Help me to CHILL OUT.

CHILLING OUT is an art cultivated through vast experience of keeping at bay, the excessive stress levels.  While advice is given to Tom, Dick and Harry for anything and everything, its difficult to follow the same.  And the times when the given advice stands out and laughs at the person, its such a humbling experience. Indy, just a few days back, it was your turn. Now its mine. I think, every one of us has our day of complaints. 😉

Today is one of those days, when I feel like CHILLING OUT.  There are so many things doing the rounds in my mind and irritation tops it all.

So, Help me to CHILL OUT, when

– the laundry is found lying around in various places and the laundry basket is absolutely empty.  🙄

– the wet towels refuse to leave the site of the comfortable bed. I thought the bed was supposed to be comfy for me !!!  🙄

– very important things to be done are being procrastinated for silly reasons.

– after a tiring day in the kitchen, supermarket, bank etc…feel that all the responsibilities are making me more tired.

– the maid ditches me and takes extra leave.  Knowing the consequences, the other maid who helps with cutting vegetables, also decides to call the day-off. Double Trouble.  🙄  🙄

– I am being dipped in sweat and barbecued slowly in the hot sun, while I just want to dip in cold ice cream !!!!

– the excessive heat and sweat causes a splitting headache by evening and the kitchen calls out to cook dinner.

– I take refuge in Supermarkets to chill myself during the day, in the pretext of shopping  and the kanjus ppl at the Supermarket decide to run the shop with only fans. 🙄

– we are all suffering from power cuts, ppl are advising to take part in Earth Hour !!!!

– I buy Limca for myself and don’t even get a drop to drink. These girls na – I really don’t know when they go into the kitchen, when they drink Limca !!!! LOL !!!

So, you can all help me CHILL OUT !!! Waiting for your novel ideas for CHILLING !!! 🙂

Reminiscing…

My daughter is having a sleepover at home today.  It’s like the talk of the apartment. She has called a few of her classmates and some friends from the apartment, too.  I don’t know many people doing the sleepover stuff in this conservative Chennai. Apart from my daughter, all her friends don’t belong to Chennai at all.

These girls are staying near by and they have been planning this sleepover party for more than 2 weeks now and finally they are coming home this evening. I’ve baked a chocolate temptation on the demand of my daughter and her friends. The whole idea of the sleepover party happening in my home, is the temptation of the chocolate cake. These girls are great fans of my cake. And what better appreciation can a baker like me can get !!! 😉

While I was thinking about the topic of sleepover, I’ve to admit that my thoughts did go back to my childhood. It’s quite natural, you see, for a person like me, who thinks that her childhood was the best. Even my daughters don’t enjoy the kind of childhood, I had. Sometimes, I feel bad for them. The world has indeed grown into a creepy kind of place, where mothers like me really get scared to send them out on their own.

When I was young, we were a group of 5 girls and 2 boys, if I remember correctly.

The whole street was our playground. There were not much cars around in those days. And our street was a quaint little one, where we knew everybody who lived there, in all the 15 houses.

There was this aunty who used to take Bhagwad Gita classes everyday, for half an hour. And all the kids in the street used to go for this class, to learn the slokas. I remember so well, that I did not understand the meaning many a times, but still I’ll go. It was fun being with all the kids and loudly telling whatever that aunty said. The best part was she’ll give something to eat, everyday. The starving kind we were, we never missed an opportunity to eat food. Even its a banana, we’ll take it happily and eat and feel good about it. There was no inhibition in taking from that aunty. Her husband was the cameraman for many movies and she used to tell us so many stories about it. We had an ear for everything.

Next to Bhagwad Gita aunty’s house, lived a family, who had a dog, Katie. So, that house was called Katie’s house. As if, Katie is the owner !!!! 😉  Katie was a Pomeranian and she used to bark at every shadow, cat, mouse, lizard – name it !!!!  And when we are totally bored, we’ll hide behind Katie’s house compound !!! Smelling us, Katie will start barking !!! Then the lady will start shouting at Katie to stop it !!! And we’ll be having fun !!! So silly and simple fun !!!  At that moment, it was enjoyment to the core !!!!

There was this house, in which one anna used to learn to play the flute. My God !! He played so well !!! The Swarajathi – Rara venu gopala – played on the flute is just divine to listen. Their house had huge pillars like how they have in temples. What else we need to play the seven corners !!! Whenever we want to play seven corners, we just go to this house and play while listening to flute !!! Even now, I can hear the music in my ears !!!!

