Saturday, October 25, 2008


Diwali is a time for fun, colors, lights, food, sinful sweets, and some more food...

I remember when I was a kid, I would be rudely woken up at an unearthly hour with a loud bang, right opposite my window. It deafened my senses much to my horror...I would get so angry...I needed my sleep...crackers could go to hell for all I cared...but I loved the festival.
Traditional, new clothes, yummy food, sweets all made at home...more than half a dozen varieties...the joy was evident in the smiles and the guests who dropped into the ever welcoming house.

Now I pray, that no kids, scream, in anger from their beds, while my sons, go down in their new clothes, after their oil massage and baths...eaten the traditional lehiya, a small dash of haldi and kumkum still on their new clothes...while they dash across, down to burst that customary, patakha...yes, unearthly meant, they had to be the first in the complex, so they were willing to wake up even at 3 if it meant it had to be done....
aND since we had a lot of like minded ( I want to be the first) kids in the complex, we would have more than one patakha going BHOOOM....
And the gush of the flower pots....the dark inky blue sky lighting up with the sparkling stars and rainbow colored strings of the flower pot. It does bring a smile...
The festival taught my kids many things...

Sharing - they would bring down their carton filled with crackers, and then go on to shar it with all their was so heartening to see, and to watch.

Concern and respect for the elders...They would see that all the senior citizens got to sit in the lobby, and safely away from the noise...

The camarederie with which all the kids and adults would join together 2 weeks before the festival...sprucing up the building. Making lanterns and decorations, all with stuff from the ready made lanterns, for them. Each and every child, would join was amazing how well they could create. All they needed was some guidance which the parents would give, and some push....which they would get by seeing other kids at work...The decorations that went up the day before Diwali was a sight to watch....the rangoli, the diyas...specially painted by was indeed memorable.

As Diwali approaches...i'm yet again busy making some of the traditional is the lehiya...
we do get the ready made ones...but the fragrance one gets from the fresh herbs...and ghee...hmmmm So I always make this at home..and this marks the beginning of the festival...

So I thought i'd post the recipe here :

Deepaval Lehiya. (a medicinal paste made out of roots and herbs) All the ingredients are available in the indian herb stores, or Grandhige angaDi as one would see here in good ole Bangalore.

Omam (ajwain) -100g,
sukku( dry ginger) -10g,
Kandathippili (Kandathippili is available as 2-3 inch long sticks in herbal stores/grandige in the south) -10g,
Black pepper - 10g,
Jeera 2 tbspns ,
Cardamom - 4-6,
nutmeg - 1 piece,
almonds- 10
jaggery - 1 cup
ghee-1/4 cup
honey - 50g.
water - 1 cup

Heat all dry ingredients lightly, powder in a mixie. Sieve it, and powder it again.
Add water and grind to fine paste.
Heat a kadai, add the ghee. Add the paste and stir it till it thickens add honey before taking it off the heat, and stir for a few minutes more.
Stir until it thickens into a halwa like consistency.
Take it off heat. After it cools, you can store it in an airtight container for a few days.

This medicinal paste is eaten (1 tspn) after the traditional oil bath.
It is supposed to have excellent digestive i'm sure the elders had their mind set on eating the very sinful delicacies...and knew how to tackle it much before they started the day.

With this I'd like to wish everyone who drop in here

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Journey of discovery

The life of a woman is just not without its hiccups. Let me assure you, it has nothing to do with facing the bad elements who always presume they are god's gifts to mankind.
It has nothing to do, with the weights. She can always hire a handy man to do those odd jobs...and now she's come up with some really neat solutions..

This issue has germinations in her own household.
The problem sometimes get solved, when the offender is given an ultimatum " Do not wake up till the children leave to school" Yes, I feel supremely satisfied after saying that. But what happens when all leave at the same time??!! You just watch a yoga session in grainy ants infested( my sons opinion) channels, early morning on TV, and act as if you don't exist.
Whats with the men?!!!! I have never been able to understand. And when we fret and fume to our dear friends all I hear is, 'oh!! in your house too???'

The orchestra every morning has become so monotonous. I thought if I did the bringing up and taking care, the kids would turn out the way I wanted...but they were made out of different ribs, i'm convinced.

Each morning, I still resort to the same old "What are you doing in the bathroom for so looooonggg???
Its nearly an hour and there are other's who need to use the bathroom too.""
"Your bus will leave you and go away"
The driver is here already and you still haven't stepped out"

Only to have them come out after another half hour and smirk and say
" HUh!, what do you expect us to do in the bathroom, whatever everyone else does, but naturally, eh!! hmpfff"

Now my older son has inherited the same qualities and very well too. Talk about genetics!!!
But must say they are very talented so to say.

