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.

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Here and there in my foodie world!

I think cooking skills are there in my genes!

When I have a bad headache and over time it spreads to the neck and becomes a dull throbbing pain and I can’t even utter normal responses to questions directed at me and all I wanted to do was scream at everyone at sight, the husband takes the role of the silent man and acts as if the dumb idiot box is actually intelligent.

And then I take refuge in the kitchen with the beginnings of a coffee…aaahhh….that helps a little. He tries to help by suggesting that I take a pain killer tablet but I refuse. I hate those tablets. For me, the biggest healer is sleep and I’ll go to it at the right time.

Then, with the continuing pain, I enter the kitchen and decide to make vengaya thogaiyal and rasam with lots of pepper and garlic! The frying onion smell can heal, you know 😛 Also, the fried urid dal tastes awesome when popped into the mouth while they are golden crisp. The whiff of garlic while the rasam is boiling makes me bend over the rasam pot and inhale the flavours of pepper, jeera, garlic thereby helping my headache to heal by itself.

After eating the hearty meal and a good sleep in the night, makes me all refreshed for the next day. The headache is gone.

Food is a healer and along with sleep, the benefits are double. And then there are days when there is a satisfying feeling of facing an awesome day, just because the cooking turned out great that morning!

A few pics from my lunch box to tempt you 😛

Podi Idly for breakfast 🙂

 

Capsicum and tomato sambar, mix veg fry, mangai vella pachadi from the lunch box 🙂

 

Another one for the menstrual cycle!

I remember those days, when my girls had just started menstruating –  days were – extreme tension filled, sanitary napkin buying spree, screaming because of cramps, whether to go to school or not and also the disgust in seeing those bloody pads. Sigh…seems like decades back! Oh yeah…maybe a decade !

I’ve written many posts on the humor side of this menstrual cycle, jokes made at home by the girls and my own struggle on the same territory.

Today by chance, I came to know that yesterday was Menstrual hygiene day and there is this initiative to educate the girls and the boys on the same for healthier acceptance of this monthly cycle among the younger generation. Its not something to hate or love, but acceptance of the physical creation of the human body. There is nothing to be ashamed or be scared.

There has been many instances at home, when the man, my wonderful husband has felt a little bit shy or even terribly embarrassed at the mention of periods or related menstrual talks or complaints of pain and other such related issues. He has even wondered at his pitiful situation of 2 young just-started menstruating girls and one irritable woman with severe cramps who is troubled more by her PMS. But he survived the initial years mainly through silence and observing what makes us tick or what does not!

He understood more about the process of menstruation from our girls than from me. There has been times when he makes himself invisible, when he hears mood swing screams and banging doors.

But the good thing is he sustained.

Now, he is the one who is constantly looking for home-remedies to treat the menstrual pain and immediately mails the girls. He is the one who gives the “you are stronger than these pains make you feel” to the girls! And he waits patiently with a trolley / basket in hand, when the girls flock to the sanitary napkins aisle in the supermarket! When the daughter calls and says an abrupt “Give the phone to mama”, he patiently obeys her. When I feel irritated or keep snapping, he just knows to treat me with my food cravings. He just knows it!

And there has been moments, when he listens patiently, when I keep going blah blah on how sanitary napkins are not eco-friendly and what are the other methods available that I can try! I admire his patience in listening to these bloody talks! Me being me, I’ve also insisted on him being a ONLY  a listener and he has grudgingly agreed to!

I remember a cute couple in a supermarket, where the husband read through the sanitary napkin pack, all the different brands to help her choose the right one for her.  Some people might find that too much interference, but I found it as an act, where he involves with her menstruation.

There was this video on how a mother tries to educate her son on the menstrual cycle and that brought up this post.

And it all comes to one final point – communication. Its important to educate the girls and more important to educate the boys on this topic. Its not something to shy away, rather its something to embrace as it is the boon which will keep our human race alive!

Food is memories

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I had made rava upma the other day. While S loves it with pickle or chutney, his favorite indulgence is to have it with a sprinkle of sugar on top. That’s exactly how his grandmother used to eat it and all his siblings still follow her food combination, unconsciously.

Just like how thayir sadam always makes me want mavadu or dried narthangai – its a memory now but it filled my childhood days mainly because of patti doing such things. She loved her pazhaiya sadam (yesterday’s rice soaked in water so that it ferments overnight) with one watery buttermilk and narthangai or maavadu…sigh…am drooling while typing this.

Similarly, rava dosa kindles in me the comfort of a mother’s hug – my mom does it the best! Also, milagu poricha kuzhambu, milagu kuzhambu, arachuvitta sambar…sigh…endless !

