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Maganlal Chhaganlal Paapiwaaley

Friday, February 19, 2010

I first came to know that she was on the way in April,1994-----and she arrived on 23rd.December1994 at 1.44 p.m. in St.Elizabeth's Nursing Home.On arrival the first thing she did was to just grab hold of our hearts and hold them tight in her tiny starfish hands------that's the way it's been since----She is our life----our beautiful grand-daughter!!!
I have this habit of giving nicknames to all the people I love-------thus when I first set my eyes on this grey eyed rosy cheeked baby the first thing that came to mind was----Buddha bless you.She resembled those Shaolin Monks in the movie"The Temple of Shaolin" and so for the first month she was Buddha bless you!!!That month was spent familiarising herself with her surroundings and by the next month she had gained enough confidence to become demanding and imperious---that was when she progressed from the earlier name to the royal"They".Each month had a different flavour to it----so did the names----from being called just whatever came to mind must have been confusing but I must say that she coped magnificently-----if it was Aaji calling in that tone dripping honey---it had to be for her!!!
At age six months my sweet little bundle turned into a little despot----and the name "Raavana" stuck to her ever since!!!It became a battle of wills between her and me---we were each other's best friends(still are)but both being stubborn and self willed we'd fight on petty issues---no words were used---only glaring looks and staring eyes---since then she has felt that both of us are of the same age!!!!On those days when she was a sweet, good amiable baby she was The Maganlal Chhaganlal Paapiwaaley!!!Her father's a Gujarati---hence the two first names and "Paapi" in Marathi means a kiss----so each time I wanted a kiss I'd address her thus----and she'd very graciously oblige!!!!Whenever she'd come over to stay overnight with us,she'd walk out of the kids bedroom with her eyes closed and arms spread out calling"Aaji mala ghey"meaning "Grandma please pick me up!!!" early in morning after hearing my footsteps in the kitchen.Then I'd make our morning Tea while she clung like a Limpet to me!!!We did a lot of things together---she'd sit with me when I recorded my music---she has an ear for Music---or during our afternoon siestas she'd lie with her head on my arm and I'd tell her Fairy Tales,Legends from ancient Mythology,bits of Indian History------she was like a sponge---soaking up everything!!!!Though we are 40 years apart in age we're very much alike----I call her my "Ansh Avataar" or my little Clone!!!
She grew up multilingual---at the age of 3 spoke Marathi,Gujarati,Hindi and English and could switch languages with effortless ease in mid sentence!!!As she grew older, her names grew too---some of the moment but some that stuck-------the most popular ones being Magad the Bagad(Bagad means Fish-Head considered to be a Brain food),Mon the Ton and Mogadishu!!!Now I just like the sound of the last one---it's the capital of Somalia---but somehow it fits my Raavana well!!!
Today she is a tall (5'8")slender but strong young teen----studying in High School----a very clever student who is active in quite a few student activities.She plays Tennis, Volley Ball, Basket Ball and is also studying the Bharata Natyam---a classical Indian Dance form.Even today she loves to listen to old Fairy Tales-----and still claims that her Aaji's arm is the best pillow she can ever have!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 2/25/2010 12:33AM

    Awww, how cute! I love the nicknames. emoticon

She sounds like a wonderful young woman.

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SD1957 2/20/2010 5:00AM

  reminds me of the day i became a grand-mother, 3 yrs back...when i gave my son and daughter in law a surprise visit at the time of her delivery... they live in toronto.. and me in mumbai... my husband decided to keep it a secret from them... infact when my daughter in law started her labour pains , i was on the flight and they had no clue , i was going over.... my son called and spoke to my husband ... telling him that daughter in law had started pains and where is mama... i wud like to speak to her ... ( this is his first kid)... my husband told him that i was out on a business trip... he said "dad i just spoke to her in the morning.. how come she did,nt tell me ?)husband said that i had to go in a hurry... well my younger son who is studying there was there at the airport to pick me up and we drove straight to the hospital.... all with my luggage and all... my son waited in the lobby and i took the lift to floor where my daughter in law and son were ... waiting for their darling daughter to arrive in this world... as soon i got off the lift, they heard the lift shutting, they both looked around, wondering who had come and thats when they saw me ... both of them were stunned ( they thot they were going to be alone for thsi first delivery) my son said "oh look mom is here .... they both hugged me and cried.... and the next moring my darling grand daughter was born... a moment i will never forgrt for life....its good to become a mother , but trust me ... even better feel when u become a grand mother.....)):

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SAASHA17 2/19/2010 11:58AM

    awww cute:)..i like her names...lol...