They really know how to use every inch of the perfectly dry bathroom. ( And when I complain about the wet floor, they say, "how can you? I wonder if you even use water?!"
They just never heard of dry, semi-dry and wet areas, obviously.
So when they are done , the steam seems to follow them like Casper does..
The mirror is all ghostly ( with my son, he would have written some very attitude driven stuff too " R rocks" before walking out).
Oh yeah!!! he sure does. And thats the reason when I step into the room, I can't see anything and so step into a wet towel, or maybe if i'm in the unlucky day category slip slide across on the soap, on the floor... Why can't they just place it back in the soap dish??? beats me!!!

I'm glad the newspaper lands at my doorstep very early and before the hubby wakes up...I can read most of it, before it journeys into the loo, and gets a very fitting farewell ( Sometimes) there. ( 'Cos the maid doesn't read the newspaper, and doesn't bother to keep it outside either, before washing the bathrooms so to say! :( )

Cleaning up the mess after them ( How else would wet towels get taken off beds and put into the washer!!), getting ready after them( in record time)...and all they have to say is ...
"You women, have no sense of time"


Thursday, October 16, 2008


South Indian meals, I know when eaten in restaurants, in those fancy , silverware....dont have half the excitement. The yummy taste of rasam and rice, or the roti and sabzi...mmm....yummy tastes and each corner of India having their own style of eating.

But yes, eaten with bare hands, the food does taste different, sometimes not matching the taste when eaten with spoons and forks...But do you ever remember to wash that hand of yours before you sit down at the table????
Sometimes in some restaurants , the mouth freshener ( saunf) is given to customers along with the bill. How many times have you dived into it as soon as it arrives...., take a toothpick and chew on some more of that sweet tasting saunf ( fennel)? I'm sure many times...and the temptation is just not avoidable after a heavy Indian meal.

But have you ever wondered, how many people who visit the restaurant, stop by the loo, in between meals or even after, and walk out. Many do not have the habit of washing their hands or sometimes, most of the restaurants are so badly fitted, there might not be out they walk....and sit down and wait for their bill to arrive. And when the bill arrives, they dive into their mouth freshener, not bothered to using the spoon provided ( sometimes they aren't provided too)...can you imagine the amount of germs that have been transfered?????

Did you know??!!! :-

Did you know that an estimated 1 out of 5 people don't wash their hands after using the restroom? In 2005 the American Society for Microbiology did a survey of hand washing. They asked people questions about their hand-washing habits and also watched people in public restrooms. The results were kind of gross.

For example:
People don't always wash their hands after using the bathroom — 91% of adults say they always wash their hands after using public restrooms, but just 83% were seen doing so.
People wash their hands less at home — 83% say they wash their hands after using the bathroom at home. Germs are germs, and a bathroom is a bathroom.

Only 32% of people in the survey said they wash their hands after coughing or sneezing. So it's nice that you protect the people around you by covering your mouth with your hand when you cough. But if you then reach for your friend's pizza, you might as well not have bothered.

Just 21% wash their hands after handling money.

Only 42% of the people in the survey washed up after petting a dog or cat. You've seen your dog roll in that mystery smell in the park or your cat rub against you after using the litter pan. Fido and Fluffy are dirtier than you think.

Yesterday was Global hand washing day( so does that mean, the rest of the days, we go without washing hands??? :O ) and i'd like to threaten one and all 'please wash your hands before and after eating, and so also...when you visit the restroom....the others who sit down after you are human after all.....'

These kind of days will surely put a hole the size of a crater in my wallet, ..'cos they have only said wash your hands....and not my house is gonna be all here to know why??

Now I wonder what the next weird day is gonna be???
Why can't there be days where there is some progress in thinking and some betterment for the society??!!! Is it that hard??

Maybe in the meantime, we should declare -

No Nose picking day

Leave the crotch alone, you men!! day?

Don't make noises to bring the moon down while eating day???

No mobile phone day :D !!!!..

Women, stop gossipping day :) !!

What do you think?? Will any day be spared at all???

Meanwhile if its washing hands, you might as well watch this...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is it right?