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S will surely go for an extra helping if it’s his mother’s recipe for masala kuzhambu, parval fry, pagarakai nool katti fry (bitter gourd stuffed and tied with a thread and fried)! Not to mention her amazing dal poori – that’s something to drool for !

The other day, my brother wanted the recipe for thakalikai kootu, just as our Amma makes…see – childhood footprints playing again !

And when we grow up with such yummy foods, which related to our taste buds, its a hard thing to let go of it.  We might relish a pizza or a burger or a North Indian kulcha, but the food we grew up with has a special place in our heart, ok…the tongue and the taste buds !

The other day, my elder one was drooling for thavala adai and thengai chutney, while she gets awesome rotis and dals.  And when I made poori yesterday, the younger one was drooling for it. Even though they get awesome food wherever they are, sometimes the simplest of upma or dal will rekindle their memory and they’ll feel like coming home.

That’s where the root is formed and it needs to be simple and strong !

That’s why brought up is very important – both for cultivating food habits and moral habits too !

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So, what childhood food memory are you thinking now – to enjoy over the weekend ?


Picture courtesy – Google

Day 25 – Foto Friday

Shail, am taking the concept from you for today; am rushed, tired and no time to write all that I want to write!

Here are some pictures which bring back my most cherished weekend, at Malpe Beach !

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When I just relaxed on the smooth white sand…sigh!

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Just before the flight up in the sky !

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And then we flew high up in the sky !

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And the awesome sunset – my favorite !

Day 5 – My HERO

Rewind to Dec 1st 2015…The Chennai that got flooded!

Heavy rains lashed on us from evening and was pouring non-stop. Power went off by 11pm. Little did we know that we’ll be off power for the next 15 days.

We couldn’t sleep properly with police sirens and gushing water sounds through the night.

We woke up to a damp and wet morning. No network on phones. No charge either. Peeping out of the balcony gave us a complete shock, as the cars I saw were submerged in water.

I stay in an apartment of 400 flats and we ran down to check the status of our car.

One more shock as we realized the stagnant water at parking was 5ft. Holy God! How did this ever happen!!

My husband S and our neighbor P ventured in the water slowly inching towards the main gate to get more information on this terrible flooded situation.

There S came to know that many senior citizens staying in our apartment wanted to move to safer places but didn’t know how.
That moment another neighbor offered his airbed, if it can be of some help.

That was exactly what S was looking for.

Now S and P jointly helped all the senior citizens to move out of the apartment by making them sit on the airbed and pushed the airbed manually towards the entrance where they were transported via a boat to the nearest pick up point which was accessible by road.

I really didn’t know how many citizens they helped to move out but it was tiring work for 5 days as families deciding to move out increased day by day owing to lack of water, power and many of them were scared to stay alone.

Also S helped in bringing drinking water cans to the apartment for the people who stayed back. He even took lists from He even took lists from people for milk, vegetables and basic medicines and got it all for them.

By the end of 10 days he was so tired of wading through the water so many times…but only physically. His determination to help others was stronger than the physical tiredness he felt.

Till the water drained and we returned to normalcy, S was down helping people.

I’ve appreciated him then but today’s post is an ode to him and his courage and selflessness, as I salute my HERO – my husband!

Microblog Mondays : The resident Hardware stores

The summer’s heat is terrible
And AC is the only bible
For that husband of mine
As he sweats a lot with a whine
The cooling air will make it bearable !

We had an issue
Which I had to pursue
With the electrician
Who will come on the mission
So that the water leak from the AC will discontinue !!

I called him all day
So that he can check before its gray
But things happen their own way
He came when the light was astray !
Opened up the grill and jumped out
To check the leakage
And found the hose-pipe very brittle
But time was too little
To go buy a new pipe
And fix that leakage asap !

Suddenly, my man shouts
“Do you have an hose pipe?”
And I went a total rolling eye
Just like the icon, you see…
Hose pipe ? At home ?
Who runs a Hardware stores here ?
And my man starts grumbling
If this becomes alright
I can sleep in AC tonight
Ahhh ! What bliss it will be !!

And then I told him to wait
Took a chair and pulled a bag
From the loft
And there on top
Was a hose pipe
Which I had saved during my shifting
And the one that saved me a trip
To the Hardware stores.

The electrician did his job
Changed the pipe and was gone
All was set right with AC.
As my man was relaxing
In the cool air
He wonders
“How the hell did you have an hose pipe?”
Little did he knows, that I run
An electrical, hardware and a junk stall too
Which my loft will spew
As the situation falls through !

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