#SoCS Oct. 19/19

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “oh.” Use it as a word or find a word that starts with “oh.” Bonus points if you start and end with “oh.” Enjoy!

‘Oh’ was what our granddaughter used to say when she did not like something or when she wanted something and she did not get it. ‘Oh’ was expressed in different tones and inflexions. Our daughter, son-in-law and children were with us for three weeks in August. We loved our granddaughter’s use of the word ‘oh’ 😊. We too started using it and she would smile when we said it. We had a wonderful time with the children and when they left, we missed them a lot. Life goes on and we came back to our own routine. We talk to them almost daily by WhatsApp video call.

Technology has changed our lives so much. Long back when people went to other countries letter writing was the means of keeping in touch. But it used to take so long. Telephone conversations were too expensive. But now it is not so. If we want to, we can keep in touch with our near ones. Earlier we used to visit people a lot and stay with them for some time. But now it is not so. We meet our relatives at some social or religious function. WhatsApp and Facebook have helped us to be in some contact with our relatives and friends. In their own ways they are a cohesive force. I feel something is better than nothing. In many ways I cannot agree when people say, ‘Oh, life was so much better in the past.’ Many a time we tend to look back through rose coloured spectacles😊.

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Everyday Moments (#SOL-2019)

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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.

15-10-19
We are still getting occasional rains, usually in the evenings to the accompaniment of thunder and lightning. And today afternoon it was like an orchestra out there with rain. It was very dark too. But we could go for a walk though it was very cloudy.

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One evening we went for a walk around the lake in our place. It is good to see so much water but the level has come down a little. There are two small islands in the lake covered with trees. It is a resting and nesting place for many birds. It is a pleasure to see them flying back home.

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I have been going to Asare, home for the mentally challenged. Life is going on there as usual. Nursing students are posted there. Most of them are from our neighbouring state, Kerala. We were talking to two students who are from this place. Theirs is a different world, that of their classes and the hospital.

On the 9th my husband went to our village to be with his father. His brother wanted to attend a function in a relative’s home. Someone has to be with my father-in-law. My husband returned on the 11th.

On the 10th my son and I attended a talk by Dr Parul Mukherji on Mimesis. It was an interesting talk and I was hearing about this for the first time.

We use some varieties of colacasia leaves and the stems in some of our food preparations. I tried a new recipe on Saturday. I prepared the steamed ‘pathrode’ at night for Sunday breakfast. That morning I cut the cooked ‘pathrode’ and shallow fried it on the iron pan. It was good.

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Today evening my husband and son attended a classical flute concert. I like music but I prefer to listen at home. Somehow, I find it difficult to sit through a concert 😊. But I do attend some Hindustani or Carnatic vocal music concerts. My husband and son enjoy understand the various nuances of classical music and enjoy attending concerts.
I am enjoying books by Marcia Willet and I am now reading a fascinating book, The Circle of Reason by Amitav Ghosh.

‘For every time I see the sky, I’m aware of belonging to the universe than to just one corner of the earth.’    –  Ruskin Bond

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https://jnu.academia.edu/ParulMukherji

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

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

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

http://www.konkanifoodrecipes.com/recipes/colocasia-leaves-with-rice-floor-baked-in-steam-pathrode-or-pathrado

#SoCS Oct. 12/19

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ground.” Use it as a noun or a verb in any tense (i.e. grind). Have fun!

When I read the prompt the first thought that came to mind was about grinding one’s teeth. My husband is a dentist and was a professor in the Dental college of our University. He used to say that many of his patients were not even aware that they were grinding their teeth when sleeping. They used to be very surprised when he used to tell them about their habit. He used to show them how worn away their teeth were. I don’t know how they got over their habit.

Writing about teeth brings to mind food 😊. What we have for breakfast is different in each part of our country. Here, in South India dosas are a favourite. We usually eat dosas for breakfast. The most popular one is the one made from rice, black gram and a little fenugreek. I take two glasses of raw rice in one vessel and three fourth glass black gram and a teaspoon of fenugreek in another and soak them in water for an hour. Then I grind them in the mixer. The batter is kept out for about seven hours to ferment. Earlier I used to prepare the batter at night and keep it out to ferment. But for the past many years I grind in the morning and keep the batter in fridge at night. There are many types of dosas. They are all tasty in their own way. Idlis are also a favourite. Idlis are steamed while dosas are cooked on a flat pan. Most people prefer an iron ‘tawa’ or flat pan. I don’t like the non-stick ones. It is all in the mind but I feel dosas made on such pans are very insipid compared to the ones made on the iron tawa😊.

We all like coconut chutney with dosas or idlis. I grate the coconut in the morning and grind it to a coarse mixture adding green chillies, ginger, a little tamarind and salt. Chutneys too are of different types.
These days we grind in a mixer or electric grinding stone. Earlier women had to
do everything manually. Life is so much easier now. This post has been mostly about food 😊.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vigna_mungo
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dosa

Others (Sunday Photo fiction)

Meera looked around the crowded lounge. There were people from different parts of the country in that space. She was an anonymous being here. She felt safe from prying eyes.
Prying eyes were what she had experienced in the small town she hailed from. Everyone knew what was happening in the lives of all their neighbours. There was no privacy. She had not thought so while in school. She was busy with studies and friends. Life revolved around school and home.

Slowly her way of looking at the world changed. She was not sure when that had started happening. What she had earlier thought of as concern for each other’s well being now appeared to be interference. Most people expressed their opinions even if they were not asked to do so. People wanted to control others, and everyone seemed to worry about what others would think. She was unable to understand who those others were. They were formless and nameless but appeared to have power. She wanted to escape.

Fortunately, she got admission in the college where she wanted to continue her studies. She was now on her way to that city to start a new life with new friends.

