Ten on Tuesday – Those childhood foods…

I started writing something about flowers and trees until I realized that today is Tuesday. And then I changed my whole post and the picture too!

For a post on foods should deserve a picture that matches with it. Now, a vazhai ilai (banana leaf) sprinkled with water, ready to be served with food is the perfect picture to go with it!

So, here I go, with those favorite dishes from childhood, because of which I remember a lot of things that happened during my childhood.

1 That delicious arisi upma made in vengala panai along with thengai thogaiyal, made by my maternal Patti is something that I drool over, even today!

2 Semiya bagalabath is another specialty of my maternal Patti! This is what we term as kai manam. Patti’s cooking skills are just to die for and even now I can hear her humming some song while cooking. Those carefree days of vacation spent at the maternal place are something very dear to the heart.

3 Coconut trees were aplenty at maternal thatha’s house and hence coconuts were used for everything. I used to team up with two other friends and make snacks without cooking like mixing fried grams, coconut, sugar and crush them with a mortar and pestle and eat it with a proud feeling.

4 My paternal side Patti is my favorite, for I remember her softness and the steel-like will power behind the soft exterior. Even during tough financial times at home, she will lovingly mix thayir sadam and give it to us in our palms along with mavadu. This is one food memory that overrides everything else. Maybe there was a secret ingredient called love!

5 The image of amma sitting on the kitchen top, making crisp Rava dosas and all of us gobbling them one after the other is something which is my favorite. And today as I make Rava dosas, I tend to compare with amma. I cannot match her but I just try to be better than the previous time.

6 I remember the rainy day, when I and my siblings were shivering because of the chillness in the air, Patti made us sit on a gunny bag to feel warm and gave all of us hot boiled groundnuts. It was heaven. I can still feel the warmth of Patti as she sat with us and helped us to peel the groundnuts.

7 One day I remember making semiya upma in the evening. Since my thatha loved garlic, I thought of putting garlic in the semiya upma, which we generally don’t do. The upma turned out in a pathetic state. I didn’t like it at all. But my thatha was so happy that he relished it so much.

8 Appa used to fast during shashti and he ate without salt for dinner. Amma made saltless chapatis and tomato sweet chutney to go with it – something like a jam. She will never make it on ordinary days; I wonder why she didn’t! So, on shashti, as appa sat with his dinner, I used to sit next to him, drooling over that tomato jam. Amma will roll her eyes secretly to me not to take from appa. But appa will feed me chapati and tomato jam and I will be trying hard not to show that I was chewing on food.

9 Kozhakattai is always a favorite of mine. And I used to await those festival days when it was made at home. More than kozhakattai, I always feel thrilled to eat that poornam separately – just coconut and jaggery – I feel it is the way to heaven! Patti used to give the poornam to us with the knowing smile of the love we have for it.

10 And for the love I have shown above, here is something that I am not fond of since childhood, which is bread. It may be because amma used to give me bread only when I had a fever and so I started associating it with sick day food. And even when I grew up, I never got over that feeling. Today I can manage a toast if nothing else is available, but it will be the final straw to being alive…hehe 😀

Marghazi kolangal

This month of Marghazi is dear to the heart. Be it the kolams that adorn the entrance of the houses or the slight chill and crisp wind that surprises the normal Chennai climate or the sound of music that is in the air, there is something for everyone to intake, partake and enjoy!

When I was a young girl, I used to pair up with my sister to draw the kolams during Marghazi. And as I type this, I suddenly remember the fat bound kolam book we had at home. Everyone, including Patti, amma, chithi or us (the sisters), will update our new kolams which we learn from other books or magazines or other’s houses. We will make an entry as to how many dots is the kolam and how to draw it. Thereby we also practice it once before doing a final version at our home entrance.

This book is occupying my mind for the past week as I try hard to remember those kolams which are short and neat to put in front of my home entrance, this Marghazi month. I wish I had the book with me now. Maybe, amma still has it in her cupboard; I should ask her about it.