A very weird thing I heard on a radio FM station this morning. Normally I don't pay attention, but the songs keep playing and gives me the much needed musical background to the otherwise mundane household chores. But this morning, this perked me up. It was a program in which the RJ calls up someone ( on the callers request) and he gives the RJ a number to which they call and ask, or question or nearly spy on the other person. I found that a very eerie kind of a program. Firstly...why would I as a listener want to know what another person is doing or not doing in his life???? I dont want to know at all...but added to this misery, i'm supposed to also listen in to the pairs squibbling over petty matters or answering a suspicious girl/boy me why I would want to know???

But today, the call made me wonder...I actually listened.

The scenario goes like this :

A father calls up the radio station, and tells the RJ that his son has been wanting to go on an excursion, and had asked him for
an amount of 1000 rs. He hadn't given it to the son ( reasons were not told on air). That morning, after the son left to go out, the father checks his wallet and finds money equalling 1000rs missing. He calls the radio station and wants the RJ to check on
the son, ( as per the show, ) .The RJ calls up the son, posing as the travel agent..and asks him top cough up the money within the following half an hourTo which the boy replies that he has the money on him and he would be there soon.At this point, the call changes hands to the father, and we can hear the father asking the son on AIR!!! about the missing money, etc..

This was so eerie and weird for me. Isn't the relationship between a parent and child very fragile and precious too?After this episode, the son can never face his peers who might have listened in, but also his own parents. There will be a feeling of shame and also hate...not because his father caught him ...but because he was on air with the public listening in.

I'm sure the situation could have been handled in a better way. Not all parents can provide for their children so easily...It is upto them, to make the children understand in a very ncie way, about the financial situation in their lives.

Many times when we as parents face such a situation, it is very difficult sometimes to saya 'NO' to the child. But I have realised it is far easier on the child to explain things as it is. And amazingly children are very sensitive and inspite of all their mischief, disobedience and problems....they are still your own child. And as a parent I think it is our responsibilty to see that the child learns from goodness and also from example.

I really hope parents really deal with such situations in a much more pleasant way. I do not transfer the entire blame onto the parent, the child is also responsible. But this could have easily been avoided.

This article also tells how this situation can be dealth with...
What do you'll think?
Was the father right in reacting such a way?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

When the face smiled back at me....

Ages ago, when I got my first book, I read the preface first...then turned pages to read on about the author. I have still not been able to understand why I followed that procedure. At an age when kids normally either read the last page first ( to know the gruesome end to a mystery novel!!) or the blurb first, to get the feel of the book or better still to know part of the story before you decide on buying the book or borrowing what ever it may be. The ritual carried onto all books , and I still do that. I always wanted to know how an author looked. It somehow put the book into perspective.

The first books that I read..( the Enid Blyton) had nothing much about the author, but I knew who it was, though never knew how she looked though. For a while I used to think the author also was young like I was..( ya!!! smirk for all you can!)

Then one day, much later, while I was reading a Mills and Boon...( oh yes!! I love them and I shamelessly accept it.) I found that the author was as young as I was..ahem!!! hmpfff..and I had this 'speech-dream bubble' running in my mind, I was writing a book. Ha!!!!! I later was not that easy, as it looked or was read. I stuck to reading and looking at the photographic profiles of the authors and used to be so thrilled for them.

Little did I know, years later, I would be reading a book and the picture of the author on her profile would bring about a knowing smile. The smile of pride and one of utmost happiness. Yes!!! I knew this one author, and knew her not personally having met , but knew that she had seen herself dream and live upto her convictions. I did smile, when I walked into the book store. I wanted to pick up the book and read the blurb ( though, I knew what it already held) , turned the page and saw her(PS) picture, smiled back at the smiling face( first thing I did after opening the book), and billed it, not wanting to read the book, but just wanting to absorb the environment of the day. The event of her book launch, in the bookstore "Crossword" . I came in with no expectations, just like I would any book. But I wanted to see how people reacted to her launch. Don't we all do that when we are present at a close friends event. Yes!! I did that too. I just wanted to remain quiet and watch the whole thing. Wanted to feel the warmth, the readers who had come to witness the event spread. The pride of her family, ( you should have been there to see the pride in her husband's and her children's face) and her own amazing confidence. Glitter Graphics
I have come away from the book launch of "Preethi's 34 Bubblegums and Candies" feeling very proud, proud that a dear friend has achieved what she dreamt of. Proud that she, despite many negative criticsms didn't bow down to such pressure , proud that she holds her head high, high enough for her children to see that all it needs is "Belief in oneself", and her husband to know that his support was one of the most important things that a wife needs when she sets out to do something that is important to her. ( For someone who isn't married, I'd like to say, that whatever we do as wives, we always look for that small bit of approval and support from the spouse, and it is very important to us.). I walked away with bookmarks made by her son and daughter. I had read the thought that had gone into making them, and must say, those bookmarks I will always hold dear...they are special.

