31 Days – January 31, 2021

So there. After years, I finished 31 days of blogging.

Amma stumbled across the blog the other day and mentioned that my writing was meh! No enjoyment in your writing. In Tamizh she said it looks as if you are writing for the sake of writing and that is not very good! Mothers, I tell ya!

Sigh, Mothers, I tell ya. They know you so well. They know when you dont give your best and honestly, I dont think my heart was in the writing 😦

31 days of bad writing

31 days of bakwaas writing

31 days of bekaar writing

31 days of beginners block writing

Hopefully, I will return to good writing soon. Till then, thank you blog friends for encouraging me to write again. I will come back better, fingers crossed!

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Book Gift – January 30, 2021

The man I married came back with a gift for me. For those who know me for long know that the best gifts to give me are

food and books!

So the man got me both! A packet of jalepeno potato chips and the latest J K Rowling!

Last day of school holidays and I LOVED it!

The Ickabog is good! Not as interesting as the HP series but its a nice feel good book. Made me happy and just like all other JKR books there is meaning under the meaning of human goodness and goodwill. There are a few surprise deaths in it which may be a bit overwhelming for younger kids but overall I enjoyed the book 🙂

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Painting – January 29, 2021

Last week of school holidays and I wanted to do something ‘productive’ and so started painting a sheet for R2! See,see!

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The Writer’s Block – January 28, 2021

Honestly, my posts are so pathetic that I am wondering if it worth writing at all. I dont think it makes sense to write absolutely random stuff (I cringe at all the stuff I have written when I started blogging!)

The best part of blogging has been making fantastic friends. Some I have met, some I havent, some who have become very close and some who I know I can write after years and they will still respond with love. Some who are my idols, some who happen to be so amazing that I am at awe.

Honestly, the only awesome thing about blogging is gaining such amazing friends, I am sure I wouldnt have found if I hadnt started blogging. It really shocks me that once upon a time I used to write a post almost everyday and I had so much to write about.

I am sure Bombay was more ‘happening’ and so I could write more, or perhaps I was naive to share my daily thoughts on a public forum hoping to get a feedback. I dont know!

All I know now is that I really need to stop writing absolutely random stuff because its really random 🙂

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Cubby House – January 27, 2021

One week to school and the girls are Really ready for school!

Cubby house in the bedroom😂

Colour pencils and Books in the cubby house 🙂 Feet peeking as well
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Mountains and Walks – January 26, 2021

Its January 26. A public holiday in Australia. Some people call it Australia Day. Some call it Invasion Day. A day in the history of Australia which is still to be defined.

We took refuge in the mountains today. A beautiful bush walk – serene, quiet, and wonderfully tiring. I must confess the last one kilometre was walked only because RD was constantly encouraging!

I was cribbing, R was telling us not to fight and R2 was ready to collapse😂

Leading the walk initially
Walking with Appa
Sun playing peekaboo
Standing to view the city
Clouds looking gorgeous in the blue sky and the mountain top peaking
Beautiful berries on the bush
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Paati – January 25, 2021

Its been 15 days and the grief has not sunk in. My life goes on as normal. There was a slight twinge of ‘Oh my God!’ and then it was all okay.

My anna called up in the evening and said ‘Paati passed away, RM.’ There was a catch in his voice but he seemed okay. I asked to speak to Amma. Amma, the ever practical woman, said Appa and I am trying to get to Calcutta as soon as we can. She seemed okay.

Its taken me 15 days to write this. I wonder why. I feel strangely disconnected. Perhaps its the physical distance. Perhaps the time difference, Or perhaps the fact that I never did grow up with Paati.

She was always a permanent fixture in my life. Every summer holiday, trip planned to Calcutta to her place. My mamas all lived in Calcutta so it was a lively bunch of cousins there. Nine of us with only 7 years between the oldest to youngest. We were all close. All of us always were up to something.

