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Showing posts from August, 2007

For a son about to start school

Next week this time, it will be chaos around the house. Your dad and I will be running helter-skelter trying to get you ready in time for your first day at school. Like parents around the country, Appa and I will be making sure that your uniform are ironed, your lunch box packed, your shoes polished, your hair combed, your teeth brushed...my head swirls even as I think of all the chores to be done. And there are all the instructions we need to give you. Raise your hand when you need to use the toilet. Finish all your lunch. Don't play rough in the playground. Listen to what your teacher says. Don't talk during class...but despite all my worries, I'm excited for you. I don't see it as the end of a carefree chapter as much as the beginning of a significant period of your life.

Soon your days will be dictated by the school calendar. And you will settle into a comfortable routine of school days and weekends. Your vocabulary will swell and you will make new friends. You will…

Idli

This morning I was wondering what it is about the idli that I dislike it so much. Is it the endless rounds of preparation? Soaking, grinding, fermenting and THEN cooking? Or is it the idli's inherent frailty as a dish to stand on its own? Its constant dependency on something more pungent to support it? Or is it the idli's inoffensive, non-threatening, bland nature that it's suitable only for those under 2 or anyone recovering from a particularly unpleasant illness? I don't know. All I know is that I have never taken a liking to the steamed rice cake - the English description doesn't quite fit, does it? A bit like Pattu mami in pant-shirt, not right at all!

And there's more. Idlis are fussy old things. No ordinary pans would do. It'd have to be a special perforated idli plate. And it has to be cooked only for so long. Any more or any less and it's a toss up between rock and raw batter for breakfast. Idlis remind me of that ugly cousin who insisted that th…

A quick tale 196

An empty shell

Her aunt Rukmini had been specially summoned for the occasion. She has an auspicious touch, grandmother had insisted. Everything she's involved in, ends well. Gomathy herself had woken up early that morning. Earlier than usual, having been unable to sleep much of the previous night. Which is why, she would remark many years later pointing the photo to her grand daughter, I have those dark circles under my eyes. She couldn't tell her grand child about how Rukmini athai had smeared a good half-a-tub of kohl under her eyes in the name of warding off evil. And how she had run quietly to the bathroom to wipe it away. And how, because there was so much of it, she didn't manage to take it all off. Her grandchildren grew up in a world vastly different from her own and they would laugh at her old stories.

Gomathy had chosen her mother's deep blue silk saree and a matching blouse to go with it for the day. But someone had suggested that it would make her appear dark…

Be a soldier

I don't know what purpose war serves. I certainly don't know what the outcome of Kargil war was. But this post by Blogeswari who happened to be in Ladakh at the time of the war is a moving read. Even if the video is somewhat gushingly sentimental.

A quick tale 195

Coffee Malli

"Just one muzham, amma. You will be my first boni this morning, amma. "

"Such nice mallis! How much is one muzham?...That's too much! I don't know how people can afford flowers at such such rates! It's not as if people have jasmine growing in their gardens. Coming to think of it, who lives in a house with a garden these days? Not like in my time in Madurai, where we used to have seven beautiful malli creepers in our garden. Appa would make me and my sister water them every evening. I remember Amma used to deposit coffee powder from the previous day's filter at its roots. And Akka used to call it coffee malli. Not jaadi malli.

You know, our mallis were the most fragrant in our neighbourhood. Pankajam maami from two doors down the road would send her grand daughter on Thursdays with a small bowl to pick up the flowers. Amma would be furious. Tell your grandmother that there are mallis in the flower market as well, she would tell the little girl, …

I'm bored

Cannot remember the last time I read something on a blog that had me all abuzz. May be I'm not looking in the right places. All the blog aggregators (is that the right word?) seem to favour the tired old familiar few. So I'm turning to you. Please post link to a post which inspired you. Or atleast made you pause before you resumed sipping your coffee. It can be from any blog. Yours. Your best friend's. The dog's. Just drop the link in the comment box. And while you're at it, include while you love it. Thank you.