#SoCS June 29/19

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “for/fore/four.” Use one, use ’em all, use ’em any way you want. Enjoy!

Weather changes, climate changes and all sorts of changes are happening in this world. Many are for the better and so many more for the worse. I live near the west coast of south India. The south-west monsoon usually begins in the first week of June and continues till the end of September but we continue to get occasional rains till end of November. Last year the rains started on time and continued raining till September and stopped completely. The result of that was water scarcity this year.

This year the rains did not begin in the first week. We were waiting for the rains and they did not come and when they did come it was as if they had come reluctantly. June is almost over and we are still waiting for the rains. Of the four months of our monsoon season the first is almost over. We should be feeling the rain  instead of seeing the sun. I wonder what will happen next year. The sun is in the forefront instead of the rains. We keep telling each other the rains will come. But at the same time there is this uneasy and anxious feeling because nothing is in our hands. We have to wait and pray that our waiting will not be in vain.

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Everyday Moments (#SOL- 2019)

 

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I believe that the moments in each day make our life what it is. Of course, the unexpected always happens and whatever preparations we make, Life surprises us. Many a time, we think that nothing happens in our life, but things do happen. I started writing to my Doddamma, my father’s elder brother’s wife in October 2017. She is 88 and is not able to hear properly. I post my letter to her every Tuesday. Both of us enjoy the letters. These letters have made it possible for me to appreciate the ordinary moments of life. I don’t write about  what is happening in our country and outside. She reads the  newspaper. 😊. I edit the letters and post them as Slice of Life every Tuesday.

23-06-19
Today is my mother’s birthday. She is 78. Today morning we talked to my Doddamma. She blessed my mother. I made ‘green gram dal payasa’. We like it very much. In the evening we went to the temple.

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On the 15th Asare, home for the mentally challenged celebrated its 10th year. Ten special schools took part. My mother and I attended the afternoon session of the day. I have been going there since 2011.

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This year the summer has been really hot and we are really glad the rains have started. But we are not getting enough rain. These days it is raining more at night than during day time. All are praying that there will more than enough rains this year. Water scarcity has worried everyone.

That evening my friend and neighbour came home to spend time together. We are neighbours but don’t have time to sit and talk. We spent two hours together. It was nice catching up

We went to EndPoint for our evening walk. On the way, work is going on for water to store during the rains. Ours is a hilly area and we have to see that water is retained in some way.

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The lake in our place is man-made and it has helped thousands of people. There are two small islands in the middle with trees. Bird nest there. They are safe there. The water level is increasing slowly. By September it will be full. This has helped in retaining the ground water level.

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I had written in my earlier SOL about my father’s maternal uncle.

https://mukhamani.wordpress.com/2019/06/18/everyday-moments-sol-2019-14/#comment-3654

He had helped to find a bride for his sister’s son in 1950. We came to know that copies of certain letters exchanged between him and the girl’s father who was one on the great Kannada writers was with a person who lived not far from our house. Unfortunately, the originals were lost. We got the letters on the 19th morning. There is something so fascinating reading letters from those days.

One morning I made mixed fruit jam using ripe jackfruit, mangoes and cocum. Last month I had made squash from cocum peel. After straining the juice, I had kept the peels. I added that to the jam. It gave a nice colour. My store of chutney powder was finishing so I made groundnuts (peanuts), copra and redchilli chutney powder.

On the 19th night our son went to Bangalore to the National Association for the Blind. He had fixed an appointment to learn mobility learning. He had been thinking about it for quite some time but was busy. He will return on the 28th morning. He is enjoying himself learning to be more independent. He is staying with his cousin and family and goes by bus from there. He has to change bus once and he says there is always someone to help him get into the correct bus or to change buses and cross the roads. The training is from ten to five.

On the 21st my sister-in-law and her mother came to stay with us for a day. My sister-in-law’s mother wanted to see my mother. We had a wonderful time talking till late in the night. They left on the 22nd after lunch.
Life goes on, there is so much happening everyday. Birthdays are important because it means that we are together.

