Personal Views

Food, Love, Rain and Happiness…

“Beta kya khaogi? Kya bana dein? Jo v khane ka man hai bata do, sab ban jaayega…” These are the usual dialogues of my maa on my visit to my hometown. Her constant requests of letting her know about all those eatables/ delicacies which according to her I would be craving for months/ years leaving me feeling like a queen. I always stammer in those weak moments and all I can say is “khichdi”, “baingan bhaja” or a humble “aalu bhujia”. Of course it doesn’t stop there after a day or two and things keep on getting added in the “Foods to be eaten” list. As soon as the food words drop out of my mouth, maa would give instructions and my papa would get ready happily with the “plastic jhola” and head towards the market straight where he could buy the fresh supply of vegetables and meat or fish!

I always wonder from where maa gets all the strengths and the stamina to work hours in the kitchen, grinding, pounding, cutting, stirring and preparing all those mouth-watering food alone. And she can do this in a jiffy without any tension lingering over her head or batting an eyelid! I don’t think I can feel the same ever. Even when some guests are coming over or we have some festival at home and by any chance I ask my husband or friends what they would like to eat, I stand in constant fear that they shouldn’t ask for anything which would either require lots of time or work! I even get nightmares before the scheduled day! I get jittery with all those requests and wonder will ever ask the same questions to my kids!

Maa loves cooking like all the Indian mothers. She says that she finds solace, happiness and great pleasure in cooking for her near and dear ones. And what else is there to do at home? She might get bored sitting idle. Huh!! She has got loads of patience too and her own vegetables and flower garden where she tries to grow different varieties and love them as her own kids! My dad’s philosophy is that small town people are laid back. They don’t run behind monetary things and value their kids and family above everything. Spending time with them, looking for their likes and dislikes and being content with whatever they have is what their life is all about. In this so much laid back and peaceful life, they have plenty of time. And the best way to pass it is by cooking, eating and celebrating it with food, fresh home cooked food made with tons of love and care!

A buggy meetupPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

It is the monsoon (Saavan) season now. As a kid, I remember it raining all the time there and our constant efforts to dry our clothes, specially school uniforms from one place to another. Making paper boats, listening to the frogs croaking and calling their lovers, tiny snails crawling in all the places leaving their slimy trail behind and once in a while a green viper crossing our way left our tiny souls thrilled and imbibe with happiness. The lust greenery everywhere, the washed and cleaned leaves, puddles, mud, fallen trees as our playground and a huge supply of guavas from our garden.

Chawal ka cheela, home made butterPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

Amongst the rain, chaos and fun, we were supplied with lots of delicacies. Even now, whenever I go home, maa doesn’t fail me with her amazing sense of remembrance. She always comes up with those foods which were once my favorite and would always make a bad face sharing it with anyone. She would also make those delicacies which I would have forgotten or wouldn’t have asked her thinking that it would require numerous amount of work. Somehow she just gets to know I guess. At times I wonder that will I have the same sense of remembrance for my kids and will do the same amount of work for them… I doubt!

Fresh bread with malai and sugarPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

Kheerkadam mithai and besan ke gatte ki sabjiPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

For now, I am just enjoying the pictures of those mouthwatering food and living in the past. I hope everyone is enjoying the rainy season with their loved ones croaking together in joy 🙂

Stay healthy and happy folks. See you all soon.

Memories, death, time, change, grandmom, miss you, life, gulmohar doodles, Puneeta Prakash
Photo courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

“Death changes everything! Time changes nothing…
I still miss the sound of your voice, the wisdom in your advice,
the stories of your life and just being in your presence.
So no, time changes nothing, I miss you as much today as
I did the day you died.
I just miss you!”

— Memories…

The complicated love story between love, tantrums and my husband…

I have always been a very sensitive person. I over think every little thing and care way more than I should, but that’s what makes my love so strong. Tiniest things can either spark love or anger in me. Over time, people have named me an emotional fool while others have seen me as an egoistic brat. I don’t mind either of them!

Now, the point is, I don’t consider myself mean. I am just a human-being who reacts! Be it a situation or a statement. Yes, I do get angry and bitter at times but I would never consider myself a mean species ever! I have this huge tendency of taking out my frustration/ breakdown on people I love or who are close to me the most. And by luck or the wrong stars, my husband tops this chart. I love him the most on this earth and always take his love for granted knowing that he would stand beside me in all the goods and odds. There had been multiple instances when I have taken my office frustrations, emotional breakdown and other stress on him. I would have snapped, criticized, thrown tantrums or nagged on him for the smallest things which he would have no clue could be noticed and been fought about.

