Life reflections

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #220 He&She

ronovan-writes-haiku-poertry-challenge-image-20161“Colour distinction
Blue for he and pink for she
Something new for us.
We have bright colours for girls
And God knows why, white for boys.”

My granddaughter was born in Germany last November. My daughter told me we would get only pink coloured dresses for girls And only blue ones for boys. This distinction has not become very popular in my place. We usually had bright colours for girls white for boys. But that too has changed. But flower prints are not used for boys and white is used. It is really interesting how we make these divisions.


RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #220 He&She

Life Song of the Road

Letter from Home- 25 (Slice of Life)

Dear Doddamma,
Last week Kuvara (my husband) and I had been to the hospital for our medical check-up and fortunately everything is fine. Usually I prepare for lunch before going to the hospital but that day I could not. So, we got food from our favourite hotel. This hotel is called Annapurna and it has been in Manipal for more than forty years. When Kuvara was a student here, the rooms in this hotel were given to students. This hotel is more of a canteen. The food is simple and good.

Last week I went to Asare after a long gap. It was good to go back. I help in making roses from organdie material. These flowers are purchased by different colleges and the Rotary club.

Asare (1)One of the care takers, Suma, is from near Chitradurga (a place in the north of my state). She and her children were going home for Muharram. She told me something very interesting. I had not known about this. In her village Moharram is celebrated by people of all religions. On that day in one of the grounds a shallow pit is made and filled with firewood and fire is made. When the fire dies, there is hot ember. Devotees, only men walk across the hot ember. Women do not walk across the hot embers but the stand near and the priest blesses them. All who gather there have to take cold water bath before and after the rites and rituals. She told me there has never been any Hindu Muslim problem in their place. It was good to hear this. There is so much that we don’t about our country.

fire( photo from the internet )

On Saturday, 22nd afternoon we had been to a neighbour’s house to attend Satyanarayana puje (worship of Lord Vishnu). They have been living here for more than fifty years. My neighbour, her name is also Lakshmi, is 70 plus used to tell me that in the fifties and sixties there used to be forest all around. They never used to go out after dark for fear of leopards. But unfortunately, now the concrete jungle is more than the real, green jungle. We feel very sad.

That evening we had our book club meeting in the house of one of the members. We started this club in 2009. We meet once a month, usually on the 3rd Saturday. We talk about the books we have read in the previous month. Aravind also comes with me. We enjoy the meeting very much. We also exchange books.

Book club 22ndAravind is very busy with his classes. The German certificate course has started and will continue till end of November. We drop him in his college and go for a walk. Amma meets people of her age group and enjoys talking to them.

20180921_182029On Sunday, Aravinda was free, we went to Endpoint. Amma and I walked till the football grounds, it takes us 15 minutes to reach that place. Students were enjoying playing, we sat and watched them. It was fun. Kuvara and Aravinda walked till the end. On holidays many people come there for a walk. No vehicles are allowed on End point road. Cyclists are allowed. We enjoy walking there.

20180511_184401We had been planning to go to Maikuri ( where my father-in-law and brother-in-law live) yesterday but we could not. Kuvara went today morning and returned in the evening. Tomorrow morning amma and I are going to Hyderabad where my elder brother lives. My father’s tithi (death anniversary) is on the 27th. My younger brother  will be reaching Hyderabad today night. He lives in Australia. I will be returning on the 30th afternoon.

Advaith and Vinay had been to the city of Manheim to see a show in the planetarium there. Advaith is very interested in the galaxy and the stars. He showed me a picture he had made of the black hole and stars and planets. Kavya was having cold and cough for a week, but now she is better.
I will write after returning from Hyderabad.
With lots of love,

(I have been writing mails to my father’s elder brother’s wife since last October. Doddamma literally means elder mother. She is 87. She is not able to hear properly on the telephone, my cousin or his wife read my mails to her or they take a printout. I talk to her some times and she says she enjoys my mails and the photos. 😊 I edit some sentences before posting in Slice of Life. )

Letter from Home- 25 (Slice of Life)

Life reflections


Facebook is interesting in some ways. There is a section where the system asks certain questions which we can answer if we would like to. Some are thought- provoking, while others are funny. I have answered a few because we never think of such questions. One such question was what excuse would we make to eat an ice-cream. The thought that came immediately to mind was that I would never make an excuse to eat ice-cream; I would just eat and enjoy it. 🙂  There are excuses and excuses, some time-worn, some funny, and some really weird. At every stage in our lives we think of excuses do something or not to do it.

