Categories
reflections

#SoCS May 30/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “spay/splay/spray.” Use one, use two, use ’em all, it’s up to you. Have fun!

A few days ago, my neighbour showed me her rose bushes, insects were eating the buds. She said they would have to spray some insecticide on them to keep the plants from dying. There are a variety of roses which we call country roses, they are very resilient and do not need to be sprayed with insecticides.

This reminds of our visit to my father’s maternal uncle’s home last year. They live in a hill station about six hours from our place. His son-in-law is an avid gardener. He grows a variety of vegetables. The pleasant weather helps. He does not use any pesticide but he says when he sees some pests bringing all his hard work to nothing, he feels like spraying some pesticide on them, but he does not. He said it is not surprising farmers spray pesticides on their fields, their survival depends on the survival of the plants.

I don’t think any of us will forget 2020. What a year it has been! Someone said regarding the virus BC and AC. I wondered what that was and she said Before Corona and After Corona ! And as if the virus was not enough we are reading about swarms of locusts flying across the northern parts of our country destroying all vegetation on the way. They have reached the south too. They have been sprayed on by pesticides and people are keeping vigil to deal with them. But they are following the wind favouring their flight.

Oh God ! What a year this has been. Wonder what will happen in the near future? Only time will tell. When I think about time, these words by Claudio Magris in Danube come to mind,

‘Events which occurred many years ago or decades ago we feel to be contemporary, while facts and feelings a month old seem infinitely distant and erased forever.’

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/locust-attack-tracker-india-rajasthan-punjab-uttar-pradesh-maharashtra-haryana-6431893/

Categories
reflections

Everyday Moments- ( #SOL- 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 89 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. Since the last week of March I am sending my letters by e mail to my cousin’s wife. She is reading them to my Doddamma.

25-05-2020

Today we read in the papers that our country is in the top ten infected countries. Everywhere cases are increasing, I wonder where it will end. I was reading in the papers about tests being done on mice, then on monkeys before being tested on humans. I wonder who gave us the right to experiment on other animals?

We are reading about swarms of locusts moving across many states in the northern part of our country. They are destroying all crops and other vegetation on the way. Then there was the devastation caused by the super cyclone to the eastern part of our country. It was heart breaking to read about the problems faced by the differently abled during the lockdown. I don’t think anyone will forget 2020. But acts of kindness and wisdom give us hope. It was nice to read about villagers cleaning a river and others digging wells and desilting ponds for rain water harvesting.

A pond in our village is being desilted and improved to be used for rain water harvesting.

When I read about the troubles everywhere, our everyday life seems so trouble free. So many questions keep coming to mind and there are no answers to them. There is a mango tree very near our roof and there are a lot of dry leaves there. My husband cleaned the roof because once the rains start the water will not flow down easily.  We had thought there were only two jackfruits in our tree but we saw four more. They are high up so we will have to be careful while plucking when the time comes to pluck them. Yesterday my husband plucked the banana cluster from the banana plant. We use the stem of the plant too in some dishes.

My father-in-law passed away on March 24th. Every month we have to offer prayers on a date told by our family priest till the first anniversary of his passing away. On the 22nd we offered prayers, we invited one close friend for lunch. It is a tradition to offer food to a guest on such occasions. I wore a sari after two months 😊. This was gifted by my younger brother and sister-in-law in December. It is a cotton sari, beautiful and comfortable.

Today morning I stitched a cover for my son’s chair using the patchwork pieces my mother had joined. It looks bright and nice. Outside too the world is hot and bright. We are waiting for the monsoon season which will hopefully begin in the next two weeks.

I was talking to my cousin yesterday evening. She lives near New Jersey. Life is the same everywhere. Things that happened last year seem to have happened aeons ago. Life is so different now. Nature has put a very big brake on human activities.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
― 
Albert Einstein

https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/general-news/locusts-attack-farmlands-in-ups-jhansi-after-rajasthan-and-mp.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/panorama/invisible-minority-in-tatters-839623.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/mangaluru/shishila-villagers-clean-river-clear-driftwood-839055.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/mangaluru/youths-in-banthadka-dig-well-solve-water-crisis-840045.html

Categories
reflections

#SoCS May 23/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ch.” Find a word that starts with “ch” and use it as your prompt word. Bonus points if you start your post with that word. Enjoy!

Chirping to their heart’s content, the little sunbirds flew from flower to flower. It was a pleasure to look at them. If the flower was facing downward they would cling to the stem and face downward putting in their beaks into the flower for a second and pull out again. The next second they move on to another flower. I think the two sunbirds are couple. One is lighter in colour and the other has rich black colour and peacock blue on the neck. They look so innocent as they fly among the bright flowers.

