Posted in Blogathon 2017, childhood, Happy Little things, Nature, Nostalgia

Day 4 -of leaves and flowers

Till I was in school, we used to have a nice garden at home. Lemon, mango , banana,coconut, hibiscus, many rose plants , don’t know their English names flowering plants, jasmine, crotons, tomato, snake guard, snakes pretending to be a plant .So many we had. Garden used to e my study area.

We also had fencing with plants. Which meant you have book in one hand and a stick,stem , leaf or flowers in other. the peace those plants would bring cannot be compared.

Moved to the city and we completely lost that feeling. I tried to grow plants in pots but frequent travel spoiled everything. And believe me you get attached to your plants pretty quick that when you see them dying it hurts bad.

My mother always says that plants are a huge responsibility.

Last month , getting inspired from one of our friends we kick started our gardening project again. 4 pots. Tomato brinjal ladys finger and coriander.

After a week of singing and watering the babies came out. Then I realised that I have made a big mistake. I have planted too many seeds in a pot.

I don know how to shift the saplings without causing damage. Any experts out there, need your help please.

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Posted in Nostalgia, Parenting

The magical world of crawling and discovering

“Volt Volt …Careful..slow…Don’t bang your head..Volt….”

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Oh God I am 15 minutes late, my mom would be standing in the street looking for me,staring at every single xyz school uniform.

There are no street lights,I will wait in main road to pick you up from tuition.

Tomorrow you are going to hostel, did you get good sleep? I could not sleep at all.

Don’t keep hugging me always, I will miss you badly when you go back to hostel.

How many people are going? Is friend X coming too?

Don’t share too much personal info in office,OK

Give me a missed call as soon as you reach office.

Ammaaaa..I was in a meeting ma, that’s why I could not call..Sorry ma.Now go eat.

Give me a missed call as soon as you reach restaurant and then after reaching home.I will be awake.

Ask B to drop you at home after the movie.

Shabbaa..now its your husband and you.I don’t have to worry.I will sit and enjoy.

Whaaat!!!! I called 9 times on your phone 4 times on B’s.You both didnot pick up.That is why I called on your MIL’s phone all worried.

Why didn’t you give me a call ?That’s why I gave missed call.

Give me a missed call as soon as B reaches Hyderabad.

You did not say GoodNight, adan blank message!

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May be it all starts here !

 

Posted in childhood, Nostalgia

I want volt to

Look at the stars and the moon and to show off that the moon always follows her #notTheStickersOntheCeiling

Tell me what images she sees on the moon..whether it is a Kozhi (hen) or a paati sutting vadai

Tell me what shapes she sees in the clouds

Pluck the flowers from the garden and count the number of petals, tear them, squeeze them and throw them on someone’s head #notTheDoNotPluckTheFlowersGarden

Cook a lunch for me with those flowers,leaves,sticks and wild fruits picked from the garden #notToWatchMasterChefUS

Smell the first drop of rain

Jump on the puddle after heavy rain and enjoy it #notToWorryAboutGermsOpenDrainageSpit

Spot the crows,parrots,cuckoo on the trees and show them to me #notThePigeon

Imitate a dog/sheep/crow/hen/cow as  bowwow/mehh/kaakaa/kokrokoko/maa #notWoofwookCock-a-doodle-dooMoooo

Feel that enjoying all these is not a vacation thing but what a normal day feels like !!

P.S. I wanted to show her a flower and took her to the garden.There was a beautiful white flower . Twice I tried to show her that but she kept looking at something else. Third time when I tried she took one look at it,grabbed,plucked, squeezed the flower and threw it away and continued with her work 😀

Posted in Blogathon 2014, childhood, Nostalgia

Paatti enum beauty

I lost both my maternal and paternal grandmother at a young age. They both fell sick . We were in a different city during my early days and we came back to our hometown only when my paternal grandma was not well. I could not spend much time with her. And my my maternal paati was living in a different city. We would go there during my holidays.She was suffering from cancer and was bedridden . She would be in pain most of the time. Sometimes she would call me in and ask me to sing songs for her. Those times it never occurred to me that I should sit next to her, talk to her spend time with her. I would just go in, sing songs and run away to play with my cousin.