One day a relative told me why it is not good to adopt children. According to him children who are given up for adoption have bad karma. That bad karma becomes a part of the lives of people who adopt them. I did not have any answer to such a terrible excuse. Such people should actually never adopt children because the lives of those children would be hellish in such families.

Two days ago we read in the paper about a thirteen year old who made up a story about being kidnapped and molested by ten men in the fields. This was an excuse for not wanting to study!! The girl admitted to the police that her mother would force her to study hard at home. All this drama to avoid going to school. I just hope she does not act in the same way in future. If she did so it might turn out like the famous old tale about the shepherd and the wolf.

On a lighter note, I remember those long-ago days when my excuse for cooking a very simple meal of rice and rasam was books. I could just not stop reading, and time used to fly. Often there was no time to complete cooking all that I had planned to prepare. Slowly I learnt to finish my household work quickly and then go to my books. Books are still a very important part of my life. But now I do not feel that I have to reach the last page as quickly as possible. I take my time. I think all of us change in some way or the other through the passing years.

I listen to lectures by Bannanje Govindacharya every day. He is a seasoned scholar of Indian classical learning. He lectures eruditely on the Vedas, the Gita, the Ramayana, Bhagvata and so on. His lectures are very interesting. Talking about The Gita, he once remarked that when people say they do not have time to do something, it simply means they are not interested in it. In other words, if we are interested in accomplishing something, we will always have time for it. I translate his quotation in Kannada as follows: “No time is no good reason at all.”

This is true but we hear this excuse a lot these days. People are so busy with their work and very tired by the time they return home, that they do not have the energy to pursue other interests. Yesterday a close friend said that we should set aside half a day in every two weeks for ourselves to do something other than our daily work. This helps to rejuvenate us.

“The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.”

Rabindranath Tagore








RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #219 Charge&Reason


We have been reading in the newspapers about the arrests of activists. Who takes the decisions and what reasons are given for the arrests is a matter of great conjecture.

“Charge on activists,

Arrested as terrorists,

No reason given.”

Bhima Koregaon violence: All you need to know about the activists ……

Here are the brief profiles of the five activists and lawyers that have been arrested by the Pune police in connection with the Bhima Koregaon violence and an alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #219 Charge&Reason

Life Song of the Road

Letter from Home- 24 (Slice of Life)

Dear Doddamma,
On the 13th was Ganesha Chaturthi, we seek your blessings. Aravinda had a holiday and we went to Maikuri to see mava. The couple who live there to cook and do other odd jobs had gone to their home town. I cooked for lunch and also made ‘hesaru bele payasa’ (a porridge made from green gram dal, coconut and jaggery). I had also taken dosa batter, Keshava makes dosa in the evenings. Mornings they have conjee and a rasam. Keshava has learnt basic cooking now. I feel sad when I see mava not being able to connect with what is happening now. He mostly talks about what has happened in the past. He looks tired. Gayatri called when we there and she talked to him. He was very happy to listen to her. I show him the videos of Advaith and Kavya to him. We returned home in the evening.

Ganesha Chaturthi is a very important festival for us, in every part of India. Ganapati idols are kept in Golden Jubilee hall of Syndicate bank, in Geeta mandir and in Venugopala temple. In Venugopala temple the idol is kept only for one day, on the 13th. In the other two places the idol is worshipped for three days. We went to see them on the 15th. We picked Aravinda from his college. In Golden jubilee hall, every year the theme for the background is different and beautiful. Amma was happy to see the idols.


Yakshgana was being performed in the hall. The ‘prasanga’ story was about Bheeshma pratigne or the vow of Bheeshma. We watched for some time. Before this festival drawing competitions take place in different schools. All the paintings by the children are displayed on the walls. All are beautiful and prizes are given according to class and age group.


We also got to see ‘huli vesha’(tiger dance) dance.


In the Geeta mandir hall music and art competitions for children was in process. Many children were making Ganapati idols from clay. A young girl was playing the violin.


On Sunday evening we went to Manipal lake. We had not been there for almost two weeks. The rains have completely stopped and the water level has gone down a little. For three months we had so much rain and now it is as if it never happened. People are worried because now rain is needed for the paddy fields. We like going round the lake, amma walks a little distance and sits with many other ladies. We complete one round. I usually meet friends there. Many people come as it is nice to see so much water.

Yesterday amma and I went to the Dental college. I had taken appointment for amma, her dental check up had been pending. Fortunately, she did not have any problem. We were back by 11.30. In the evening, amma’s cousin, Ramachandra Bhat and his wife had come. He is amma’s paternal aunt’s son. He and his wife came to see amma. They left at 5.15. Aravinda went to college in autorickshaw. Kuvara went with him to Manipal and then went for a walk. Amma went to our neighbour’s house to talk for a while.
We are all fine here doddamma. Tomorrow Kuvara and I are going for our yearly medical check up.

