Inspirations

Jharkhand Food Series

Jharkhand food, Jharkhand ka khana, Jharkhand ki speciality, sattu ki kachori, saag k daanton ki sabzi, thekua, chawal ka chilka, dalpuri, kheerkadam, arbi k patte ki sazi, sevai, bundiya, karele ka bharwan, gobi k sukaute ki sabzi, raam dana laddu, anarsa, litti, chokha, tamatar sarson ki chutney, tisi ki bari, flaxseeds fryums, poori, sabzi, Deoghar, food lovers, food, homemade, home cooked, rustic food, forgotten food, love for food, love made edible, gulmohar doodles, gulmohardoodles, Puneeta Prakash, Puneeta Prakash blog, blogger, Jharkhand, Indian cuisine, Indian FoodBalakrishnan K

Jharkhand

I never thought that one day I will be sitting and writing down my journey of nostalgic, rustic and might be forgotten food/ recipes of my state. The state which has given me a lot. It has given me my identity, has taught me to admire and protect nature, ignited my love for food, helped me in finding happiness from the smaller things in life and inculcated in my soul to try and be content with minimalism and not to forget to love unconditionally. How could I not think of returning it at least a portion of the favor it has showered on me throughout my life?

Jharkhand food is not very popular yet. One can rarely find any authentic Jharkhand food/ thaali even while visiting Jharkhand. I personally believe that it is because of the lack of tourism and demand of the local food there. And also the local people’s belief of always eating freshly home cooked food every day, every time. It is still a rarity that people would go out and eat any meal. Of course, this fact has been changing with the new generation. But, the point here is that even when people go out to eat food, they don’t want to eat the same cuisine which they prepare at home everyday. They want to eat something different. And hence, seeing the demand it is almost impossible to find a joint/ restaurant/ eatery which serves authentic Jharkhand food.

In this Jharkhand food series, I am going to try and introduce as many food items as I can to the outside world. Some of it might be already known and others could be totally new. Nevertheless, I am really happy to share my love for food, my stories, my findings and my connection with it with you all 😊

So, aren’t you excited because I really am! Can you recognize any of the food items in the teaser? Unraveling soon the mouthwatering series 😋😊😍 Don’t forget to keep yourself posted 🤗

Listening to the radio today, I got to know that the world is observing International Mother Language Day today. Till date I was unaware of any such day of celebration. Isn’t it fascinating to know that such a day exists? A day to cherish and know the simple pleasure of the comfort of speaking in one’s own mother’s tongue/language? The language which gives you an identity. The language which would always be closest to your heart. The language in which you will think and dream. The language in which you would love!

Language of love, International Mother Language Day, mother's tongue, mother's language, Hindi, Tamil, English, Kannada, childhood, inculcating values, love, languages, languageBalakrishnan K

My mother’s tongue/language is Magahi (a dialect of Hindi). But, she always taught us to speak in Hindi. That was a language I grew up listening, talking, feeling and believing in. Somewhere in this process, I believe we forgot our roots. The language which was there long before we were born. The language which was a lever to all the community connections. I struggle to speak in my mother’s dialect today. Because, I somehow can not relate to it. This makes me sad. The reality today is that I can not fathom to teach the same to my daughter. And thus I know, that the chain is gonna break and the language will die a very slow death. It is heartbreaking.

Language of love, International Mother Language Day, mother's tongue, mother's language, Hindi, Tamil, English, Kannada, childhood, inculcating values, love, languages, languageBalakrishnan K

Hindi is my mother language and my husband’s is Tamil and we live in a place where Kannada is spoken. We are raising a daughter who seeing and listening to her parents conversation unknowingly has considered English as her mother tongue. It’s not her fault neither is ours. I am raising a confident kid. A kid who I know would learn a mosaic of languages soon. We as parents, want to inculcate in her that no culture or language is superior than other. Embracing the diversity of our country and living in harmony choosing whichever language she wants and living a happy life is all we wish for her. Among all these, what we wish the most for is that she listens with the ears of tolerance, see through the eyes of compassion and chooses to speak in the language of love. How beautiful that would be!

