mean prank.” Prakash apologised.

“Yes Amit. We are really sorry. Will you play with us for the rest of our holiday?” Priya gave him a hug.

“Do you really mean that? Can I play with you? I don't have any brothers or sisters. I'll try to ask fewer questions. I was just so excited to see you. I was the only kid here before you came, and I was so bored.”

“We can all play together. I brought Twister and Pictionary. Amit you can be on my team. Prakash, what do you say?”

“I think Amit should be on my team. We'll make it boys versus girls.” Prakash wanted to make it up to Amit for being so mean.

“Really? I can be on your team, Prakash?” Amit was in awe of the older boy.

“Yes. I am sure you are great at Twister. We can win together.”

We'll see about that.” Tania and Priya said together.

Tania looked at Prakash and Priya. “You two are pretty nice. Sorry I frightened you, but I thought you deserved it, when I saw how upset Amit was. He had just finished telling me the story when we heard the knock on the door. I told him, I thought it might be you and that I'd handle it. I told him to hide in the bathroom for a few minutes till I came and got him.”

“I think we did deserve, what you did to us. I will try harder to control my temper. Priya was just following my lead.” Prakash was already spreading the twister mat on the floor for a game.

This story is available as a PDF here.

To read more Tania stories click here. If you want to buy the paperbacks click here.

Tania celebrates Teacher's Day

posted Sep 5, 2015, 4:51 AM by Kanika G   [ updated Sep 5, 2015, 4:51 AM ]

In India 'Teacher's Day' is celebrated on 5th of September. Tania celebrated it, by making this lovely card for her favourite teacher, Miss Gupta.

Happy Teacher's Day to all you wonderful teachers out there.

Learn to Read - Part 4

posted Jun 10, 2015, 5:45 AM by Kanika G

Tania is helping mama make these videos, so they can play them for baby Sonia whenever she is ready to learn to read. Here is the fourth one. Here they are trying to teach her to read the nursery rhyme "The Wheels Of The Bus". You can use it if you want to.

YouTube Video

Learn to Read Part 3

posted May 30, 2015, 6:18 AM by Kanika G   [ updated Jun 10, 2015, 5:42 AM ]

Tania is helping mama make these videos, so they can play them for baby Sonia whenever she is ready to learn to read. Here is the third one. Here they are trying to teach her to read the nursery rhyme "Baa Baa Black Sheep". You can use it if you want to

YouTube Video


Learn To Read Part 2

posted May 24, 2015, 8:04 AM by Kanika G

Tania is helping mama make these videos, so they can play them for baby Sonia whenever she is ready to learn to read. Here is the second one. This one features words that rhyme with old. Enjoy!

YouTube Video

Toast Series

posted May 24, 2015, 2:03 AM by Kanika G   [ updated May 24, 2015, 2:04 AM ]

Tania and mama found this cute new picture book for Sonia. And guess what? It is the first of a series, with more to come. Awesome!

Click here to download it for yourself.

Learn To Read Part 1

posted May 20, 2015, 8:29 AM by Kanika G

Tania is helping mama make these videos, so they can play them for baby Sonia whenever she is ready to learn to read. Here is the first of many. Enjoy!

YouTube Video

Voting has begun

posted Apr 7, 2015, 1:11 AM by Kanika G   [ updated Apr 7, 2015, 1:15 AM ]

The voting for RivoKids Parents and kids choice awards for 2015 has begun. Tania, mama and papa have already cast their vote for their favourite books. Shhh.. it is a secret ballot so they wont tell you what they chose. Go ahead and cast your vote too. Make your opinion count!
Here are the books shortlisted from your nominations.

RivoKids Parents and Kids Choice Awards 2015

posted Mar 15, 2015, 8:09 PM by Kanika G   [ updated Mar 15, 2015, 8:27 PM ]

RivoKids has announced the Parents and kids choice awards for 2015. Mama just found out about it from their website and told Tania about it. Mama thinks it
is a great idea to have parents and kids nominate and vote on their favourite books.

When Tania heard about it, she was really excited. She said "Wow mama! Can I nominate a book?"

"Yes." said mama. "That is the idea."

"Any book I want?" asked Tania.

"It should be a book that was published in the last few years. Preferably in the last 2 years."

"Oh! so I can't nominate my favourite Enid Blyton book?" asked Tania looking disappointed.