Advaith and Kavya are fine. Advaith is very interested in caves now. On Sunday they went to see a very ancient cave a little away from the their town. It was full of stalactites and stalagmites. Kavya’s one upper tooth and one lower tooth are coming out. Advaith told us with great excitement.
With lots of love,

Ganesh Chaturthi – Wikipedia

Yakshagana – Wikipedia
Yakshagana ( Kannada : “ಯಕ್ಷಗಾನ”, Tulu : “ಆಟ”) is a traditional theatre form that combines dance, music, dialogue, costume, make-up, and stage techniques with a unique style and form.

Letter from Home- 24 (Slice of Life)


Life Song of the Road

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #11: Small Is Beautiful

I remembered this small, cream coloured flower surrounded by bright red bracts which make the flower brighter.

Venugopapla temple (2)

Our grandchildren :),  they live in Germany


Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #11: Small Is Beautiful


Life Song of the Road

Letter from Home-23 ( Slice of Life)


Dear Doddamma,
I am just recovering from a bout of fever and cough. The weather has changed and it may also be due to sitting in AC hall from morning to evening, I am not used to it . On the 6th, 7th and 8th Aravinda and I attended a literary festival called Manipal International Literature and Arts Platform ( m.i.l.a.p) . It was organized by Aravinda’s department, Department of European studies. I had registered for the event, Aravinda and I attended almost all the sessions. I used to cook for amma and Kuvara before leaving for the programme. Kuvara attended one session about the Journey of the Harmonium. It was very interesting.

20180908_140939Two harmonium players, Chaitanya Kunte from Maharashtra, and Ravindra Katoti from Bangalore had come. They talked about the harmonium and also played it. They said the harmonium came to India from outside and in the early years it was not accepted by musicians. But over the years it has become an integral part of any music concert. Kuvara did not come for other sessions because we did not want to leave amma alone the whole day.

20180908_114822All the sessions were very interesting. Writers from Tibet, Bhutan, and from our north eastern states had come. We came to know so much from them. The session with the Bhutanese writer, Kunzang Choden and the Tibetan writer Tenzin Tsundue was moderated by Aravinda’s friend, Chintan.   Aravinda and Chintan studied MA and MPhil at the same time in EFLU, Hyderabad. On the 9th, Chintan stayed with us. He returned to Bombay on the 10th morning. He and his parents live in Malad.

20180907_124604Sushama Deshpande spoke about Tamasha and Lavani, it was very enlightening. There is a Hindi Literary society called Goonj in Manipal. Its members mainly students who are studying in engineering college. Their poetry recital was very good. Aravind and I met them later and told them we really appreciated their recitation. It was nice to listen to people whom I had not even heard of.

20180908_105735(The Tibetan writer, Tenzin Tsundue, my son Aravinda, he is Assistant professor in the Department of European studies and his friend Chintan who moderated the session)

The literature meet took place in the third floor, There was a theatre workshop , Children’s events, art exhibition, photography exhibition and a book fair. We bought some books. In the evenings there were plays and Yakshagana too, but we did not attend them. I enjoyed listening to the different people but by the end of the day I used to feel very tired.

20180908_101143Yesterday my friend from Asare sent some photos of the Teacher’s Day celebration in a special school Spandana. Teachers in Asare had been practising a song and a folk dance. She told me it went of well. Every year Teacher’s Day is celebrated in different special schools and there are cultural events. Teachers from Asare always take part with great enthusiasm.

img-20180907-wa0002Aravinda did not have to take German classes during m.i.l.a.p but now he will have to take classes on Saturdays too. Yesterday evening after leaving him in his college, we went to the Syndicate bank training college grounds for a walk. Amma walked one round. Our friend, Mrs Sudha Rao was there, she walked only one round and said she was feeling very tired. She is 80 plus. Sometime she feels sad that she is not able to walk as much as she used to. We sat there for some time watching the changing colours of the sky as the sun was setting. It looks so beautiful.