The most interesting part of the playtime was on the afternoons during holidays. When the household is asleep, we’ll sneak into the kitchen, take stuff like rice, dhal, sooji, onions, potatoes, tomatoes and quietly smuggle them out of the house, without the knowledge of grandma and grandpa, who used to be in the bedroom which is near to the door.  That was the first step of achievement.

Then all the friends meet under the huge mango tree in the street, to inspect the stuff which everyone has got from their home.

We all then decide, what to cook with the stuff we got – deciding the menu, with the ingredients at hand. I am amazed at my planning skills, thinking about those menu planning.

The major part of the decision is in choosing the terrace where we all put to test, our cooking skills.

We then make a temporary stove, with bricks on 3 sides and collect a lot of branches and light them. Using small vessels, we cook rice / upma / aloo fry – based on the menu and ingredients.  My God, what a wonderful time we had. When we eat what we cooked, it really did taste delicious.

Hide and seek was another favourite game, where we can hide anywhere in anybody’s house. It’ll be damn difficult for the seeker to find the rest of us.

Running and catching has always been thrilling for us, for everybody tries to outrun the other.  And we were quite fast too !!! Oh !! I wish that I can run at that speed now !!! Even before I start running a few metres,  I am panting !!!!  LOL 😆

My daughter’s friends have arrived and the chocolate temptation was a huge hit. The girls are actually telling me to start a bakery business. WOW !!! Girls, you are indeed smart. Giving me ideas on entrepreneurship. Should seriously think about this.

And we are going to Mac D for dinner !!! They’ve opened a new drive thru branch, near our home and the girls have been waiting eagerly for this outing, together.

Hope these girls will remember this sleepover, forever.  And maybe they’ll be reminiscing about this, in their later years. 🙂

Traffic – Comedy or Serious ???

S is a great fan of the Aditya Channel – which telecasts only the comedy scenes from Tamil movies.  Even though I find the scenes very repetitive, I don’t mind watching the ones starring Vivek, for I greatly appreciate his comic timing and the way he gets back at people for their silliness and superstitions.

Last week, when we were glued to this Aditya Channel, I happened to watch one of my favourite scenes by Vivek.

In this scene, Vivek is travelling by bike with his friend and they happen to wait in a traffic signal.

Vivek says at this point, “We’ll put the right indicator, show our left hand and go straight ahead, to confuse you all, as we always do in India”.  It’s a pun alright, but sadly its also the plight of traffic in India.

It’s quite surprising that people in India, have got this idea of going first, over taking everybody on the road.  Are we in a race or something ?????

If we allow the vehicles ahead of us to move forward, then automatically we’ll get our way.  There’s certainly no patience, especially when people are on the roads, behind the steering wheels.

At this point, I am reminded of a funny incident, in Hyd.  Whether its funny or not, it just shows, how even stupid people get a driving license in India. There’s no need to know the traffic rules and regulations.

One of our friend, was driving his car. He is a very cautious driver and never crosses the speed limits.  And at a particular junction, he wanted to take a left turn. Since, there was free left available at that junction, he just put on the left indicator of his car and turned left.

Suddenly, there came a scooter, over taking his car, with a ferocious man on it.  He parked his scooter just in front of the car and asked our friend to get out of the car.

Our friend, being quite the docile type, didn’t want to get into any confrontations. With lots of hesistation, he got out of the car and the man on the scooter started shouting.  Without understanding the reason for his shouting, he quietly asks him to state the reason before shouting.

That man on the scooter asks our friend – Why did you turn left without any indication ?????

Friend (with a bewildered look) – Of course, I did put my left indicator !!!!

Man – No, all that is not enough.  Why didn’t put your hand out and show that you are turning left, with your hand ??????  You saw me doing the same while I was driving the scooter, eh ?????

Our friend was stunned beyond belief.  How in heaven’s sake, can you put your hand out and tell that you are turning left, while driving a car ?????

This is the height of traffic sense !!!!!  I still wonder,  How did that guy ever get a driving license !!!!

And another irritating thing in Hyd traffic, is people don’t take their hands off the HORN !!!!  They are always honking. Even if the traffic is stand still, due to some reason, the honking will go on and on.  Its absolutely irritating.