Everyday Moments

“God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.” — Voltaire

Hesaru Bele Payasa Recipe – Udupi Recipes

Moong Dal Payasam | Hesaru Bele Payasa Recipe

Garcinia indica – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garcinia_indica
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.

Copra – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copra

peanut chutney powder recipe | shenga chutney pudi | groundnut …
https://hebbarskitchen.com/peanut-chutney-powder-recipe

NAB-K
https://www.nabkarnataka.org

Weekend Writing Prompt #111 – Translation

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The challenge is simple: each week you will be given an exact number of words you can use to write a poem or piece of prose. You can use any format or style you like; go wherever your inspiration takes you. The only rules are these:
your poem / prose must contain this week’s word. The word does not have to count towards the exact word count total – it can be in the title, or the first letters of the lines of a poem can spell it out – you can be as creative as you want as long as it’s there somewhere.
the length of your poem / prose must match the number of words stated in this week’s challenge. No more. No less.
Can’t wait to read what you have come up with!

There are so many languages in our country. In each language there are writers who write such wonderful books. They tell the readers so much about the customs, traditions and lives of the people of their places. These days more and more books are being translated to different languages. It is not possible for book lovers to read the original writings. The translation brings those worlds into our world. Comics like Phantom and Mandrake were an important part of childhood. I don’t know if they are in print now. Even now I read Tintin and Asterix in the library. They are great fun. I remember being so surprised when I first learnt they were translations.

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#SoCS June 22/19

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “leaves.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Have fun!

Leaves are so fascinating. They come in different sizes and shapes and shades. And they are the life lines of the plant world. Each one is beautiful in its own way. Rains have started in our place and the leaves are looking so green and fresh. Our summer was very hot and dry. The leaves were looking so sad. On top of it, mud was being transported from the land behind our house. The dust settled on the leaves and it looked as if they could not breathe. We used to water the plants but it was not enough to clean them. But the rains have changed everything. I have noticed there are many yellow flowers and they look more beautiful against the background of green leaves. I love to watch the sun-birds flying from one flower to the next.

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Leaves remind me of those dry leaves which the bulbuls collect to build their nest. They have tried to build them between the tubelight bulb and the holder. I really could not understand why they thought they could build a nest there. The leaves kept falling down but they persisted for so many days. I was worried whether there would be time for them to build their nest. I wonder what happened. A few years earlier another Bulbul couple had built their nest between the fronds of the dwarf variety of the areca nut tree in our garden. The eggs were laid and the pheasant crow came upon them. One morning I heard the bulbuls crying out and I looked out to see them trying to scare away the bigger bird but in vain. Since then nests have not been built there.

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When our granddaughter was a few months old she used to love watching the fluttering of leaves. They held her eyes and made her smile. I remembered her when I watched the leaves of the peepal tree fluttering gently with the breeze. This tree is in the front yard of the temple in our place. The fluttering leaves fills the heart with a sense of peace.

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“One of the great lessons the fall of the leaf teaches, is this: do your work well and then be ready to depart when God shall call.” — Tryon Edwards.

Bulbul – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulbul

Ficus religiosa – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficus_religiosa

Areca nut – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Areca_nut

Crow Pheasant – india-birds.com
http://www.india-birds.com/crow_pheasant.aspx

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Trees

“Trees are poems that the earth writes upon the sky.”
― Khalil Gibran, Sand and Foam

 

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This ‘sampige ‘ tree is in the front yard of my father’s maternal uncle’s home in Madikeri.  It was planted some time in the 1940s by his son who passed away when he was only 17 due to meningitis. The flowers are very fragrant and cream in colour. 

