Candle making at home, first attempt

We got a candle making kit and decided to try it out. It was fun, we learnt a few things, made some mistakes, and finally made a candle!

This process teaches principles from Physics, Chemistry, colour mixing, patience, preparation and timing.

Here is what you will need:

  • Time: 30 minutes
  • A small steel pan [like in your kids kitchen set] which you are sure will not be used for anything else since it will contain wax later.
  • A flat bottom pan to heat water bigger than the steel pan above, in which we will place this steel pan.
  • Adult supervision
  • Gas or similar heat source
  • Candle making kit
  • Camera to record your experiment


Read the instruction manual first. Very important.

Select the shape you want to use for your candle. Measure appropriate number of spoons of wax pellets into the steel pan.

We selected the square pyramid shape, so used 5 tea spoons.

Pour water into the bigger pan, place smaller steel pan carefully into it.

Keep on hob and light it.

Let the wax melt.

In the meantime, take some cooking oil and daub the inside of the mould [use an ear bud]

Select the wick, cut it 2 inches longer than the length of the candle, immerse it in the molten wax, remove and keep it aside to cool. Tie it to the stick.

Pierce the bottom of the mould, pull the wick through it, and seal the bottom with sealer as shown [very important to prevent wax from dripping down while pouring in the mould]

The wick has to be tied to a stick

By now the wax should have melted fully. Cut small pieces of colour, and put into the molten wax.

Watch the colour melt into the molten wax, it is beautiful!


Now it is time to add stearin, which is a pale yellow powder, into the wax. Then get ready to pour this mix into the mould prepared for it.

We poured the wax using a teaspoon, slowly, so as to avoid air bubbles getting trapped inside the mould.

Keep it on a firm cool surface to set, for a few hours.


We had some extra wax so we poured it onto the adjoining mould for two floating candles. These do not need a wick before hardening.

Finally after a long wait, out came our first candle!

Here it is!

Looks so lovely, especially considering all the hard work put into its making!


Moon watching

The New Year started with an interesting Astronomical lesson for us. The team from Nehru Planetarium arrived by 6:30 pm with their astronomical equipment.

The evening started with a powerpoint presentation explaining the Solar system, planets and other interesting facts about Astronomy.

Through powerful 4 inch Telescopes from Nehru Planetarium, and with a lively Power point presentation, residents of Borivli and Dahisar enjoyed a celestial feast late evening on the 6th of January 2012.

Then the crowd formed lines to first see Jupiter, which was clearly visible with three of its moons shining bright.


After that, they saw the moon with its craters clearly through another telescope.

Thanks to Mr. Prabhu and team from Vintage Football ground for allowing New Link Road Residents Forum to use their grounds for this occasion free of charge.

You can contact us for future events at

Five year old drawing with Bamboo

Here is a 5 year old homeschooling girl using the Bamboo tablet from Wacom to draw, on the computer.

This video was made using Windows Moviemaker, and the song in the background is..well you should know it by now.

The Bamboo tablet is a great tool for creativity.

Bamboo tablet


There is no mess, no environmental cost compared to paper and ink, and we can always undo what we do not want. But you do need electricity. Everything has a cost, but comparatively there are some plus and minuses in this too.

We use Windows Paint or Corel Photopaint to draw.

How is it for you?

Nerf gun!?

My son Mark has been after me begging and pleading me for a Nerf Gun. Oh God, the persistence of the 9 year old boy..literally eating my brains out, and of my wife too.

What on earth is a Nerf Gun now??

For him it is like the pinnacle of his aspirations, the dream toy that he wants, the best thing that he can own and play with. And I didn’t know what on earth was this Nerf gun. Sounded too much like Barf or some other four letter words that came into my mind… oh, forget it.

Anyway his begging and pleading every day was getting to me. I told him that he will have to spend his pocket money for it. He replied that I can use from his bank account! I realized that I shouldn’t have told him about some money I had put in his account to teach him the concept of saving and investing.

Atlast today was the day we both decided that we will buy him this Nerf Gun…as we were going to buy a birthday gift for his friend’s birthday.

And here he is with the great NERF gun!