I’ve also noticed that people give more respect to the traffic signals than the traffic constables on duty.  While they listen without any question, to the red / orange / green lights, they argue and talk badly with the traffic constables.  Even if the traffic constable says STOP, the people give him a stare and drive away.

Even though we make fun of the road sense in the people of India, the whole scenario is really pathetic.

One, there is a sudden surge in the number of people owning a four-wheeler. Every Bank is calling the people walking by their branch and giving them a Car loan. Who wouldn’t want to buy, when the banks call you and give you loans ????

Second, the Government is totally unprepared for the increase in number of vehicles and there are no concrete plans accordingly to widen the roads or build flyovers or take any measures to ensure smooth traffic.

Third, the people want to reach their place of destination, in just a few minutes of sitting in their vehicle.  There is no patience, no giving way for ambulances – the top priority is only themselves.

Fourth and most important is talking on the mobile while driving. This certainly distracts the driver and confuses the person driving behind this man. The reflex is quite slow, because of the distraction of talking on the mobile phone.  Even though it’s a rule – TALKING & DRIVING DONT GO TOGETHER – people are just going on talking on the mobile, as though this rule doesn’t apply to them.

Any phone call can wait – no call is more precious than your life.

Follow traffic rules and have a safe and enjoyable Driving experience !!!!! 🙂

Dear Sweet-16,

Even though Indy didn’t tag me specifically, I felt like doing this tag, the moment I read it.

I’ve been wanting to talk to my younger self for sometime now and I am satisfying those desires by talking to my daughter. She nods her head, listens sometimes and other times, she puts a stop to my banter by gently hugging me and telling me “Mom, relax, dont take things so seriously, life’s to enjoy…Relax Mom”. 🙂 😀 😛

So, here’s a letter to myself.

Dear Sweet-16,

Hi, I am a little older than you !!!!  I’ve never changed in that aspect – never tell the real age and keep them guessing !! 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!

I’ve been wanting to write to you, for years, to tell you that certain things which you despise at this age, are those things which you’ll fall in love with, when you are my age.

You’ll start liking veggies like pumpkin, brinjal, palak….  😐

And you’ll also realise that the sour ones like goose berries, raw tamarind, raw mango will start hurting your teeth and you may not be able to eat it with relish in later years. So, come on, eat how much you want to, dont worry about consequences, now. 😆

And Ah !!!! Please take care of your toe nails properly, otherwise you’ll live to read the trauma tales by your own nail, later in ur blog pages. 🙂

All your food habits will go for a big toss, when you become pregnant. You’ve to pinch yourself to see whether its you – as I’ve done so many times. 🙂

 

You’ve always wanted a love marriage, right ??????   You wanted to go around with the man of your heart, in a speeding bike, with the hair flying and you holding on to him, so dearly, isn’t it ???? 🙂

Let me a break a secret to you, at this time. You will not choose that wonderful man, but your Dad will. That’s the only difference.

The three months between engagement and marriage will be the golden time in your life, where you’ll live life to the fullest with all those speeding bike dreams will come true.  You’ll cherish each and every moment with that Man of yours !!!! 🙂

 

You’ve always felt that you are so stuck in Chennai, right ???? Never been out of the city, due to various reasons.  Here comes the man, with the ticket in hand always and asking you to get ready to go somewhere.  You’ll visit places of your dream, the snow filled Manali, the chilly Kulu, the hot and colourful Delhi (you’ll go to Delhi on the day of Holi), the puja famous Kolkatta, Ooty, Kodaikanal, Yercaud, Blore and many more.  You just have to ask for a holiday and he’ll be ready to give it you.

Why only holidays ????? He’ll drag you out of Chennai to live in other cities too, which you just love it.  Of all the places, your best stay will be in Hyderabad for 7 golden years.  Hyderabad will become so much a part of you, that you’ll start thinking that its your birth place. 🙂

 

Do you remember what you told patti ?????? “I want my husband to take equal share in doing household work also. If he cuts onion, I’ll do the sambar. If he peels the potato, I’ll fry them.”

I am so sorry to disappoint you, but you’ll do no such thing, in ur life.  The love you have for your husband, will make sure that you do the sambar from the tadka till the end, to see that satisfying smile on ur husband’s face.  Yeah, thats a major change, waiting to happen in your life.