Often, back in my head when I know that he could have had a bad day too and doesn’t deserve the burden of my anger at all, I can’t stop myself from doing this actually! I would hesitate, stop, try to control my anger but in vain… I have felt guilty about this most of the times and have cried in the dark hours of the night. I have realized that often when I am shouting at him, I am actually not angry. And even when I would have been angry, it goes off after just the initial 3-4 words. And then I keep on just to complete my sentence! This generally happens about the daily chores or general tasks. I get angry and throw tantrums when he comes back late from office and immediately after dinner starts working back again. I feel lonely, unloved and left out in those wee hours. Anger or frustration which I would have stopped myself from showing to a colleague, considering the “being politically correct and maintaining the professionalism” somehow always lands on the poor husband.

Do I feel ashamed and want to change? Yes, yes and yes. I love him the most and wouldn’t want to lose him for my silliness. The best thing about my husband is, even after all this his love graph for me has never gone down. Instead he has always kissed me and said “I love you” and hugged me every single morning with the rising sun and every night under the shining moonlight. He cooks for me without complaining most of the days and even in the wee hours of the night when I get hunger cramps. He holds my hand, stands beside me at parties and other social gatherings and put his arms around me. He rarely shows irritation, and rarely criticizes me. He is kind, witty, thoughtful, brilliant, loving, creative, funny, intelligent, hardworking, and well informed on a wide range of subjects. He has even fed me numerous times with his own hands while I would be running around like a mad rabbit getting ready to go to office in the mornings. He consider me beautiful even when I look horrible and messed up!

Well, I have tried hard to resist showing my frustration and keep myself calm and composed but it is high time I start trying harder! And start respecting the love and great happiness I have got in having him in my life. Happy marriages are the ones where you have the freedom of speech, expression and love. Dear husband, within you I loose myself and without you I find myself wanting to be lost again. I promise that I will be honest about my frustrations and compress it by taking a second to breathe and make myself be gracious for compliments more. I will try to release expectations and enjoy things for what they are instead of what I think they should be.

The complicated love story

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ― Marcel Proust

P.S.: I Love You. You are my favorite ♥♥

Positiveness is faith, love is my religion and a firefly is what I want to be!

Resembling the subtle blinking luminous lights, peeping in the ravenous darkness of the eerie night, I want to sing silent love songs just like the male fireflies, flash and splash my heart out… embrace everyone who passes my way, sprinkle them with a drop of positiveness and dance away… I want to peak in and show way to those who are lost, who are immersed in the dark lake of sadness. I want to be the spark in the life of those who have lost faith… I want to say “hellooo” to those who are submerged in darkness… the soothing light which fills the soul with inner peace, love and faith… yes, yes, yes… that’s what I want to be… a firefly!

The serendipity of meeting some of the bright happy souls with hearts of gold in the least expected places and in the wee hours of our busy routine, comes as a breath of fresh air which just wipes us away for some moments! The realm of light, little sparks of hope, loud laughter and memories of a lifetime is what follows after that! Of late, I had been traveling and meeting some of these rare species… they emerged as the fresh dew drops falling off the edge of a new leaf in a misty morning… little corners of heaven depicted in their thoughts, the soothing steam rising out of a hot cup of chai comprises of the same effect as meeting these warm souls… I stood there in awe as a silent spectator… thinking how much they resemble the fireflies! Just like the fireflies, they spread their little sparks in my heart and whispered in my ears… All you want is lots of love and a pinch of faith…

Dancing with the fireflies

Time flied talking, understanding and gasping their thoughts… it is spectacular how they change your life in just a few moments or just fills it with the marbles of faith! A sudden rush of positiveness gushes through the veins in their presence… The belief of becoming one of them is what I spectate! We are in charge of how we feel and what we do. And today I am choosing happiness!

