23 August 2008

Little dictator

My baby turned into a toddler and she is 2 yrs and 3 months in the blink of an eye .So does all our life whizz past I guess in a whirr of sound and blur of activity and non activity .Some moments stand out and stay on in the minds eye to be re-lived at leisure or in old age .
Garima is a pundit of the spoken word by now and converses freely and often with us and understand concepts of love and friendship amongst others and their expression ,so much so that she puts her wee arm around my shoulders and says "babba is mammas friend" and gives a smile that would put cherubs to shame. Wonder how that classic gesture of friendship came to her .
To her everything must have a papa and mamma .So a group of soap bubbles will have a babba , papa and a mamma bubble and so will a bunch of flowers or leaves or even dots .I get asked a series of "what that' and what this 'when she comes across anything new which is all day and "what this name" for what that object is called .
She wants to put on our shoes for us which is a herculean and impossible task for her and they must be the ones that she wants us to wear .The hardnosed little dictator also has such a sense of order and symmetry that she will make us put anything that we take from any shelf in a shop or at home back in exactly the same spot in the same position .Taking this further on some evenings she gets it into her head that her dad and I and anyone else in the room must sit exactly with the same posture with our legs and feet in similar positions the distance between the feet being the same too :0)

5 July 2008

There was a nook

The gigantic Indian express(madurai) building is well known to any Bangalorean .It looms over the Queens circle and houses all the departments of the newspaper .On the first floor was the canteen where we had our by-two teas and other tasty snacks .This little nook is the protagonist of todays piece .
It was a large high ceiling'ed place at the time with a bunch of smiling happy people who took orders ,cooked and served a menu which had the likes of tea , coffee ,malt ,bournvita and upma ,idli ,dosa ,puris and the piece de resistance -bonda soup on thursdays .Though the food I have listed is the regular stuff one can get anywhere in Bangalore but any foodie worth his/her salt will know that there are dishes and there are dishes .The cook ,the atmosphere ,the friends who one shares the food with ,all make up for a special experience which takes any dish to a exalted status .
The bonda soup ,though, was my favourite and I waited for Thursdays to be able to get to the canteen and break into a soft bonda surrounded by an aromatic sambar style soup .Having become a sort of favourite with the people at the canteen due to my love of food I would be dished out this dish with alacrity every week and they made me feel they actually waited for me to make my appearance :0).I felt favoured by the Gods when my tea started to be accompanied with a little bowl of fresh cream .Little gestures that I will treasure always .
This tale will be incomplete without a mention of Julie and Luella ,my partners in crime .We formed a friendship then that has lasted us eight yrs as we speak and given us many hours of shared laughter ,songs ,food that continued long distance once I moved out of the country .To them I dedicate this post and to all the people that made that canteen and that office ,great places to be in .

26 June 2008

Pockets of peace

In the last few days I have wanted to post on my blog many times and not known what to write .With all my love of food and creative cooking; writing about the food that emerges from my kitchen would have called for some photograph taking and uploading, making it too cumbersome to me .I would rather borrow a recipe from the wonderful food blogs on blogosphere and go and cook myself into a state of bliss .
Anyway today I am determined to write even if its sheer stream of consciousness stuff -that style of writing where the book is a non stop written version of every bit and piece that flows through the mind .Disconnected ,random .
Looking back, I started to write limerick type poems when I was in primary school and continued with more poetry through college along with some articles on current happenings the world over .As I write a theme is emerging and thankfully this wont be a stream of consciousness type piece with all due respect to writers of that genre .The above and absurd plays just dont cut the cake for me .Poetry kept happening almost by itself along the way and much later came short stories .Writing along with all its satisfaction of having expressed myself creatively gives me a full inner wash .Also while the words and ideas are actually tumbling out onto paper or the computer screen there is a unexplainable feeling of well being and utter balance and calm .
Another joyful childhood activity was making things out of clay ,starting with fruits and veggies ,men ,women and babies and graduating to Ganesh ji statues during Ganesh Chauth (a festival celebrated almost in the whole of India by slightly varying names ).As an adult I found that there was a terracotta sculpture course offered in Bangalore and managed to do it on one of my longer visits back home .The daily 8 hrs spent at the institute ,kneading clay ,learning and shaping objects ,throwing pots on the wheel were of unparalleled beauty .It was a dusty ,muddy heaven with half done and fully done statuettes all over ,some baked and some raw -with kilns on one end blazing away with all their might .
The entire act of cooking also gives rise to similar feelings or a happy lack of thought apart from those connected to whats being done .Similar is the mental state while singing .Call it meditative ,soothing ,calming or cathartic .
There are so many things in life that bring us this meditative calm and still our restless souls .