As I look at them and at their innocence the thought about child abuse comes to mind. A few days ago, I read about Phillipines being the hotspot of child abuse. It is happening everywhere. All those children locked in with their abusers! Just thinking about their lives makes me question the wisdom of God. People talk about innocent childhood. But is there any childhood for those children?  I cannot even imagine about those people who get pleasure in robbing the innocence of children.

(photos from the internet)

Categories
reflections

A Photo a Week Challenge: Coronavirus Changes

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO OF A CHANGE YOU’VE EXPERIENCED DURING THE CRISIS.

Lockdown started on March 24th. A week after that I took part in a Zoom seminar hosted by Mr L Subramani about story telling as a personal narrative. It was an interesting experience.

On 14th April we celebrated my cousin’s 70th birthday on Zoom. The party was organised by his daughter. All near relatives and friends joined from our country and different parts of the world. We all loved the experience.

Changes due to the Corona virus.

Categories
Life reflections

Everyday moments (#SOL- 2020)

slice-of-life_individual

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 89 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. Since last week I am sending my letters by e mail to my cousin’s wife. She is reading them to my Doddamma. We saw the postman only twice recently. Last time he told me only registered letters are being delivered. 

18-05-2020

We are in the 4th stage of the lockdown. The state government is going to decide the steps to be followed in the easing of the lockdown. Many people from abroad are returning. At the same time Covid cases are increasing. Yes, we will just have to learn to live with the virus. We have to take care, not only for ourselves but for others too.

Last week we have had heavy rains on three days, along thunder and lightning. The weather has cooled down a little. The leaves are looking greener now, with all the dust washed away. They must be breathing more easily now😊. These rans are due to depressions in the Bay of Bengal. A cyclone is expected in the East coast of our country. A relative in Kolkota was saying, ‘the corona was not enough !! now a cyclone.’

20200518_094316

My husband and his brother have to be within our compound walls till this Friday. My husband is plucking the star apples and cutting and keeping them in the refrigerator. It feels wonderful to eat them after returning from a walk. They are very juicy. Our neighbour gave us a pineapple from their garden. It is looking good.

I have re-started the cross-stitch design which I had started quite some time ago. I am making it as a cover for the TV. While stitching I listen to the stories of Sherlock Holmes on Audibles. They are as fascinating now as they were years ago. I remember my maternal grandfather reading these stories. I have his books with me. He said to my father that he wanted to read some English books. My father suggested these books. I remember him reading with a dictionary and a notebook, writing all the words and their meanings 😊.

img-20200514-wa0000

On the 14th I made sesame ‘chikki’. It is a sweet made with black sesame and jaggery. It came out very well. We also made beaten rice mixture. It is a dry snack made with beaten rice, groundnuts and other ingredients. I have been noticing that many of us are preparing dishes and snacks at home due to the lockdown. I don’t know whether we will continue to do so in the future. I feel I will continue to prepare at home many of the things that I have prepared in the last two months. Even if I forget, I will remember these days. Aravinda has retinitis pigmentosa from birth. During the lockdown period he decided that he must learn basic cooking. He is enjoying the experience. From today he has started going to college. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages of our University.

20200517_095116

Aravinda and I had started reading Walking with Nanak by Haroon Khalid more than a month ago. We finished it two days ago. We have now started Danube by Claudio Magris. Some books have to be read aloud.

It is already mid-May. Looking back the last two months seem strangely unreal. Were we really inside all those days? How will we look back on these days after some time? I think it is better to take each day as it comes.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― 
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

https://weather.com/en-IN/india/news/news/2020-05-15-heavy-rainfall-over-coastal-karnataka-assam

https://www.tarladalal.com/Til-Chikki-2940r

https://hebbarskitchen.com/poha-chivda-recipe-poha-mixture/

Categories
Life reflections

#SoCS May 16/2020

socs-badge-2019-2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “want.” Make the word “want” the first, second, or third word of your post. Have fun!

‘I want memo ikeem’ were the first words uttered by our grandson as he came inside our home. He was just two then. Earlier I had told my daughter that I had prepared mango ice cream for him. At that time, they were living in Bangalore and had come during the mango season. I remember he had loved the mango ice cream.

