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SoftyPink n GloriousRed

…. the colours of life with my kids

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Nostalgia

J is for Jamun :)

Jamun, the fruit has been one of the favorites during our childhood in Belgaum. We knew it as Jambul then, and we would wait eagerly for the cart vendors to arrive with the ripened jambul. These were usually garnished with a bit of salt in order to enhance the taste. And, the fact that it coloured the tongue purple is what made it very popular with us kids. I guess these were available locally and hence we were able to get nicely ripened ones and they were inexpensive too.

Jambul. Pic from here http://www.vivekamexports.com/agriculture/fruits/jamun

I have this memory of a particular Jambul tree in the area we lived. We used to go there and look at the fruits and wait for them to ripen. Of course, there was no way we little kids could get hold of those except for those that would fall from the tree occasionally. One day after a downpour, we went there and found many of the ripened ones had fallen and we were delighted to collect those! Small joys of childhood !! 🙂

Once we moved to Mysore, these fruits were hard to come by and we never got the same yummy tasting ripe fruits again. It seemed the fruits were procured from outside and hence were not the same as locally grown ones. Once we moved to Bangalore, these fruits became a rarity, not widely available and generally expensive. We feel excited when we see Jambul, but somehow, its never the same as it was during childhood. Sigh! I know I’m sounding like my granma but the fact remains 🙂

An internet search on Jamun, brought this up… shows that Jamun has quite a few health benefits too!

While on the topic of Jamun, I’m reminded of the Gulab jamun, which is a very popular dessert here. Not only that, its the most popular sweet dish in our household too. Everyone loves it, especially the ones made by me 🙂 The kids generally do not like store bought Gulab Jamun and they make special requests on their birthdays and during some festivals too!

I, of course prepare Jamun using ready to use mix and not the traditional method. But I’ve learnt how to make them real soft and to get the sweetness right. The consistency is what makes it a hit each time! With everyone at home and with friends at my workplace too 🙂

Interestingly,  Gulab Jamun is named after “Jamun” or “jaman”, the Hindi-Urdu word for Syzygium jambolanum, an Indian fruit with a similar size and shape… the one I’ve referred to earlier 🙂

Gulab Jamun. Pic from here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulab_jamun#/media/File:Gulaab_Jamun_(homemade!)_bright.jpg

Linking this to the letter J at ABC Wednesdays – 18th Round.

 

 

 

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I scream.. You scream…

We all scream for Ice cream!! 🙂 yayy!!

Summer’s here with soaring temperatures and so are ice creams and fruit juices to cool us down. Ice cream is much loved by everyone in our family. I’m famously known for gobbling up my share and borrowing from sis always during our childhood days 😀

Dad especially encourages me to have ice cream every now and then. Me being a poor eater, he thinks I’ll at least fare better with ice creams since it is a favourite! Not only that, he even encourages me to have an ice cream to put an end to the cough! I’ve been prone to colds and coughs for sometime now and when i catch it, it just stays on for a prolonged period, making me week and scaring everyone out !

Last year, we gorged on ice creams regularly. Naturals, was a favorite haunt that we stopped at after our dance class every week! Sister’s m-i-l also indulged us with her special ice candies made using seasonal fruits like watermelon and mangoes !! what fun 😀

This year, we hope to get D trained on preparing ice creams, ice candies and different types of juices. Its all very doable now, thanks to www. She’s geared up for it too. Hope to click some pics before we gobble up everything, like we did last year 😀

Some favorite memories that involve ice creams

  • Mom getting me a biggg scoop in a cone and it falling off as a bus whizzed by! Ohh what a disappointment for a lil girl of maybe 5!!
  • Me and sis walking to mom’s office after lunch, during our summer vacation, just for ice creams from the ice cream vendor who would pass by at that hour!
  • Me and sis going for a stroll at night during our vacations, just to buy and savour icecream on our way back 😛
  • Family visit to the ice cream parlour which was one of its kind in those days! Mde us feel very special 🙂
  • Picnic…Rainy afternoon, ice cream with friends, under an umbrella..
  • Dad egging me on to have more servings of ice cream at the Ashoka, New Delhi. Dinner was at midnight after the event and dad felt we would be better off eating the yummy ice cream 😀
  • Sis craving for mango ice cream when she was carrying Adi and we checking everywhere for it. It used to be great relief when we used to finally find it and get it for her.

Linking this post to letter I at ABC Wednesday – 18th Round.