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Sayali's Vegetarian Stint!!!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sayali our younger daughter is a confirmed Non-Vegetarian----in 1996 she could barely survive the mandatory Vegetarian Mondays at home------she was that much of a Non-Vegetarian!!!
Lotta and Sayali are also very religious------they're very much given to observing various Fasts and believe in following all the rituals to a "T".In February 1996 Sayali accompanied her Aunts to Shirdi----the Pilgrimage Centre for Sai Baba---a famous Indian Saint.Her friends Laxmi and Reshma too were with her and while paying homage, Reshma vowed to Vegetarianism for a year----in respect for the Saint.This vow appealed so much to Sayali that she too followed suit----she too promised to become a Vegetarian for a whole year!!!!They came back to Bombay the next day and she announced her decision to us----I was taken aback and was very apprehensive---I hate making such impossible vows----but it was already done---so beyond accepting the situation what else could I do????
The year began and initially keeping the vow wasn't that difficult---it was early days yet!!One day----about a fortnight later Sayali came back fuming from her College----she was extremey angry---in fact positively livid!!!It seems she had seen Reshma eating a Chicken Sandwich in the College Cafeteria----Reshma offered her a bite out of her Sandwich and this cavalier attitude well and truly got Sayali's goat!!!She was at a loss to understand how this could happen????A commitment is a commitment---specially a vow made in deep Faith---how could it be broken in such a careless manner???
Sayali took this as a sign---she went ahead and completed the year------I am very proud of her determination-----it taught her to control her cravings and also widened her horizons in matter of taste.Today she looks back at that year as a period which opened her tastebuds to otherwise wrongly despised choices---Vegetarian Food.We all need a balance of all---Vegetables and Meats------to remain fit and healthy.Today she loves all the Vegetarian options as much as the Non-Vegetarian ones and eats these with the same relish ----thanks to her vow her horizon as a foodie widened!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 2/25/2010 12:29AM

    That's a great story!

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ATMANI 2/18/2010 7:58PM


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SAASHA17 2/18/2010 11:48AM

    Hey Komal,

i left it as a challenge with mom and a personal commitment to Shirdi baba..wow...to think sayali left it for the same reason...I once did it for 1 whole year when i was in india and my boyfriend was in the US...i wanted to eat it only with him and after I saw him...

He was so nice that he wud eat my share too..lol...anyways the thing is I love meat but I can totally survive on veggies...trying to cut down on the egg part too....had just one egg till now..Its been a week...

Tomorrow going for sushi and will be eating only the veggie ones....hehehe.. thats cucumber, rice and seaweed....