11 June 2008

I luv mama,s gym

When I go to gym Garima stays home with Satish .Though we have a free creche right there I had never gathered enough nerve to leave her there after one try an year ago when she was pushed over by another kid .Since I have seen her play quite independently when i take her to her playgroup for a long time(I could very well not be there at all) ,I thought I would give it another shot and last wednesday 4/06/08 Garima was strapped into her baby seat and taken along on my body pump session .I filled the forms and dropped her along with her little bag and left her perched happily on a mini car looking quite smug .
The group classes at my gym are on the first floor and one can peep into the creche area from the balcony ,which is what I did a few times that day .When I went to collect her she came and gave me a hug and was off playing again .A baby of about 10 months was crying his head off and Garima went and sat in front of him and diverted his attention with a toy which amazed me .The child care lady relieved Garima of her ward luckily and I made off with her after gathering the information that she had been "adorable" all through . The brat in her is specially reserved for her mama and papa :0) but I do agree even at the risk of sounding prejudiced that she is a darling child .
Maternal instincts seem very prominent in her She likes babies and has a favourite one called Annabella at her playgroup and she ends up calling most babies Annabella wherever she goes .Baby clothes and baby things in shops are always Annabella,s .Babies apart she even mollycoddles her parents at times :0)
She will pat my hair or cheeks ,give me a bear hug or just hold my head in her arms and tell me "mama put head in babba,s lap "!?! But I do just that and its a moment out of eternity . Many of the endearments we use for her she uses right back on us , so its shona mama or shona papa , chhota sa mama/papa ,mela bacchha (mera baccha/my baby) ,mela laal ,mela chaand and the list goes on .
Coming back to where I began she goes to my gym creche every wednesday now for an hour and seems to love it there so much that she didnt even want to come home with me today :0)

26 May 2008

On turning 2 and Dark chocolate

Garima ,my toddler turned 2 just this May 2nd . We had a simple celebration at home with her grand parents ,us and a friend of mine .She went to a zoo for the first time ,other visits have been to conservation parks earlier .The adelaide zoo houses some interesting animals and it was fun watching the hippos munch on a pumpkin thrown into their gaping mouths as if on a little fruit .The tigers and lions feeding time was a bit gory since one could hear the crunch ,much of their teeth chewing up the chunky pieces of meat given to them .The zebras were a pretty sight and a red panda ran around in circles in his large enclosure .The monkeys were spectacular with one of them with very human face and another one witha light orange fur covering him .He was a veritable tarzan showing himself off to the visitors and revelling in his acrobatics .His joy could have had something to do also with the fact that he had fathered a little orange fur ball of a baby monkey 3 days ago and which now clung to its black furred mamma .This visit was a day before the birthday .
On The Big Day ,Garima was oiled ,massaged ,bathed and dressed in her finery and was taken to the park to play on the -shwing a shlide ,as she calls those objects .In the evening dressed in a purple silk zari lehenga blouse she went with us to the Kishaa babba temple(in her words) and had a blissful time taking part in the Aarti and eating the prasad - ghee ka suji halwa .When we returned she held my hand while I cut her black forest B,day cake for her after helping her blow out the candle .She fed us all magnanimously after having a bite or lick out of each piece .She had her fill of cake for the first time ever and was astounded by the taste .After which we lit sparklers and there was much waving of hands and a foiled effort at burning her lehenga in the process by her own self . Dinner followed which was rajgaro puris and a veggie rezala from Asha,s blog .There was also a veg pulav and rasmalai .
Another first time taste is , hold your breath - chocolate (dark) .Till today ,I have managed to keep her away from this wonder though secretly managing to eat some myself once in a way .Her teeth have been safe as well as we havent had her asking us to buy her chocolate at the checkout counters at super markets with their strategically placed displays of such goodies .No more this luxury I am afraid ,for the little one has had chocolate for the first time ever , two little squares of the dark variety for a start and there was an instant chemistry .She kept asking for more and I had to tell her there was no more at home and that we would have to buy some from the shops . I am hoping to keep it strictly on a weekly treat level but the little lady seems to have other ideas .

