Category Archives: Reviews

K&K at Tugbug Children’s Center, Hyderabad

We live in a neighbourhood where there is not a single park. It’s a concrete jungle. We are swarmed with traffic, buildings and noise day in and day out. I am constantly on the look out for events and serene environments where I can nurture my children’s creativity as both of them creatively inclined towards arts and crafts.

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When I saw a couple of bloggers share their experience at Tugbug Children’s Center, trust me, I was over the moon that something like this is has made its way into our city.

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How can I even summarize the creative blast my girls enjoyed at Tugbug?!!! The textures they got to touch and feel…

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The colors they got to mix, blow, spin, print, smear, dab and paint all over…

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The mud and threads they were offered to create their imaginary creatures. Tugbug was an absolute feast to their senses!

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When KT is not studying or playing with her friends, I spot her silently creating something out of all the scraps at home!

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Out of the numerous activities available, it was no surprise that the first activity KT chose was to weave a mat with pieces of an old sari.

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The staff who attended to her, first built a rapport with her making her feel comfortable in the new environment and then patiently proceeded to teach her how to weave.

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Through the entire process, I couldn’t help but admire KT putting her heart and soul into something she dearly loves!

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At the multipurpose potters wheel, before they could try their hand in pottery, the girls did some spin art!

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As the wheel spun, the kids held a paintbrush dripping with paint over a paper plate that was stuck to the wheel. As the paintbrush touched the rotating paper plate, it created such beautiful patterns!

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As fun as spin art was, KT simply couldn’t wait to try her hand in pottery!

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The pure thrill and joy on KT’s face as she moulded the small piece of clay was priceless!

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It was not just KT’s excitement, even the staff at Tugbug who assisted her added to her enthusiasm by cheering her and applauding what she did!

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KT made not one pot, but four little pots.

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These pots are her little creations and it adorns her study table!

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One of the many things that got my attention was the freedom and liberty the child was offered at Tugbug. Kids are allowed to explore and create whatever the want, even if it was going to result in mess!

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Kids are provided with aprons. Tugbug has a child-friendly restroom and sink where the little ones can clean themselves.

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The activity options available are numerous. And what is even more impressive is the choice of activities offered.

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All the activities at Tugbug are environment friendly!

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As parents we need to realise it is not just us who are living fast paced lives. Unfortunately, our young children have been lured into a virtual world of fast paced media that tempts them with instant gratification. The repercussions of which are very scary.

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Tugbug is structured to draw us back to reality and the basics of slow and simple creative play. Here kids can touch, feel and create their imaginations at the own sweet pace.

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Apart from all the artsy stuff, Tugbug also offers storytelling, puppet shows, gardening, reading, rhythm, movement, song and free play.

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Seen here is KT sponge painting a cherry blossom tree!

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As for Krissy, she is a modern artist in the making!

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Her piece of work was a combination of all forms of painting put together!

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My! This girl painted to her heart’s content!

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What made our experience very enjoyable was not just the spread of activities, but the ambience itself. TugBug has carved a calm and serene little spot in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city.

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If you child is between the ages of three to ten and if you reside in any of these cities – Gurgaon, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi and Hyderabad, waste no time and head to your nearest Tugbug Children’s Center!

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For more information on Tugbug and its pricing, visit https://tugbugchildrenscenter.com.

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http://www.instagram.com/michellejob

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Website: http://www.michellejobphotography.com

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Do you Know What You’re Wearing?

As you may have already observed, I dress my kids in matching outfits. Over the years, this obsession led me to purchase a lot of clothing each time I saw a SALE! In all these years up until now, the only factors I considered prior to purchasing an outfit were,

  • Was the cost pocket friendly
  • Was it visually appealing
  • Was it comfortable to wear

A few weeks ago, I watched a documentary on Netflix that radically transformed how I viewed clothing. The True Cost was eye opening revealing the scary consequences of consumer pressure for low-cost high fashion. Continue reading Do you Know What You’re Wearing?

K&K’s Trek to Bhongir Fort, Nalgonda, Telangana

One of the many things, we as a family,  learnt in Sweden was to enjoy the great outdoors and a good long walk! A few weeks ago, when a group our friends planned a Trek to the Bhongir Fort, we got all excited and pounced on the opportunity!

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Although the original plan was to leave the city limits at 6:30 am, by the time everyone arrived at the meeting point, it was 8:am!