Meeting all of you is serendipity… thank you all for coming along.. “Stay bright little fireflies….Make light before my eyes… “

-Amen

 

Happiness is…Biriyani :)

Mutton Biriyani

The best way to enjoy life is to eat loads of delicious home cooked food. And for me, happiness comes with the smell of biriyani cooked in pure desi ghee, leveraged with big chunks of mutton pieces hanging around and loads of love in the form of cashews!! Yummm… can’t ask for any other pleasure in life for the moment 🙂

Well, my stomach is full, extremely satisfied and I am one happy soul today! 🙂 🙂

Mango Mania…

Where I grew up, there was a massive, enormously fertile mango garden right in front of our house. Every summer the trees would get laden with lots and lots of mangoes and children would start hovering over to steal and fill their stomach with its sour-sweet flavour escaping their lunch. The branches hung low and welcomed everyone gracefully to come and get a taste of what it had to offer… it welcomed everyone in its cool shade and gave them memories to cherish a lifetime! I remember spending the hottest summer afternoon lingering around the garden with my sisters and brother. We wholeheartedly gave them the adoration they deserved.

My mother would collect loads of mangoes in the morning while sending us off during the morning school. It was a routine to get up early (around 4:00 am) and get ready as soon as possible so that we could help mom collect them. We would count it as big achievements holding the morning picks in our small palms. Simple joys of life! I remember, mom sitting in the afternoon, escaping her afternoon nap, cutting mangoes in cubes and then making them into pickles. There were huge glass jars, which she pampered like infants and we were always prohibited from touching them. But, how much ever she tried, we would always open the jar lids and gobble the pickle as soon as it was kept in the sun…

Every afternoon, mango-mint chutney was a must. The sweet mango pickle she used to make was my all time favourite. The aam-panna which was made by cooking raw mango in firewood in the evening, was a drink we always looked forward to in the summers. No guest would be allowed to leave before drinking the refreshing sherbat.

And when the mangoes ripen, there would be someone or else who would come from the village with sacks full of mangoes and those would be stored neatly over newly placed hay on the floor. It was the mango season and all we did was eat, drink, play and cherish THE MANGO! Ahh… good old childhood days!!

Aam ki phirni

Back to the present. I can’t run around in the mango grooves anymore as there are none around my house. That’s why me and my husband are content eating this aam ki phirni for today 🙂 🙂

I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and the rain and not to forget the magnificient AAM. Kyunki aam ka season baar-baar nahi aata 😉 🙂

A trip to home…

Yes, it finally happened! I went to the place I belong to, the place I love for its simplicity, carefree life and the endless unconditional love. Where you shower in blessings, get poured with buckets and buckets of benevolentlove, eat whatever, whenever, however and how much ever your heart desires. Gaining some extra kilos in these trips because of the stupendous welcome is not even a matter to be bothered about 🙂

Whenever I go home, I feel so relaxed. I can just order for anything I want, do whatever I want and can least bother about the stupid deadlines and hours of stressful work. The undaunted attention given to me imbibes my heart and soul with respect, love and a desire to hold that every moment which passes by. They never ask you whether you want a certain item or not. They just give it to you. As if they knew even without you telling them what you need at that very moment. I can go and eat in the five star restaurants but still will die for mom’s hand cooked delicacies. Even a humble roti, subzi tastes lots more delicious than any other food cooked or served in any restaurant. The love, care, affection and food bestowed on us by my parents are unbeatable. I always wonder how do they manage to be so humble, patient and hopeful all the time? How can they never get tired by all the work which comes along with the kids? I hope I will have these values in me someday.

HomecomingPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

The other thing which mesmerises me is the way all the ladies dress up there. Those perfectly pleated cotton sarees, hair neatly partioned into two and filled with the auspicious blazing red sindoor, hands decorated with heena wearing the sanka-pola and matching glass bangles, the big red bindi, feet beautifully decorated with alta, the glistering silver toerings and the magnificient aura they carry. It is just so beautiful. Back at home, everything is so different. The way people interact, think, care and love each other tells a totally different saga than the usual nip-nucks here in the bigger cities. I love the fact that even when you just bump into anyone’s house unannounced, they serve you with fresh, home cooked delicacies like samosas, nimkis, thekuas, pakoda and what not unlike the usual tea and some packed snacks served in expensive tea sets in the big cities here. As, a kid, I remember whenever we use to go to any auntie’s house, she would get up after five minutes of talking and just rush to the kitchen. My eyes would glitter with the thought of those upcoming mouthwatering, delicious hot samosas being served with tangy tomato and date chutney. Pedas and kheerkadam were my favourite. I was least interested in the gossips and grown-up talks and would give my full attention to the samosas.

