Share a Slice #SOL 2020

slice-of-life_individual

Everyday Moments
21-01-2020
My weekly Slice of Life are my letters to my Doddamma. She is my father’s elder brother’s wife. Doddamma literally means ‘elder mother’. She is 88 years old. She cannot hear properly if I telephone to talk to her. So, I have been writing letters to her since October 2017. I enjoy writing letters and she is happy to read them. They are only about the everyday moments in my life. I post my letters to her every week.
My letters to my doddamma are about our trip to Amritsar and Dharamsala between 1st and 9th of this month. So I am sharing the same in my Slice of Life post.

Amritsar – 3-01-2020
The weather was so cold and it was a pleasure to sleep under warm woolen blankets. This morning we got up at 8.15 😊. I don’t remember when last I woke up so late. Vacations are meant for relaxing. This is one of the reasons we do not like going on organized tours. On our own, we can spend the day as we want to.
Amritsar is famous for its food. Before leaving home, we had read articles about what we should eat and drink, and where while in Amritsar. Wherever we go, we enjoy the local food.

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We set out from our hotel in search of a very famous ‘dhaba’ called Kulwant Bhai Kulchewala. The dhaba was not very far from our hotel. We walked through narrow streets to reach it. It was a small place, crowded and people were enjoying the food. My husband and I had Aloo (potato) kulcha and Aravind had Paneer kulcha. Chole, onion-tamarind chutney and gooseberry pickle were served as side dishes. We also drank the famous lassi of Amritsar. It was very tasty.

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Feeling full and satisfied we set out towards the main square. It was a cobbled square teeming with people. The aroma of delicious snacks being fried came from all sides, mainly pakodas. We sat on one of the wooden chairs, just looking at people. A small boy came selling ball pens. He kept insisting that we should purchase from him. We bought two. They were good. There were shops on either side. Some were selling clothes, mainly salwar suits with Phulkari work. Others were selling shoes called Punjabi Juttis. Woolen clothes and pagdis (turban) were on sale. Wagah border between India and Pakistan is a popular tourist attraction. Taxi drivers were calling out to people to hire them. But we did not want to go to the Border. We never even considered going there. We entered a Tibetan handicraft shop. Aravind purchased a Singing Bowl and a Pashmina shawl for his sister.

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( To the right of this gate is the Partition museum)

From there we walked on to the Partition Museum. It was opened in 2016. Every step inside the building was an emotional experience. People from South India can never truly understand the horrors of the partition of our country. We came to know about the life of those people affected by the partition stretching from the early 1900s till after the division of the country in 1947. The seeds of the partition lie in 1905 and 1906, when initially Bengal was partitioned on religious lines, and later there was a rift between the Indian National Congress and its Muslim members. I am really grateful to all those people who got together and carried out the research to make the museum a reality. It would be wrong to forget some events in life. We spent several hours there.

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The historical Jallianwala bagh was at one end of the square. That was the place were innocent people were massacred one hundred years ago. We grew up reading about it.

It was time for lunch and we set out in search of another eatery called Kesar da Dhaba. We asked one person the direction and he told us about another restaurant nearby. He said it was a much better one. We went there but no one seemed interested enough to ask what we wanted. We walked out. We decided to search for Kesar da Dhaba. We walked along narrow roads and people told us to go straight and then left and then right and so on 😊. It was a veritable warren of lanes. There were small eateries selling pakodas and carrot halva and so many other things. The lanes were very narrow and on top of that two wheelers were parked on one side. Shops on either side were selling many glittering things, I think mainly for tourists 😊. Cycle rickshaws and motor bikes were being driven here. We had to be very careful while walking. At last we reached the place. It was very crowded. We had to wait for ten minutes for a table. The waiter told us that my husband and I could share a plate. It was good of him to tell us that otherwise it would have been a little too much for us. There was two chapatis, dal, rice, boondi raita and pickles. We drank lassi. Aravind had aloo paratha, lachcha paratha and kadi. The food was tasty but too greasy for comfort😊. But it felt good in the cold weather. At home we use very little oil and in Punjab we felt too much of it was used in their cooking. But it is good to taste the local food.

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We walked back to the hotel and rested for a while. At 6.30 we went to GT. We walked around then sat on one side, just soaking in the atmosphere of the place. We took Kada Prasad again 😊. This time we did not go into the shrine. There are hundreds of people going in at all times. We went to the Langar hall for food. Today we were served roti, black dal, rajma and rice kheer. We walked back slowly to the hotel. A wonderful day.

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https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g303884-d7221908-Reviews-Bhai_Kulwant_Singh_Kulchian_Wale-Amritsar_Amritsar_District_Punjab.html

https://hebbarskitchen.com/amritsari-kulcha-recipe-aloo-kulcha/
https://hebbarskitchen.com/chana-masala-recipe-chole-masala/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhaba
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paneer

Amritsar Food


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jallianwala_Bagh_massacre

The World’s First Partition Museum


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kesar_Da_Dhaba
https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/lachedar-paratha-recipe-lachedar-paratha/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phulkari
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jutti

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.

12 comments

  1. Writing letters on your blog to your grandmother reminds me that letters to individuals served a public function in that they were meant to be shared w/ family and friends and neighbors. I remember my grandparents leaving letters from relatives on a desk for all visitors to find and read. I have some of those letters from an uncle who served in Vietnam during the war. So I love this glimpse into your vacation and into your dialogue w/ your grandmother.

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    1. Thank you Glenda. Actually she is my father’s elder brother’s wife. She is my favourite relative. She feels happy reading my letters. My mother writes to her too. It is a small thing to do for a person I love.

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  2. One of the most of vacation is setting your own schedule. Another is enjoying the local cuisine. Sounds like you did both and thoroughly enjoyed your vacation. Thank you for sharing.

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