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Sudhir and Me

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sudhir and I are first cousins---my father and his mother were siblings.Thus we have known each other all my life---he is 9 years older than me---so I can't say the same!!!Our marriage was arranged by our common Grandma---Akka.In Maharashtra it is a tradition---the sister retains the lien to her brothers' daughters in Marriage for her sons.She gets first refusal.
Thus when I was 16 Akka felt that as my Atya(paternal aunt)was thinking of getting Sudhir married----a lot folks were making inquiries-----the best match would be me for him.Firstly I belonged to the same family and shared blood ties---thus separating him from the family was out of the question and secondly there was no need to verify both our antecedents----everything was an open book!!!
Thus in 1969 Sudhir came down to "see" me-----I had been kept totally unaware of the situation----Atya didn't want me upset at all.So,Sudhir came down to see me and apparently liked what he saw---this animal in her natural environment---and felt that I too should be apprised of the situation---so he placed all the facts before me.I was initially taken aback---having grown up in the Punjab I was absolutely unaware of this Marathi Tradition-----but the more I thought of it the more it appealed to me----better the Devil you know and all that!!!So we mutually decided to get married----and say "Yes" whenever the Parents thought of going ahead.This decided Sudhir went back after a few days and I began to feel strange-----I actually missed him terribly!!!
Now I kept waiting for my parents to broach the topic---they wouldn't---and my restlessness grew!!!I was caught in a cleft stick----I knew about the situation but my Parents thought I didn't---so it was a horrible period for me!!!It later transpired that they were waiting for an auspiscious Day to go ahead and finally Atya called up on Diwali to ask about my Horoscope---which was with Aaji (my maternal Grandma) in Mumbai.The Horoscopes matched totally---according to the Astrologer---we'd fight like Cat and Dog (we do) all the time but we were also best matched only with each other!!!!
Now came the next step----asking our family Dieties in Goa----Mangeshi and Shanta Durga for a "Kaul"----a sign of blessing---for the Marriage.In this the priest puts Buds of a certain Flower on the middle of the forehead and right and left shoulders of the God/Goddess and puts the Question to him/ her.The God/Goddess answers by allowing a bud to fall off---the forehead is the best"Yes",right shoulder is "Yes,Okay "but the left shoulder is a total and firm" No".These buds are stuck on with Sandal Wood Paste therefore these can't fall off just like that----sometimes the God/Goddess just ignores the question and does not give a reply till asked repeatedly for days together!!!This too came through immediately---the best that could be asked for!!!
So Atya confirmed to Daddy----the Marriage was on!!!Now my Parents were in an awkward situation---who'd bell the Cat??? Finally Akka---who was with us at the time---asked me---and the relief of FINALLY being asked was so great that I coolly replied that as far as Sudhir and I were concerned we were already betrothed!!!!The marriage was formally fixed and our Engagement Ceremony took place on the 29th.December 1969 in Bombay----this year it'll be 41 years of togetherness.We married on the 11th.October 1970-----because by then we were like two lovesick idiots who'd write reams as Love Letters----my father used to joke about the thickness of these letters----they were like small Manuscripts!!!
Since then we've been having fun squabbling away with each other----if I say "Right" Sudhir's sure to say "Left" and vice versa----- that starts us off in earnest!!! Together---if we don't have a single argument during the day we feel strange---and like I tell Sudhir---perhaps God felt we each deserved no better---so here we are!!!Our daughters and Grand daughter book ringside seats whenever we let go in their presence---they call us "a highly entertaining act"----Sayali even went so far as to film some of it on her Camera!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 2/25/2010 12:26AM

    Aww, that's so sweet!

My husband and I met when I was 21 and he 20--we were both in college at the time, though we went to different universities and in fact spent most of the time we were dating living in different cities--sometimes even different countries! So we talked on the phone a lot and sent a lot of emails and even regular letters when I didn't have much email access.

Thanks for sharing--that brought up a lot of really happy memories for me.

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EACHDAYAGIFT 2/17/2010 12:43PM

    This was fascinating to read. Like you, I met my husband when i was just 16 years old, but it was in Chemistry class in High School and our parents had no say in things whatsoever. Well, if he had been a bad guy, I guess they would have objected, but they liked him, hippy hair and all. He looked like a hippy, but he was really rather conservative and old fashioned. After less than a year of going together, he told me one fall day at the forest preserve that he wanted to marry me when we got older, after college. He just couldn't wait to tell me. I still remember every detail of this day. There were no flower buds placed on a statue, but there were wildflowers that he picked for me. I don't know about you, Komal, but that young girl is still a part of who I am, though some of her dreams and ideas had to be tossed out as unrealistic. It never ceases to surprise me when I see this older lady looking back at me in the mirror!

Comment edited on: 2/17/2010 12:49:12 PM

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SAASHA17 2/17/2010 12:00PM

    thats so sweet Komal...god Bless..


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ATMANI 2/17/2010 10:55AM

    Very cute blog! Sending best wishes your way.

