Letter from Home-29 (Slice of Life)

Dear Doddamma,
On the 19th was Aravinda’s birthday. We seek your blessings on the occasion. I made gulab jamuns. The same morning, my father-in-law and Keshava (brother-in-law) came from Maikuri (where my father-in-law lives in the village) with Kuvara. They came is a taxi. On the 16th morning Keshava phoned to say mava was not feeling too good. He was alone as the couple who live there had gone elsewhere. Kuvara went there to help. Then we decided it was better if my father-in-law (mava) came here, we could look after him better. My daughter, Gayatri and grandchildren are coming on November 8th. We will try to make him stay and enjoy the company of his great grandchildren. He has lived in his home in the village for almost ninety years and it is natural that he misses being away from there.


Doddamma, we have many curry plants in our garden, we did not plant all of them. But they are there and we do not feel like removing them. I use them in my daily cooking and also make chutney powder using them. I also take a lot of leaves and boil them in coconut oil, strain and use it for my hair. It feels good. I remember the nice plant you had in the pot in your verandah.


We now get many millets and barley in our Co-operative society grocery shop. I use them regularly. I make a sweet porridge from the millets using coconut milk and jaggery.

During Navaratri festival, Aravinda and I went to the Shree Mahishamardini temple not far from home. All of us like going to this temple. It is small, quiet and peaceful. Kuvara was in Maikuri, with his father and brother. We went on 18th, it was the day of Mahanavami. There were many devotees. Many ladies were singing bhajans. We were there for more than half an hour listening to the song. It was very soothing and it seemed to be a story. I must ask someone about it.


On the 19th, my friend had invited us to her home, she keeps ‘Golu dolls’ every year. She arranges them on seven steps and all the dolls are beautiful. I remembered my father’s elder sister who used to keep dolls for Navaratri. Her granddaughter is following that tradition. Aravind had German class my father-in-law was tired so Kuvara stayed with him at home.


Doddamma, I stitch my clothes and I had a lot of extra left-over material. I had cut them into square shapes. When amma was here she joined them using back stitch. Last week I stitched two blankets, one for Advaith and one for Kavya (our grandchildren). They look very bright and colourful. I have seen patchwork quilts with nice designs. Maybe next time I will try to make a nice design.

Did you have rains in Bombay? Here last week we had heavy rains with thunder and lightning. My friend was saying that rains should not come now because paddy in the fields would have been harvested and spread in the fields to dry. They will become wet and may even sprout. Then it will be difficult to store and the farmers would not get a good price when they have to sell the rice. We do not have control over Nature.

Today afternoon I went to Asare, home for the mentally challenged. I go there thrice a week. In the evening we left Aravinda at his college and went to Venugopala temple. Kuvara and mava sat on one of the stone benches just within the temple premises. I went for a walk in the park. Kuvara goes for a walk early in the morning. We returned home by 6.45.
I posted my letter to you on the 17th. Hope you have received it.
With love,

Mangalore style southe sambar recipe | Mangalore cucumber …
Mangalore style southe sambar or cucumber sambar recipe using sambar-cucumber. Mangalore southe sambar is prepared using fresh ground masala. Mangalore southe or cucumber sambar is in practice across mangalore, udupi and malnad region of Karnataka.

Navaratri – Wikipedia

Curry tree – Wikipedia
[‘Slice of Life’ has reaffirmed my belief that everyday moments are precious moments. They make us what we are. I have been posting my letters to my father’s elder brother’s wife, I call her Doddamma. It literally means elder mother. I mailed my letters to my cousin’s wife. She used to read it to her. The other day she told me that doddamma enjoyed hand-written letters. She reads and re-reads them. So, I have once again started writing letters on paper and posting them to her. I edit and share what I have written to her in ‘Slice of life’. I like reading the different slices of life. We live in different places of the world but there is a sameness in our everyday lives. It is fascinating and that sameness connects us.’]

Letter from Home-29 (Slice of Life)




By Lakshmi Bhat

I am a person who believes there is not enough darkness in the world to extinguish the light of a small candle. We live in a small place in South India. I love reading, blogging, stitching, traveling, photography, listening to people and many other things which make life so very nice and interesting. Blogging is a fun experience, it has brought me into contact with people in different parts of the world and it is good to read about their everyday life. In spite of the differences there is a sameness which is fascinating. I have learnt and am learning something everyday. I have learnt to write haikus. I enjoy combining the thought and the number of syllables. I have always read books and I was happy to write short fiction. I had thought I would not be able to do so. Stream of Consciousness and photo challenges are fun too. Yes, there is so much in life that is sad and that hurts us. Many a time I wonder why life is so unfair to so many. We all have problems in life but the problems of many seems unbearable. This makes me feel so helpless. It is not possible to help everyone but we can do our bit, we can do something to help some in whatever way we can. I used to go to the Home for the Mentally challenged in our campus twice a week. I have been going there since 2011. The members are an important part of my life. Covid-19 has made it difficult for me to go there regularly. Hopefully I will be able to go there again. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made life so much more richer.


  1. This letter was specially interesting. I was jealous to hear that you don’t know what to do with your curry leaves. In the UK, one used to get a nice bunch of curry leaves for 50 pence or half pound, and I used to keep it in the freezer in small lots and use then over a month. I specially like them in my fish curries. Sadly about 2 years ago they discovered a fungus on the leaves coming from India, and now import the product from elsewhere. It now costs £2.00 for a small bunch of maybe 20-30 grams.
    I loved the photo of the display of dolls. it was so colourful. Best regards

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It is hard to leave a place where you have lived much of your life no matter what your age. How bright and colorful the blankets look. I am sure your grandchildren will treasure them.

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  3. “We do not have control over Nature.” It’s a pity that so many big companies haven’t realised that! I love those dolls! I thought my daughter had a lot, but that is fantastic!

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    1. Navaratri is a very important festival in India. People of different communities follow this tradition of keeping dolls. They keep them for ten days and perform certain rituals. My friend has some dolls which are more than 80 years old.


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