Magnolia champaca – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnolia_champaca

Magnolia champaca, known in English as champak, is a large evergreen tree in the Magnoliaceae family. It was previously classified as Michelia champaca . [5] [6] It is known for its fragrant flowers, and its timber used in woodworking.
Family: Magnoliaceae
Kingdom: Plantae
Genus: Magnolia
Species: M. champaca

Everyday Moments (# SOL-2019)

 

slice-of-life_individual
I believe that the moments in each day make our life what it is. Of course, the unexpected always happens and whatever preparations we make, Life surprises us. Many a time, we think that nothing happens in our life, but things do happen. I started writing to my Doddamma, my father’s elder brother’s wife in October 2017. She is 88 and is not able to hear properly. I post my letter to her every Tuesday. Both of us enjoy the letters. These letters have made it possible for me to appreciate the ordinary moments of life. I edit the letters and post them as Slice of Life every Tuesday.

13-06-19

https://mukhamani.wordpress.com/2019/06/08/socs-june-8-19

In the last Stream of Consciousness prompt I had mentioned my father’s maternal uncle (CSN). He lived in a small hill station in the Western Ghats. His family live in that old and beautiful house which is about 150 years old. This house was purchased from a Rajput family in 1931. My father’s mother had three sisters and one brother. My grandmother, one sister and brother were affected by Retinitis Pigmentosa and became blind by the time they were twenty five.

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CSN was one of the leading lawyers in that town. He was respected and loved by all who came in contact with him. Our son Aravinda has Retinitis Pigmentosa. He completed his PhD in English Literature in 2016. He studied the works of Jorge Luis Borges, Stephen Kuusisto and John Hull for his PhD thesis. All the three were blind. I had always told him about CSN. Aravinda wanted to know more about him. We went to Madikeri two years ago. CSN’s elder son-in-law, R, (the elder daughter passed away a few years ago) and younger daughter, G, (who is of my age and a close friend) told us all about CSN. For two years our son was busy. A few months ago he talked to his teacher who had taught him a course about Disability Studies. She suggested that he should interview people who had known CSN. We were not sure if there would be anyone as my father’s maternal uncle passed away in 1980 at the age of 71. But uncle R told us there were three people who would give us some information. Two of them were Kodavas (people belonging to Kodagu or Coorg) He talked to them and took appointments.
We reached Madikeri on the 8th morning and were welcomed with love and affection. This home is one of my favourite places.18953481_10158763038220183_6799362266061589503_o

That evening we visited Mr Vasudeva who is 82. He was very happy to tell us all that he remembered about CSN. And he remembered a lot. On the 9th the rains started in Madikeri. On our way on the 8th the sky had been so blue and we did not see a single dark cloud. The next day the weather changed completely.

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That morning we went to Mr Ponnappa’s home. He is 93 and was a lawyer. He and his sister live in their home. Just before leaving I asked him whether I could meet his sister. She is 82 and so beautiful and graceful. When she was a child the doctor who operated her tonsils damaged her vocal box. She cannot speak. My last glimpse of them was waving us goodbye. I think that scene will remain in my mind for a long time.

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That evening we visited Mr M A Ponnappa who lives in his coffee estate called Lalithadri Estate about half an hour away from Madikeri. He is ninety seven and so alive. It was a pleasure meeting him. He lives in a very old and beautiful house. His son and family live in a house adjacent to his house. CSN had been his lawyer. When uncle R told him that we wanted to talk about CSN, he said with emotion that he was like God for him and there was no person like him. CSN had helped him a lot during his younger days and twice he became very emotional while telling us about those days. Mr Ponnappa follows cricket and tennis and loves to play bridge. He enjoys the company of his friends in his club. I wanted to his house and he showed us all the rooms with great pleasure. His prayer room was a serene and soothing place with the pictures of many Gods and also of Jesus Christ. A lamp was burning. Two ladies live there to help him. His grand daughter made coffee for us. We were there for an hour and it was memorable experience.

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On the 11th morning we started after breakfast.On the 11th morning we started after breakfast. Uncle R loves gardening and has a vegetable garden. He gave us a lot of vegetables. 😊

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We went to my parents’ house where they had lived for nearly thirty years. There are two acres of land with cashew nut trees, coconut trees and many other trees too. The place is being well looked after by tenants who live in a small house near my parents’ home.

