[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.]
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.
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. 😊
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.
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.
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 )
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.
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
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 … – …
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
Clockwise from top: Manikarnika Ghat, Dashashwamedha Ghat, Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport, Tibetan Temple in Sarnath, Banaras Hindu University, Kashi Vishwanath Temple