Language of love, International Mother Language Day, mother's tongue, mother's language, Hindi, Tamil, English, Kannada, childhood, inculcating values, love, languages, languageBalakrishnan K

Amen

The golden era of the Marigold

Aren’t some flowers a real messenger of good times ahead? Their occurrence solely can fill the mind with numerous memories and hearts with immense joy. The robust yellowish-orange color marigold flowers are like tiny beams of the sun rays in the dark, foggy, gloomy days. Their bright colors are the symbol of happiness. As if they flash their colors in the sunshine shouting – “Helloo there! Look at me. I am so happy!”

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These lovelies bloom early in the morning unlike us, when most of us are hiding ourselves under those warm, cosy blankets, snoozing the alarm clocks, pulling our feet a bit more closer to our chests. They salute the rising sun with a dance of excitement, each and every day, till they live. Those magnificent golden beauties bring the message that the festivals are coming. The good times are almost here! Are you ready to welcome them?

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Most of the festivals which I can think of had these lovely flowers adorning our house, Puja rooms, courtyards, cattle and sometimes our neck or head too 🙂 Those times had a charm of it’s own. Or probably the times were different then. Simple lifestyles, less complicated relationships, laid back attitude and foremost the zeal to really celebrate and be the part of a festivity! The robotic lifestyle was not in fashion then. People were less tired and had the enthusiasm to do things. Resources were abundant, loving was easy, living in peace and adjustments and a simple and humble life brought joy in our homes. Food, love curiosity and excitement, what else can a kid ask for during these eccentric times?

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Being in a joint family, every festival was celebrated in the most traditional ways. Every action was predetermined and had to be followed how it had been done since generations. In today’s world when we think that most of the traditions which were followed were nuisance and unnecessary, I still believe that it carried an old charm of its own with it. If we think then we can realize that most of the traditional rituals have been changed/ removed/ modified according to people’s need, surrounding and the availability of the resources. My parents always tried to include us in all the chores be it cleaning, buying stuffs for the celebrations, cooking or distributing. It was always fun to be a part of the festivity. As a new mother, I try my best to give my daughter at least a glimpse of what most of the festivals really mean to me and how much I have enjoyed celebrating it. I want her to grow up understanding the value, happiness, love, sharing and care which these festivities bring around.

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Of course, I can’t replicate what my parents and relatives did to make every festival look so alive and memorable. The amount of work and dedication which use to go in it, I really doubt I have it in me. But the good part is, I do try and cook a certain dish related to each festival or decorate or follow the rituals of every festival. If not the original at least the modified version. This year as I always do, I cooked Mutter Ghugni for Durga Puja and Thekua for Diwali. We also made the Diwali rangoli together.

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I try to show her and in the process let her contribute in her own ways. My daughter might or might not follow these rituals in her life. But I surely would know, that I have tried my best to show and make her understand and believe in spreading love, happiness, empathy and contentment in some way or other in whatever she choose. Don’t you in some way try the same?

Bloom, bloom where you are planted, school prayer, bible prayer, bloom, life, joy, happiness, blessings, spirit, free, love, belief, gulmohardoodles, Puneeta Prakas, Puneeta Prakash blog, Gulmohar DoodlesGulmohar Doodles

Bloom, bloom, bloom, where you’re planted,
You will find your way.
Bloom, bloom, bloom. You will have your day.

Look at the flowers, look at them growing
They never worry, they never work.
Yet look at the way our Father clothes them,
Each with a beauty all of its own…

Some plant the seeds that others will water,
But in all things God gives the growth.
Come, let Him garden the flowers with in you,
come and Discover some you’ve never known.

Look at the love that lies deep within you.
Let yourself be! Let yourself be!
Look at the gifts you have been given,
Let them go free! Let them go free!

One day, Brahma and Vishnu were quarreling. Brahma claimed, ‘I created the world. I must be God.’ Vishnu retorted, ‘That you seek validation means you cannot be God.’ ‘Then who is the God?’ Brahma demanded to know.

I Am God, I Am Shiva, Shiva, Bholenaath, Shivji, Fire, World, God Balakrishnan K

In response a pillar of fire appeared between them. It stretched up beyond the dome of the sky and below the foundations of the earth. And the fire seemed to be burning without any fuel.

