Six word story

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UNFORTUNATELY POLITICIANS ARE A NECESSARY EVIL

Assembly elections in our state is taking place in the second week of May. False promises and abuses are flying in the air. It is enough to make anyone sick of politicians.

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RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #198 Beat&Party

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RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #198 Beat&Party

“Dancing to the beat,

The party enjoyed themselves

With great abandon.”

Last Saturday Spring festival was celebrated in our grandson’s kindergarten in Germany. Our daughter sent photos of all the children dancing.  Our grandson, in yellow and blue, is standing behind, ready to dance 🙂

spring fest on 21st

Letter from Home-14 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual

[My paternal grandfather had been a great letter writer. He had been a Headmaster in a municipal high school till he retired. My grandmother had passed away when my father was 12. After retirement my grandfather lived for some months with us and some with his elder son. When he was away from us we would regularly write letters to each other. Now, I think very few write letters. Last year I started writing to my mother (Amma) and my Doddamma (my father’s elder brother’s wife) She lives with her son and family. My cousin’s wife shows her my mails. My mother lives with my brother and my sister-in-law shows her my mails. My Doddamma is 86 and is not able to go out. My Amma and Doddamma enjoy the mails and the photos. The internet has really changed our lives, it helps us to keep some contact with our friends and relatives, if we want to😊. I am editing a few lines before posting in Slice of Life because it would be difficult to understand without knowing the details. I am also adding links to certain topics of interest.]

23-04-18
Dear Doddamma and amma,
Some time ago we had read in the newspaper about the temple Nandikeshwara in a small place called Mekkekattu near Barkur, about 30 kms from Manipal. We decided to go there yesterday morning.

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We left home at 7 and had breakfast in a hotel called Mantapa, it is very popular in a place called Saligrama. Then we proceeded to Mekkekattu which is in Shiriyara village. We have to pass through a place called Saibarakatte. We were in the temple by 8.30. This temple is unique because all the idols are made of wood and Nandi (the vehicle or the mount of Lord Shiva) is worshipped.

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The priest in the temple was very nice, he explained about the idols and the temple.
This temple was constructed about 1000 years ago by the rulers of the Alupa dynasty. They ruled coastal Karnataka from 4th to 15th century. It seems they ruled independently from 250 BCE to 450 CE. Later they became vassals of stronger dynasties like the Hoysalas and others. But they ruled for more than thousand years. They had their capital in nearby Barkur. This temple must have been constructed some time in the 10th or 11th century. The chief priest told us that his family have been priests in this temple for nearly 500 years. He said he was seventy years old and he was of the ninth generation to be the priest. These idols are changed after eighty to hundred years. The idols are of the same deities but the work is different as artisans are of a different time.

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He said that he used to come to the temple with his father. He used to look at the idols and feel that they were coming alive. But he does not get the same feeling about the idols which are now in the temple. Maybe with age how we look at things changes.

In the sixties artisans started making the idols which are now in the temple. Work was completed in 1970. There are about 160 idols. They are worshipped every day. Some are kept in an enclosure to one side of the sanctum sanctorum. Earlier it seems there was no grill and monkeys used to come into the temple and spoil the idols. So, an enclosure was made to keep the idols safe. The idols of Nandikeshwara, Goddess Durga and of many ganas (attendants of Lord Shiva) are in the ‘Garbhagriha’ (sanctum sanctorum). Above the sanctum sanctorum there is space where more idols have been kept. The priest told us to climb up and see the idols. They are very fascinating. The photos that I am sending are not of those inside the sanctum sanctorum We are not allowed to take photos inside. After the puja we sat for some time and left the place. Work is going on to renovate the place.

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The time was just 9.30 so we decided to go to the temple of Kallu Ganapati (stone Ganapati) nearby. We had been there last year. This is a small temple beneath huge boulders resting against each other. These boulders have not been placed or arranged by anyone, they are Nature’s wonder.

