[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,
Yesterday morning we went Maikuri to see my father-in-law (Mava). He is fine. Once in a while he walks in the front yard looking at all the plants. In our village most people of our community were agriculturists. They have areca trees, cocoa and pepper in their land.
( Those are whole areca nuts drying in the sun. They are dried for forty days before storing in and air tight room. )
But now most of the younger generation have moved away from the villages after studying Engineering or Medicine. Yesterday Mava kept asking my brother-in-law about a mango tree. The raw mangoes from that tree are just perfect for making a certain type of pickles. We call it ‘idikayi uppinakyi’. Literally it means whole raw mango pickles. But this time the yield is not very good. Mava feels that he should go to see for himself but at the same time he tells it will be difficult for him to that place. It is a little away from Maikuri. We picked a lot of wild mangoes and got them with us. I gave to our neighbours, they were happy about it. We returned in the evening. Today morning I removed the pulp and added jaggery syrup. I will add water when I make the juice. Yesterday night there was some rain but on Saturday night there was thunder, lightning and rain. The weather became a little less hot. I hope the rains start on time.
On the 4th we attended our neighbour’s grandson’s upanayana ( thread ceremony). It was held in the premises of Durga Parameshwari ( Goddess Durga) temple in a place called Bantakal about 20kms from Udupi. Our two other neighbours came with us. On the way to Bantakal we have to pass a small town called Shankarapura. Most people in this town grow jasmine. Almost all the jasmine sold in and around Udupi comes from this town. Aravinda could not come as he was busy with German certificate course exams. We were back by 2.30.
On the 4th itself was my father-in-law’s younger sister’s first death anniversary rituals. She passed away last year after having been bedridden for almost five years. She was also not able to talk or recognise people, she was like a new born baby. She was such a gentle soul, why did she have to suffer for so many years ? No answer. The death anniversary functions were held in Kalladka, near Puttur, in a hall of a temple. On the 5th Kuvara went there to attend one of the functions.
Aravinda’s German certificate course is over. The next course will be in August or September. Every evening we go to EndPoint for a walk. There no vehicles are allowed. It is very nice there. This time we plucked ‘madake hannu’. The skin is orange in colour. We have to remove the skin. The seed is big and less pulp but is tasty.
We plucked karande kai (wild raw berry) too. We met one of our friends, she and her husband had plucked ripe ones. They purple in colour and taste like grapes. By the side of End point road there two big play grounds. Cricket coaching camp is going on. We see students playing foot ball and many others Frisbee. It is fun to watch them.
I am listening to the story of Lord Ganapati by Bannanje Govindacharya. It is very interesting. We are all fine here. It is now 3 o’clock. Aravinda has gone to college and Kuvara to the library.
With lots of love,
Idikayi Uppinakai / Whole mango pickle in roasted masala:
Happiness is when your reader as well as a distant cousin of yours messages you and requests you to post one of our traditional age-old pickle recipe.
Time for Thought: UPANAYANAM
Recently, I was asked to speak about Upanayanam, one of the Rites of Passages in the Vedic tradition of the Hindus. I did not give the talk. But, having collected some interesting information I decided to share it with all of you.
Shankarapura – Wikipedia
Overview. Shankarapura is a tiny place dominated by Christians who mainly grow Jasmine flowers. Locally and in Kannada called as Mallige. These flowers are transported to Dubai, Mangalore and flown to Mumbai on the same day.