Only later I realized how much I miss my paati’s love. In college one of my close friend’s grandma used to invite us during weekends. I found her cooking so delicious. She would have just made arisi upma with simple coconut chutney, still it would be like devamirtham. I remember pushing my friend away and sleeping on her grandma’s lap.

My other friend shares lot of stories about her grandmother. She shares many interesting recipes that her grandma is famous for. She shares with me the mythological stories that her grandma tells her. These conversation always excites me. I keep telling her that I want to meet her grandmother.Her grandmother used to collect Bhagavadha Purana stories from a weekly magazine and bound them together into a book.She still has it, it seems. She knows to speak in 3 languages. She makes the best madhur vada .When my friend shares all these info with me, I can see how proud she is of her grandma. For some reason I feel proud too.

I feel so happy when I see kids bond with their grandma. One of my cousin’s grandmother – she is 80, she is so beautiful.Well all grandmothers are beautiful,me thinks. Everytime I go to her place she gives me a hug and I love that softy soft hug.Even if I forget she calls me and hugs atleast once. Recently one my cousin had a baby and I like to hear baby’s antics more from her grandmother than from her mother.I just feel so happy when a grandmother talks about her grandchild.My cousin’s kid, her bestest friend is her great paati. She ignores everyone else  including her mother when her old friend is at home.It is so beautiful to watch the two of them bonding and playing together. *touchwood*

I am sure that this post will bring you lot of happy memories 😀 Share it when you have time OK?

Posted in Happy Little things, Nostalgia, The heart speaks

Love is magical

Hello dearest,

It has been almost 10 years since we knew each other. Thinking about those old times when we were really young.. All I knew about you was you were one genius and very helpful .Years rolled faster with so much fun and it was in final year when we spent most time together.

How I used to spend hours together in your room talking about all sorta things from power electronics to good looking guys. Our secret talks in the so called garden about the problems we had. LOL . Problems? really were they? But sounded big at that time.

Dressing up for college festivals , calling each other ‘super figure’ 😛 , making maggi just with a kettle and a stainless steel dabba and guarding the dabba with huge books so that the heat doesnot escape 😀 , waiting for that last spoon of maggi, discovering pasta, all the home trips 🙂 Oh and how I used your phone to talk to B daily but tease you with him  just to divert people 😀

How can I forget our dramatic hug on a National Highway when we met for convocation after 4 months.

We both moved to same city for jobs, though our meeting/talking had reduced drastically , it never ever affected us , whenever we met/spoke we did it just like we would have done that everyday.

You got married and moved to a different country and then I got married.The day you left this city and I kept watching your train leave the station with tears in eyes and a stupid smile on my face because of that silly joke you cracked just before leaving. Girl, You and your jokes – never fails to crack me up.

We call each other once in a blue moon but whenever I see your name flashing on my mobile I jump with joy and I always do feel the same excitement on your side too. The way you end your phone calls with a weird noise , wait for a minute for me to respond and clarify later that the noise you made was ‘you sending me a kiss’ 😀 Stay the way you are !

You are in a very beautiful phase now . Enjoy each and every moment . I am so so happy for you. How much things have changed in these 10 years but still last sunday also when we spoke the excitement was still there. I could still feel and enjoy the same love , same silliness , your same stupid jokes and ya the same weird kiss 🙂

You are one beautiful person ! Wishing you all happiness in life !