These kolams were done for last Diwali and I really enjoyed putting the kolams in the vast space at the entrance of my brother-in-law’s house.

All these kolams have to be a part of my blog and what better time than the month of Marghazi!

 

Sunday musings

I sat and watched as these saplings were planted in the field. It was a time-consuming process. All the people who came for this work went into the field that was filled with the right amount of water. They stood with their feet apart slightly, bending down and in absolute focus to make sure the saplings are planted are specific intervals. The sun was hitting hard and they were all sweating profusely. But none of them bothered about that. The feet were soaked in the muddy water. That also didn’t bother them.

All their focus was on planting them at the right distance. All their thoughts and prayers were for a good crop out of this planting. All of them worked together for that.

I just walk into the supermarket and pick up a pack of rice, pulses or vegetables without even thinking about the hard work that has gone behind that packet.

And I realized how much I have taken for granted in life!

Meet Justin

When my daughter sent me this picture with the caption “Meet Justin”, I couldn’t understand it. When I asked her “Who Justin?”, she laughingly told me that its her new Arrowhead plant, which she got as a gift.

I was touched. Gifting plants is very close to my heart.

Students of my daughter’s class played the Secret Santa and one of her friends found this beautiful gift of a plant to give my daughter.

I am feeling very happy with such a thoughtful gesture!

Sun’s day out!

The sun came out one day
Lost his way
Found himself on a pot of clay
Looked at people, as if in a play
Some were making hay
Some were gay
While some took to pray
Others became prey
Some of them could play
A few who did a gentle sway
To life’s every-changing way!
Some always obey
And some are a runaway
Some astray
Some on the right pathway!
The sun was laughing away
At all the disarray
For the secret to the life’s gateway
Is to treat it like a child’s play!

Sunshine people

They are this unique set of people. When they arrive into a room, they bring in cheer. Eveyone wants to be with them. No, it is not the money or attaching oneself to some predefined image. It is simply for the warmth with which they hug everyone. It is in the simple way they smile warmly at people. It is their genuine nature that shines through. It is the way they make others also to glow. I have named them the sunshine people.

They are true and very much alive even in this world and they make everyone, in their vicinity, to shine! They are experts with the smiling mehanisms and can quietly transfer it to you.

They bring a sort of calmness to the troubled mind and help us to rise above it. There might be a hundred and one things on their mind but these special set of people seem to be beyond all their worries when it comes to making others happy.

I personally know a few of them. And I assure you my life is blessed and smooth going because of them. They guide me, cheer me, listen to me talk and then just hug me, transferring such positive energy that I feel not to let go of that hug!

May their tribe grow!

Here’s to the sunshine people!

Wordless Wednesday – Yellow love!

 

 

 

Since I am on a mission to do picture posts, I just cannot leave this post wordless, as the title says 😉

Yellow is the color of cheer, of sunshine. The color to make me happy. I made sure that I got a yellow sari for my wedding – a favorite of mine among all my saris. By choosing a yellow dress in the morning, the mind automatically cheers up to face the day ahead.

So, what’s your favorite color?

Ten on Tuesday – Grateful moments!

Swaru’s post last Tuesday is the inspiration behind this post!

So many people have crossed my life at various times, giving me brief lessons, moments to ponder, values to cherish, bonds of friendship and sometimes a touch of love! I want to write about those people; this was my first choice for this post.

I then wanted to try a new perspective to this thought, where the presence of certain people changed me a lot. And hence I thought of writing those moments in life, which helped me in realizing and understanding the worth of those people in my life!

1. In all my life, if I have to point to the most precious moment for which I am grateful, its when I became a mother. Nothing can match in intensity to the overwhelming emotion I feel even today, thinking about being a mother.

2. Those moments when appa let me learn the value of freedom or being independent along with the responsibility that comes with it, are very special. It helps me to think better while staying grounded and also to instill similar values in my girls. This needs a mention especially for the fact that appa didn’t contain himself within the strict rules and regulations of the religious circle, which surrounded him.