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The idols of Lord Ishwara, Goddess Parvati and Lord Ganapati are hundreds of years old, they are found on a flat surface. About 600 years ago, a small temple was built by a king for these idols. This temple has been looked after by the Adiga family for generations. Ramakrishna Adige who performs the puja, showed us around and told us about the history of the place when we had gone earlier. He was not there but his brother gave us tirtha. We then climbed up the boulders and sat for some time enjoying the serene atmosphere. We have a wonderful view of paddy fields, trees and a river.  There is not much advertisement for this temple and people like us come searching for it. There is no crowd and the usual shops that we see near other temples.

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We were back home by 10.30. I made boiled rice conjee and beetroot rasam for lunch. Evening we did not feel like going for a walk so we went to our favourite park and sat there for about half an hour before returning home.
With love,
Lakshmi

Letter from Home-14 (Slice of Life)

Nandi (bull) – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nandi_(bull)
Nandi (Sanskrit: नन्दि, Tamil: நந்தி, Kannada: ನಂದಿ, Telugu: న౦ది, Odia: ନନ୍ଦି) is the name of the gate- guardian deity of Kailasa, the abode of Lord Shiva

Garbhagriha – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garbhagriha
Garbhagriha or Garbha gruha (garbha gṛha) (Sanskrit: गर्भगृह) is the sanctum sanctorum, the innermost sanctum of a Hindu temple where resides the murti (idol or icon) of the primary deity of the temple.

Parboiled rice – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parboiled_rice
Parboiled rice (also called converted rice) is rice that has been partially boiled in the husk. The three basic steps of parboiling are soaking, steaming and drying. These steps also make rice easier to process by hand, boost its nutritional profile and change its texture.

 

 

Of Food

A few days ago I was looking out of the window at our star-apple tree. There were flowers and fruits. These fruits are very juicy and refreshing. It is indeed a marvel of nature that we get these fruits when our weather becomes hot. As I was looking I saw a bunch of fruits shaking, there was no wind to make them swing so. Then I saw a little green bird happily pecking at a fruit. It was quenching its thirst and hunger. We see such birds flying from one flower to the next. It is such a joy to see them plunge their beaks into a flower and pull them out in a fraction of a second. When I see them I think of the sparrow. These birds have decreased in number here but I see them in grocery shops. They are busy eating rice and other grains which spill out of the sacks. Why have they decreased in number, and how do they know where they can find food to survive?

Thoughts about food take me back to my childhood. I just did not like the taste of bitter gourd and used to wonder how anyone could eat such an awful vegetable. I remember that I once walked away from the table in protest against being served the vegetable. But over the years I have grown to love this bitter taste and it is one of my favourite vegetables. I like to drink my coffee without sugar, I relish that bitter taste 😊. Here in India people usually drink coffee with milk and sugar. We make filter coffee because we do not like the instant variety.

My father worked in the Indian railways and we lived mostly in North India. But every summer vacation we used to come to my maternal grandparents’ home in a small town in South India. We had to travel three days by train to reach Mangalore, the nearest railway station to our destination. My mother would carry some food for the journey, but after the first day we would buy food at different stations. We used to enjoy it. I still remember the aloo sabji (potato curry) that we used to get in a small cone made by joining leaves. I make that dish even now. This exposure to different types of food has made it possible for me to taste and enjoy any kind of vegetarian food (in my country vegetarian food is very easily available). Recently, I was in Germany for 2 ½ months with my daughter and her family. She was expecting her second child. I got to taste some of the baked vegetarian dishes. In our daily cooking we hardly bake. I enjoyed the new experience but I could not like the taste of some varieties of cheese 😊.

As I am writing this I remember little birds and squirrels that used to come to eat the chapati pieces that we put out every morning. These days we do not see them much. Maybe they will come back when it starts raining and the weather cools down. I place a vessel of water for the birds. I think they come to take a quick sip.

I wrote this yesterday evening. After dinner I picked up Roads to Mussoorie by Ruskin Bond. He is one of my favourite authors. Very aptly for the occasion, the first essay was about breakfast. The author tells us that he likes to have a solid breakfast in order to write.

