A Sunday story

Appa loved good food, esp the ones typical of a Tambram family. And this Manga-inji is the quintessential representation, he felt.

As a teenager all my love was for the mango and I hated this Manga-inji for the duality it represented. I also felt that it was stealing the thunder out of my fav mango! And I used to hate inji aka ginger. That was another pull down for disliking it.

But the way my appa used to relish this simple Manga-inji made me wonder what he saw in this dish! He used to look at me like “how can you not like this awesomeness” ! Only one thing he was confident about – that I will eventually fall for it.

Now, after decades, I seem to be falling in line with my appa for I am starting to like Manga-inji. Does that mean the older me resonates with my Appa? 😁

Making the Manga-inji (Mango ginger) salad

Peel the Manga-inji and cut it into small cubes.

Sprinkle required amount of salt and mix well.

Squeeze lemon juice and mix well.

Do a simple tadka of mustard and cut green chillies and mix well together.

This goes well with curd rice but I am liking it with sambar rice too. Try it for sure!


Cook it like “Patti”

The rava upma has many interlinking stories and preferences at home. While I make it in white color (minus haldi) as the daughter prefers, I make it with lots of vegetables in it for my husband.

Today morning started with the same discussion on what to make for breakfast. When rava upma was the unanimous choice between the two of us, the husband said in an excited voice, “Cook it like my patti” 😀

And it was done in his patti’s style which includes adding fried bread squares in the end as garnish. A sprinkle of sugar on top and pickle by the side, its the best breakfast ever for him.

Childhood memories about food are so strong that we even remember the taste, the aroma, the appearance of the dishes which we enjoyed. And made by patti adds the extra touch!

Sunday musings – God dwells inside us…

With the birth of the Tamil month Karthigai, there begins the feverish activity all around the southern states, where people decide to take up the 48 days viratham before going to take darshan of the Lord Ayappan at the end of this mandala. Those people who undertake the viradham wear the customary mala around their neck and wear black or blue colored dress.

This year is special at my place, as my husband has taken up this viratham for the first time. And I keep hearing to the dos and don’ts during this period of 48 days. This period is actually a preparation time for the devotees to take up the difficult path via the jungles to reach the Ayappan shrine in Sabarimala. The walking of barefoot, restricting food intakes to two meals per day, sleeping on the floor are a few things that might look like the luxuries of life are being given up. Devotees abstain from drinking alcohol, smoking, usage of curse words and other activities which are considered a vice.

There is a saying that anything that is done consistently for 21 days becomes a habit. And when something is done for 48 days, it becomes a way of life. And then I wonder how these people, who have made it their way of life for these 48 days, leave all this and go back to their vices after the darshan of the God!

In all these days of observing these people, I noticed that they call each other as “Sami” meaning God. And everyone is treated with the utmost respect during this viratham days.

There is also a viratham for people to go to Melmaruvathur Adi Parasakthi temple. And here everyone is called “Sakthi”. Here also people treat other devotees with utmost respect, during the viratham days.

Even to the primitive mind, this will strike a chord that the God dwells in each and every human. And this is not restricted only to the viratham days – God is inside each one of us always. While people call each other Sami or Sakthi, during these viratham days and then later spew enmity at each other after visiting the temple, just proves their constricted thinking or rather no thinking at all.

The terms used to call others are not for just showoff during viratham days. It’s a direct implication to the God (conscience / supreme power) inside every human being.

Let us open our minds to accepting that each one of us needs to respect the other person irrespective of this viratham.


The dried up veins


Around the iron grill

Is a sore sight…

Maybe those veins

Are holding the iron rods

In place…

A small change in perspective

The sore sight

Turns around

And the dried veins


Bonds of strength!

WW – The wonder called sky!

As you are already aware now, I love these sky watching phases during my day. It might be a brief moment in the morning, when I stare through my balcony to see if the sun has risen before me. Or it could be a moment during the day when I casually look up to see if there are black clouds looming around. It could be even be a moment like below, when I caught the glowing western colors on the move, while going for a meeting. I somehow love this click of the sunset, as the colors blend so beautifully to create such lovely shades and the sun adds its lovely evening glow. Sigh.

The following one is a fun picture. The constant looking up at the sky for patterns may yield such results, on a few occasions. While I saw a horse, dog and a bear – one behind the other, there were other friends of mine who lent their imaginary horses to this picture. And I love such cloud pattern based childlike conversations, where we keep looking for different animals or even people.

My dear friends who spent time cloud-watching with me virtually, gave me these responses and I enjoyed and laughed through the whole time.

  • looks more like a seahorse, an alligator and a rhinoceros to me 😂 and they’re dancing. Conga line 😊
  • they could be jet skiing too. 😂looks like they’re standing on one, the seahorse on the handlebar
  • Could be three on a magic carpet. 🤔 alakazam.
  • Spot the opera singer hitting a high note.
  •  ……….on a magic carpet!
  • Crocodile hugging its hatchling and a baby elephant is looking at both of them.
  • I can see a bird too.