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Nostalgic!! A trip down memory lane…

  • As small children, me and sis1 would fight over who would sleep with you. It felt wonderfully soft and cozy and cuddly.. we just loved to sleep with you.
  • You would walk with me to school and back.. I do not remember this vividly but I know it to be an important part of my life. One anecdote I’ve often heard from you is that one day while on our way back from school we were chased by a buffalo. How you panicked, how you managed to get us into the compound of a nearby house, how you were grateful to the watchman who opened the gate just in time and let us in!!
  • The stories you narrated while you fed us our dinner… always about being and doing good, about goodness always winning!
  • You made the yummiest food.. even simple things tasted heavenly when you made it. Something magical in your hands!!
  • You were always the most excited when we were to visit Madurai. You were enthusiastic about getting the best veggies, the best meat, and made sure we got our share of the tasty vadais and paniyarams while we were there.
  • No matter what, you made sure that you made the murrukus and adirasams to take along with us when we went back home.
  • You went through a lot of pain in life.. and talked wistfully about what was and what could have been. Never once heard you talking bitterly or wishing anything bad for others.
  • You believed in dignity of labour. We imbibed the lesson by seeing you work and do various odd jobs to sustain yourself and others who depended on you. Even the simplest task was to be done with care and in the right way!
  • The joy when you came back from the market all tired and exhausted!! You were always excited to show us what you bought 🙂 Everything would be segregated properly and put away! You never came back without getting something for us grankids to munch 🙂
  • You were meticulous in whatever you did. It reflected in even simple tasks like cutting vegetables!
  • You derived great satisfaction in the daily ritual of preparing for puja, adorning the God’s pictures and lighting the velakku/diya. We still recollect the ambiance it created when you did everything, especially on festive days!
  • You always wished to be independent and lived all your life that way… till the very end!
  • In the place of our mom, you played the role of granma to our kids and for them grandmom means you, since they’ve never known mom. How wistfully Ammu cried while looking at your sarees, wondering why you did not come back to us a few years ago or the way she held on to some of your sarees a few days ago, while I was sorting the ones to be given away.. is something that will forever stay locked n frozen in my mind. Somehow, it made me glad that she still remembers you and thinks so fondly of you!

In hindsight it is clear that many of the values that we hold dear are all imbibed from you, directly or indirectly!! Including the tendency to be fiercely independent and also obstinate in certain matters!! Its almost as if you are a part of us granma.. and though you are no longer with us, you are within us.

Linking this to ABC Wednesday.

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J is for Jasmine..

.. the flower!! I’m sure Ammu would have instantly assumed I’m talking about Jasmine, the Disney princess 🙂

Aaah jasmine… the flowers bring back many many fond memories..

  • Summer vacations in Madurai
  • The evenings when we would eagerly wait for the flower vendor
  • Granma teaching me the art of tying the flowers using fibre of banana stem
  • Excitement about wearing the flowers
  • Aunt/granma bringing these flowers for us without fail whenever they visited.. it used to be such a big deal.. the malli poo and the halwa!!
  • Competition with cousin as to who will tie it best!.. evenly spaced and rounded..
  • Mom wearing these in her hair ..
  • Dad keeping some portion especially for sis1 to wear. She had long hair and wore sarees to work. And the malli poo/mallige hoovu complimented her attire very well 🙂

We are lucky to have the opportunity to enjoy two of the best varieties of jasmine flowers.. the Madurai malligai poo and the Mysooru dundu mallige!! Both these varieties have unique properties and have been given the GI tag. You can read more about this here and here.. Below images sourced from this article in The Hindu.

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Back to the memories .. 🙂

When I was around 15, granma made a poo jadai or moggina jade for me. Unlike the  ready ones available in the market, she wove the flowers right into my plait. Meticulously done, it looked very very pretty. I was made to wear a traditional silk paavadi dhavani and taken to the photo studio, with much anticipation. In those days a camera was not a very common possession!

Unfortunately, when the pictures came, granma was not very satisfied as there was a slight line near the head and she decided not to buy the pic 😦 I guess I was disappointed.. but thought that we would do it again. Of course that never happened. Neither me nor my sisters  get that opportunity again! So.. no pic.. just the memory exists 🙂

One more fond and evergreen memory is that of granma jealously gaurding and taking care of the flower shrub that grew just outside the compound wall. This was when we first moved to Bangalore. Ammu was just an year old and granma was staying with us. This was another variety of Jasmine… called kakada hoovu. A beautiful white flower.. but with no fragrance as such.

Granma loved tending to this plant. She would carefully pick the blooms and make garlands to offer to the Gods. This used to be a daily ritual that seemed to give her immense joy and satisfaction. She would take care not to pick the young buds. Passers-by picking the young buds would annoy her like nothing else!! She didnt mind them taking the flowers but was very particular about not picking the younger buds that were not yet ready to bloom.

Even now, I love to buy flowers and tie them by myself whenever I can make time 🙂 And, this love is shared by the sisters and D,our house help, too. It sure is cheaper than buying the garland.. but the activity gives a kind of joy. Almost feels like meditation! I guess that’s why granma loved the ritual so much!!

Loved going on this memory trip and writing it all down here. Hope you like reading it 🙂

This post could well be for M – Mysooru, Madurai, Mallige hoovu/Malli poo, Memories… But J it is !! 🙂 Linking to ABC Wednesday

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P.S: 2nd post of the day!! After a long long time 🙂

Lil joys!

Through the years…

On some days, she is the one to throw tantrum and not relent till I give in..

On some other days, I am the one yelling in anxiousness 😦

On yet other days, thata keeps on warning that time’s up which irks her further…

And, there are some days when he gets angry with me for not handling the situation tactfully and allowing it to snowball!