With passing time, children visiting their families have become so rare that whenever they come home it is a celebration for everyone. A time for the families to get together, cherish the daughter’s homecoming and gather all the moments of their presence in their heart. There was a time when coming home after years together or for a very short duration meant that the town is inaccessible or several different trains and buses away. The transportation problem has mostly been solved now. The only persisting problems are the deadlines and the leave restrictions. Still, isn’t it true that how much ever far we go away, our hometown, our land always remain closest to our heart. We find solace in these small towns which can’t give you loads of money but is capable of giving all that what money can’t buy!

Part of me always wonder that why all good things and days have to end so fast?? We long for them for so long and then it finally arrives, bringing loads of love, laughter, happiness and care and then within the blink of an eye it gets over! We remain surrounded by the same vaccum, longing and the nonending robotic life. But then as my mom says – “Good things have to end. So that we value what we have in our lives and cherish those moments/days each time they come with more love and enthusiasm.”

Hope everyone is having a great night! Right now I’m listening to the rain hitting the ground outside my room which is so soothing to the ears. I love the summer rain!!

Home is where the heart is…

Of late I had been reading lots and lots of blogs. And somehow without any connection the bad feeling of home sickness has started kicking in deep inside me! The feeling to go back to my roots… the feeling to get back everything which I left and came to explore this materialistic world… I want to go back and get all that love, feeling, happiness, contentment, glory, hope, belief and the most important, peace, in my life back.

HomesickPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

I have started yearning for everything back at home. I miss and yearn to see the early morning sunlight trying to pierce the dense trees showering the golden dust on everything in its golden perimeter… I miss how the earth looks so joyous, colorful, heavenly and content in that glorious time… I miss the crazy birds, chirping loudly and joyfully outside my window every morning, calling all the gone residents of the city to come back and enjoy the laid back and peaceful life… I miss the different shaped clouds which would form following the amazing scenery when it used to rain… I miss the hailstorms, the cheerful shoutings, the mango flower’s soothing smell… the cuckoo singing… the fireflies spreading tiny sparks of hope in the old wrinkled eyes… I miss the crickets in the shrubs chirping and calling for its love… I miss the smell and the soothing low lights of the kerosene oil lamps and lanterns spreading the aura of love and togetherness… I miss the smell of old books and the numerous stories following it… I yearn to walk on the topsy-turvy roads remembering the good old past childhood days… I miss the clear dark sky full of shattered stars and the moon shining happily in-between them bathing every surrendered soul in its composture and calmness… I miss the most appetizing food cooked with tons and tons of love poured without any adulteration… I miss talking and listening to all the nonsense conversation, laughing over silly jokes, finding and seeing old photographs, meeting old neighbours, relatives and friends who I know care about me… I miss how the smallest of small things give utter joy to kids over there… I miss the dirty, crowded and the congested roads which always led to a friend’s/relative’s house… I miss the divine smell of the incense sticks, camphor and flowers walking on the streets at dawn and dusk… I miss the loud sound of the conch being blown by someone during the morning and evening prayers… I miss the steaming cups of tea in the earthern pots served with so much genrosity… I miss the primroses swaying and dancing in the spring breeze… I miss running, playing and exploring the big old house whose every wall says a different story…

Oh… how I miss… EVERYTHING!

It has been a really long time since I visited my hometown. Something or other always came in the way of me and myself going to the place I love; the place I belong to…. Yes, I know I could and should have gone and have visited my home if I have been feeling so “homesick”. But then, I gave more importance to the materialistic things in my life. Maybe I was wrong but not totally…Sometimes you have to lose something to gain something… Be it for family or yourself! Sometimes you have to just keep aside all the thoughts and work like a machine, do whatever has been told to you and just follow the robotic life you have chosen… But then, it is not going to last long. No, I can’t keep on doing this to my life… I want to live, I want to love, I want to pray and I want to laugh… most of all, I want to embrace and know that I am going to start another day in my life in the place I felt myself to be a part of… it does assure you of happiness that can be found in small yet meaningful things which can’t be brought  to you by million sparkling treasures.

I can’t wait to be back!