25 April 2008


There are all kinds of friends , the all weather kind , the funtime friend , the here today gone tomorrow variety , the thoughtful empathising kind , the judemental advising type the braindrain kind and so the list goes on . Perhaps I should clarify that I am using the term 'Friend' in a rather general sense here more to mean a good acquaintance . Its easier to use one word than two and there rests my case .

Now the question arises as to which kind is the best . One naturally leans towards the all weather kind but lets not forget that the other kinds have their own uses too .

Fun in all forms is enjoyable and lightens our minds and hearts and who doesnt want that , given the hectic pace of life most of choose to lead . This sort of friend is there when you have fun but come the least sign of turmoil or misfortune , is prone to disappear without a trace , leaving you to grapple with your problems in the comfort of solitude .

The here today gone tomorrow ones , I have encountered in the last few years . Usually they descend on you positively armed with every ammunition in case you want to fend off their advances or the friendship is struck up with quick impulsiveness from one side or both . Sometimes the friendship grows by leaps and bounds and soon both parties get totally comfortable with each other . In other cases their is an intermittent spurt of meeting ups , dining and coffees together and total quietitude on the other hand . However , when circumstances change on either side these friends drift apart and slowly and surely disappear from each others horizons .

The thoughtful , empathising souls usually turn into all weather friends and stay on in ones life as loving , helpful energies who one can turn to and use as a sounding board . What would we do if there werent any of these in our lives who would listen to us without judging and not offer us unsolicited advice . Of course one will do the same for them when the need arises . They are not devoid of fun either and one spends many a laughter laden moment with them .

The judgemental advicing variety is the type no one wants to know but cant help knowing . They may act out of their own moral convictions and offer advice or load you with advice out of their own rich experience . Some of them do it out of a need to feel helpful and some just want to be pests . On a positive note one can gather grains of sense out of what one hears (if any) and let the rest just go by unheeded .

The last one on my list is the nonstop talker . This type just wants a listener and anyone will do .They will open their mouth and cant seem to get it shut for the amount of things they have to say never ends .The topics change with lightening speed and vary and spill into each other with such ease that one finds it hard to cope with listening and grasping let alone add a few words of ones own . This kind leaves ones drained and wondering what one had done to have such torture meted out to ones ears and brain . They could be well meaning people but with an intense need to chatter constantly . The only way to escape this and eamployed personally by me is to shut off ones brain and nod every now and then . This needs great practise or else one gets a glazed look in ones eyes and then the secret is out that the brain is being shut off to prevent a drain .

Here ends my own little outpouring .

24 April 2008

World full of choices

Sometimes I want to get lost into the world of Keats , Shelly and Wordsworth and dream of a world that was . Ofcourse to the nature lover that world does exist side by side but one has to consciously make time for it now.
The trees , flowers ,clouds ,rivers and waterfalls ,stars ,hills and ravines ,the seas and sands are all around us ,but for most of us they exist without making much meaning to us .
Materialistic tendencies abound and are created and fed by every possible commercial venture .The poor are running a race to reach the middle class and the middle classes are running their own race to reach the periphery of the rich .The rich want to get richer of course .
Each of us running our own race ,pausing to stop and think at times and slowing down or continuing on the same nerve wracking course .
The choices on offer in every field one can name are varied and give us a great set of options ,be it in ones career or any situation in life .In our parents or grand parents time , it was a simple case of study ,work at the same job ,live a life of peace with oneself and the world . Stress was unheard of .Families gave a safe and loving nuturing to their children who grew up secure and balanced beings ,of course there are exceptions .There still were errants .
To reach a middle ground in this world full of choices one would have to concsiously THINK about ones life . To imagine that one is old and looking back at ones life is a great help to me in prioritising the truly important and sifting and blowing away the meaningless .

28 February 2008

Circle of love

In 2 months my baby will be a 2 year old toddler .I wonder if she will read what I write about her when she is older and enjoy it and be able to feel what I am feeling now ,to a degree .