Right away he had loaded it and got ready for shooting! I made him a target [glass surface of a partition. The Nerf gun has suction tipped sponge bullets, and works on a air gun principle where you charge it and shoot, six bullets in the barrel.








As parents we sometimes wonder at how these new inventions are made and how they catch the attention of our kids. I think I am going to research this subject a bit more…but later, now it is my turn to shoot with the Nerf gun.

Adios friends, thanks for reading!

What is Christmas really?

What does Christmas really mean? Why is it called Happy or Merry?


What does Christmas have to do with Jesus Christ? What about drinks, partying and Santa Claus?

To answer these questions let us start from the beginning…


Does God exist?

When you look at a painting, you know that there was a painter. In the same way, using your mind, when you look at creation in all its complicated design, you understand that there has to be a Creator, whom we would call God.


Can you tell me more about this God?

He is powerful and very wise [obviously, to have created us and the world around in such a complex yet interdependent way]. God is Holy, God is good, and He is full of love. God hates lying, hatred, partiality, greed and other sins that we as humans tend to commit.  Yet, the Bible says, He loves the person who sins.


Who is Jesus Christ?

Jesus was not just a good man, a great teacher or an inspired prophet. God himself came to earth as Jesus Christ. He was born to a virgin. He led a sinless life. He died at the age 33. He was buried. He came alive again on the third day. He ascended into heaven where he became both Lord and Christ.


Why did God come as the man Jesus Christ?

We humans are made in image of God. Due to our tendency to sin, we have been separated from God and his plans for us. God hates sin, and a just God has to punish sin. God out of his immense love for us came to earth to bear the punishment for the sins committed by us.

Jesus’ death and resurrection on our behalf satisfied God’s requirement – complete provision for our sin. This Jesus and no one else, is qualified to be the remedy for my sin and yours.


What is sin?

First, we must understand that we are separated from God. The chasm dividing us is both wide and deep. We inherited a fatal defect at birth. As a result, we have lived our lives independently from him. The Bible calls this Sin: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

If we can’t come to grips with the fact that sin separates us from God, we’ll never come home spiritually.

Sin is anything which we do for selfish reasons – as a disobedience to God’s will. Usually it leads to a feeling of guilt.

Won’t following the laws mentioned in the Holy books save us from sin?

Holy Books are like traffic lights, warning us of danger. But do traffic lights save us if we do not follow them? We all have a tendency to sin, disobey God and His laws.

Won’t fear of punishment make us follow the law then?

Not for long. The tendency to sin is in our heart and it cannot go away unless through self-effort or will power. If your child obeys you only out of fear, and not out of love, would you be happy? In the same way, God wants us to follow Him out of love for Him.

How can we love God? Can’t we generate that love for God on our own?

No. The love God had for us is unconditional, and it is only when we realize what He has done for us that we can really love Him. Once you realize the full extent of His love for you, your life will change and He will give you a new heart as promised in the Bible.

What is the punishment for sin?

The Bible says in Isaiah 59:2 your sins have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you. And Romans 6:23 the wages of sin is death. DO NOT BE DECEIVED!  “Death” does not mean you cease to exist!

Cowards turn away from God, and unbelievers, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those who practice witchcraft, and idol worshipers, and all liars doom in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.

How can we pay the price for our sins then?

No one can pay the price for their own sins. The punishment for sin is death. Left to ourselves and to our own religions and their ways, we would all perish. Before God, our efforts to pay for our sins, by doing penance or good works or going for pilgrimages, are like dirty rags.

After physical death, your spirit will come before God. He will ask you how you have paid the price for your sin. If you depend on the good deeds you have done, He has to punish you with eternal separation from God, in the place called Hell where the fire burns forever.



Then who can save us?

God alone!  He did for us what we could never do for ourselves.

Ephesians 2:8-9 for by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God–not because of works, lest any man should boast.

What is this grace?

Grace is God taking on Himself the punishment due on us,  by dying on the Cross. There is no concept of a merciful loving God who has paid the price for our sins by Himself in any other Holy Scripture or philosophy on earth except the Holy Bible.

Also Jesus Christ, since He was without any sin right from birth, was the only one who actually could fulfil Gods price, the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all those who believe in Him.

