A Photo a Week Challenge: Up Close and Personal

Close ups are fun and challenging, whether you’re shooting a person or a flower. It’s important to make sure you are focusing on what you want to have in focus (sometimes a challenge when you are used to using auto-focus). It’s also important to pay attention to lighting.


Our grandson six years ago 🙂

#SoCS Sept. 26/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “container.” Use the word “container” any way you’d like. Or think about a container of some kind and write about it. Enjoy!

I thought of a very special vessel when I read today’s prompt. I checked the meanings and saw that I could write about this vessel as a container. This is an idli making vessel which we call ‘attinalage’ in Kannada. My mother got it from her grandmother. The story behind this vessel is very interesting and of a very strong and resourceful lady. My mother loves to talk about her.

She was Mukambike but my mother called her ‘Bobbeajji’. Ajji means grandmother. She was my mother’s grandfather’s first wife. They had been married for some years and had no children. In such circumstances in those days a man married again. Maybe they felt the problem was always with the lady! I am reading a fascinating book called One Part Woman by Perumal Murugan. The story takes place about hundred years ago. The hero and heroine are married for twelve years and have no children. The hero is expected to marry again but he does not. I have just finished three chapters. I remembered the book because it reflects the society of those times and it reminded me of my mother’s grandmother. Her grandfather married his wife’s niece. Ironically, Mukambike conceived after her husband married again. A daughter was born to her. My grandfather and his sister were the children of the second wife. Unfortunately, she died at a young age and the three children were brought up by Mukambike or Bobbeajji. My mother has very fond memories of her grandmother.

She remembers those days when her father was a teacher in a school in a small village. They had cows and Bobbeajji looked after them and sold milk to a hotel. The hotel owner would never pay her on time. One day she marched to the hotel and brought back a copper attinalage from there. She told the owner she would return it when he paid the money for the milk. This incident happened in 1944 and who knows for how long the owner had that vessel 😊.

He never paid the money and that vessel was passed on to my mother. She used to make delicious idlis in them. She steamed them in glasses. I remember my father always ate two of anything my mother prepared for breakfast. Small dosas or big ones, he ate only two.  The idlis were big and he ate two of them 😊. My mother would tease him about this.

That attinalage is with me. But I have not made idlis in it because it does not have ‘kalai’. I have thought of getting it done but I feel scared to let the attinalage go out of my hands because it is old and beautiful. I keep coconuts in it. Maybe next time we go to our town I will give it at the shop where they put kalai. It is time for this beautiful container to be used for what it has been made.

Kalai (process) – Wikipedia

A Novel That Roiled India Is Now Translated Into … – The New ……

Perumal Murugan’s ‘Amma’ is woven with memories, love and ……


Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 324 FURY&SLOW

The fury of rains

Folly of human actions

Slow land erosion.


Everyday Moments (#SOL- 2020)


 I don’t think we will forget this year for quite some time. Usually in September the rains are less but this year has been a different story. At 3 o’clock on Saturday it started raining and it poured and poured without a break till Sunday evening. It was like whole sky had opened up. All the low-lying areas in and around our place were flooded. Today the house-keeping staff in Aravind’s college told him that she had woken up on Sunday morning to see water everywhere near her house, which is near a river. As it continued to pour, taking their valuables and important papers they went to her brother-in-law’s house, on a higher ground. They could not take their dogs and hens but they survived. Unfortunately, their neighbour lost three cows. They returned home yesterday and spent the whole day cleaning the mess. Such flooding is happening after nearly forty years. We get corporation water from the river and its dam. It is stored in an underground sump. We did not get water for two days because the motor and pump set were submerged due to flooding. The corporation workers had a difficult time getting the motor and starting it. Fortunately, there was water supply yesterday evening. Last year there was no water and this year excess water !! In spite of everything the birds are chattering at top of their voices as usual 😊. The world has not changed completely.

Our town is on top of a hill, there is a valley to one side full of trees. All the water flows down the valley during the monsoon season. About ten years ago, all the trees were cut, the valley filled and buildings constructed. It was terrible to see the destruction and people were helpless. Yesterday, we learnt that sides of the foundation of an apartment building had fallen away due to the heavy rains. The occupants of the building have been asked to evacuate. All the destruction in the name of development. Development meaning a cinema theatre, shops and hotels. They do not have any business too. People believe it is divine justice.