These thoughts came to mind when our neighbour gave us some mangoes from their tree. They are not yet ripe. Earlier in the evening my son and I had gone for a walk. We have started going for walks, wearing masks. In the vegetable shop we saw different varieties of mangoes. We remembered our grandson asking for mango ice cream 😊. On our way we had seen dark clouds, we have been getting many pre-monsoon rains in April and in this month. We thought it would not rain, actually we did not want it to rain because we did not have an umbrella. But it did rain, with thunder, lightning and wind !! Fortunately, we were able to take shelter. After twenty minutes we literally ran to the vegetable shop. After purchasing vegetables and fruits we took an auto rickshaw back home.

And, lastly I do want the coronavirus to go away. Life has changed so much, along with the minus points there have been positive changes too. Hopefully, human beings will have to learn not to take their planet for granted. Anyway, what we want and do not want does not really count, Nature will have her way and we have to learn to adjust accordingly.

DSC05991

Categories
Life reflections

Everyday Moments ( #SOL-2020)

slice-of-life_individual

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 89 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. Since lockdown started I am sending my letters by e mail to my cousin’s wife. She is reading them to my Doddamma. 

11-05-2020

The lockdown is being eased. Inter-state travel is being allowed but people have to apply for travel pass. In today’s paper we read that trains will start too. At the same time we also read about a hike in Covid patients. For how long can we stay in lockdown? If work does not start there is going to economic depression. It will be a terrible situation for countless people. As it is life has been terrible for workers all over the world. They are being allowed to go back to their home towns. What will they do there? We are also reading about child abuse. It is sickening. Does childhood have any meaning for all those children.

Early during the lockdown we read in the paper about one Pradeep Satyamurthy  and his team of volunteers who are helping the migrant workers. They are also helping animals. We talked to him. We and my mother have been sending money to help them in their service. He has been sending daily updates. It really hurts to see the conditions in which people live. It is just survival from day to day. Yesterday he sent a message that he and his team will continue to help others. I think lockdown has made it possible for many people everywhere to come out of their comfort zones. It was good to read about two brothers and their team helping the different abled during the lockdown.

On the 9th, my husband returned from his village. My father-in-law passed away on march 24th at the age 95. Our village is our neighbouring state, Kerala. The borders had been closed. He had to take permission from the concerned authorities before coming. My brother-in-law too has come. He will stay with us for some time.

img-20200510-wa0002

On the 6th we got coconuts plucked from our trees. Nagesh has been coming for many years. This time the yield is not as much as it has always been. We have a breadfruit tree and many fruits were falling due to the heat. This happens every year. But there was a fully grown on for my husband to pluck.

20200509_173210

We make sambhar and other dishes too. I have been stitching some very colourful tablemats. My mother had enjoyed joining the pieces of cloth. She enjoys stitching. Many years ago my doddamma had given me some tablemats with crochet edgings. I managed to stitch the mats in such a way that the crochet edgings are seen. I was feeling very pleased with myself 😊.

20200511_125342

My husband and his brother have to be inside our compound for two weeks. Since yesterday Aravind and I have been going for a walk outside our compound, wearing masks. Today we walked to Manipal lake, fifteen minutes away. We were going there after two months ! I am enjoying Audibles. I am listening to Sherlock Holmes 😊 I have also downloaded stories by Rabindranath Tagore in Hindi.

Life goes on, with all the changes happening around us.

20200511_181213

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/top-karnataka-stories/these-hotels-show-service-to-poor-is-service-to-god-literally-835703.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/top-karnataka-stories/understanding-is-an-understatement-for-this-caring-group-834420.html

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

“… and when all the wars are over, a butterfly will still be beautiful”.

                                                            Ruskin Bond

Categories
Life reflections

#SoCS May 9/2020

socs-badge-2019-2020

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

 The word ‘cave’ reminds me of our trip to Badami cave temples many years ago. We had gone to the Hospet to be with my father’s elder sister’s family. Hospet too is an ancient city. It is famous for Hampi, the capital of the Vijayanagar rulers and the Tungabhadra dam. Badami is not very far from Hospet. The cave temples in Badami date back to the 6th century. The caves are on top of a hill and we have to climb up. How did people in those days make these temples? There is a board game which was played in most homes, we called it ‘chenne mane aata’. There was a board with shallow cups and red coloured seeds called chenne were used. I remembered this board game because I fascinated to see the cups of the board game on the floor at one side of the entrance to the cave. It took me back to those days when people must have come there to enjoy a game of ‘chenne mane aata’. I don’t know if such games are played these days. Board games are played, our grandson enjoys to play them with his parents.