20180911_183913After returning from there, I made ‘pathrode’ for tomorrow’s breakfast. My neighbour, Rekha gave me the ‘kesavina soppu’ (colocasia leaves). I will make ‘oggarane’ tomorrow. We all like it and Aravinda likes it very much. It is now 8.15, Aravinda will be back home at 8.45 from his German classes.
With love,

Patrode Oggarane Recipe – Udupi Recipes
09-09-2014 · Ever since I started this space on web called udupi-recipes, it was my dream to post detailed recipe on patrode which is a unique dish from Udupi …

Lavani – Wikipedia
Lavani (Marathi: लावणी) is a genre of music popular in Maharashtra. Lavani is a combination of traditional song and dance, which particularly performed to the beats of Dholki, a percussion instrument.
Typical instruments: Dholak
Cultural origins: 17th century

(I have been writing mails to my father’s elder brother’s wife since last October. Doddamma literally means elder mother. She is 87. She is not able to hear properly on the telephone, my cousin or his wife read my mails to her or they take a printout. She enjoys my slice of life. 😊 )

Letter from Home-23 ( Slice of Life)

Life reflections

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #217 Poison&Past


“Words filled with poison
Said in the past or present
Are violations.
That evil spreads within us
To destroy our peace of mind.”

RonovanWrites #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge #217 Poison&Past





Life Song of the Road

Letter from Home- 22 (Slice of Life)


Dear Doddamma,
We are all fine here. We were happy to see you in the video sent by Ila.
On the 30th we attended Meghana and Swastik’s wedding in the hall near Mahishamardini temple in Punacha near Vittla. Meghana is Shama and Mamatha’s daughter.

Meghana and Swasthik -30th (7)

They live in the smaller house in Mareel where my parents used to live till 2015. My father passed away in September 2016 and my mother lives with my elder brother and with us. Her house and land are looked after by Shama and Mamatha. Many of amma’s neighbours in Mareel came and talked to amma. It was nice meeting everyone. My elder brother had come from Hyderabad.

Meghana and Swasthik -30th (2)

On our way back we went to my cousin’s house. She is a professional baker. Her daughter is also with her. Their cakes are so beautiful to look at and very tasty. Aravind had asked for a cake for our wedding anniversary. It was very good. We returned home before it was dark.
Krishna Ashtami is being celebrated in Udupi from yesterday evening to late in the evening today. Kuvara went to Krishna temple today morning. There were hundreds of devotees from near and far. Various cultural programmes take place. Favourite is the ‘huli vesha’ dance (tiger dance) . Many teams come from different places. Many people dress in different costumes and go to different houses. People usually give some money. Most of them use the money they collect for some good use. Yesterday morning two boys , studying in class 7 had come. One was dressed as Lord Krishna and the other as a Rakshasa. We liked their enthusiasm.

20180902_083524Yesterday one of our neighbours’ celebrated the 75th birthday of their mother. They had invited many of the their relatives and friends for lunch. Their house is near our house. In the evening we all went to Endpoint for a walk. Kuvara and Aravinda went ahead. Amma was able to walk almost to the end. There are seats there. She was very happy that she could walk till there. From End point road we can see Swarna river flowing towards Arabian sea. On weekdays Aravinda has his German classes from 6 to 8.30. At 4.30 he and I go for a walk near our home for 25 minutes.

For the past one week we are getting rains just once or twice in a day. This time we have had very good rains and they have also caused so much misery to countless people. For so many, life must seem so hopeless. Doddamma, some time ago a car accident took place in Neerchal, in our village where my father-in-law has lived for 93 years. My doddamma is my father-in-law’s cousin, she was born and brought up not far from Neerchal. The road is straight there but it happened at night, maybe the driver lost control, he died on spot. Once one person in his bike hit a pedestrian. I really don’t understand how people can lose control in such places. Maybe the straight road and no traffic makes them eager to go at full speed. It is very sad.
Today evening we went to the training college grounds. There are many wild flowers growing there. We met a lady who had collected a lot of them. It is now Shravana masa. She told us that they make small bouquets with flowers and a special grass called ‘garike hullu’ in Kannada, my language. These small bouquets are called ‘choodi’. They are used in prayers offered to the Sun God and the holy Basil plant every Friday and Sunday this month. This is called ‘choodi puja’ and is mainly observed by the Konkani speaking people. There are so many festivals in our country, it is very fascinating.
With lots of love,

Durga – Wikipedia


Krishna Temple Udupi
Sri Krishna Mutt. Udupi 60 Kms north of Mangalore is the seat of Lord Krishna, considered to be one of the holiest places for pilgrimage in southern India.

Choodi Pooja – Importance of Choodi Pooja in Shravan Month in Karnataka …

( I have been writing mails to my father’s elder brother’s wife since last October. Doddamma literally means elder mother. She is 87. She is not able to hear properly on the telephone, my cousin or his wife read my mails to her or they take a printout. She enjoys my slice of life 🙂 ).

Letter from Home- 22 (Slice of Life)