The corona and all this !!  On the 31st my mother’s youngest sister’s daughter got married, we wished them from here. We had decided that we would not attend any function for some time. It is not necessary to take risks. My aunty, her husband and many others got infected, fortunately it was not serious. Another cousin, who is only 32 had a serious problem when she was tested positive. She had to be in the intensive care. The effects of the virus are very unpredictable. Many a time older people recover and younger ones succumb.

After staying at home for days, today evening we went to the lake for a walk. It was pleasant but we did see dark clouds and hoped it would not rain but it did and we got drenched in spite of having umbrellas 😊. The lake looks so different when it is raining. It was looking beautiful. A friend told us there had been water on the walking track for two days due to heavy rains. Again, the bulbuls have been trying to build their nest inside the house and we had to close all the windows. They did not come today. Today I prepared a chutney powder from the recipe given by my cousin. She got it from her mother, who got it from her mother’s sister.  I was feeling nice that I was preparing something which my grandmother and her sisters had prepared in those days 😊.

‘Nothing good is ever lost. It stays part of a person, becomes part of one’s character.’  – The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher.

Early Buddhist artisans: Skilled, well-read and privileged | ……

S Settar: A scholar who explored obscure realms | Deccan Herald

Rain pounds north, coastal Karnataka districts | Deccan Herald…

Floodwater recedes in Udupi | Deccan Herald…/floodwater-recedes-in-udupi-891085.html

Karnataka’s Covid-19 outbreak may peak in January: Study | ……

The myth of Western superiority | Deccan Herald…

Udupi floods: Scores shifted from low lying areas to safer places



A Photo a Week Challenge: Something Baked

140 whole wheat bread recipes, Indian recipes using whole … – …


#SoCS Sept. 19/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “-tion.” Find a word that ends with “tion.” Bonus points if you start your post with it. Have fun!

Vacations are such important parts of life. They bring the much needed change in the daily routine of our lives. We are lucky if we are able to go on a vacation at least once a year. So many cannot. Life is survival from one day to the next. And there are others who do not feel the need for a change. Any change in their routine upsets them.

We went to Amritsar and Dharamsala this January. We had a wonderful time and those days seem like days in another life! Not even in our wildest imagination did we imagine that a virus would bring human beings to their knees. Our contribution to this state of affairs is immense. And unfortunately, we are not learning. I was thinking I would not write about the virus, but invariably it comes back to mind, as it comes into all conversations.

Coming back to vacations, my thoughts go to childhood. My father was working in the Indian Railways and we lived in North India. We had holidays in May and June and those two months were spent in our maternal grandparents’ home in a small town in Karnataka. My father got family passes and this made it possible for us to travel the long distance from Delhi to Mangalore every year. Our grandparents’ home was about sixty kms from the railway station in Mangalore. I remember counting the milestones from Mangalore as we reached closer and closer to our destination. We were so excited. Those two months were months of complete freedom from school. We lived in a different world with uncles, aunts and cousins. We visited many of our relatives and each day was different. So many relationships were forged in those days. Many links are strong as ever and some have broken. Life is like that.

Later on, I would wonder how my grandmother managed the cooking with so many people in the house. Maybe everyone helped. In those days we never thought about it. I remember the big vessel with ‘bellada neeru’, bella is jaggery and neeru is water. Water was boiled with jaggery and a little milk was added. We drank it when we felt thirsty, which was quite often 😊. We savoured each day and felt sad when it was time for us to leave. Three days in the train and back to school. And one more year before we could return. Those were the days of letter writing. Telephones were rarely used because trunk-calls were expensive and each minute counted. And I think people were apprehensive if somebody called and thought only some bad news would make anyone take such a decision. Life was different those days.

And life is definitely different these days !!  Who would ever have imagined the situation we are now in?


Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 323 Clip&Wings

Birds cooped in cages

Have their wings clipped brutally

To imprison them.

The infinite sky their home

Maybe they look out and dream.


Everyday Moments (#SOL- 2020)


It is now 8.30 in the night and it is pouring outside. We are now getting rains every day. From the 10th it has been either pouring or drizzling. Prior to that, for a few days, there was no rain and the days were very hot. People were worried that the monsoon season had ended. This year everything is not what it should be. Life has changed and slowly we are adjusting to the changes but the thought at the back of the mind remains the same, when is this going to end?