How can God take on human form?

Why not? Who are we to limit God? In true terms, celebrate Christmas which marks the appearing or manifestation of God.

How did Jesus pay for my sins?

He was the only human who lived a sinless life. God’s standards are much higher than ours. God demanded a perfect sinless life to be given up as the price for sin. Jesus was the only one who could fulfil that demand. Jesus paid the price for your sins and mine by giving up his own life at the age of 33 on the cross by crucifixion. In my place, He died so that I may live. He came alive after three days and appeared to almost five hundred people for over forty days before ascending to Heaven.

God forgave your sins through Jesus Christ. That is the Good News that the Bible proclaims.

Some people think that Jesus did not die on the cross?

Why would anyone teach you that unless they want you to reject God’s only way out from sin and death for you? If Jesus did not die, and if He did not come alive again on the third day, there remains no other way out for humans to escape the guilt, power and consequences of sin. Also, obviously ten disciples of Jesus and countless martyr’s would not have given up their life to defend a lie.

What must I do then?

Personal repentance is vital in the transformation process.

Repentance literally means “a change of mind.” It is to say to God, “I want to turn toward you and away from the life I’ve lived independently from you. I am sorry for who I’ve been and what I have done and I want to permanently change. I receive your forgiveness, through Jesus Christ, for my sins.”

As your love for God increases, He gives you power to overcome sin! You will find that you are being transformed into a new person, who loves more and follows the law of God out of his own heart’s desire!

God wants you to win, but He will never force you to accept Him. Please take your time, pray and decide. This could be the most important decision in your life. The word of God says now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slanders, and dirty language.


Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old evil nature and all its wicked deeds. In its place you have clothed yourselves with a brand-new nature that is continually being renewed as you learn more and more about Christ, who created this new nature within you. Everyone knows that there is no such person as Santa Claus. So if you tell your children there is, then you have LIED to them.

If you tell them there is a Santa Claus who they cannot see or touch, but just believe. Then later in life they find out you lied, and there is no Santa Claus. At the same time you tell them about Santa you tell them about Jesus who they also cannot see, nor touch. Do you not think that they will have a hard time truly believing in Jesus when they get older? All the time having an inner turmoil remembering there was no Santa, so how can there really be a Jesus.

Remember, Santa Claus, partying and drinks have nothing to do with the Christmas of Jesus Christ!

Christmas is not about Santa or presents, it is about Jesus, and is a celebration for the birth of thy savior.


My dear brothers and sisters, the only way to give our children a firm foundation that they need, is to never lie to them. We need to teach them the true meaning of Christmas.


So Christmas isn’t about giving gifts to each other (which we do also), but it is about the greatest gift ever given, the birth and death of Jesus Christ, and our walk with Him. So this, Christmas consider the gift that God has given you two thousand years ago, and think about your walk with Him.

Don’t let Christ birth and death be in vain, make sure you are ready to meet Him face to face. Accept the gift of eternal Life, God has already purchased it for you, wrapped it with His love, and sent it to you by way of the Cross.


Wish you real peace and joy this Christmas and for your life ahead.


Stress free in Mumbai? Dream come true

The Times of India-IMRB Quality of Life Survey perceived Mumbaikars as being most stressed among residents of eight mega-cities. Are you surprised?

If you are a homeschooler who has gotten out of the rat-race and fast pace of life, you will read this article differently than most people. And if you are not, there is hope at the end of this article!


This is the article in today’s Times of India 15th Dec 2011.

Fast lane leads to more stress than elsewhere

Malathy Iyer | TNN 

    Mumbai’s 24×7 rhythm has earned it many sobriquets, but there is a growing realization that the Maximum City’s never at-sleep tag comes at a costly price — namely, stress. High stress levels, say doctors, result from the zip-zap-zoom lifestyle Mumbaikars are forced to adopt. 
    There is the lure of bigger salaries, better work culture, better infrastructure and opportunities. But if you consider aspects such as travelling like packed sardines, extra-long working hours and near-zero recreation facilities, Mumbaikars don’t have it easy on many fronts. 
    Not surprisingly then, respondents in The Times Of India-IMRB Quality of Life Survey perceived Mumbaikars as being most stressed among residents of eight mega-cities. Mumbai scored a bleak 2 for the parameter Lifestyle (Relaxed) in the category Peace of Mind. 