Both Brahma and Vishnu decided to look for the ends of this pillar of fire. Brahma took the form of a swan and flew up to find its top. Vishnu took the form of a boar and dug his way down, determined to find its base. Brahma flew for months and years but there was no sign of the tip of the fiery pillar. Vishnu dug for months and years but there was no sign of the base of the fiery pillar. Finally, exhausted, the two returned to share their findings. ‘This pillar of fire has no base,’ admitted Vishnu. ‘It is endless and infinite.’ Brahma, however, lied. ‘I found the tip. I even found Ketaki flowers on it. I have done what you couldn’t do. I am greater than you. I must therefore be God.’

As soon as Brahma said this, the pillar of fire burst open and out came another God, who looked like a mendicant, smeared with ash and wrapped in animal skins. ‘Liar,’ he shouted pointing to Brahma. ‘You lie so that you can delude the world with your lies so as to dominate everyone around you and feel powerful. You are not God.’ He then turned to Vishnu and smiled, ‘You admit the truth. You are humble enough to accept limitations. You are curious to know what lies beyond the horizon. You are not intimidated by uncertainty or afraid of ignorance. You are in the process of becoming God.’

Brahma trembled and bowed to this self-assured being. Vishnu watched him in awe. The mendicant identified himself, ‘If the formless can be given a form then I am he. I am God, I am Shiva.’

I Am God, I Am Shiva, Shiva, Bholenaath, Shivji, Fire, World, God, Kotilingeshwara,Balakrishnan K

Since that day the stone pillar or lings is worshiped by all, a reminder of the pillar of flames that appeared between Brahma and Vishnu. Those who look at this image as merely a stone image are like Brahma, people who lack imagination and who do not yearn for wisdom. Those who look at this stone image as a symbolic container of an idea are like Vishnu, people with imagination who yearn for the truth that exists beyond the tangible.

~ Devdutt Pattanaik from 7 Secrets of Shiva

— I am God, I am Shiva

Gathering the moments and making memories

We are back from our family vacation. The wedding, laughter, blessings, gatherings, food, love, gifts, laughter are all shared and imprinted in our hearts and memories now. The calmness, soothing and peaceful, lush green sceneries took out the tiredness and longing from our body and mind. We came alive again. We breathed and we lived after a very long time. I wonder how the good times always pass so quickly? Even before we realize that it’s over now we heed to our robotic lives again. I wish, we could stay happy, peaceful and content like this forever.

Peace, Memories, Love, Pondicherry, MomentsBalakrishnan K

Greenery, Fields, Paddy, Coconut plantation, Pondicherry, Love, Memories, MomentsBalakrishnan K

June as usual brings lots of happiness in my family’s life. Be it the long summer holidays back during childhood, meeting all the relatives, cooking, dancing, playing or now, celebrating our wedding anniversary and the birth of Gulmohardoodles. Five marvelous, happy and joyful years passed by getting married to the best husband I could have ever fathomed of. All these years went as if in a jiffy. We struggled, we fell, we cried, gathered ourselves and stood up again. The love primrose reached its heights and our bond got stronger and stronger. Holding hands, standing for each other, believing in our love and the uncontrollable urge to be in each others arms held us for these mighty five years. I pray to the almighty that with every passing year our love and respect for each other gets stronger and the bond unbreakable.

Bless.

Bless, blessings, Indian Gods, Hindu mythology, Vishnu, Laxmi, Lakshmi, Pondicherry, WeddingBalakrishnan K

Aren’t family gatherings great? All those moments, the times when we sit and “just be” with someone else talking, listening, sharing, laughing, crying, sitting quietly make the best memories. All of those moments are stored up as a potion against all the hard, dark and broken times in our lives. The silly talks with the toddlers and the kids. Making faces, playing games, running around, pleasing them doing silly things are all missed. The chit-chats with those who come back after long time from a different land, reviving the old memories, munching on the traditional snacks, hot-steaming cups of tea making rounds are the times to die for. We should never doubt the good we do when we listen to the story of a child or sing along an old song with our friend. Sitting with an old friend, each of us doing our own thing and still making memories…Such pleasures of life…

Sharing happiness, gathering memories, moments, love, happiness, bBalakrishnan K

With time and age, I have realized that one should never underestimate “the power of a moment”. That one moment can store a lot of happiness, strength, joy and love which could be used in the difficult times. These moments are the seeds of happiness. Which once planted again can bring back all the good times and memories again. Store them well. Make all the good memories when you can.