Of course, there are the uneventful days when she wakes up happily and gets ready without any fuss, and with a cheery disposition.. making it all feel like a breeze 😀

And then, at the end of it all, she offers her kisses and says her byes. Thata bends to get his muttam. They walk towards the gate, holding hands and chattering away!!

I look on, washed over by a strange kind of peace after all the hulla gulla!!  And slowly a smile appears, and the heart is filled with gratitude 🙂 Pure bliss!!

P.S: Muttam = kiss, hulla gulla = chaos.

P.P.S: Now, there are more of the uneventful days 🙂 Touching wood!

Memories..

few precious memories are all that are left now.. to hold and cherish..

Its 12 years to the day you left us. We have grown through the pain and the tears, missing you, needing you… Through the daily  joys and struggles , the pain seems to have gone… to have been numbed… but still it comes back in full force when we think of you Mummy. Its still there so alive… so real… I don’t think the pain will ever leave us…

One thought that keeps coming back now is that the kids have not even seen you and… have no memories to call their own. They don’t relate to you in a way that relate to their thata. And somehow… it feels so wrong. That you are not here for them.. for us…

P.S: Found this … its so much close to what we’ve felt about you mummy…

Rain!

Incessant pitter patter, memories…
Of raincoat-gumboots clad school kids
Sweet nostalgia…

It has rained throughout the night and has continued for most part of the morning. This happens rarely, at least from the time I’ve been here, so for me its definitely not a characteristic of Bangalore. The continuous rains brought back fond memories of our school days. Our rain coats and gum boots were indispensable during the rainy season in Belgaum. Here, people make do even without an umbrella most of the times. What a contrast!!

We’ve had our share of fun jumping in the poodles, walking noisily with water filled in our gum boots…. Reaching home, we would pour out the water from the boots and rush in to wash our already wet n cold feet. The sensation of the tap water felt wonderful on the soles !!

So many memories these rains bring back 🙂 Hai na?

Row.. row.. row your boat :)

For this week’s theme ‘Liquid’  at Thursday Challenge.

The pic was clicked by a friend on our trip to Kodaikanal. Brings back many memories 🙂

The title also brings back many memories … of when Ammu first started telling her rhymes 😀

Cute buddies!!

 

For this weeks theme ‘Pets’ at Thursday Challenge.

The theme brought back so many lovely memories… of Guddu n Rocky 🙂

Guddu was our first pet ever. As kids were pertified of dogs! He came to us, in 1999 or was it 2000, under quite unusual circumstances. Made us feel that he was certainly destined to be our companion. The day sis2’s friend brought him to us… begging us to keep him, we could not refuse …he was so cute n cuddly. And though we had no clue how to care for a pet, we had insisted that we keep this one and dad had finally given in. He was the one who  who kept my sis company when the other two of us were away from home for studies… kept me company when I was at home pregnant with Ammu. But most of all, it was dad who pampered him a lot and took utmost care of him as he would a child! And dad it was who he stayed with …giving the most joy and companionship, in fact the only one when all the 3 of us came away from home.

Sadly though, we had to part with him and entrust him to be taken care of by a family known to us, when dad came over to stay with us to take care of Ammu. We sometimes got to see him on our visits to Mysore.. but that also stopped gradually. Dad, though, was in constant touch and knew that our Guddu was unwell for quite sometime. He knew we wouldnt bear to see him in that condition and so discouraged us from going to see him. Now, its almost a year since Guddu passed away … on the 28th this month last year 😦 But some of the special episodes with Guddu always remain close to us and their memory never fails to bring on a smile 😀

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One day in 2007, the doggy crazy BIL1 surprised us all by bringing Rocky to us unannounced! Though we were quite unprepared or even reluctant to have a pet due to various constraints on time n space n energy, we were happy to see him… happy in a way that  only lil pups can make us 😀  But then he stayed with us only for a few months and then we had to give him up, when we realized that we could not take care of him in the best possible manner given our circumstances. Sis2 was pregnant with Adi and we figured it would have been difficult for us to manage both the baby and the growing pup 😦 

Ammu was very attached to Rocky and when I was trying to prepare her mind for this, she confidently said ‘ No problem mamma…You take care of Rocky n i’ll take care of paapa’ !! Adi was the paapa still in the tummy! I can recall it as if it happened just yesterday..
But we did send him off … in Ammu’s absence of course! … with someone who had a big house and huge lawns… where we believed Rocky would grow up happily 😦  She understood and never threw a tantrum… my angel 🙂

*****

And now… both Ammu n Adi are very fond of dogs.  Ammu feels hurt by the fact that we say poda Maniya to a stray near Sis2’s home, whom we feed biscuits most of the days. Says he may feel bad! She told this to me one day at bed time .. just recently 🙂 I had to explain to her that it is meant in a fun way and that Mani  means a Pearl or a Bead. Only then did her agitation subside!!

 And…  Adi walks by strays n says he wants to take one home!! Wondering when the father-son duo might surprise her shock her, Sis1 tells me ‘keep one bedroom in your home free for me. I might walk in anytime’ 🙂 She likes dogs.. but doesnt want to be made responsible for one at this stage 😀

P.S:I’m glad about this theme…  if not for it I probably would not have written this down !!

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