Cave also brought to mind the caves of Moria. Lord of the rings is one of may favourite books. I have read it so many times but it has never bored me. The flight through the caves of Moria never fails to frighten and thrill in spite of knowing what will happen to Gandalf. So many books are like that. They remain a part of our lives for a long, long time.

The rules are being explained in Kannada.

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

1200px-Chennemane

( photo from the internet)

 

Categories
reflections

Everyday Moments ( #SOL- 2020)

slice-of-life_individual

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 89 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. Since last week I am sending my letters by e mail to my cousin’s wife. She is reading them to my Doddamma. We are at home and cannot go to the post office to post the letters.

5-05-2020

The lockdown which started on March 24th is being relaxed slowly. But the question in each person’s mind is will life be the same again ? It will not. Cities have attracted people from the villages in search of work and to what they hope will be a better life. They have lived there all their lives there but are now going back to their villages. How can they survive without wages in cities? Wonder what will happen to them?

How long will it take us to accept coronavirus as part of our lives? Can we live without fear of infection? The face mask, physical distancing and other things will always remind us of it’s presence. A Professor of Dentistry in the Dental College was worrying about the future. I think most people are worrying.

In the midst all these worries it was good to read about the Indian Railways distributing food free to the hungry at different stations. Samad and Yasir have been distributing water to beggars, mentally ill people on the streets and police men every morning. They wanted to help people. Many donors helped them in their good work. Instead of wasting time, three friends decided to clean the litter by the roadsides and also in the river. Unfortunately, so many people do not hesitate to throw their garbage by the roadside. I keep hoping the fear of virus will teach them to keep their surroundings clean.

I am enjoying listening to stories of Sherlock Homes in Audibles. It is a different experience. I finished listening to Pied Piper by Nevil Shute. The story is set during World War 2 and our lives in these times is not very different than what life was like in those years!! On the 26th morning we had a book club meeting through Zoom. Aravinda and I from India, Todd, Sage and Vicki from Canada and Sasha from Australia. We enjoyed the meeting.

The weather is very hot and I made tamarind squash more than a week ago and passion fruit squash today. Both are good. I have been baking different types of breads and one was disaster 😊, though we could eat it with vegetable soup.

It is now almost ten in the night and I can smell the fragrance from the Parijatha flowers blooming in the three in our garden and in the mornings the fragrance of Champaka flowers from our neighbour’s garden add beauty to our lives.

Flowers are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities of the world. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

20200503_071141

( Jasmine flowers in our garden)

https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/comment/revisiting-hitler-in-today-s-age-831662.html

https://www.msn.com/en-in/news/other/indian-railways-crosses-3-million-mark-in-distribution-of-free-meals/ar-BB13q3zz

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/youth-ensure-no-thirsty-souls-on-the-streets-830653.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/spectrum/spectrum-top-stories/coronavirus-lockdown-time-made-purposeful-832574.html

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyctanthes_arbor-tristis

Categories
Life reflections

#SoCS May 2/2020

socs-badge-2019-2020

 Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “directions.” Find a household cleaner/bottle of shampoo/something in the freezer/anything you can find with instructions on it, then copy down a single direction (just one) on how to use/cook/etc. your chosen thing, and make it the first line or word of your post. Then keep writing whatever comes out. Have fun!

‘Step 1- Dry roast…’ were the words on the side of the vermicelli packet. I was to roast the semolina vermicelli to make upma. I have not made upma from vermicelli for a long time, I usually make from wheat cuts. It is a tasty dish for breakfast. I remember those days when upma and beaten rice upkari were the staple dishes for morning breakfast at a marriage or any other social or religious function. But slowly, over the years the trend changed. People started getting idlis and sambhar made for breakfast. They are still prepared as they can be prepared in bulk. Many idlis can steamed at a time in a big vessel meant for that.

But as years passed people started getting different types of dosas , parathas and other dishes prepared for breakfast. Maybe each family wanted to show that they were getting something special prepared. And I suppose competition also played a major role 😊. At one time people started getting very nostalgic about upma and beaten rice upkari. They are simple and tasty dishes.

Dry roast also reminds me of the rasam masala powder that make regularly. This recipe was given by my doddamma to my mother and she gave it to me.

(Any measuring cup that you use)

Coriander seeds – 1 ½ measure

Cumin seeds -1 measure

Fenugreek seeds  ¼  measure

Red chillies – 1 ½ measure

Black pepper – less than ¼ measure

Asafoetida – a little,  Turmeric powder

Raw rice – less than ¼ measure

Roast separately and powder.

“A recipe has no soul, You as the cook must bring soul to the recipe”

 – Thomas Keller.