Please ask the little one inside you to kick you few times extra on behalf of this aunt 😀

Loads of love and prayers,

your awesome friend 😀

 

 

 

 

Posted in childhood, Nostalgia

Flashback

I am leaving to office from home and it is 730 AM. I see a father start his bike to drop his daughter at office.As they went past me I realized the smell. The familiar smell of petrol and oil mixing up, from my childhood. That smell meant that my appa and chithappa have left for the days work and all kids in our street are ready for our morning meeting. We were 9 – 10 people of almost same age and same height. We would go one round in our long street talking about things I don’t even remember now.
If it had been a rainy day some special treats would be waiting for us. Those days grass was abundant and the beauty was they din’t come with the board “please.don’t walk on me. Let me live”. If it had rained last night there would still be few persistent drops sticking to the end of the flexible grass blades. My immediate reaction would be to remove my slippers and stand on them to feel the chillness spreading from my feet to head. This is something my father taught me.
After this small relation with grass we would be walking talking, talking walking when someone in the group would have pulled the low hanging branch of a neem tree. Then there would be a mini shower of rain drops. When a tiny smile spreads across our faces for few seconds there would be a sudden confusion as some insect would have landed on one of the not so brave person. Then follows the ceremony of chasing and sending the poor insect to heaven.
Sometimes there would be small pools of water here and there if it had been a little heavy rain the previous night. The group of 3-4 feet figures would be surrounding the pool to spot tadpoles. Topic of discussion would shift from fighter planes to cars to whales to diwali crackers but eyes would be following the tadpoles for reason unknown.
And sometimes suddenly we would hear a big group approaching us and on turning back we would see a big herd of sheep coming that way. From tadpoles spotting we would shift to who-is-the-leader-sheep spotting. There would be 2-3 with very big horns, one of them should be the leader we would have thought and then will come a man with a long stick shouting hha hah hoh hrr..hhh ..brrrrr.

If it is a lucky day, we would spot some bright red small velvet insects crossing the muddy road. We don’t know its name till today. One creative brat from the group would start telling stories that this is the insect used to produce silk . The other curious would ask how and Mr.creative would start spinning some horror stories.One example: They would collect 100 such insects and put them in one big kadai and .. OK the rest is censored! :D. We all would be looking at the insect with a sad face.
Morning sessions would be interrupted by one of the grandparents/parents asking his/her grandkid to come home for breakfast. The whole group disperses for a short time only to continue the next meet at someone’s house veranda 🙂
vroom.. vroom.. vroom…I returned to present with the sound of baj starting his bike. The smell is different, the mud pools are dirty and I can’t see any grass.

P.S. I want to share many more things from my childhood. The worm following, the fence breaking, plucking wild flowers, running behind garden lizards,holding wet sand in dress ,running away from frogs, slipping and falling in the mud.. much more.. I will do one more post I guess 😀

Posted in Bloggin Marathon Jan 2013, childhood, It's all about her, Nostalgia, Road Tales

Writing from a train..

I have travelled a lot in train. I love train journeys. Especially if it is in day time, it is the best.I like long journeys too where train is your home for next 22 or 36 hours.

The strong wind against the window seat, the cold drizzle you get during rainy season, various sounds the train makes depending on where it is going – land/bridge, the turns on train routes where you  press your face so hard against the window to see the bending train and sometimes the engine smoke , the family lunch/dinner/snacks , the awesome smell of bajji, bonda, cutlet, samosa when people from pantry car move across your bogie, the confusion regarding which one to buy! , sometimes the awesome people who are strangers yet still nice to you – everything makes me happy, calms down my mind.
What I love the most is the scenery.The vegetation around. Amma always points at various fields and tells me what type of plant it is. She has shown me paddy (which you see the most),cabbage, Avarai kai (broad beans) , manjal (turmeric) , corn , paruthi chedi (cotton plants ) , cashew trees ,sugarcane, sometimes betel leaves and grapes , flowering plants like sunflowers , kanakambaram (firecracker flower – love this name), marigold, lotus and lillies in ponds and so many more which I cannot remember now.
As a kid (as a grown up , now also ) I have seen vegetables as some item which we eat. The feeling of seeing them alive being a part of a plant used to give me so much excitement.
Amma most of the times just looks at the leaves to identify the plants. The train would be moving fast but still she would say..look look Avarai chedi.. When she was a kid she has seen many plants.This reminds me of our chotu tomato  , a lady’s finger and a brinjal plant at home when I was small. There was just 1 or max 2 veggies and then the plant died but the feeling you get when you see it, when you see your own garden’s vegetable! It is just something else!
Also, when I was small there used to be a small hut nearby, they grow keerai (some type of amaranth).When we go ask they pluck it super fresh , tie it and give it to us. When you cook, it will do skating in your throat and reaches your stomach in no time 😀
Now I am in train with baj showing him few plants I know. We just saw cotton field.It is in full bloom.It gives me so much happiness. People are collecting cotton.It is so lovely to watch 🙂 🙂
P.S. Our ancestors when they first saw the cotton plant, how did they think of ..’oh this is so soft, we should make cloth out of it and wear it in summer’.How? How? If it had been me, I am 100% sure that my thought would be “hmmmm so soft ! Boiled cotton garnished with Indian herbs? or Deep fried with a mix of Indian spices?” Definitely!
Posted in Bloggin Marathon Jan 2013, childhood, Nostalgia

