Writing after a very long gap. It feels as if I have nothing to say. Have been reading whatever catches my interest. I watched a Hindi movie Taxi No. 9211. It was lighthearted. I enjoyed the ending. Well, thats it.1 year ago
Reached Austin on 11th September 2010. Had a most comfortable journey. Emirates is good, and, the two seats next to me were vacant. 9/11?
Smita and Ramesh had come to Houston to pick me up. We reached Austin at 11 P.M.
Ashwin was spending the day with Bella and Gianna. We picked him up from their house. He was already asleep. He opened his eyes, looked at me and sleepily said, “Aji?”, gave me his hand and went back to sleep. The next morning he wanted to know how long I would be staying. When I said it will be for a long time, he was very happy. He wants me to stay for a thousand days!
It has been a wonderful, wonderful time with Smita and Ashwin.
And now, baby is here! He was born on 3rd November. Today Ramesh and Smita brought him home. It was 5 in the evening when they came. Ashwin and I had been waiting for them from afternoon. We lit lamps and kept them around the rangoli which both of us had decorated last evening. I had mixed kumkum and akshata with water in a silver plate for the arti.
When the car turned into the driveway, Jeb, Cathy, their children along with some more children from Colton way came to see baby.They were happy, excited, and looked with wonder at this tiny person! It was a wonderful welcome.
I did the arti for Smita, baby, Ashwin and Ramesh after which they stepped into the house.
Now Siddharth is all bundled up and is sleeping on my lap. His cheeks are delicate and soft as flower petals. This tiny, little baby has come home to us.
A blessing.2 years ago
Geet Ramayan is a collection of 56 songs in Marathi, written by Ga.Di.Madgulkar and set to music and sung by Sudhir Phadke. The songs are a gist of Ramayana in chronological sequence.
Quote - ” The songs are set to music in different ragas suitable to the mood of every situation in the life of Ram.The poetry is so vivid that one can actually visualize each incident in the epic.The music only adds to this great quality,” says Shridhar Phadke, son of Sudhir Phadke.
The programme was first aired in 1955 on Akashvani, Pune. Even after 55 years, it retains its original magic and still continues to enthrall audiences.
To see the videos, click on the links below.3 years ago
I found this recipe on the net. I made a few changes and
it has come out well.
Dill Idli. ( 0riginal recipe )
2 cups chopped fresh dill.
1 cup jaggery.
1 cup beaten rice.
1 cup grated fresh coconut.
1 cup rava.
1 tsp. salt.
Blend dill, soaked beaten rice and coconut with sufficient water to
form a thick dough. Mix rava and salt.
Leave aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
Serve hot with ghee and honey.
The changes I made -
I skipped jaggery as I did not want a sweet dish.
I dry roasted the rava.
I added some green chillies.
I applied oil to a flat vessel, poured the batter in
and made dhoklas out of it.
I had to steam them for about 20 minutes.
After cutting it into squares, I made tadka of mustard seeds,
jeera, red chilles and til and poured on the dhoklas.
We liked the mild taste with the flavour of dill.
Next I want to try it with jaggery.
A quiet afternoon. The outside sounds are at a minimum. I am looking at the sunlight on the window sill. The gul mohar tree outside the window has changed colour. Half the leaves are a bright yellow, the other half are still green. A few months back it was covered with blazing red flowers.
I am listening to this beautiful, beautiful song, my all time favourite.3 years ago
Today is the first day of Navaratri, a festival where the Goddesses Lakshmi, Saraswati and Durga are worshipped. I lit the “Akhanda Deepa” (continuous light) this morning. This is a lamp that stays lit throughout the nine days of Navarathri. After lighting the lamps, and offering flowers to God, I recited shlokas from a book given to me by my mother.
Navaratri was always a very special time for her. I remembered her and my childhood days, when we had the Navaratri kolu at home in Poona. Tables, stools and wooden trunks were arranged to form steps. These would be covered with white bedsheets and my father’s & uncle’s dhotis with the help of safety pins. I think there were seven steps - it had to be an odd number. Once this step-platform was ready, (excitement!) the trunk filled with dolls would be opened. Everyone would crowd around, watching, while my mother and aunts unwrapped the dolls carefully, one by one. The first doll to be kept on the top step was one of Ganesha, followed by the other Gods. The lower steps would be filled with animals, birds and our toys. A pot-bellied Chettiar (grocer) with his equally comfortable looking wife would be sitting & smiling with all the grains and pulses in front of them in small vessels.