Even though, you are so career oriented and will love your working period of six years, you’ll dump your wonderful career to take care of the lovely daughter, who is worth more than all the jobs in the world put together can offer you.  And, to break the suspense, it’s not only one daughter, but two lovely little girls, to remind you of the time, you had with your own sister.

 

Your dream of joining the Microsoft may not come true, but you’ll feel elated when your close cousin joins Microsoft at Seattle. You’ll feel as though your own dream has come true.

 

More than dreams, you’ll see a new YOU, as time proceeds.

The absolute careless attitude towards others will change and you’ll become more sensitive to others’ needs.

You’ll realise that there are greater things in life, than having a career.  And those great moments are brought to you by the beautiful two angels, who are responsible for the happiness quotient in your life.

You’ll learn to be more patient with the old ppl, which you think is impossible for you, now.

Your mother-in-law will be your great friend and both of you will share a great rapport – which you currently think is not possible.

All the chores and lessons which your mom made you learn against strong opposition from you, is helping me in reaps, now. So, you’ll  sincerely try to pass on the wisdom to your girls.

You’ll go on to become a great cook, a super baker and much greater blogger. You have all these qualities in you, which only time will make you realise.

Hardwork has no substitute – your realisation of this and your constant endeavour to pass it on to your girls, will be favourite pass time.

 

So, be prepared to welcome the new YOU – the changes will be so gradual that you’ll not even realise that you’ve changed.  Only when you read Indy‘s tag and start writing a letter like this, will you understand the extent of changes in YOU.

And do take care of your health, as you might face some health issues, too. Be strong. Enjoy life.

Be a HAPPY YOU !!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

With lots of love,

Your soul mate from the future.

Chennai & Chocolate Krishna

Being in Chennai has one of the finest advantages. This being an artist’s paradise, there are a plenty of ways to keep the residents occupied.  Be it a musical concert – the carnatic, hindustani, western or simply fusion, or a dance program – traditional bharatanatyam or fusion ballets, or those hilarious and thought-provoking plays – Chennai is THE PLACE for it.

Next month begins the world-famous DECEMBER FESTIVAL, where every auditorium / sabha *, hosts this festival of music, dance and drama.  If you have not been to one, your life in Chennai is wasted.  So many artists come all the way from US / Canada / Australia and many other countries to perform in this wonderful festival.

My childhood memories are so well interwoven with these episodes of festivals of art, the main reason my father being the Secretary in one of the leading Sabhas in Chennai and he still remains to be so. Every weekend, we’ll go to the sabha – whether it is a play or a music concert or dance.  It was the best outing for us, with the whole family and we used to enjoy every such experience.

Then was sowed the seed to appreciate the art and the related things in life.  I love the musical concerts – I learned music too.  They are one of the best medicine to handle stress.  The dance programs were colourful and we used to love them all.

But,  the plays are my favourite, as those were the days of comedy kings like Crazy Mohan, S V Sekhar, Kathadi Ramamoorthy and many other serious play makers too.  These comedy plays were a big craze in those days and ppl used to learn the dialogues too – as they do now for some movies.  Me and my friends used to have a contest on how many times have you seen a particular play and I always won – advantage of  having a Secretary of a Sabha as my father.

Then later, when I got married and left Chennai, this play craze seemed to have got engulfed among my motherhood and I used to yearn for the lovely memories of those hilarious theatre days.

chocolate krishna
Tamil Comedy Play - Chocolate Krishna

Now, back in Chennai, I was adamant on going to this latest comedy play by Crazy Mohan – CHOCOLATE KRISHNA.  And so, our family of four went for this play abt a week back.

I was skeptical about my girls’ response to this play. But, My God, they proved to have my genes perfectly in place. They absolutely enjoyed the play, all the while laughing thru the jokes. I was transported to my teenage years, where I’ve sat to watch every play and laughed along so much.

Crazy Mohan and Balaji
The Comedy Duo – Crazy Mohan and Balaji

 This Comedy Duo were fantastic with their non-stop jokes and their great timing !!!! The whole theatre troupe had the audience in splits from the moment they started.

 
Another interesting thing was the interwoven magic, as a part of Krishna’s character.  On the whole, it was a great time to laugh out loud, forget your worries and at the same time have a great family time.
 
My childhood memories were whitewashed and put on a new pedestal for my girls to see and enjoy and now a days, they keep asking me to tell me about the other plays I’ve seen, in my younger age.
 
After my last post on Chennai, I felt bad that I was giving away my native place !!! Actually, it’s not the place, but the ppl that matter the most.
 