Give and you shall receive, Give, Love, BlessingsGulmohar Doodles

Few days back, on the way to the beach we met two kind souls. A old man and an old woman. Both were spreading random happiness calling people/ kids and giving them small little things. I found them very rich. Rich in their hearts. Rich in their soul and rich in their way of loving. I have understood that I should never question the worth of a kind word or a smile to a stranger. Never hesitate to share a laugh or encouragement or affection. They didn’t expect anything from others whilst they continued their act of kindness. They ensured that they have something or else to give even when they themselves had so less (probably). They blessed us and our daughter and I wondered if I could ever be like them? How I wish!

Solace In Nature, nature, love, memories, happiness, Pondicherry, greenery, sharingBalakrishnan K

I want to say a big thank you to all my well wishers, blog readers, friends and family to give me so many joyful memories which I have been tucking away and will pull back out when the storms approach. My blog completes its 4th year this month. I am grateful to all those who made it happen. Remember, YOU MATTER. Your words, thoughts, laughter everything matters. More than you can ever know or think of.

Love to all. Stay blessed.

Weaving Memories

Recently, I have been thinking and thinking a lot about the memories I have been gathering for a while now. The days are malleable and memories are bound to be created everyday. The irony is that some stay with us forever and the others get erased with the sand of time. I believe that we women are the guardians of memories. We preserve them like no one else does and then pass it on to generations. Don’t we stock all the memories which contains the fragments of love, food, stories, beliefs, joy, sadness, laughter and much more? Well, I do 🙂

Weaving Memories, OM, om, aum, the beggining, happiness, love, life, stories, myth, mythology, hindu, hinduismGulmohar Doodles

As a kid, I loved to hear stories. I was bemused by the beliefs, bravery, love and the beauty of things said by old souls. I listened to them keenly and created a world of my own among them. It is fascinating how the memories, the stories, the talks cling to us and visit us often.

Weaving Memories, Ardhnaarishwar, Shiva, Parvati, Shiv-parvati, Dance, me without you is incomplete, happiness, love, life, stories, myth, mythology, hindu, hinduismGulmohar Doodles

Some out of boredom, the others out of sheer interest, I drew these. The happiness, the solace and the sense of doing something from the heart has lifted my spirit multiple times. There are days when things are hard and doing something like this lighten my mind and sets me free and I weave more memories. the memories which I know will remain engraved in my heart for a long time. The happiness collected and passed on, the encouragement given and inspirations taken, the beads of stories woven and gathered makes me believe that life can be full of happiness and contentment.

Weaving Memories, Maa Durga, Fight, Good over evil, Durga, Fearless, happiness, love, life, stories, myth, mythology, hindu, hinduismGulmohar Doodles

I want to gather all the happiness and store it in my heart tight. I want to make good memories and use them as the light when the times of darkness approaches. I want to be the firefly who brings hope with its tiny light in the ravenous darkness. Like the wings of a butterfly, I want to bring out these joyful memories and spread happiness which are safely tucked away in the heart.

This world is a beautiful place and so is you. Please do spread random happiness till we meet again.

Sprinkles of Magic…

Some days are superficial. They just start and then end. Nothing happens on those days. No memories are created and no stories are woven. But some days are different. They bring colors, sunshine, happiness and lots of laughter with them. The colours so bright that one can get soaked in its’ depth and emerge as a bright Kingfisher! The days which can show wider horizons, roads which leads to a brighter and a much happier life and a sense of completeness.

Aren’t such days a blessing in our daily lives? I think at times, if only all my days could be so exciting, so harmonious and so colourful… If only it could be possible to embrace everyone around me with love and spread happiness like a butterfly. Happiness and laughter are communicable diseases (in a good way)… People around can easily get infected by it and it can keep on spreading… Won’t the world be a much happier place to live in then?

Gulab Mithai, Gulaab mithai, sprinkles of magic, love for food, food, sweet tooth, loveGulab Mithai, Gulaab mithai, sprinkles of magic, love for food, food, sweet tooth, loveGulab Mithai, Gulaab mithai, sprinkles of magic, love for food, food, sweet tooth, lovePhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K

On one such delightful day in my life, I chose to celebrate it with “Gulaab Mithai”. It surely added more colours, sweetness and happiness to our already excitement filled day 🙂

I hope everyone is having a great day. Don’t forget to sprinkle some love around you 🙂 See you soon!

 

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