Have a great day and look out for cloud patterns 😀

Lessons yet again…

Recently my friend posted this on her timeline:

For a long time, it had seemed to me that life was about to begin…..
But there was always some obstacle in the way, 
something to be gotten through first, 
some unfinished business, 
time still to be served, a debt to be paid.
Then life would begin.

At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.

  • – Alfred Souza

I would just make a small edit to the above quote – I would use “challenges” instead of obstacles. We think of them as obstacles when we don’t understand what is life all about. But when we understand that all those “so called obstacles” maketh our life, the right word becomes “challenges”.

I copied this quote in an effort to write a post, but its been more than 2 weeks and I’ve not written a word. The simple reason was there were many challenges to be met that didn’t give me time to sit in front of my keyboard. But throughout this time, my mind went around my archives of thoughts over the last two decades!

I was the peacefully-quiet-routine-loving woman. I loved my motherhood moments. Life was super fun or so I thought with the regular routines of managing a household. Shopping for home, for the girls, for friends were all major events I looked forward to. Walking, exercising, yoga were all done to burn my extra calories. Food was top priority and all the chores revolved around it, everyday. Get-together with friends, breakfast meets, weekly dinner meets were on the cards. I had my own house and I was feeling on top of the world that I was finally settled. But there was this feeling inside which said that life is not complete with this routine. I just didn’t know what it was that I was missing. But I just didn’t allow that feeling to grow nor did I listen to it. The fun which I having felt more wonderful.

There were moments when I missed my career but one look at my daughters erased any such thoughts. Being with them was my own choice over a career and I was having the time of my life.

Fast forward to the last five years…

We moved base to Chennai and selling our house at Hyderabad was a logical decision. It tore me up but I went ahead to do it. That was like the first jolt of those “challenges” in my life.

When the husband started his own business, I joined with him full time. Little did I know what I was expecting with that jump.

I was shaken up from my reverie of to-do lists – there was no routine for any day. This bothered me a lot in the beginning as I just can’t tolerate change of plans; even a power failure will make me annoyed at things.

There were times when things were not in my control and I was helpless; but I was feeling guilty like silly…

Schedules kept changing…

And I was apprehensive to this feeling of things not happening the way I want them to happen.

After repeatedly facing unplanned days and events and after repeated knocks on the thinking door in my mind, I hit the Zen moment…

It was a hard earned truth; the learning to let go! I accepted that each day is different and new things can be done each day in a different way. I learnt that the routine 9-5 job is boring and this was like living life to the fullest. The mystery of not knowing what’s next and what the next day is bringing to me is absolutely exciting. Am learning to love this excitement.

Along with it, came the realization to “love myself” as it led to inner peace of mine. When I am my usual critical self, my efficiency goes down. But making mistakes and accepting them with a smile helps me in dealing with the mistake by giving a solution to it.

I’ve understood that being absolutely busy 24*7 is such a blessing, as the mind is always focused on the challenge at that moment. It helps in overcoming negative thoughts, wild imaginations about situations and wondering what others are thinking about me…

I feel much lighter and I don’t stress too much on following my rigid practices at home. I don’t stress when I am not able to cook – yeah…surprise there! I sternly remind myself not to look at the heap of unfolded clothes…yup, that’s certainly not my usual self! These days, I cook something so that there is food to keep us going. And sometimes I choose my outfit from the heap of unfolded clothes! The interesting fact is that there are no hard feelings about this to myself!

My work is my holy place and all that I do revolves around it. When Lord Krishna / Ganesha came calling, I didn’t stress myself for my usual elaborate food preparations. Rather, I prayed sincerely for 5 minutes and let the work take over the day. It felt very soothing when I didn’t criticize myself for not doing the kozhukattai or the seedai. Rather I was happy to give fruits as prasadam.

As they say, its all in the mind…its all in the thinking and am glad that am able to face up to my challenges in a more joyous way!

And today I say that there have been lessons which has been the result of my own experiences, which I am sure has made me happier and a better person.

Yes, I’ve changed but that’s what life is all about, right?

When the sky made its statement…

There is a routine to my days and generally it begins from the moment I open my eyes and look at the eastern sky from my caged balcony. I try to squeeze out my phone through the gaps and click the wondrous sky to my satisfaction. With the birds chirping, crows cawing, a gentle morning breeze caresses me. I soak in the wonder called sunrise and let the energy flow into me. My day begins and it’ll be an awesome one for sure, says my heart.

This morning was no different. But I stood in the balcony for a long time, gaping at the wonder high above. Here are the pictures, when the sky makes its statement and makes the people to look above and go wow at the nature that is bigger than anything else.

Have a wonderful day!