For those who like reading, I'd like to say, " Go Ahead and buy this one...It sure is gonna hold onto you" and if you don't like reading books, 'cos of the bulk, let me assure you, its such easy reading, small stories, and " hey, this sounds like my life" , you will love reading after this.
So go ahead, the bubblegums and candies are there for you to choose.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Back to bloggin and picking up my limbs and voice ...

So I went on a holiday!!! a few days away from the noise and madness, the phones, and cooking...Yes..that was a big one for cooking!! Don't we all moms love that a break from cooking, waking up early and then just chilling out,

This was a holiday with a difference..I spent more energy here than I would have at home...
whoever said I would relax, needs to do this ..a few days out in this beautiful place called Kurumba resorts on the Ooty Coonor stretch.

It all started when we missed the first board which announced big and loud to the world whizzing past it( except us.!!!)...only to realise that the path leading downnnnn to the resort was right next to it and we have zoomed past....and now have to go beyond, to the next bend or else no holiday no break :(.

We reach the path back again...and wow!!! smiles and yipppeeess...but what happened???
The driver not too happy with the road going down. Says its just 4 kms ( actually only 2 and half) and we can easily eh!!!! walk it down...what about our luggage?!!....huge ones to include the kids, and the immense energy they have carried with them all the way from Bangalore...

All our requests not successful. The driver looks like one stubborn ox...reminding me of the Dudu basavanna they would bring to our doorstep during some season...and the man with the lanky, slim , animal would say " AaDu, Basava..(dance, " And the victimized cow..or bull would go shaking its head ...left right ,left right. The driver just did that...
" oh, oh, no way will this vehicle go down..."

So off we went...a couple of us( many children to give us support...)...trudging along...cooing and aawwing at the beautiful green...even the grass on the side, looked lovely..the trees did their jig to see us too...really, i'm not lying!!!!. After 3 kms...we reached the wow!! resort . Only to find our cottage was way down ...many steps to go and a few steep pathways to roll down on....

We loved it...the kids all the more. We went rolling, hauling our weary legs all around. The kids had some kind of an unending energy dome...they kept exploring, jumping down rocks, the dry stream bed....and were asking for moreand more and more..It was just impossible to ignore that call for fun.

They have a lovely idea of a typical chai kada...with the works, by the pool side for the evening tea time. A small thatched hut , selling tea and coffee in an authentic coffee bins for the tea bikis and some oily rubbery bhajjis( this I didn't like, but enjoyed the fun eating and dripping BUt what made the place and idea more interesting was the aura it spread around it. An evening by the pool, sipping hot masala chai, lounging around on the lawns, or sitting on their rustic cane was indeed so relaxing...if we chose to blind ourselves to the kids climbing rocks and jumping and screaming around...

Eid was celebrated while we were there, and the dinner was exhaustive...6 types of biryanis, yummy desserts, making us wonder if were were in a resort or some food festival. The guys from the resort had dressed up as typical Hyderabadi Muslims, burkha et add to the novelty, and I must have gained a few extra kilos just looking at the food...I wont tell you how much I ate though...after all it was a holiday and on vacation we are allowed to go the full length...and so did I...

This place was filled with trees of nutmeg, clove, bayleaves. Of course for us city birds this was haven. There were some giant malabar squirrels to add to the exotica too.

But considering that our rooms were way down the steep slopes and we had to make hundreds of trips in each day, we were all so exhausted, and dawg the end of the trip. Always wondered how some of the visitors who make such trips always manage to be up and ready for breakfast...leave and do their actvities, and be back dressed yet again in a new set of clothes, for lunch..and are back to dinner with another set of clothes...their kids are so well behaved and eat without fussing. The kids always want to swim when the parents tell them to. They don't climb rocks and roll down grassy slopes. They walk in and walk out with their parents and never scream and tell the world that they are on a why??? do our kids ( 11 in all) do everything in contrast to this. I wonder..
We were seen for eternity in the dining...we were all over the place, using all energy to see and explore every single space in the resort. Ate everything in sight, drank as if there was no tomorrow....sometimes wore the clothes through the whole day...( we would hardly have the time to breathe...forget change into and change again) And never did get to see the same child twice in an hour... i'm all ready for my home, lazing around, no school, no early mornings....and just chilling...

So if i'm seen too often on your blogs please forgive me.....I'm on a holiday...