6th afternoon taste (1)

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( Cashew nuts are roasted and the kernels within is separated by cracking the shell. )

 

 

Letter from Home-13 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual

[My paternal grandfather had been a great letter writer. He had been a Headmaster in a municipal high school till he retired. My grandmother had passed away when my father was 12. After retirement my grandfather lived for some months with us and some with his elder son. When he was away from us we would regularly write letters to each other. Now, I think very few write letters. Last year I started writing to my mother (Amma) and my Doddamma (my father’s elder brother’s wife) She lives with her son and family. My cousin’s wife shows her my mails. My mother lives with my brother and my sister-in-law shows her my mails. My Doddamma is 86 and is not able to go out. My Amma and Doddamma enjoy the mails and the photos. The internet has really changed our lives, it helps us to keep some contact with our friends and relatives, if we want to😊. I am editing a few lines before posting in Slice of Life because it would be difficult to understand without knowing the details. I am also adding links to certain topics of interest.]

17-04-18
Dear Doddamma and amma,
We had been to Maikuri (where my father-in-law lives) on the 15th for Vishu. It is 110 kms from our place. In the morning it takes us two hours. It was cloudy morning and on the way there were heavy rains, in some places just like in the rainy season. There was no rain after Mangalore (a town about 60kms away). A couple live with my father-in-law and brother-in-law to cook and help in the house. They made green gram dal payasam. Mava loves sweets. I remember my paternal grandfather eating a piece of jaggery if there were no sweets at home. He had a real sweet tooth and luckily he did not have diabetes till the end.

vishu

On the day of Vishukani we offer prayers to God and seek the blessings of our elders. Earlier in the days of the joint family all the members of the family and the extended family used to gather together to offer prayers. We left at 3, in the evenings we take 2 ½ hours to return home as there is more traffic. There was absolutely no sign of rains that had fallen in the morning.

We got wild mangoes from Maikuri. Wild mangoes are small in size and cannot be sliced. There trees are tall and we just pick the ones which have fallen. I make rasam, we all love it. And every time I make rasam, I remember doddanna (elder brother, my cousin, doddamma’s son). More than twenty years ago, we were in our B type quarters, doddanna and his wife had come for lunch. I had made this rasam. I can still hear him telling me that it is cold blooded murder to cook mangoes. 😊

wild mangoes

Kavya has completed five months. Almost everyday we see each other and talk. When we call her she recognises her name and starts smiling. She has started pulling herself forward on her stomach and also rolls from one side to another. Advaith loves to play with her and he wants to talk to her the moment she gets up. Fortunately, she sleeps well at night.

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Vinay’s parents are there now. Actually, they were to leave early in the morning on the 10th. But at the last moment there was strike by Lufthansa officials and their flight was cancelled. Vinay tried to book from there but could not. He asked his father to go to the airport on that night. Fortunately, they got booking for 13th early morning. They are returning on the 29th and that cannot be extended because their visa is only till that day. Gayatri was telling me that Kavya has started recognising people. She starts crying if others carry her. When Vinay’s parents carried her she cried the first time. But after that she has recognised them and loves being carried by them.

The other evening after dropping Aravinda at his college we went to the Syndicate bank training college grounds for a walk. Many people come there.

Synd bank tr cl (6)

One of our friends who comes there is a lady who must be about 84 years old. She lives with her son nearby. Her husband had also worked in Manipal. She comes for a walk regularly, morning and evening. She has bow legs and takes about half an hour to complete one round, we take ten minutes. She says if she stops coming then she will not be able to walk. She does yoga in the morning and keeps herself engaged. I like talking to her.

