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We have No TV Days at home too: Mini Mathur

TV anchor Mini Mathur would like her kids to play football, bake cupcakes, paint, trek or go snorkelling than be glued to the tube.

tv Updated: Jan 25, 2012 16:35 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times

My daughter, Sairah, who is three, is a too young to get addicted, but my eight-year-old son Vivaan does whine a bit over the No TV Days we have at home once a week. Those days could turn into a week-long affair if he’s up to some mischief. I’ve realised that it’s the best punishment.

The other day, we were discussing HT’s campaign and how we weren’t going to watch TV on Saturday and Vivaan pointed out that No TV Days were a regular in our home.

It’s difficult to focus with the TV on. I never let my children watch it during meals unless they’re unwell. Fortunately, Vivaan is so busy during the week that TV watching is limited to a few hours on the weekend.

But as a child you grew up with the TV too?

We were only allowed to watch the Sunday movie. We had a black-and-white set that was a luxury few could afford. And neighbours would come to watch too, and my mother and aunt would quickly finish cooking dinner that day.

I still remember the cartoon they screened before the movie to instill civic sense. And sitcoms like Idhar Udhar and Yeh Jo Hai Zindagi and Ramayan.

But apart from those two hours on Sunday, we were climbing trees or paddling in the stream behind my nani’s (grandmother’s) house in Amritsar.

Even in Delhi, I was more interested in board games like Scrabble and Monopoly. I still have every possible board game at home, but with the Xbox who’s interested in good old Ludo.

Sadly, even playacting, like setting up a house with friends or hosting a doll’s wedding has become stupid and crazy to our aware and intelligent kids.

Do your kids like outdoor sports?

Vivaan plays football four days a week in school, Jamnabai Narsee, and twice a week it is Capoeira, a form of Brazilain martial arts that he’s been learning since he was three. He’s a yellow belt now.

Vivaan is also a painter. Last week he had his own exhibition. He loves to cook and makes great carrot soup and helps me bake cupcakes. I’d like him to learn an instrument too, but I don’t want to be a Momzilla and force anything on him.

Does he enjoy reading?

They have a wonderful library in school and he has to borrow a book a week. I was a literature student, Kabir was a traveller and my mom-in-law an academician, so dinner table conversations revolve around what we read.

I didn’t have to send Vivaan for any Joy of Reading classes. He’s reading Ronald Dahl, and autobiographies of footballers, and National Georgaphic that we subscribe too. Along with the ‘intelligent’ books he occasionally gets a Diary Of A Wimpy Kid.

Where do you take them on weekends and vacations?

Unfortunately, there aren’t places in Mumbai that you can go to without encountering crowds and contracting germs. I usually take them to our club, Waterstones, in Andheri (E), where they run around, swim and play tennis.

If we get more than five days off, we take off to our mountain home, Soulitide, in Ramgarh in Uttaranchal. It’s 7,000 feet above sea level and faces the Himalayas. We go on long treks up the mountains.

Kabir and I got our scuba diving certificate on our honeymoon. So every year, we go scuba diving to different destinations.

We’ve been to Malaysia, Thailand, Maldives, Australia, Phillipines, Brazil and Egypt. The kids are too young to scuba dive, but Vivaan loves swimming and snorkelling.

First Published: Jan 25, 2012 11:59 IST