I hugged ,cuddled ,kissed you since u were born
U reflected it back manifold as soon as u could

Earlier u would get hugged and show us that u loved it
Now u hug us trying to encircle us as far as ur arms go
Trying to send your love into us via a skin to skin osmosis

It leaves me speechless and bleary eyed
To feel that tiny amount of pressure
That ur little arms and body apply
In making up our circle of love .

23 February 2008

All in the name of beauty

The world is in the grip of an epidemic of catastrophic proportions .Pursuit of a skeletal thinness is the passion that young and old are in the grip of .
I guess mankind has been smitten by good looks from the times of adam and eve .What has changed over the ages is the measure by which beauty is guaged.I will deal specifically with women.At one time they were meant to be buxom and well curved but had to bear the torture of a tight laced corset .In some countries their feet were bound and mis shapen ,as feet were meant to be small .In others their necks were made giraffe like by hoops worn around the neck .
And now it has come to pass that the plump and the obese are running an unenviable race to "thin heaven" and that is understandable .The thin and the scrawny are also in the race but to the "x-ray heaven" where they will have just a thin layer covering their beauteous bones .One common subject of discussion at work ,at parties - what has one been doing or eating less of to reach one of the above heavens .The magazines are full of the current diets of the hollywood stars -that and their divorces and secret love life and pregnancies being the hot selling points .Each day books are released with new arguments as to why the diet and lifestyle being propounded by that book is the best . Atkins ,champagne ,popcorn only ,raw veggies ,soups ,meal replacement satchets at pharmacies - one has a wide variety to choose from .Thankfully some schools of thought dwell upon the need for balance in all walks of life .
That methinks is common sense but to quote an oft quoted cliche : common sense is a sense which is not common .
And similarly the skin colour craze ,the not so white want to bleach their skin milky white and the white want to tan their skin to a golden hue ,but thats another story .

8 February 2008

wintry summer and what I have been upto.

An Australian summer starts about october and continues upto mid april ,give or take a few days.We returned from our vacation in India in October from a 34-36 degrees Bangalore heat to Adelaide thinking ,here we are ,jumping from the frying pan into the fire.There were a few days in Dec over 40 deg which were very unpleasant esp for little Garima,but thats it.Rest of the time it has stayed around the 32 deg mark.Last week was all within 30 deg and the last 2 days have been totally wintry.Our jackets and blankets are out.Just when i realised that Garima hadnt got a single cold /cough etc etc since october and started to bless the heat ,the temperature decided to drop and give her a leaky nose .Just the way of the world and the weather.
In the meantime I have been reading constantly after putting G to bed at night and during her noontime siesta.Read a book of Preethi nair,Memoirs of a geisha,Thornbirds,Four mothers by Shifra horn of jerusalem and a few others.Memorable food that adorned my table and tickled our palates have been makke ki rotiyaan,diff types of fish curries,bread aaloo pakoras etc etc.
I will part company with u dear blogpage with this thought by Chesterton -Education is the soul that each generation passes on to the next .

21 January 2008

back after 1 year

Hi blogpage,I am back after more than an year .many a time have i tried to write but all my efforts were put to nought by Garima:0)
Little Garima is 20 months and a few days old now.Time does fly,thats one oft quoted saying that still rings true all the time.Today she received her first letter -and in her own name too :0) from my gym (dunno how they got hold of her name)saying that they are starting kindergym sessions.She entered the pool for the first time last friday along with me and satish all of us splashing and pretending to swim.Lot of firsts.Thats one more interesting thing about little ones ,there are so many Firsts in their lives.
From saying Amma,Garima has graduated to many many words and learns more each day.she can make sentences putting together 4-5 words now.Eg:On our recent melbourne trip it was-papa driving unca (uncle)car,mamma bag heavy :0) etc.This morn she woke me up saying -mamma mamma and smiling at me impishly and then trying to whistle at me ...which started our day with a laught and that continues all thru the day,along with screams and tantrums.She is getting taller and has already lost her baby fat and foils all my attempts at fattening her up.She is a hard one to feed generally.Being a natural charmer she manages to make me smile inspite of everything by asking-mamma angy?( angry) and then -mamma happy?after giving a hug :0) I shall stop for now and get back again some day.