So, here’s a post to toast the bestest part of being in Chennai !!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂  And I know that all those Chennaiites, who give me a half-smile, will also vouch for this wonderful face of Chennai and I am sure they too enjoy the artistic Chennai to the core.
 
And for all the support you’ve all given me, in my previous post – Thanks to you !!!! I am now a member of the recreational club in the apartment and have made quite a lot of friends  after that post. Thank you, fellow bloggers, for all the support. 🙂 🙂 🙂

 * sabha – an association or a recreational club formed to promote art.

My take on Chennaiism !!??!!

When I was moving from Hyderabad to Chennai, many of my friends warned me – Chennai is a very conservative place.  Take Care !!!!

Yeah, I knew about this, being a Chennaiite, myself.  I was prepared for this too, mentally.  But when I got a sample of it, I laughed out loud (obviously, at home), while writing the following comparison…

When you move into a flat :  (This flat is one of the 300 odd flats in that apartment)

Hyderabad – When you meet ppl in a lift, they smile at you. This is very important as you feel welcome here.  They (ppl already staying there) ask you, “Hv you shifted here recently ??? You seem to be quite new, here  !!!! Which flat have you moved into ?????”

Chennai – When ppl meet you in the lift, they do a half-smile at you in a hurry – indirectly telling you that dont even think of starting a conversation, I am very busy. 

 

When you meet the native speaking aunties in the apartment temple :

Hyderabad – Even though there was no temple in the apartment, the elderly took an interest in knowing the youngsters.  One hundred questions will follow the smile and they’ll know your family history in a matter of time. All these elders are native Chennaiites.

Chennai : There is a lovely Ganesh temple. And yeah, puja happens every morning and evening.  But alas, nobody takes note of the new entrant in that place, which is me.  I keep smiling at everybody, but they hastily move away.  Is something wrong with me ?????? 🙄

 

When you meet a group of ladies, chit chatting and one of them knows you :

Hyderabad : You’ll be introduced to everyone in the group and from one friend, you make lot of friends in a small meeting.

Chennai : The person who knows you, takes you away from the group and talks to you in a whisper and then moves back to her group. What am I ?????? 🙄

 

The mothers of my daughters’ friends :

Hyderabad : Are my good friends, too. The rapport is good. And we have excellent conversations. Few of them of fellow Tamilians.

Chennai : They say a hurried Hi and get going.  Conversations – a big no no !!!! 🙄

 

The evening time :

Hyderabad : Children have a gala time, playing together and making new friends.  The mothers follow suit, in making new friends.

Chennai : Kids are always studying – there is no play time.  It happens occasionally once in a week or so.  The ladies too are confined to their house. Why ? Why ??? Why ?????

 

When you pass by a new face in the block :

Hyderabad : First you are greeted by a smile. Then introductions and so on.

Chennai : OMG !!! I just passed by a human being.  Thank God, I am staying in a place full of faceless ppl. 🙄

 

There are many more incidents like these.  So, even though I’ve moved to my native place, I feel out-of-place.  It’s not only the ppl of Chennai.  Those ppl who are natives of other states and have made Chennai their native, too, have become like this. 

The comparison with Hyderabad came naturally to me, as my home in Hyderabad was situated in a similar environment and with a mixed cosmo crowd.

For a Chennaiite, who had stayed out of Chennai for some years, this CHENNAIISM is just shocking and the culture mind-boggling.  It will take a lot of time, for me and my daughters to get some friends, here, and to feel one among the crowd.  Just hoping that I dont become part of the other crowd.

I think that Chennaiites, who stay out of Chennai, are more sociable than ppl staying here.

Whats your take on this ???????

Moving to Chennai – Part I

Why a series on the simple act of shifting the residence from one city to another ??????

Because, when the process of shifting was happening, the blogger in me, was constantly thinking about blogging this and that.  And like that, the list grew.  So, I am trying to remember all the facts and write it down – let me see, how many parts I am able to manage.

First and foremost, is the tale of PACKERS.

After taking the quote from different packers, we finally decided on one – Leo Packers (LP) – since we received very good reviews about them.  Now, for me, this is the first time, I’ve called Packers to do all the packing.  For all the previous shifts, I did the packing on my own and I only used to call ppl to load the stuff into the truck.  So, I was totally unaware, about the methods in which these packers operate, rather pack the things.