Its funny I remember Paati getting up super early in the morning, having a bath and wearing a nine yard saree. Then at about 11 AM after her prayers were done, she would change into a 6 yard. The 9 yard would be hand washed and hung to dry. I would wonder in my mind why on earth would one want to change garments everyday twice and why hand wash?

If there is ONE thing I admire Paati for, well apart from her superlative cooking, its her discipline. I have NOT met any other human who could be so disciplined. Her day was so clockwork-ish and she did the same routine day in and day out, no matter what. If I wish to inherit one trait from her, it would be her discipline. My Appa always said if Paati ever did her MBA, she would become the CEO of a company.

Her food. Stories have been written about her divine rasam and lip smacking potato roast. But my favourite dish, she made for me has been her mulagushiam which she made when I had just delivered R and she had come to help me. Lightly spiced, beautifully tadka marofied and amazing taste. As I type this, I can feel the taste with a dollop of ghee on it! And her khichuri bhaat. Funny she was in Calcutta for longer than she was in Kerala, but her Bengali was pretty okay. She didnt cook many Bengali dishes, staying true to her Tambram heritage, but her Khichuri bhaat was one of the yummiest. The perfect blend of rice, lentils, veggies and ghee. Sigh!

Her coffee. Weird how you remember stuff like this. She would make coffee in a proper filter and then mix the decoction with milk and create a perfect tasting coffee.

She would always keep kalkand and kismis for prasadam for nevidhiyam for umachi everyday, the quantity depending on how many people were there at home. I remember the kilo of thaiyir chadam which would be made mid-afternoon for all the nine of us cousins and we were all given one vaaya each with either pickle or sambhar and had to gobble it before she finished the round of giving to each of us 🙂

Her pakodams were legendary. Her cheedai and murruku were amazing.

She and I have had an interesting relationship. I am her only daughter’s only daughter and she was beyond happiness when I gave birth to R. That we were four generations of females thrilled her. I have fought with her numerous times on many things and argued with her about equality and her patriachial outlook. She took my arguements in good spirit, though she never changed her views and I didnt let her influence mine. She embraced my husband and his family with open arms, so much so that I believed she loved him a bit extra special more than me.

I last saw her at a zoom call last year which we did on her last birthday, where all her kids, grandkids and great grandkids came together to wish her!

She passed away at the age of 92. She saw all her grandchildren marry. She saw all her great-grandchildren. She was able to take care of herself right till the end. She didnt want to go to a hospital and she didnt. She passed away at my youngest uncle’s place.

I hope she has gone up to her Gods and now is teaching everyone up there how to be perfectly disciplined and do things the right way. I am sure she would have set a routine for everyone around her and perhaps, even taken over the kitchen and must be enjoying herself.

To a better place, Paati, because you do know you are extra special and amazing!

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The Sunday Garden Work – January 24, 2021

With less than a week left for school term to start, we are all beginning to desperately finish all housework! Today we spent almost the whole day trying to beautify (read make things easier for us!) our garden.

Pinebarks were replaced with stones, part of the lawn was converted to a stonearea to make it easier to mow…

It was extremely hot (27C) so I made some khichiya papad for the first time! Once those were done by 10 in the morning, we all started our gardening business. Super tired but soooo chuffed about the way the place is looking now!

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Because Its one week before school starts – January 23, 2021

– The girls and I have been doing nothing much

– We are re-pinebarking our garden

– We are adding small pebbles to bits and pieces of the garden

– We are harvesting zucchinis at an alarming rate

– We are waiting in eagerness for our tomatoes to grow red

– R and I are wondering if we should re-attempt the vadams since Monday is 31 degrees

– We are attempting dishes like veg sausage rolls, puliodarai rice, malai kofta and sweet potato zucchini dates brownies!

One more week of chilling!

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Among other things – January 22,2021

Aha! Among other things done today…..

1. Waited at the doctor for THREE hours

2. Underwent the agony of a pap smear test for the first time in life

3. Cooked up a storm

– Malai Kofta

– Chole

– Naan

– Pulao

4. Met two of my mentors after ages

Seriously have nothing to write about!

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