Sunday was clouded but it was not raining in the evening, we went for a walk around the lake. The water level had increased after days of raining. It was a pleasure to look at the birds on the two small islands. There are white and black coloured birds.

On the 8th evening Aravinda had arranged a talk by Prof Ubelekar Andrade for his MA students. Aravinda had met Max six years ago at a conference in USA, they met again at a conference in London and have kept in contact. I too listened to the lecture, it was very interesting. The topic was Don Quixote’s cartographic vision: mapping imagination and political identity. I am planning to listen to Don Quixote on Audibles. I read the book long, long ago. I don’t even remember the whole story.

On the 10th we performed a ritual connected to the last rites of my father-in-law. According to our customs we have to do these rituals every month till the first anniversary. We prepare certain dishes and invite a guest for lunch. In normal circumstances more people would have been invited for a more elaborate prayer. Our friend who comes as our guest had Covid. He was in quarantine in his house. He said he had fever for two weeks and during that time he lost his senses of taste and smell. But he recovered and is fine. He said it was not as terrible as he had imagined and he also said he was lucky. Moreover, he had no other health problems. Cases are increasing and now the quarantine rules have changed. But the effects of the virus are very unpredictable. One of our friends recovered in spite of having health problems and we heard a young doctor died in spite of not having any health problems. So, luck plays an important part.

On the 13th Todd Tyrtle arranged the international book club meeting. It was fun and I liked the interaction between all of us. Todd and Elizabeth are WordPress friends. Finally, I made the ‘tea masala’ which I had been planning for quite some time. The spices add a flavour to the tea. I have started listening to War and Peace on Audibles. I read it so long back that I don’t even remember the story 😊. All this seems so normal, yet it is not so. But life has to go on, we cannot put a hold on everything. Many have started saying we should learn to live with the virus.

If you don’t get everything you want, think of the things you don’t get that you don’t want. ~Oscar Wilde

Chai ka Masala, Chai Powder, Tea Masala, Indian Masala … – Tarla ……

Sir M Visvesvaraya: Dreamer, thinker, man of action | Deccan Herald


#SoCS Sept. 12/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “collar.” Use it as a verb, a noun, or metaphorically. Bonus points for using it in all three ways! Enjoy!

Today’s prompt reminded me of all the shirts and frocks I had stitched for my children. Collars for shirts and kurtas, peter pan collars, sailor collars and so many more types for frocks.  Stitching always interested me. I went to college in Bombay and I was staying with my father’s elder sister. I told her I would like to join a class. A lady in the next building took classes in her home. I remember going there, I think once a week. Those classes were fun.

I stitched shirts for my son. And when my daughter was born, stitching became more fun. Frocks are so much more exciting then shirts 😊. The different types of collars and sleeves and patterns made the whole process so satisfying. I remember loving the design of a frock worn by a dancer in an old Hindi movie. I stitched a frock according to that design but that frock did not have a collar. Those were the days before the mobile phones and digital cameras. I do not have the photos of all the frocks that I stitched.  Now I stitch only for myself, though last year I stitched dresses for my grandchildren. But they were simple shirts and frocks. When I am stitching, I am in a different world. It is difficult to collar me at that time 😊.

I was thinking how to use the word metaphorically, it has been a long time since I have used metaphors and many a time we use them without really thinking about them. I am listening to A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens on Audibles. It is a dramatized version. Ebenezer Scrooge with the Christmas spirit is looking at the scene in the house of Bob Cratchit. Bob is his clerk and Ebenezer has underpaid and overworked him. In fact, he has placed a collar on Bob and Bob has no choice, he has to live with it. He is poor and has a large family. In spite of this Bob and his family raised a toast to Ebenezer on Christmas eve. I have yet to listen to rest of the story. I have read it long back but it is a nice experience to listen to stories. I enjoy Stream of consciousness because it shows me how my thoughts move from one topic to another😊. In fact, it is difficult to collar thoughts, the mind has its own rules.


Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 322 Cup&Sip

We welcome each day

Sipping a cup of coffee

Hot, bitter and strong 😊.