This person from LP, called to inform us, that the packing ppl, will arrive at exactly 10 am on the specified date.  And since, we had lot of crockery and curios to pack, it’ll take time. So, the kitchen will be done the next day and loading will also happen on the next day.  OK !!! We booked our tickets according to this schedule, the LP gave us.

I just did a simple thinking and decided to go ahead with the packing of our clothes on our own, with a little great help from my daughters. And futuristic thinker in me, made sure that we pack a separate bag with all the things we’ll need, from the time the packers take our things in Hyderabad and hand it over to us in Chennai and me setting them up.  WOW, Uma, you deserve a pat on the back !!!!!

The specified date came. It was 10 am – No packers, yet. Me – Why dont they keep up the time ????

10.30 am – Not yet. Me – Why dont you call and find out ????   He – Dont worry, they’ll come.

11 am – Still no trace of LP.  Me – Whats happening ???? I am worried. Will they finish all these packing in one and half days ?????  He – Lets hope so. I’ll call LP.

11.15 am

It was a group of ppl from LP, armed with cartons, hard plastic boxes, bubble wraps, cardboard wraps, jute material and a Manager to make the whole group a functional unit.

They attacked the house, with a savage threat.  I was reminded of the scene in Jumanji, where the animals come marching into the house !!!! 😆

One minute, they were in the living room and suddenly I saw all my furnitures vanishing into boxes and neatly stitched around with the jute material.  WOW, is that the sofa, I used to sit – I wonder !!!

In an hour’s time, they had done with the living room and they were marching fast into my bedrooms. They were hungry for packing.  But now, we couldn’t handle the speed.  There were two ppl in each bedroom and two in the kitchen !!!!  There was one man to seal the boxes with tape.  And for all the things that required the jute bag covering, there was this amazing patient person, who was keeping on stitching one box after the other.

Now, we didnt have enough ppl to monitor the whole show. So, I made my trusted maid to be in the kitchen, to see what goes into what box.  My girls were there in their bedroom, taking care that none of the things are left behind or their precious things are bubble wrapped before it went into the carton.   My husband was in the master bedroom, calling me every now and then, to ask if we needed to pack this.  I was shuttling between these three hubs of activity and before I knew it, all the rooms were done. OMG !!! My things have been converted into boxes.  How did this happen ???? And in such a short time ????? The speed of these LP ppl was amazing.   That one moment, I realised that we should have booked our tickets to Chennai, on the same day.

While all this heavy packing was happening –  I didn’t even realize this for some time – these LP ppl have started loading the things on to a truck.  Suddenly, the whole house looked so void of things, but so full of memories.  With a heavy heart, we left Hyderabad.  But life’s brighter, in Chennai, too. 🙂  I’ve learnt to accept changes, hence this enlightment.

Valuable insights into the packing activity :

– Never underestimate the speed and efficiency of the packers.

– Be sure, that you’ve your own ppl to monitor the packing.

– Do the packing of your precious things, by yourself.

– Throw away the unnecessary stuff, before the packers come.  I got so many things – which are in throw away state – neatly packed and delivered in Chennai.

– Have got some views about ppl losing stuff, while the packers are at it. Keep a hawk eye on everybody.  Thats why you need your own ppl in the house.

This simple fact is the best of all :

IF SOMETHING IS IN THE ATTIC FOR AN YEAR AND YOU HAVE NOT FOUND A NEED FOR IT, THEN YOU PROBABLY DONT NEED IT AT ALL. PLEASE THROW / DESTROY / GIVE IT, RIGHT AWAY.

By this policy, the house will be clutter free.

Whew, with all the packing and unpacking done, this part comes to an end.

Hey, I am back.

Hey friends, its been exactly 19 days since I was off my blog page, but it looks like a decade to me. I’ve missed this space. And Thank God, I am back.

And a big thank you to all of you, for your wishes !!!! 🙂 Yeah, the shifting process is done with and I am a lot more at peace with myself.

BTW, thanks for missing me.  The feeling is mutual. 🙂

All through this 3 weeks of hectic activity, not a day went by, without me thinking about something to blog about.  Its become second nature to me.

Now, that I am active again in this blogosphere, I’ve a lot of blogs to catch up.  It sure is going to keep me busy for the next few days.