    Psychiatrist Dr. Harish Shetty equates Mumbai’s stress problem with five Is and one M. “There is growing insomnia, irritability, isolation, impulsivity and impotency, and there is a lot of mistrust. All this spells high stress,” he says. 
    The city’s social fabric has also undergone a change. “The city’s strength was its heterogeneity and ability to absorb each and every section of society. But the same factor has now resulted in ghettos based on communities or eating habits,” says Shetty. He also blames competitiveness. “The thirst to keep up with the Joneses seems worse in Mumbai. If your neighbor is going on a foreign trip, you want to keep up.” 
    Psychiatrist Dr. Bharat Shah, who consults at Lilavati Hospital, says, “The city’s geography is such that it doesn’t help one relax.” For instance, travelling either north-south or east-west can be a chore. “The linear layout only results in traffic bottlenecks, be it on roads or the railway,” says Dr Sanjay Kumawat, superintendent at Thane Mental Hospital. 
    Other aspects of travelling also leave Mumbaikars thoroughly stressed out. “There is so much overcrowding that the quality of travel is poor. As a result, one is bound to have a fight with a fellow commuter,” says Dr. Vishal Sawant, who heads the psychiatry department of civic-run Cooper Hospital, Juhu. 
    Mumbaikars find it hard to nullify the harmful effects of stress as rest and recreation is practically an alien concept here. Says Shah, “Blame it on transport or the need for extra competitiveness that forces people to work more, but there is practically no time to rejuvenate or relax. The margin between healthy and unhealthy is becoming narrower.” 
    The strong middle-class quality of the city too is being eroded. “Drugs were hitherto unheard of in conservative and middle-class society. But now Vile Parle households are grappling with the habit,” says Shetty. Worse, the extended family support system is no longer around. “For youngsters, celebrations mean heading to a bar,” adds Kumawat. 
    While many Mumbaikars cope with stress by taking up yoga, gym or hobbies, some fail to do so. “Daily stress can become distress. When this distress becomes chronic, there is a high chance of depression,” says Shah. 
    There are no easy solutions, but Shetty recommends a simple strategy: smile and talk more with one another. 
A 2010 survey conducted by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations found that India’s rapid economic expansion had boosted corporate profits and employee incomes, but had sparked a surge of workplace stress and lifestyle diseases. Commissioned by Regus, 57 % workers in the corporate sector in India (including Mumbai) reported an increase in stress over two years. The focus on profitability stressed 45 % of Indian workers.
[End of TOI article]


Money is seen as more important than man.



There are a few individuals and families who have taken a conscious decision to come out of the hurry-worry cycle that is Mumbai.

They are not following the crowd. They are setting the pace, being in the fore front of a different life style that many can only dream of.


Wow, how can that be, you may well ask!


There are a few pre-requisites before you can do that though!

Firstly you need to be aware of the purpose of your life.

For many people it is simply earning money, for satisfying their own needs like a house, a vacation or some other stuff which they can accumulate.

For such people, what gives them a sense of worth is their possessions and accomplishments.

If you are one of them, relax.

You are valuable enough as you are! The very fact that you have life shows how much love and value your Creator has for you, does it not?

But what if you believe in the ‘No God’ theory?

That is a big problem, because then you may believe that you have no implicit value, because you have just ‘evolved’ accidentally or something! That probably explains why you work so hard to be valued, get acceptance, love or respect.

Please think about it seriously. Stress is the direct result of this never ending working to gain.

Beliefs are very important, and there are good resources to help you know the truth about these matters.

Secondly you need to identify your priorities.

Is it work or family or something else? Like yourself?

Jesus said simply “Mathew 6:21
your heart will always be where your treasure is.” That means the area where you spend your maximum time and energy is where your heart really is, despite whatever you may talk or feel.

I would request you to re-evaluate your life priorities in the light of the eternal value it has for you. This life is short, it will soon be past. Would you not like your life to last beyond this life time?

Want to know more?

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