Letter from Home-35 (Slice of Life)

Dear Doddamma
We had been to Maikuri yesterday. We usually go on Sundays but on Sunday we had to attend the naming ceremony of a cousin’s son. Their baby was born many years after their wedding. My father-in-law (mava) is fine. He keeps himself busy in his own way. Yesterday he was remembering those days in the forties when there had been an outbreak of smallpox. Many had died.


We returned in the evening. Aravind did not come, being a Monday.
Gayatri, Vinay and children are enjoying themselves. They will come here on the 14th. Our grandson, Advaith, had asked me whether I would stitch for him a shirt without buttons. I have stitched two 😊. I had taken his measurements. I did not stitch and frocks for Kavya as it is winter now in Germany and she will not be able to wear them till spring starts.

Every evening we are going for our walks, wither to Endpoint or to the Syndicate bank training college grounds. There are many mango trees adjacent to the walking track. They are in full bloom and some have fruits too. We have a mango tree which is yet to give any fruits. It maybe because there is a lot of shade in our backyard due to the coconut trees.

We are now getting very good oranges in the market. I made jaggery syrup with orange peel. I added the finely cut orange peel, red chilli powder, dried kokum skin and salt and boiled the jaggery in water to one thread consistency. We all liked it. I also made chutney powder by adding orange peel. It is very tasty if we like the flavour of orange peel.

Amma wanted to donate two lakhs to the poor patient fund in our cancer hospital. My husband went to ask the details. She has given a cheque, the hospital administration will add the equal amount and it will be added to the poor patient fund.

About two months ago we had got the coconuts plucked. We sold most of it after keeping aside some for our use. But we forgot we would be needing more than usual in these two months. On the 29th evening, Nagesh, who plucks coconuts, fortunately came. He plucked from four trees. Plucking coconuts is very specialised, not everyone can climb the trees. Nagesh works in the engineering college and plucks coconuts for extra income.

On the 30th evening we had our book club meeting. Only five of us could attend. It is always fun to talk about books. I was not able to read any book in November. We were fully occupied with our grandchildren. There was no time to even read newspapers 😊. We will meet in January as everyone is busy this month.

On Sunday evening we went to the book exhibition in our local library. Amma purchased one and we got three books, one is for Advaith. It is by Ruskin Bond. Amma loves to read. Before marriage she used to read Kannada books. Appa was posted mainly in North India. He told her if she wanted to continue reading she would have to learn to read English. Her friend in the railway colony told her to read books by Barbara Cartland. She started and went on to read more and more books. She used to read Telugu and Hindi books too. She prefers to read in English. All of us have always enjoyed reading. Books take us to a different world.


(she could never read more than a few pages with the children around 🙂 )
Hope you have received my earlier letter doddamma. We are all fine here. It is now 12.45 and Aravinda will come home soon for lunch. My elder brother is coming on the 7th morning and amma will return with him to Hyderabad. She has to have a check-up a month after her radiation. She had great fun with her great-grandchildren. They too had fun with her.
With lots of love,

[‘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. One 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-35 (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. Due to the pandemic I could not go to the Home for the mentally challenged for two years. I had been going there since 2011. I have started going again. I was happy that some members remembered me :) All of them are an important part of my life. There have been many challenges in life and we have faced them with a positive approach. Our grandson and granddaughter have made our lives richer.


    1. We use it to make rasam and squash. The skin is dried in sun and the fruit cannot be eaten because the seeds are very big. It is mostly the skin which is used. It is slightly sour in taste, we use it instead of tamarind. We have a plant in our garden.
      Garcinia indica – Wikipedia

      Garcinia indica, a plant in the mangosteen family (Clusiaceae), commonly known as kokum, is a fruit-bearing tree that has culinary, pharmaceutical, and industrial uses. The genus Garcinia , belonging to the family Clusiaceae, includes about 200 species found in the Old World tropics, mostly in Asia and Africa.


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