"No Tania. But I think this is a good opportunity for you to try some new authors. See what they are like. You may like a whole new world of books. I exposed you to books by Enid Blyton and Roald Dahl because they were my favourite authors. I am really happy and proud that you liked those books. But now I think we should also explore books that are being written now. I am sure there are good ones there too. This is a great time to start."

"I have an idea. I will get you a few books by contemporary authors published in the last few years. You can take them to the next session of your
reading club 'The Bookworm Babies'. May be Tanisha, Rajiv and the rest can get some books by contemporary authors too. You told me Vivek likes that book.. What was it? Brown by Rebecca Manari. I also heard Karishma mention a series of books about the shenanigans of a little girl by an author named Kanika G.  They are supposed to Enid Blyton like stories in a contemporary Mumbai setting. Tanisha said she liked a story called 'Made by Raffi'. Nikhil's mother told me he liked 'Petu Pumpkin : Tooth Troubles'. So you see, there is a lot to explore.

Tania was reluctant to try something different since she was enjoying the Enid Blyton books so much, and there was no shortage of Enid Blyton books. But when she went shopping with mama for books by contemporary authors, she saw such a large variety of books she had not considered before. There was so much more to explore in the world of books. Tania realized that, in spite of being an avid reader, she had only seen the tip of the iceberg. Mama bought Tania 5 new books to take to the next session of her reading club.

When Tanisha saw Tania's new books, she begged her mother to get her some by contemporary authors too. Tania put up a flyer about the Rivo kids Parents
and kids choice awards for 2015 on the noticeboard of her housing society. She is excited about reading so many new books and also about finding out how these stories are different from the ones she has been reading.

Tania is thrilled that she and her friends are going to have a say, a VOTE. Adults vote about issues important to them like selecting a government. Now what could be more important to kids than books? Tania is so happy that RivoKids thinks her opinion not only counts, but is very important.

Mama has explained to Tania that with great power comes great responsibility. Tania must make an informed choice when she casts her vote. So Tania is going to read books by at least 5 contemporary authors before she nominates a few and then read more books by those authors before she votes for
one. Tania talked to her friends in her reading club and they all agree that they should help make people aware of the books and authors they love. As you
can imagine The Bookworm Babies are focussing on contemporary authors right now. Mama too is reading lots of children's books so she too can can make an informed contribution to selecting the best books published in the last couple of years.

This is democracy at work!

A little note from Kanika G: All the Tania books are available free as ebooks at my website in EPUB, Kindle and PDF formats.
                                           The ebooks are also free at flipkart, smashwords, kobo store, B&N
                                           The ebooks can be found on scribd and amazon.
                                           So go ahead and nominate your favourite Tania book or any other for the awards. Happy reading.

How Many Rasins Make a Lemon?

posted Feb 9, 2015, 2:57 AM by Kanika G   [ updated Feb 9, 2015, 3:06 AM ]

After learning about Archimedes (see here) and how he compared the size of 2 oddly shaped objects, Tania was keen to find out what else she could do with what she had learned. She asked papa if there were any more interesting experiments she could do.

Papa thought for a while. Then he went to the kitchen and came back with a lemon and a pack of raisins. He said, "Hmm, I think I can think of one. So Tania which do you think is bigger, this raisin raisin or this lemon?"

"The lemon of course!", giggled Tania.

"Very good!" said papa. "But is the lemon bigger or 2 of these raisins?"

"The lemon" said Tania. "It is obvious."

"Then how many raisins together would be bigger than a lemon Tania?" asked papa.

"Oh!" said Tania. "I don't know."

"Can you figure it out?" asked papa.

Tania gave the matter some thought and said, "We could take a glass and fill it with water and mark the water level."

She quickly went to the kitchen, got a glass with some water and marked its level. Then she said, "Now I'll put in this lemon."

"The water level goes up because the lemon takes up some of the space the water had before. The amount the water goes up depends on the size of the lemon. The bigger the lemon the higher the water level rises."

"Excellent!" said papa. "So what is next?"

Tania said "Now I'll take out the lemon and put in the raisins. I'll keep adding raisins till the water level goes up to where it was for the lemon. Then I'll count the raisins and know how many raisins make a lemon."

Tania added what she thought was a lot of raisins and:

But the water level was still not as high as it had been for the lemon. So Tania added more raisins and finally:

As you can see the water level with the raisins was the same as with the lemon. Now Tania took the raisins out of the glass and systematically counted them:

She counted 109 raisins. My what a big lemon that was! You can count the raisins yourself and check if Tania was right. If you are old enough to know your 15 times table you will see that there is a really easy way to count them from the way Tania has arranged them.

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