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.’

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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 😊.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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 😊.

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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.

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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

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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
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.

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 are at home and cannot go to the post office to post the letters.

28-04-2020

We have five more days of lockdown, the government has eased the lockdown in many ways but it is still strict in many of the containment zones. These are specially in big cities and the metros. I was talking to my cousin and she was saying not being able to go out is becoming extremely frustrating. Some others, who are very social, there are people in their house at all moments are finding the isolation very difficult.

The good and the bad is happening during this period. We are reading a lot about increase in domestic violence. Unfortunately, it has always been there but now people have been confined within four walls. There is no escape for the victims. It was sad to read in today’s papers about people suffering from heart attack or from stroke are hesitating to go to the hospital for treatment due to the fear of corona. They are suffering more because of this. On the other hand, in the state of Punjab drug abuse was very high. But the lock down has broken the chain in drug dealing. Alcohol consumption too has come down. But we cannot really say what will happen after May 3rd. Will they go back to their old ways?

Everywhere, youngsters have come together to help the elderly and others in distress. Young bikers are helping to supply food to the hungry. Others are helping to supply medicines to HIV patients. The call themselves HIV Warriors. Many are helping to feed stray dogs, cows, birds and other animals. A poor fisherwoman, Sharadakka, has spent her life savings to feed those who are poorer than her. She says, ‘I know what it is to be hungry’. A daily wage worker, Abdur Rehman, had dreamt of going to Mecca to perform Hajj. He had saved for his dream his whole life. But now he has spent all his savings to help the homeless and needy. He says, ‘his hajj has been done now’.  Shanta Norona, a tailor, who has no work now is stitching face masks and distributing them to  daily wage workers, free of cost. The list is endless. There is hope as long as such people are around us.

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To come to our everyday life, we are seeing dark rain clouds almost every evening but the wind is taking them and the rain elsewhere. We are getting a few drops only 😊. We have coconut trees in our garden. Every now and then dry fronds fall down with a crash. Some of our neighbours take them to use as fuel. Yesterday morning one fell on the electric wires, there was short circuit and no electricity for some time.  Fortunately, it was rectified within an hour.

I had stitched some masks but found they were a little too wide so altered them today morning. Usually when I am stitching I listen to lectures by a great Sanskrit scholar, Bannanje Govindacharya. I am listening to his lectures on Skanda Purana. It is a fascinating experience. I am now listening to Pied Piper by Nevil Shute in Audibles. I am enjoying listening to stories. My son has the entire Sherlock Holmes collection. That too will be a wonderful experience.

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( Our grandson told my son that he found his shadow very funny 🙂 )

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( Our friend with the stick which has no shadow)

On the 25th was Zero Shadow Day in our town. At 12.28 Pm the sun is right above us. This happens twice a year but this is the first time I had read about it. I just don’t remember reading about it in the past. Maybe the coronavirus in making us take note of many things which we did not earlier 😊. There is minimal or no shadow at that moment which is also called the Zenith.

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I would like to end on a very nice note. I keep a mud pot filled with water in our garden for the birds. The weather is very hot now. One afternoon I saw a bulbul sitting on the edge of the pot. The water was not at the brim and the little bird was hesitating to bend and take a sip. It flew away. I went out immediately and filled the pot to the brim. After a little while the bird came back, took a sip and flew away.

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

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

https://newsd.in/zero-shadow-days-2020-date-and-time-why-you-cannot-see-your-shadow-in-mangaluru-udupi/

Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.

Rabindranath Tagore

 

 

Categories
Life Song of the Road

Flower of the Day challenge

This challenge is all about bringing a little beauty and color into our daily lives.

fotd-banner

This is a wild flower growing in our front yard 🙂

24th (2)

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Life reflections

#SoCS April 25/2020

socs-badge-2019-2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “val.” Find a word that starts with “val” or if you’re not doing the A to Z Challenge, find a word that just has “val” in it, and use that word any way you’d like. Enjoy!

When I read this prompt the  words that came to mind were valour and value.

We are living in a different world now. But in many ways what is now happening has always happened before. I am reading Pied Piper by Nevil Shute. Actually, I am listening to in Audibles. The narrator is very good. The story is set during World War 2. The restrictions faced by people then are what we are facing now. The soldiers knew who their enemies were. I feel very sad when I read about all the wars that happened through the ages. People fought and killed each other, so many innocent people killed. Now, we know our enemy but we cannot see it. We don’t really know where it and when it will attack. We have to be careful but for how long can we continue to be careful?