3. There have been many moments that helped me to understand that owning jewelry or a house or a car and such materialistic things do not matter in the long journey of life and the only thing that matters is love, kindness, and understanding. This understanding has made me into a better person and I am very grateful for those moments of learning.

4. If there has been a lucky streak in my life, its the thing that I always get awesome teachers/gurus, who guide me in my destined path with just a gentle prodding and smile. Those moments when the teachers brought out the best in me, is something to cherish and be amazed too (for they saw those potentials in me what I couldn’t see myself).

5. Those moments in amma’s life where she silently smiled, offered help voluntarily, gracefully accepted life’s situations and questioned no one are moments of learning for me.

6. Sometimes God sends angels in human form. For me, my daughters are my angels, for they not only stand by me during all my moments of happiness and otherwise, but they are also my cheerleaders, my staunch supporters and such darlings to hold close and cherish. Every moment that I have spent with them and all those moments I will be spending with them are moments for which I am grateful always.

7. I have always been a person who follows my heart. Even though the mind tries to play logical roles, it is the heart that wins always. And for all those moments I have done following my heart, like this space of mine – my blog, the many times I have tried my hand at art, I am very grateful that I did it.

8. I am this kind of person that when things don’t work out in my way, it stresses me a lot. But I have default coping mechanisms. It is a fact that I love my coping mechanisms which help me to heal from the stress then and there and not carry it forward. Those moments where I heal by cooking, washing clothes or folding them, cleaning, coloring, meditating are my precious moments with myself where I heal to be a better person. I am very grateful that I could find those moments in my life!

9. Those moments when nature presents itself in all its glory for me to smile, visually treat myself to the beauty of flowers, sunrise, sunset, birds flying towards home, enjoy the small pleasures of staring at changing cloud patterns, allowing the waves at the beach to caress my feet are the best moments life has presented to me.

10. This comes last, as always, for sometimes we take those precious people for granted. The friendship bonds are lifelong and so precious. Those moments of friendship, today from a friend in person, tomorrow from a virtual friend and sometimes from a long lost friend from childhood, are moments for which I am eternally grateful!

 

Dreamy clouds

Recently my Sir asked this question in class – How do you define sleep?

All of us had various answers – when the body is tired we go to sleep – when the senses shut off, then we sleep – we have an internal clock to sleep when we rejuvenate – and many more!

As I keep thinking about this simple thing called sleep, I am getting more amazed at the way our human body has been created. Sleep is a state where we lose consciousness but a slight touch or a fan switching off can bring us back to a conscious state. Does that mean that the senses were still alert?

Sleep is also the time to recharge certain supplements in the body, to produce new cells – that indirectly means that there are many functions of the body that are active. We even wake up when there is a sense of urination.

We rest, yet we are active in many ways. It’s an amazing state, which cannot be defined in words.

And for me, the moment I hit my pillow, I just go into a deep sleep. I prefer to call it a blessing and a genetic transfer from appa…hehe 😀 😀 It’s only when people suffer from sleepless nights that they can appreciate the need to sleep well and how refreshed and recharged we feel the next day!

Of course, dreams are an integral part of sleep. Can you see the connection between the post and the picture now? Those are dreamy clouds…the more you look at them, the more you will feel sleepy…hehe 😀  Sometimes they look like a comfortable bed to lie on!

Whenever I go to sleep with a problem in the mind, I often wake up with a solution that came in my dream. It has happened to me when I was working doing C++ coding – imagine sheets of codes that run through your dreams! It happens even now for simple issues too! I also feel that the more intentions I place before my sleep, the more they come into existence! Its a kind of transformation from thoughts to reality. I don’t know how it happens. But my dreams always show me the way to move forward. Of course, it is not every day. There are days when I know that there have been dreams but I can’t remember anything about it.

As I wake up from a dreamless sleep, I write this post on dreams!