The best packing materials

When I was a kid, amma used to write a long list of items needed and either Appa will buy and bring it home or it will be home delivered from the nearest provision store.

My job was to help amma to sort things out. The items were never packed in plastic bags or fancy jars. It always came in pottalams of various sizes. Pottalam is nothing but a packet made of newspaper (mostly made as a cone). The food items like sugar, idli rice, dal, jeera and other spices were packed in pottalam of various sizes and tied with a sanal kayiru (rope made of jute). Even if it was 2kgs of sugar the packing would be so strong that it will not break. I used to open each and every packet, fill the containers and keep aside the newspapers neatly arranged. Sometimes I even read some news from those newspaper bits. The rope will be bundled neatly and kept for future use.The best part is some days later when I take any of these newspaper they would still be smelling of the item which was packed in it.If by mistake I had preserved the paper in which jaggery had come , the whole place would have turned into an ant palace ! I miss my job of undoing the pottalams .

Another thing that comes to my mind is, even our tailor used to wrap the stitched clothes in newspapers. Especially my amma’s blouses . I really liked to open such packs , look at the blouse and pack everything again (but my packing never matched the original ones 🙄 )

And the packing of poo (flowers) is the best. Flower sellers used to have lotus leaves – sometimes fresh, sometimes dried – to pack fresh flowers and they used to tie the flowers using threads from banana stem.

All these things used to look fresh and simple, had their own beautiful smell. I am missing these things now. The reason I am talking about all these today is because , I saw my MIL opening one such beautiful pottalam in the morning and it took me back to my childhood.

Posted in childhood, Nostalgia

Lost!

It is 9 PM.I am restless.My mind is confused.I am trying to distract my mind and concentrate on something else. I turn on the TV but it irritates me. I want to go for a walk. I lock the door and go to the terrace.

Ah! Nice breeze. Its gentle and carries a sweet smell. May be it is raining somewhere else ? I don’t know but I am enjoying it. I look up. No stars No moon. I am standing alone. I turn on the music player . Hmm No mood to listen to this song now. Change. No not this either. Change. Change Change.Change. Ok.Long time since I heard this one.Its soft and in sync with the wind.Lets listen to this now.

My mind and eyes are searching for something.I don’t know what. After several minutes both my mind and eyes stop. They are aligned in one direction.

Eucalyptus trees!

Just a few meters away from my house there are a group of (~50) Eucalyptus trees. Tall, Green and Beautiful. They are standing just opposite to my house and at such a distance that from the terrace I can see their full height without straining my neck. They are so close to each other.

Wind is still blowing. Gentle. Music is still playing. Gentle. I see the trees are bending gently and very very slowly.. all in one direction. After a few seconds I realize that my neck is also bent to match with the trees..without me trying. I am so lost but I enjoy being lost. I decide to continue this. As the trees change their direction, my neck changes too..Right it goes ..slowly..no strain..Left it goes slowly…no pain.The trees and my head are in sync.