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We reached home at 2.30. It was the day we were to get corporation water. We had a wonderful time going back to the past.
Everyday Moments
“Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forward.” ~Søren Kierkegaard

“There is a certain part of all of us that lives outside of time. Perhaps we become aware of our age only at exceptional moments and most of the time we are ageless.”
― Milan Kundera

Kodava people – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodava_people

Kodagu district – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kodagu_district

Western Ghats – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Ghats

The School ( Sunday Photo Fiction )

Asha looked at the school building with a feeling of satisfaction. It had been their home for more than twenty years. Her husband, Ajith, had retired fifteen years earlier. Years before his retirement both had decided that they would teach children of immigrant labourers who lived not far from their home. Those children had to look after themselves when their parents were at work. The couple started with five children. Over the years the number had grown to more than two hundred. Volunteers and retired teachers joined them. The children were doing well. Many completed their studies and had good jobs. They returned often to express their love and gratitude to their teachers.

Ajith passed away a few months ago due to a heart attack. Some relatives had an eye on this building as it was in a prime locality. They wanted Asha to sell them the property but she resisted. They called her a thorn in their flesh and vowed to remove her forever. With the help of friends Asha turned their unofficial school into a legal institution of learning. The school and the building were safe from greedy hands. The thorn would never be removed.
(197 words)

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(Photo credit : Lakshmi Bhat )

#SoCS June 15/19

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “social.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

The word social brought to mind some relatives and friends. Some are very social and others not so social. It depends on our inherent nature. We tread the middle path 😊. A young relative of mine has minimal contact with his relatives. By minimal I mean bare minimal. He was a baby when I stayed with his parents while going to college. So, I have a soft corner for him. I write an e mail with photos to him three or four times a year. I don’t expect him to respond and if he does, I feel happy.

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My father’s father loved to be in contact with his relatives and friends. He was the Headmaster in the Municipal Highschool in a town far from his home town. Every vacation he used to come to his home town and visit all his relatives. Some were just flying visits 😊. He loved writing post cards and kept in touch with everyone.

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Another very social person is my father-in-law. He is now 94. Till about four years ago he used to visit his relatives. He also used to love writing letters to his near and dear ones. They treasured his letters, they got so much news about what was happening in their village and to other relatives. My father-in-law has been an agriculturist all his life. He used to make time and visit his relatives and many were flying visits. He is loved and respected by everyone.

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Last week we had been to Madikeri to my father’s maternal uncle’s home. His family live there. They are a very social family. In fact theirs is an open house. Everyone is welcomed and that home and its members radiate affection.
There are all sorts of people. And we have just accept them as they are.

#SoCS June 8/19

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “open book, point, write.” Pick up the closest book to you when you sit down to write your post. Close your eyes, open the book, and place your finger on the page. Whatever word or phrase your finger lands on, write about it. Enjoy!

Yesterday I was reading My Dear Aunt Flora by Elizabeth Cadell. I closed my eyes and placed my finger on the page. I was surprised to find that I had placed my finger on the word visits because we are visiting our relatives tomorrow.

We are going to a small hill station called Madikeri in the Western Ghats. It will take us about four and half hours to reach the place. My father’s maternal uncle’s family live there in a very old and beautiful house. My father was born in a house adjacent to this house in 1931. His mother’s parents lived there. My grandmother passed away when my father was only twelve. But my grandfather did not lose contact with her parents and other relatives. My father, his elder brother and two elder sisters visited their grandparents’ home during vacations.

We too used to visit during summer vacations. We lived in different parts of the country as my father was working in Indian Railways. But every summer vacation of two months was spent with our maternal grandparents. We used to visit many of our relatives and a visit to Madikeri was a must. My father’s maternal uncle had two children, a son and a daughter. Unfortunately, his son passed away when he was not even twenty. Then a daughter was born. She is my father’s cousin but just one year older to me. We have always been good friends, during childhood and even now. We went to Madikeri two years ago. WhatsApp has helped us to keep in touch and even before that, though we could not meet very often the connection has remained. It happens like that with some people. Something holds us together.

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