Nandini was born in 1989 in a village in Coorg. For her graduation, she came to Bangalore where she now lives with her husband and one and a half year old son. This first part of our conversation with Nandini explores her views on life, relationships and running. She works as a Senior Product Engineer […]
Category: Family life
The Road to Nirvana is Paved with Snakes (and Ladders)
Background Recently we proposed to use the Snakes and Ladders’ game-board for an International workshop about children’s development planned for early November, 2020. The primary purpose of using the template was to play with the notion of risk (snakes) and ladders (factors that promote resilience) to engage an audience of experts online. The idea seemed […]
Introducing Nautanki Mom: Storytelling in Singapore
One of our objectives on Masala Chai is to support fresh, spontaneous, informal and independent projects the field of family life and children’s care as well as children’s activities. In this category, we have featured authors of children’s books, features about children through photo stories, mothers who have initiated online ventures, as well as creative […]
Talking about care
Our collaborations move to the Southern part of India, where, at the suggestion of our collaborator Vishwas Raj, we initiated conversations with two mothers, Yashaswini and Nandini. In the first episode, we speak with Yashaswini, a mother of a five-year old girl, about her memories as well as her current beliefs about care and activities […]
Scenes from a Himalayan Festival: Part Three
Today’s photo essay brings a small story from the annual festival held at the Nyoma monastery, with a brief introduction and references to the spiritual and religious activity of the Changpas, a deeply religious Buddhist community. We focus on the lighthearted role children play in the sombre ceremonies of the festival.
Re-posting three essays on learning
This week our team is a bit occupied with other academic and personal tasks, so we thought of revisiting three posts from the past. The first one relates to the benefits of rote learning, a largely ignored strategy in the new wave of activity-based learning strategies, the second relates to unique languages that explore the […]
Mothers and Sons: Magical moments during the lockdown
This week we present two mothers, Vini and Dimple who share an interesting history. They are both alumnae of The Department of Human Development and Childhood Studies at the Lady Irwin College, University of Delhi, which is also our alma mater. To add to that, they have sons who are around the same age. It […]
The Himalayan Desert: Where solitude and isolation are a way of life
Part One: The Place In these strange times, remote areas of the country seem to have receded even further into the wilderness, and one wonders if and when they will be accessible again. For a while at least, the travel industry will be hit by the restrictions. Perhaps this is an opportune moment for a […]
Has the Pandemic Shaken Up the Indian Middle-Class Household?
As I reflect on pending tasks like attending to unwashed dishes, a pile of sweaty clothes, or proposed projects, finding the mindspace for writing posts for Masala Chai has become a serious challenge. By the time there is some semblance of domestic order, the most productive hours have slipped past and the heavy heat of […]
A Golden Carpet and other (Covid) Conversations
“What the lockdown teaches us is that we have much less control over the external world than we realise, but much more control over our internal world than we suspect.” Pico Iyer, April, 2020 Times have changed A lot has happened since we last posted an essay on Masala Chai. It has taken us a […]
Granny-love in the mountains
Dear readers, we had planned on posting the second review of the Netflix documentary Babies titled “Love in the time of Infancy”, but plans changed. We became a little fatigued with viewing MRI scans and hearing about Oxytocin levels as “evidence for the existence of love” between babies and parents, and the essay is as […]
Math, Morality and Gambling: Card-games and Kids in the Himalayas
When and how should young children be permitted to handle cash? Is it even necessary anymore? This question is not easy to answer, and we had a hard time constructing today’s essay around this question. As concerned adults, we often struggle with the sequence and pace of bringing the outside world into children’s lives, sometimes delaying or even denying the entry of unfavourable events or difficult themes. This also raises concerns about overprotection and isolation, the consequences of which can be equally frightening. One important decision relates to handling cash, and children can learn a lot from the ways in which money is used around them. As our economies move further away from direct cash exchanges, conversations about money and related process like profit, loss, value and probability are also affected. In this post, we invite you to a discussion around an observation Vishwas Raj made during our Himalayan Chai project, and welcome your comments regarding card-games and young children.