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NATTIEGAL82 2/17/2010 5:07AM

    Awwwwww...thats so sweet...Touchwood!! U know "ringside" seats is exactly what i say for my grandparents when they squabble...i actually get quite cheesed off if someone interrupts me while i am listening to them...
the are just the cutest - it will be 55 years this year! God bless both of u Komal..lots of love

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Kaandey Pohey

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

We Indians------in this case Maharashtrians-----are still a conservative people---arranged Marriages are preferred to Love Marriages.Maybe because this is thought to be the base for a stable Marriage-------a lot of aspects are decided only after due deliberation by the entire Family---including the extended Family which pitches in with gusto------it is truly an enthusiastic venture!!One dish is a must for deciding the verdict---Kaandey Pohey!!!This is a simple but tasty and spicy preparation made with beaten Parched Rice, Shallots, Potatoes,Green Peas and Green Chillies,garnished with grated raw Fresh Coconut and finely chopped Fresh Coriander.Platefuls of this are served with a wedges of freshly cut Lemon to enhance the taste---each household has a family variation but basically the Recipe doesn't alter.You can find the recipe in my Cook Book.The address of this particular Cook Book is---http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/cookbo
As soon as a baby is born his/her Horoscope is cast by a trusted Family Astrologer. When the marriageable age arrives, copies of the Horoscopes are made and Photographs clicked in a particular stereotype form------then begins the gruelling round of finding the right partner for the Boy/Girl.The entire family pitches in---feelers are sent among reltives and friends for searching probable Candidates.These Candidates are then thoroughly veted---their Family Background,Character,Education,Job,future Prospects----everything is examined under a microscope.Neighbours of the Candidates are discretely questioned to find about the behaviour of all of the Family members.Finally satisfied with all the information gathered the next step takes place---the Girl's Horoscope and Photograph is presented to the Boy's family------and vice versa---a copy of the Boy's Horoscope is obtained.The families then consult their Family Astrologers who match both Horoscopes and give their verdict----if an unequivocal "Yes" then the project proceeds further.
A day is mutually fixed for a visit to the Girl's home-------the time and number of people visting is decided upon and the D-Day arrives.The meeting takes place over Lunch or Tea----the menu for Lunch is fluid but the Menu for Tea is fixed by Tradition-----Kaandey Pohey------a TOTAL must!!!Of course other courses are there too---but the fate of the match rests on the taste of this one dish!!!The best cook in the Family cooks this dish and the Boy and Girl interview each other over dishes of piping hot Pohey.If they find some physical attraction as well as a lot of aspects in each other compatible the Wedding is fixed.If not both move on---the Boy's family to plates of Kaandey Pohey prepared maybe a little differently---and the Girl's family to entertaining another prospective Groom!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 2/25/2010 12:16AM

    Hmm, that sounds delicious, though I'd be terrified if my entire married future hinged on one culinary dish (no, I know it's not that simple.).

We don't have any traditions like that here, not any more at least! So I can't imagine accepting having my family pick my husband for me--or marrying someone I had only met once or twice! But at the same time, it was important to me that my family like him and his family liked me--I remember being so nervous the first time I met my mother-in-law! I think if my family hadn't liked my husband, or if his family hadn't liked me, we would have still gotten married--but it would have been a lot harder on us.

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ANGEL0507 2/17/2010 1:54AM

    my god... iam having poha this very moment....lolzz and just came across ur blog.....its one of my most fav. dishes.... nice insight of maharashtrian matchmaking!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/17/2010 1:58:52 AM

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*MADHU* 2/16/2010 10:27AM

    The "Indore" variety of Poha is so different than the Maharashtrian one.....I am a true Mumbaiite and can't stand the Indore Poha

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DRASADAF 2/16/2010 10:08AM

    hi i too like it,i miss my mumbai so much ,i have been staying abroad for so long that when you reminded me of my home you brought tears to my eyes,jai maharashtra.

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ATMANI 2/16/2010 9:39AM

    Poha is my favorite! Thanks for sharing.

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EACHDAYAGIFT 2/16/2010 9:07AM

    Is this how you and Sudhir got together? Was he the first prospective groom you met, or were there others that got a thumbs down? Sorry if that's considered rude to ask. I'm just curious. I only had a few dates before I started going out with my husband, just before turning 17. Our courtship must have was Doritos!