My eyes are not moving. I can see the faces of the trees. Some are looking at me smiling. Some are looking at the other side, turning their back towards me ..hmm…Their whole body is shaking.. looks like they are giggling.Why? I don’t know. All of a sudden there is some confusion. The trees are not in sync anymore. Few are bending in one direction others in opposite direction. I see they are laughing now. Why? They noticed the confused look in my eyes..in my face.My head which was in sync till now is not moving .I don’t know which way to bend. I am confused .The trees played a trick on me,they decided to move in random direction and see what I am doing .They seem to enjoy the outcome… I am enjoying too.

Wind is still blowing.. The trees take me back to my childhood. I can see myself with my cousins at my Paati (grandma)’s house. We are playing in the eucalyptus ‘forest’. We are too short that we cannot see where the tree top is. We are busy picking up leaves. We tear the leaves and enjoy the smell.Its addictive. We collect a huge bunch, come home. Hot water is ready, the leaves are put in. The scent is too strong. One bath in this water and all our body pain vanish.

I come back to present. Wind stopped. Playlist ended. Trees are standstill. My heart sinks. I sit down, sad, lost in some thought. I don’t like being lost now.

Ahhh!There is wind again, I Spring up, turn towards the trees. I smile and start the music again. And we start our gentle dance from beginning..swaying..slowly..gently!

 

 

 

 

Posted in childhood, Nostalgia

Puliyodharai is always better than Pizza !!

I had my first pizza after joining work. I started having loads of chocolates , brownies, cakes after college. I have had chocolates before that but they were limited. These days even if I hear the word chocolate or pizza I start feeling hungry. When pizza and chocolates are close to my stomach,there is a separate list which is very close to my heart. The temple Prasadhams 🙂

Sakkarai Pongal:-

When I was a kid there was a small Ganapathi temple close to my home. Every week there will be some pooja and all the kids from my street assemble there. We sing bhajans (needs another special post) and at the end prasadham will be distributed to everyone. Mostly it will be some sundal or sakkarai pongal. As kids we had given some job. There was a small tree which has broad leaves in front of the temple. Our job was to collect the leaves and prasadham was distributed in those leaves. Sakkarai Pongal would reach temple even before the pooja starts and it was not kept in some hot pack n all. It was just kept in a normal stainless steel pathram. But at the end when they distribute it one leaf was never enough to hold it. It would be so hot.  One side your hands will be juggling the leaf unable to bear the heat. On the other side taste buds will be craving for the sakkarai pongal. All our eyes would grow so big and for that ten minutes no other thought had room in our brain 🙂 That sakkarai pongal never had any cashews or ghee floating on top. But still its the BEST!! 😀

Puliyodharai (tamarind rice) :-

My all time favourite is puliyodharai. I remember going to srirangam temple many times when I was studying and I never came back without a visit to prasadham stall. The vada in srirangam temple are awesome too. Sometimes my prayer included “God there should be puliodharai today in the prasadham stall” 🙂 . We used to go to Oppuliappan kovil(Balaji temple) in kumbakonam and I LOVE the puliodharai there. In this temple all food offerings are saltless.But still the puliyodharai prasadham- nothing can match it! **Eyes getting bigger now **.

Thayir sadham (curd rice) :-

Seriously someone has to tell me the secret.Amma makes yummy curd rice , but still there is something special when it comes hot hot straight from Hanuman temple !!

Tirupathi Laddu:-

No explanation needed for this. I went with my cousins (when we were small) and that time the laddu was really big and they gave three laddus for each ticket I think. When coming back the laddu bag was handed over to the kids. When the bus reached the base of the hill, the laddu bag was empty:D

Temple visits are never complete without eating prasadham 😀 After all the prayers and poojas , the whole family/friends assemble in front of prasadham stall. Each one will shout one one name and atlast every single item kept there will reach our hands and in 10minutes the plate/leaf will be so clean 😀