 

Even though I’ve been born and brought up in Chennai and only the last 7 years I’ve been in Hyderabad, the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad is very close to my heart. Me and my girls miss that place so much !!!  We have such fond memories in our home there, in the friends circle we had there, that some thing about Hyderabad, comes into our discussions, everyday.  Even though me and my girls have made friends here, it’ll take time for these friendships to blossom into mature and comfortable relationships.

 

Life’s like that !!!! Changes keep happening around us, all through the time and the way we adapt ourselves to those changes shows how successful we are living our lives.   Now, my biggest responsibility is to make my girls understand this and help them go through this place change, as smoothly as possible.

Am so happy to be blogging !!!! 😆

 

 

Moving out…

I am sorry, my dear friends, for not being around for the past few days. Yes, I had been quite busy. Heres WHY !!!!!

The news is I am moving to Chennai, out of Hyderabad. The whole process of looking out for a school for my girls, a good house with nice neighbours has kept me on my toes. My recent visit to Chennai has helped me decide on these issues and everything has been taken care of. Thank God !!!!

So, I’ll be moving out in a matter of 10 days.  And so, my internet connection will be disconnected soon, to facilitate a smoother shifting process.  I’ll be back to action in this blogosphere, once I get my internet connection in Chennai.  I’ll be missing you all !!!! 

See you all soon. 🙂

Navarathri for me…

We are at that time of the year, which is very close to my heart – yes, the Dussherra  !!!!

I know, yeah, I am writing about this very early….Dussherra is another 15 days away !!!!

Since I am from Chennai, I would love to relate it to the way we celebrate and that is the Navarathri or the Kolu, which starts this friday on the 18th of September.

It’s the most awesomest festival, which I love so much.   The colours, the music, the beautiful kolams, the sara sara pattu pudavais, the fragrant malli poo, the wonderful smile on everybody’s lips is enough proof that heaven is here among us.

Navarathri, as the name suggests, is celebrated for 9 days, the first 3 days for Goddess Durga, the second 3 days for Goddess Lakshmi, and the last 3 days for Goddess Saraswathi. The Saraswathi Puja on the last day and the Vijayadasami on the next day marks the end of this wonderful festival.

The other name called Kolu comes from the fact that there is a display of beautiful dolls during these 9 days.  On the Amavasya day, we set up the steps – always it is an odd number of steps – and start arranging the wonderful dolls.  We also make parks/ zoo  around the steps to display our toy animals !!! Beautiful colourful kolams (rangoli) adorn the houses. The colourful lights and lamps will add more sparkle to the whole festival.

All the ladies in their best sara sara pattu pudavais, the little girls in wonderful pattu pavadais, going around to visit friends, relatives and singing till the throats ache are just a few insights into this fantabulous festival.  I still remember how I used to go from one house to another, for inviting them to visit our kolu. Without even being asked, I would start singing, eagerly waiting for that aunty to come and give me the sundal packet. Then I am off to another house and its the same story again. (Sundal is a wonderful dish – it’s sprouts done with tadka and garnished with grated coconut. Everyday it is a different sprout and so it is all the more fun).

Chennai is colorfully decorated and there are contests happening to rate the best Kolu, too !!!  So, people are more keen on displaying their Kolu based on a theme, so that theirs is unique.

When I go blah blah about all this wonderful festivities of Chennai and how I miss them all, staying here in Hyderabad, my sweet husband decided to take us all to the wonderfully old city of Kolkatta, to show off his childhood places and how Durga Puja is celebrated there. So, last year, for the Dussherra vacation, we were in Kolkatta drinking in the delights of the pandals and the awesome foodies that go along with it.

Even though the Puja is only for 5 days, it is just  a wonderful experience to see it all live in Kolkatta.  The grandeur of every pandal will take your breath away.  The unique designs and the money spent on every pandal is just overwhelming.  But it is all worth it, finally.  Even though the city was maddeningly crowded and didn’t show any levels of developments after the British left us – none of this mattered to us – we were hogging on luchis and aloo dums for breakfast, rasogullas, kachodis, singada, puchka – the list is just endless…such mouth watering delights.

One of my favourite moment was when we all walked up from our room to the nearest puchka-wala, at midnight, and had a dozen of them each. I can never forget that super bhog prasad which we had in one of the pandal. It was absolutely fabulous.  Although, I’ve tried making it at home, I’ve not yet reached that taste level.

A few pandals for your visual treat – they are my favs too !!!! 😆