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Located approximately 48 Kms away from Secunderabad, it took us an hour and a half by car to arrive at the Bhongir Fort!

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As we all stood at the foot of the massive monolithic rock, we remained standing there for a few moments gasping at the very thought of climbing something so ginormous in size and height!

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However, once we started climbing, we got lost in conversations and what seemed like a Herculean task soon became an easy and fun feat!

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It was quite a sunny Saturday morning. The temperature was 32°C. It was hot. Thanks to the pockets of shade along the trek and the cool breeze that was very refreshing the higher we climbed!

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The Bhongir fort in Nalgonda district of Telangana, although major portions of it have been lost and ruined over centuries, the little that time has left behind for us is a reflection of a magnificent, royal past!

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The Bhongir Fort was erected by Chalukya ruler, Tribhuvanamalla Vikramaditya VI in the tenth century!

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This 500 feet high, unique monolithic rock sits on a vast expanse of 50 acres.

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It is believed that an underground chamber in the fort has a secret passage that leads to the Golconda Fort located 50 Kms away.

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The whole trek consists of intermittent stairs and rocky narrow paths. Climbing up the rock to the fort was adventurous.

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Half way up, we took a break at this stone pavilion.

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After reenergising in the shade and rehydrating ourselves, we resumed our trek!

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I got to commend my girls at this point because they were such great sports. They thoroughly enjoyed the company of all the annas and akkas and not once complained about the heat or exhaustion.

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The second half of the trek was slightly more tedious than the first half. The rock was steep.

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We took periodic breaks as we went higher.

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The higher we went, the view kept getting better and better!

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Having travelled a little bit and having seen how heritage is preserved and presented to generations, seeing the state of this 10th Century treasure was a sad sight.

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There was NOT a single trash can throughout the entire stretch of the trek! As a result, plastic and litter are strewn around everywhere!

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The second thing that I noticed was, there was no boards with facts and historical information of the fort. There were school kids and villagers visiting the fort. I am not sure how many of them have access to the internet to search and find information about the fort. How would they get to know what a historical place they were treading upon?

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One more thing that popped to my mind was, how cool it would be if there were sign posts every 50 or 100 feet showing the altitude reached?

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It’s very disheartening to see that almost 90% of media, educational institutions, medical institutions and even tourism is purely run with the motive of making money. The result being, there is a lack of vision and creativity in these mentioned spheres.

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I wish our tourism industry could consider the following points when it comes to presenting our rich history and heritage –

  • What could be done to spark interest and curiosity in a child
  • How can information/history be presented in an amusing manner to a younger generation
  • How can history be recreated for people to not just see, but feel and experience a piece of history
  • How can history be made relevant the present times and the generations to come.

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The Bhongir Fort at the peak of the massive rock stands as a testament to the once glorious past. It’s stone walls, unique windows, faint patterns that still linger on the roof and the fortress is guaranteed to transport one back in time!

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If you are someone into history and adventure, you can enjoy a good drive from Hyderabad and spend half a day at the Bhongir Fort!

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Things to consider while planning a trip to Bhongir Fort –

  1. Plan your trip after checking the weather forecast. Go on a relatively cooler day.
  2. Go dressed in activewear. A lot of climbing is involved. Comfortable, light clothing is recommended.
  3. Avoid handbags. Carry a backpack.
  4. Stock yourself with sufficient water. Once you enter the premise, there is no tuckshop that sells water. By the time we reached the top, we ran out of all the water we carried and we returned super thirsty and dehydrated!
  5. Carry a bag to carry back your litter. As responsible citizens, let’s do our bit to keep our country clean.
  6. I would not recommend this place if you’ve got kids younger than 3 years old or if your child is someone who prefers being carried. It takes approximately one hour to reach the fort that is 500 feet up. So if your child can handle that amount of walking/climbing, go for it!
  7. A trip to Bhongir Fort can be best enjoyed if gone in a large group.

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Lastly, I request each one of you, to spare a few moments during your visit to meet the person in charge at the ticketing counter and request him/her to place trash cans along the trek. I have now made it a practice to share my suggestions wherever I go with high hopes that will be put into action!

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“What a country chooses to save is what a country chooses to say about itself.”
– Mollie Beattie

Let’s save, preserve, protect and present our rich and varied history and heritage in the best way possible to the generations to come!