There are many mango trees beside the walking track, it is for the bank employees. There are two jamun trees. Anyone can pluck them. The two trees are full of fruits. They are the hybrid variety so the seeds are soft, we can eat them. I saw a ‘kepla shrub’ behind a tree, it was full of ‘kepla hannu (wild ripe berry). I like them very much. Mava used to say that his father used to love kepla hannu and he used to eat from all the shrubs near the fields. When he went to Kashi he decided to give up eating kepla hannu !! ( For Indians Kashi is a very special place. Many who go there on pilgrimage make a vow to forego a favourite vegetable and fruit. My father-in-law’s father decided to give up eating this wild berry )

Synd Tc (1)

It is now 4.30. Aravinda will come by 5.15. After tea we will go for a walk. Today afternoon I was stitching salvar kameez for myself. I am enjoying listening Bannanje Govinda Acharya’s lectures. Now I am listening to his lectures on Sandhya Vandana.
With love,
Lakshmi

Maternal uncles and fathers-in-law are called mava in our language, Kannada.
Doddanna is the term used to call an elder brother. I call my elder brother not by his name but Anna. My father’s elder brother’s son was doddanna for me. He passed away ten years ago.

Vishu – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishu
A traditional Vishu kani setting with auspicious items. Official name: Vishu: Also called: Malayalam: വിഷു: Observed by: Malayali,Tuluva and Kodagu Gowda and Tulu Gowda Hindus

KaaTu Mavina Hannina Saaru/Gojju Recipe | Wild Mango … – …
http://www.monsoonspice.com/…/kaatu-mavina-hannina-saarugojju-recipe.html
KaaTu Mavina Hannina Saaru/Gojju Recipe | Wild Mango Soup from Udupi-Mangalore Learn how to make KaaTu Mavina Hannina Saaru/Gojju ~ Sweet, … To make this KaaTu Mavina Hannina Saaru/Gojju, you start by peeling the wild mango peels and then …

Varanasi – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varanasi
Clockwise from top: Manikarnika Ghat, Dashashwamedha Ghat, Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Tibetan Temple in Sarnath, Banaras Hindu University, Kashi Vishwanath Temple

Letter from Home-13 (Slice of Life)

 

 

Six word story

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MEN CAN BE EVIL AND CRUEL

A little girl has been raped and killed. Why was this done? And how could those beasts do this? Rape is such an evil and unfortunately it has always been a part of human life.

http://www.catchnews.com/national-news/kathua-rape-case-asifa-bano-all-about-the-inhuman-and-murderous-tale-of-the-8-year-old-girl-107760.html

I read this post and would like to share it.

https://myteaboard.wordpress.com/2018/04/14/i-am-asifa/

 

The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Awakening

This week, show us an image of an awakening.

These photos are of our grandson taken in 2016. He loved playing with Lego, he still does 🙂 We enjoyed watching the awakening of interest and creativity, the satisfaction of making something. And of course he used to cry when he was not able to do something which he had imagined ! And it was difficult for us to know what he had imagined.

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“Awakening joy
In learning to make new things
Fun and excitement.”

The Daily Post Photo Challenge: Awakening

 

 

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #196 Shy&Sweet

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“The sweet little bird
Shyly perched behind the fruits
Pecked at them slowly
Not worried about others
Her green feathers hid her well.”

One morning I was looking at the star apple tree when I saw a little green bird. She was well hidden behind the leaves and was busy pecking at a fruit. I could make out she was there only because the fruits were shaking and just a few minutes earlier I was able to get a glimpse of her. The marvels of nature. They make this world a better place.

6th afternoon taste (1)

( the little bird is there behind the fruits 🙂 )