(200 words)

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Photo Credit : Barb Crews

Everyday moments (#SOL- 2019) 31

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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.

8-10-19

The festival of Navaratri is being celebrated all over the country. There are many temples to Goddess Durga in her various forms in and around our town. Yesterday evening we went to the temple of Kamakshi Devi, from there to the temple of Indrani. This temple is on a hillock. And from there we went to the temple of Sri Mahishamardini. These are small temples and I like the atmosphere there. The fragrance and the singing of devotional songs by devotees touches the heart.

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I listen to the lectures on Brihadaranyaka Upanishad by Bannanje Govindacarya. He is a great Sanskrit scholar. I have my father’s book, a commentary on this Upanishad by Shankaracharya. But it is a little difficult to understand it. So, I thought it would be better to listen to the lectures first.

Sunday, we went to our village to spend the day with my father-in-law. This time he recognised us immediately but something seemed to be bothering him. He was not able to express himself and we could understand what was bothering him. At such moments I think about all the changes that happen to us as we grow older. My father-in-law has always loved Carnatic classical music. I logged into YouTube and he was so happy to listen to the music. I had to take his photo because his expression was so nice 😊. We returned home in the evening.

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Some time ago I had made tomato chutney pickles and it became very spicy. I had used green chillies and they were really explosive. So, I added more tomatoes, cooked everything together and the chutney became less hot 😊.

I finished a delightful book called Unheard Sound flows on by Mahalinga Bhat K. The writer wrote in Tulu, a language spoken by people in this part of my state. It was translated to English recently. I liked the book so much because I could relate to the people in the book, the places and the incidents. My paternal grandfather had written his memoirs and this book reminded of his life and life in those days. Life has changed a lot but I always wonder that human needs and desires remain the same. That is life.

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‘There is a certain relief in change.’ Washington Irving
Navaratri – Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navratri

https://www.holidify.com/places/udupi/sri-indrani-panchadurga-parameshwari-temple-sightseeing-123911.html

Kadiyali Mahishamardini Temple

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

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

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

#SoCS Oct. 5/19

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “-tast-.” Find a word that contains “tast” and use it in your post. Enjoy!

‘Tast’ brought the word taste to mind and that word brought our grandson’s face, when he first tasted jaggery syrup, to mind. I always have a bottle of jaggery syrup ready. We like to eat it with dosas and idlis. We have to add water to jaggery and boil it to one thread consistency. He said yummy when he tasted it and after that every day jaggery syrup was as important as the dosa😊.

Last week I made tomato chutney pickles and it turned out to be so spicy that we were burning after eating it. The green chillies were very hot. Today I cooked about six tomatoes, ground them and added to the chutney and cooked it. Now the taste is correct. Next time I have to be more careful😊.

Taste reminds me of bitter gourd and my father telling me that we should learn to like the vegetable. But it is so bitter. He used to say that in life we should learn accept the bitter, the sweet and the sour. But it took me quite some time to appreciate bitter gourd. Now it is one of my favourite vegetables. We prepare many dishes from it. Many people put the chopped pieces in a bowl of water with salt and turmeric powder to remove the bitterness. I find that puzzling because what is the point in removing the special taste of a vegetable? What remains if we remove its taste? Why eat that vegetable? It is funny what people do😊.
Taste is not only about food, it is so much more. Our taste in books or in music or in what we appreciate or we do not, depends a lot on our inherent nature and also to external influences. We can cultivate a taste for something but it will truly be a part of our lives if that taste is deep within us.

 

 

 

Reflections (Sunday Photo Fiction)

Leena gazed at the beautiful scene in front of her. Its serene aspect affected her deeply. She realized that she could never be at peace unless she learnt to accept that every stage in life was different. The present was more important than anything else. She had to learn to live in the now. No one could hold on to time.

Her mirror had been her greatest friend. It told her how beautiful she was. She did not want to grow old. That was her greatest fear. She did everything possible to look younger than her age. She had succeeded too. People admired her for it.

In spite of all that there was no peace of mind. The terror of growing old haunted her. But her body was growing old from inside. She could do nothing to stop that. She thought that a change of scene would help her.

The mirrored scene helped her to reflect. In one moment life changed. She accepted her fear and her aging body. Then she knew that she was free.
(176 words)
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Photo credit : P Allman

#SoCS Sept. 28/19

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “ent” “ten” “net.” Use one, use two or use all three (bonus points for using two, double-bonus points for using all three). As Linda would say, use ’em any way you’d like. Enjoy!

The prompt ‘ent’ immediately brought to mind Entwood and Treebeard in Lord of the Rings. I loved Treebeard and loved reading about his life. Just imagine trees walking about. I wonder what would have happened if they could do that now. With trees being destroyed in the name of development, where would they run to?

Coming back to Lord of The Rings, I read it to my son in 1994 when he was in 4th std. He had just completed ten years. He has a vision problem called Retinitis Pigmentosa from birth. I love reading and cannot imagine life without books. I did not want him to miss that wonderful world of books. I used to read to him right from the time he could understand books. I still remember those days. It took us forty days to complete the book. The story pulled us into its net and we lived in the Middle Earth. I don’t know how many times I have read the book over the years, sometimes the whole book, sometime in parts and it has never bored me. My son too loved the book. He has BBC adaptation of the story and has listened to it many, many times. The story-telling is very good.

I liked the movie too. Usually movies based on books do not live up to our expectations. Maybe what the director imagines is not what we imagine. I still remember watching The Count of Monte Christo. It is one of my favourite books. And the movie was so bad, the whole story was changed. I was disgusted and decided never to watch movie made from my favourite books. I was very hesitant about watching Lord of the Rings. I did not want to be disappointed. And I was not disappointed.

But, reading a book and imagining that world is any day better than watching it on the silver screen.