WW – Clouds on a drawing sheet

When the sky is the drawing sheet
Upon which the patterns are drawn…
Crayons were used for this
To create a different effect…
The crayons so white
On a blue sheet
Creates those white cloud patterns
By spreading the wax
With the thumb…
Isn’t it how this picture was created!?!

Many thanks to the dear person who sends me pictures of the cloud and sky, all the way from Scotland ❤

Skywatch Friday – 3

Watching the sky, looking for shapes in the clouds started as a mere pastime, which has turned into an obsession now a days.

Have you seen those cricket batsmen looking up to the sky as they enter the ground to bat ? They pray for a good innings score for them or for their team.

Whenever I sit in the car heading out to work, I also look up to the sky, to my front, side, back, actually all possibilities. But my only reason for looking is to catch a glimpse of a beautiful pattern or even a clear blue sky. I love watching it.

Today, has been gloomy so far. The sky is a dull grey. I don’t know if it will rain or not. But here I am trying to post some amazing patterns from my archives, which can make me feel happy and energised in an instant.

A picturesque field, which makes me wonder if its a painting!

When man made structures and God-made coconut trees form a perfect shadow to the beautiful sunset!

Somehow this leafless tree looks so damn good against this backdrop…l love it!


Linking this with Skywatch Friday 🙂

The only constant in my life…

…has been and always will be “Idly maavu in the refrigerator”…ha ha…did you for a minute think that I am going to talk about the man in my life ?? 😉  He is there…always there. But Idly maavu (batter) is for both of us, you see.

With Sundays converted as work days for me, the handy man is the Idly maavu. I can make idlies for breakfast which is quick. And when I get home tired from work, I just have to close my eyes and make dosa and eat and sleep. You see, its a pleasure to not to think about “what to cook” 😀

I just keep making different vegetables for lunch. But this constant Idly maavu is what makes my life easier.

I might get into the mood to make upma, pongal or poori for breakfast, provided the constant is stocked in the fridge always. And when the maavu goes below the mark of “one more day to go”, I get jittery. All I can think that its time is to soak rice and dal for making the idly maavu.

I wonder what’s this funny relationship between me and this maavu or perhaps idly or dosa? These thoughts keep coming to me now and then, edging me to write about it.

Anyway, my constant is FULL now. One more week of utter bliss awaits me. Also with a batch of adai maavu, I feel well stocked…ha ha…the foodie me never stops thinking of food 😉

Monday musings: My paati – an inspiration and strength (A guest post)

I touched a chord somewhere in a dear person’s heart, when I wrote about my paati.  And when she wanted to share a few things about her paati, I am just thrilled.

Please welcome Ms. Swarna Venkataraman, where she has tried to give words to her emotions on her paati.


My paati – an inspiration and strength

She was so beautiful, inside out! She looked so radiant in her glittering ear studs, which she used to wipe clean everyday with her sari pallu to make them glitter more. Actually it was her personality that glittered all through. Her 9 gajam pudavai felt rightly made for her.  And that kumkum pottu on her forehead was such a magnet. She always chose to use the dark majenta color kumkum and somehow it suited her so well.

There are days like these when I keep pondering about her a lot – the way she tied her sari or the way she polished her ear studs or how her mookuthi shone on her nose or the way she sat on that oonjal – small details like that and I am overwhelmed with emotions about her.

My Kunjamma paati! Her actual name Kamalambal refers to the Goddess Lakshmi and she looked and lived like that Goddess – always smiling, always giving to anyone and everyone who came to her. It’s a feat extraordinary to have brought together the families of all her children and their children.

Many a times I’ve prayed for inner strength like her as she held together a family of 9 adults and 19 children! She was a great administrator taking care of every small detail in the running of such a big household. Even though my thatha and mamas were there around, it was always paati who used to organize things for every function or event.

I strive hard every day to make paruppu thogaiyal like her but I can’t compete with a legend. Thinking of that keerai masiyal made in a kal chatti or a vetha kuzhambu makes me yearn for those childhood days!

The most amazing thing that I can remember about my paati is that she can milk the cows at home. And those cows knew her so well that they will not allow anyone else to milk them, of course except the guy appointed for that purpose. The knack and skill she possessed to handle the cows always made me stand in awe of her.

She had an excellent voice and knew a lot of songs. If I close my eyes and listen carefully, I can hear her singing the Dikshitar kriti Akilandeswari set to ragam Dwijavanthi and that is capable of stirring my soul.

Every now and then, I remember her through a song, through a dish, through a sari color, through the passing cattle by my home and I feel so blessed to have been there with her.