Doctors  and health care workers everywhere are facing every day with valour to save lives. They must be scared and doctors have been infected. The other day we read in the newspapers about a doctor in the neighbouring state. He got infected and passed away. The tragic part was people of the town did not allow him to be buried in that town. They were scared that the virus would spread from his body. His family and colleagues appealed to the people to be reasonable but in vain. They became violent too and the  family had to bury the doctor elsewhere late in the night. The doctor died serving his patients and what value did all his selfless work have when he was not allowed to be buried with dignity? It is really very sad.

Why do people behave the way they do? Don’t they think?  Will their conscience ever prick them?

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/how-dr-simon-hercules-who-died-covid-19-chennai-was-denied-dignity-death-122947

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 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. 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.

20-04-2020

I am not writing about the pandemic in my letters to my doddamma but only about what is happening in our lives. In spite of being indoors all the time, I find there is plenty to write😊.

Today we read in the papers that asymptomatic conditions in people is worrying the medical world here. People are infected but they do not have any of the symptoms!! And the virus is having different effects on different people, there is no hard and fast rule about how people will react. Just thinking of countless people suffering all over the world makes us question so many things. It is not only the poor who are suffering, there are so many suffering mentally. Today we read about a man killing his differently abled son who was not ready to wear a mask. That man’s wife has been bedridden for years. He was not well off. He surrendered to the police. I wonder what will happen to his wife. Then we read about politicians playing politics while distributing food to the poor. One wonders about such people !  All over the world there are such politicians. A pizza delivery boy did not know he had the virus and when he was tested positive, more than seventy two families went into quarantine. The list goes on.

But fortunately, there are so many silver linings in today’s world. They give us hope.

Helpusgreen is an association that is making incense sticks from old flowers in temples and mosques. They are asking farmers who are growing flowers not to destroy them due to lack of market but dry and store them. They will be bought later.

The government has arranged for trucks for the farmers to transport their produce. And there are so many people everywhere who are helping the needy and other animals in distress. One person said, ‘what is the point of him being healthy if he cannot go out and help those in distress.’ And life goes on.

Coming back to everyday life, I saw tree pies coming in the afternoons to eat the pieces of chapati. They are coming after a long time. A peasant crow keeps hopping about in our garden.

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On Saturday evening we had a book club meeting on Zoom. We were seeing other after quite some time. We enjoyed ourselves. Our neighbour gave us ripe jackfruit from her garden. They were very sweet. Another neighbour gave us wild mangoes. This season we are not seeing many mangoes. These cannot be sliced but have to be sucked. I like to make rasam with them. I love this dish.

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I completed stitching the salwar kameez for myself. I had started it a few weeks ago. I got the material from Amritsar. I love stitching my clothes. There is something so satisfying about creating something. The weather has become very hot. The room where I have kept my machine faces west. These days I can stitch only in the mornings. In the afternoons there is sunlight streaming into the room and it becomes too hot for comfort.

We are waiting for the monsoons. Last year it started in July, a month late. Then we thought nothing could be worse than delayed rain and this year showed us how wrong we were in our thinking ☹.

We are watering our plants on alternate days and walking every day in our garden. These everyday moments give us hope.

Birds chirping in the trees:  the happy sound of freedom.

          ~Terri Guillemets, “Cageless,” 1994

https://helpusgreen.com

https://www.betterbutter.in/recipe/104197/ripe-wild-mangoes-rasam/

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( wild flowers in our yard )

Categories
Life reflections

#SoCS April 18/2020

socs-badge-2019-2020

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

My son loves to listen to music. His favourite is Hindustani classical music. He can identify most of the ragas, he and my husband can spend hours listening to classical music. When our children were small we asked them if they wanted to join music class. They said yes and went to the classes regularly. They were supposed to practice at home But there never seemed to be any time 😊, what with school in the mornings and playing with friends in the evening. We were living in our university campus, their home friends and school friends were the same and that bond has continued over the years in spite of living far away from each other.

I remember I had made a sort of time table and some time was for practising. But slowly over a few months both felt they did not want to continue with the classes. We did not force them. Learning anything should not be a punishment. Years passed, both our children enjoyed listening to music. Many years ago, my son told me that we should have forced him to continue the classes and seen to it that they had practised everyday!!

I had then told him it was never too late to learn anything, he could still join music classes 😊. He never joined any class but loves to listen to music.

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( My father-in-law loved listening to Carnatic Classical music)