 

 

Valentine's DayPhoto courtesy: Balakrishnan K | www.utopianhere.com

It was Valentine’s Day yesterday and the air was filled with love and happiness. People were celebrating this day of love everywhere. The question which arises in my mind is – “Is a day in an year enough for showing all the love you have for that special person in your life??” Nah! I need an eternity to show that, and wouldn’t be surprised if thats’ not enough for me… 🙂 🙂

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.. and I have known that in my life. I am not a person who is for Valentines, romantic songs, teddy bears, big heart stuffed toys, chocolates, icecreams, roses and teddy bears… but a hearty breakfast is something I just can’t resist. Specially, when it is made with so much love by my beloved husband 🙂 🙂 Heart shaped pancakes laced with honey, scrambled eggs with tomato and butter and susages with baby potatoes with steaming cups of ginger tea… yum, yum yum yum!! Long live my love and the love and bonding we share together!!

Read it somewhere and totally agree that love is –
“Beloved, Be-loved, Be love, and Let Love be…”

Life happens… when you stop and listen!!

“So many reasons for you to be happy…So many reasons for you to be smiling
But you’re not about to see ‘em,…You’re not about to feel ‘em,
You’re not about to be ‘em….if you don’t believe them…”

Life happens… when you stop and listen!! Its’ amazing and magical when you stop and start listening to your life. Its’ life changing…its peaceful and meaningful. Life always tries to talk to us, in different ways. Its’ just us… who don’t stop for a moment to listen to it! It has happened lots of times to me, I have heard and ignored these magical words. But this time, it was for real! I was able to make sense out of a string of seemingly random events, that might not make sense to many. But to me it did… it did this time… when I bothered to stop, listen, and check in with my heart. Let me tell you how.

I have recently joined a new company and my office timings have changed. I start early in the morning and come back home around dawn. One of these days, when I was returning from office, I was so tensed and engrossed in my own thoughts about the amount of work, tension and tiredness I feel in my life all the time. Whilst all this, my bus stopped in the signal and I saw a place where a building was getting constructed. It was dawn and all the workers were wrapping their work. They were happy, content and were preparing for a happy evening with their family and friends. These workers stay near the same building in a cemented house which is their home till the building is complete. I saw those workers and their wives, daughters and kids… how happy they were… Everyone was doing their own chores happily…The ladies didn’t mind cooking for their family even when they too had worked the whole day with their men! One of the lady came out with the oil lamp for doing the evening prayers.. following was the conch’s loud and soothing sound… The ladies didn’t mind men eating and throwing the green gram pods on the floor… kids were happily playing with the men.. I could see the stealing expressions of a newly wed couple… Everything was so normal… but still so magical… it changed something in me.

This sight is common.. and we see it often while travelling in Bangalore roads… But what I realized this time was, how happy and content these people looked. Even when they have so little in their life! They don’t have a permanent place to stay, they have to change their home with their work, they earn so less, they have no luxuries in their life, their children don’t go to hi-fi schools, they can’t go and buy whatever they want all the time… the limitations are endless… but does this stop them from being happy?? From just living the moment? From just cherishing the little things and joy they have in their life?? NO!! I know these people will have their own sorrows, but this time I saw something different! I felt guilty for myself! What am I doing with my own life and the people who love me? Why I don’t cherish the joys and moments which I have in my life? Why do I compare and get upset? Why can’t I see the husband who unconditionally loves me and feeds with his own hands every single morning before I leave for my office?? I loathe what I have done or am doing to my life!

I firmly believe that to show us the direction of our heart’s desire, the world is always sending us hints, messages, views and prompts, or whatever we need… We just need to stop and give an ear to these messages… The more you listen to life, the more peace, happiness and meaning you will have in your life. This world is always talking to us. But we are so busy trying to survive life, that we don’t have time to listen to life… We all can benefit by listening to the passing moment, the moment we are living now… right now… instead of getting trapped in our own head. Come out from that confinement, start living and enjoying the moment and you will see a much beautiful, colourful and a meaningful life infront of you… you will see how a more content life unfolds infront of you!

Taking a walk early in the morning, seeing old couples walking together in the park, fresh supply of vegetables arriving, spring flowers dancing with the wind, the fresh air, morning dew, children going to school… believe me its’ too soothing to the eyes as well as your soul! See the happy life around you, the positiveness calling you to embrace itself, listen to the universe trying to send signals for you to grow and flourish, listen to your heart and your inner soul… Understand that the world exists only in your head between your eyes… its you and only you who choose how your world is going to be!!

 

 

1 2 3 4  Scroll to top