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #196 Shy&Sweet

Letter from Home-12 (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual

[I remember those long ago days when we used to write letters to our near and dear ones regularly. Over the years there have been lot of changes in life. These are the days of the internet and we have stopped writing letters. Last year I started writing to my mother (amma) and my Doddamma (my father’s elder brother’s wife) She lives with her son and family. My cousin’s wife shows her my mails. My mother lives with my brother and my sister-in-law shows her my mails. My Doddamma is 86 and is not able to go out. My Amma and Doddamma enjoy the mails and the photos. The internet has really changed our lives, it helps us to keep some contact with our friends and relatives, if we want to😊. I am editing a few lines before posting in Slice of Life because it would be difficult to understand without knowing the details. I am also adding links to certain topics of interest.]
9-04-18
Dear Doddamma and amma,
We are all fine here. On Saturday, my doddamma’s younger brother and his wife were with us for lunch. We enjoyed their company very much, talking about long ago days. They came with their daughter, Suma and her husband to see their granddaughter who is studying here. They had last come here in the sixties when my doddamma’s another brother was working here. Suma and her husband took their daughter and her friends out for lunch. They came back at about four and before leaving for home they drove around the town. Kuvara (my husband) went with them to show the way. We were able to give star-apples and small jackfruits to Suma. We make various dishes from raw jackfruit. Suma’s mother grows Malabar spinach in her garden and she got a bundle for us.

7th Afternoon (5)

Yesterday morning I made whole wheat roti (we have to grind whole wheat, added grated coconut, green chillies, chopped onions and make a sort of pancake). I also added chopped spinach. It was tasty. A few days earlier I made chutney powder, to it I added roasted orange peel. It is very tasty if we like the taste of orange peel. Last week I tried some new things. I got barley, soaked and later cooked them to make usili. It was good. I was eating barley for the first time. There are many recipes using barley, I will try them some time.

8th morning (1)

8th morning (2)

8th morning (3)

We have a breadfruit tree in out back yard. Due to the coconut trees we have more shade. So, this plant has gone up very high searching for light. There were many breadfruits but due to the increasing heat they are falling down. I made sambhar from the small one and the taste was ok. We hope more will not fall.

Yesterday evening we went to Malpe beach (Arabian sea). On one side there are narrow extensions into the sea. Some time ago one of the extensions was modified for people to walk on. It is called Malpe sea-walk. Being a Sunday there were many people but it was very nice to walk there. The sea breeze and the setting sun was beautiful. Many shipping boats were coming back. It was nice.

Sea walk Malpe (2)

Sea walk Malpe

We will go to Maikuri (where my father-in-law lives) for Vishu, but Kuvara is planning to go tomorrow. First, he will go to Madhur temple for morning puja. He will return Wednesday morning.
With love,
Lakshmi

Basella alba – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basella_alba
Malabar spinach fruits (Zhuji countryside (Zhejiang, China), 2005). Vinespinach, (basella), raw; Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz) Energy

Dry Chutney Powders | Simple Indian Recipes
https://simpleindianrecipes.com/…/Condiments/DryChutneyPowders.aspx
Dry Chutney Powders (Podi Varieties) – Some dry chutney powder recipes that can be prepared in bulk and stored. This can be served with white rice, idli, dosa, sevai, chappatti etc.

Usili recipe | Tarladalal.com | Member Contributed | #11345
https://www.tarladalal.com/Usili-11345r
The Usli Recipe – How To Make Usli at home. To prepare usli, Boil a combination of different sprouts like moong sprouts, red chana sprouts, kabuli chana sprouts and toss with raw banana, roasted peanuts and spices.

Vishu – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishu
Vishu (Malayalam: വിഷു, “Bisu” in Tulu Language) is the astronomical new year Hindu festival celebrated in the Indian state of Kerala, Tulunadu region of Karnataka and their diaspora communities.

Madhur Temple – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madhur_Temple
Madhur temple was originally Madarantheswara (Shiva) Temple and as the lore goes, an old women called Madaru from local Tulu Moger Community discovered an “Udbhava Murthy” (a statue that was not made by a human) of shiva linga.

Breadfruit – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breadfruit
Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis) is a species of flowering tree in the mulberry and jackfruit family originating in the South Pacific and eventually spreading to the rest of Oceania. British and French navigators introduced a few Polynesian seedless varieties to Caribbean islands during the late 18th century, and today it is grown in some 90 countries throughout South and Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean, the …

Letter from Home-12 (Slice of Life)