After this came the exciting part - making the park. To one side of the kolu on the floor we would spread some mud, sprinkle water on this, and sprinkle some seeds - mustard mostly - and water this everyday. We would see the sprouts on the 3rd or 4th day, from when on they would grow. Such pleasure to see the green grass! Small houses, people and animals would be placed there. We would make streets with rangoli powder mixed with grey colour, and keep cars and vehicles on them.
Getting dressed in the evenings and visiting neighbours’ homes to see their dolls is another happy memory. Carrying a bag was a must, so that we could get home all the goodies given in each house, the most common being the shundal. Every visitor was expected to sing at least one song while sitting in front of the kolu. ‘Vara Veena, Mrudu Pani’ was the easiest for me. My mother took great pride in sending me to music class.The music teacher lived in the street behind ours. I would go every evening after school carrying a notebook with me to write down the musical notes and later the songs. A group of girls my age would come there to learn music.
Happy memories!3 years ago
Rahul was reading about the invention of paper in China and how it was brought to India in the 13th century through the Ghorian conquerors. Indians learnt the art of manufacturing paper thereafter. It was, at first, used for writing on. Later, even for packing sweets and food. We then imagined an India 7 centuries back, with people walking in the marketplace, someone buying sweets which were given to him wrapped in paper. How nice it would be to actually stand beside him in this bustling marketplace, watching this happen! How would the people have been dressed? What would they look like?
How nice if we could be time travellers!
My mind wandered back to the time when our ancestor had started out on his travel to Thanjavur, leaving his home behind in Maharashtra, to move to the fertile land in the south, to serve his king. Would he have started out alone? Or did he have his brothers and cousins with him? Where were his parents? Were they strong enough to travel with him; Strong enough to leave their home behind?
I marvel at the spirit of adventure in this man, my forefather, his patriotism and loyalty to his leader, his strong will and courage to make an unknown, far away place his new home. What was he like? Did he ride by the side of his king, strong and straight-backed? Did he walk? Did he ride a bullock-cart? Did he travel with his wife or did he take a bride later in his new home?
Oh! To go to those wonderful times, walk a little by his side, hear him speak & get to know him a little!
I wonder what those brave people thought when they first saw the lush green lands of Thanjavur! How did they interact with the local population & how, as time went by, did the local customs and language influence them? How did they blend in their adopted land and come to be known as Thanjavur Maharashtrians?3 years ago
Back after a long time. I was busy with family matters that needed my attention. I did not have the time nor the inclination to write. Monsoon has set in. Bangalore has cooled down and the weather is very pleasant. Right now as I write this, there is a cool breeze flowing in through the window. We don’t need to use the fan much. I spent this afternoon listening to Marathi songs on youtube. I listened to the song about Ganpathi - ’ Prathama tula vandito.’ There is magic in Vasantrao’s voice. The same goes for Sudhir Phadke. Well, that’s it for now.3 years ago
Ashwin is having Crazy Hair Day at his school in Austin. Smita has spiked his hair and coloured it blue. He must be very excited and proud. I will ask her to put up some pictures of his.
He is very interested in Amar Chitra Katha comics. He has a lot of questions to ask about the stories and the characters. Apparently he has spoken to his friends at school about this. When Smita went to pick him up, his friend Esther asked her, ‘which is the God who can fly?’
He is able to read three letter words with the help of phonic sounds, can write his name and loves to draw and colour.4 years ago
I have started knitting a hat in green and blue.
My niece Asha who is great at knitting and cross-stitch, has given me very clear and detailed instructions for the hat. It has a cable pattern. I am enjoying doing this and hope to complete it soon. Once it’s done, I will start on a scarf to go with it.
Bangalore seems to cooling down from the rains of the last couple of days, so it should be ok to work with wool now.4 years ago