Sunday rumination – Life’s always throwing lemons…

Its up to me to decide if those lemons are meant for making a sweet lemonade or to make a spicy hot pickle or just crush it out to clean the whites of stains 😀

Actually every lemon that gets thrown at me is an opportunity for me…

…to distinguish the good from the bad, in my own way

…to move away from closed doors and start looking at small windows that are trying to open for me

…to understand that some incidents happened in my life to change my course of journey and to make me think differently about the same situation

…to turn the sour lemons to sweet melons, just by looking only at things which give me happiness

…to ignore the things that cause hurt and pain to the heart – oh yeah, this could be a daunting task, but well worth the effort, as I love myself more than anyone, now a days

As I woke up this morning, “When life throws lemons, make lemonade” came to my mind…its one of those bizzare thought process of my sleepy mind. Just out of the blue, I started thinking more about that line. As I loaded the clothes into the washing machine, I thought that it need not be lemonade always and it could also be made into a pickle – the citrus-y spicy can make the tongue wanting more of it!

And when I was making coffee, came the philosophical thoughts – some days are like that – I just learn to take it as it gives me myriad of thoughts and critical analysis of myself. The only difference to the whole scene today is I don’t carry on the guilt of not performing to my standards. After all the thoughts are processed, I realize that I am more important to myself and my happiness is more important to myself and it is one of the treasured things which I should not forego at any cost.

So, keeping myself happy, whether with lemonade or lemon pickle, I go about my day, writing my thoughts in my space – a recording to be read another day to calm the mind and soothe the heart.

Ratnadeep shopping and redeeming the coupons!

One day, my younger one called me with excitement in her voice. “Ma, a new professor came to class today and when she spoke, I was reminded of you and your story about buying those dinner plates using redeemable coupons”.  She went on to explain her professor’s story of how food coupons given in her husband’s company were collected and used to buy the snacks for the whole family. It’s not that the snacks were unaffordable to her. That small act of using the coupons to redeem and buy for the whole family gave her such immense joy.  And my daughter saw me in her; yes, I’ve been there and done that too.

A decade back, I was living in Hyderabad. Even though I used to visit supermarkets occasionally for some on-the-way shopping, I never really went to any supermarket for my monthly grocery shopping. I wasn’t against it or anything but I was way too fond of my local kirana shop, near my house. I just have to call him and give a list over the phone and tada…the things will be home delivered asap. The shop called Lucky Stores had a great sales strategy – the sales people were too friendly, very helpful and emergency orders were treated with utmost urgency. And most of all they understood my broken hindi and didn’t make it a joke of sorts 😉 A casual look at the shop may be deceptive but they had all the brands stocked inside their shop. I still remember how my younger one will proudly showcase her different variants of Lays chips to all her friends, which was not available in other shops – yes, Lucky Stores had very unique stuff too.

And then, we moved from that place. I missed Lucky Stores.

Then I started exploring the new place, went on long walks to know what shops are around, where to buy what, asked people around on shops they trusted and stuff like that. Then I discovered Ratnadeep Supermarket. It was like love at first sight. I loved the shop and I truly felt the shop loved me too 😉 The girls were in love with this shop for they had a whole section upstairs where they can browse through books, games and other stuff they like, while I can do my work.

My work at Ratnadeep comes from meticulous planning. Since I remembered the aisles in Ratnadeep like the palm of my hand, I wrote my grocery list, in accordance to the things arranged on the aisles and my movement from one aisle to another. It was a pre-planned routine. Certain things are bought month after month, like rice, pulses and other regular stuff for cooking. I used to linger more on the aisles for cosmetics and toiletries where I was spoiled for choice with the multitude of brands displayed.

The first floor had displays of stationery, books, games, CDs, crockery, cooking utensils and many more. And I always gazed at the beautiful crockery and used to make mental notes on what all I can buy that month, and what to buy the next month.

In all this planning, I used to hoard the gift coupons which Ratnadeep offered. I used to get a coupon for every 100/- I bought. I saved them so carefully and kept counting it after every month’s grocery shopping. Then I used to go to the crockery section and check on the favorite item of mine to see if the coupons I had was enough to redeem against the price of that crockery set. It’s not the fact of not being able to buy that set, it’s just that the feeling of satisfaction and happiness at redeeming the collected coupons was too overwhelming and made me glow with pride. And with those coupons, I had bought two sets of 6 dinner plates and I value that as my prized collection.

So, have you bought things by redeeming your coupons? How did you feel?