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Tomorrow I complete a year after my Heart Attack-----looking back on it-------I think it has been a mixed blessing!!!Before my Heart Attack(HA) I was a reasonably active person------I had a good Friend Circle whom I'd visit often-----one of these Friends lives on the 4th. floor(5th. floor in USA) and the building does not have an elevator----I'd climb the stairs---pausing for a breather once or twice.Not just this I would go out for Lunches and of course observe the rules for Diabetic eating but did not have to curtail much-----thanks to Cancer I'd lost my earlier appetite---which was very,very healthy once upon a time----I lived to eat!!!!My other activities included mobility---I moved around as much as needed by myself----the Cell Phone was the bell this Cat wore but still the scene was pretty cooll.The entire scenario changed in a flash!!!
The HA was pretty severe---I had 2 atacks----one at home and the other in the Hospital---- within an hour------and required 2 Injections to thin my blood.Besides this I had to stay under observation in the Hospital---on total bedrest.I wasn't even allowed to change sides unaided!!!All this happened on the 16th.February2009 and lasted till the 23rd.February2009 when I came home from Hospital after my Angioplasty.The Angioplasty took place on the 21st.February 2009.This period was a very trying time for Sudhir---he wasn't eating or sleeping properly-----he lost a fair amount of weight.Being the worrier he is he needed constant re-assuring on my well being-------only I made it clear that I was allowed to talk----I asked the Doctor in Sudhir's presence------and was cleared instantly.Talking is what I can't stay without------I literally talk nineteen to the dozen!!!
This event shook up my two Bais--Chhaya Bai and Vanita as well and they promised Sudhir not to leave me alone---at all!!!So thus began my new routine----confined to the house---I got to go out with either Ritu or Sudhir himself---by myself----impossible!!!I had to announce all trips to the Loo----for some time I used to just close the door---not latch it!!!Somebody had to accompany me in the Elevator---we have those old fashioned ones with collapsible doors----and so my venturing out became restricted totally.The only thing I insisted on not observing was cooking the Food.I stepped into the Kitchen the day I came home from the Hospital---Sudhir's weight loss scared me---and this was one activity he couldn't budge me from---I'm a pretty stubborn Mule when I dig my heels in!!!Chhaya Bai would lift all the Vessels and I'd just season the Food---the stirring and the chopping etc. was done by her. Finally, two months later the Doctor gave the permission to climb the stairs to our Apartment on the 1st.Floor(USA 2nd.Floor)-------and I started climbing the Stairs regularly.Before this I had used the Elevater minimally----only when I went to Vahini's home on the top Floor.Climbing up and down the Stairs is one excercise I enjoy---I feel it keeps me active.I also resumed Walking at a slower pace than before--------but I began walking for 20 minutes each day.I began catching up with all the books I wanted to read or re-read favourites again-----listened to my favourite Music----------also the Computer became my new-found Companion---thanks to this,I found loads of new Friends on the SP website!!!
Today I've taught myself to take things easy-----I have learnt to sit back and relax .Today I consider it a blessing that God looked after me---I suffered no ill effects of the HA------did not suffer a stroke or anything like that----a sure sign that God looks after me!!!My only regret is the lasting fear which has become a part of Sudhir's behaviour----I take care not to do anything to upset him-----he's totally paranoid!!My Bais also are so shaken up by this------but I have given myself a year and now from tomorrow---a year later----this Cat will step out into the mainstream again--slowly but surely----one step at a time!!I will take charge of my Life again!!!!!
Wish me Luck,Guys!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZANNACHAN 2/25/2010 12:03AM


You have a great attitude! And you've come a long way and you'll continue to get healthier and stronger, including your heart. And Sudhir has had a couple of really bad scares--it will take him some time to stop worrying, but seeing you be healthy and energized and active will gradually reassure him.

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ANGEL0507 2/17/2010 2:00AM

    all the best!!! God bless you!! you have a great attitude just keep going like this and rest will b fine emoticon

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EACHDAYAGIFT 2/15/2010 10:44AM

    Congratulations on one year surviving all that care and intrusion on your independence. I pray that as you get your life back , Sudhir will grow in confidence and lose some of his anxiety. At least it shows he knows what a treasure he has in you!

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LISANANCY 2/15/2010 9:19AM

    Wow, you certainly have come a long way and it takes at least a year to feel better. I am joyed that you live each day full of energy and love. emoticon emoticon

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ATMANI 2/15/2010 9:01AM

    All the best. You'll be just fine with your great attitude.

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DWROBERGE 2/15/2010 4:18AM

    Best of luck! Keep focused and you will succeed!

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