Monday, July 12, 2010
Some marriages are made in Heaven and the one I'm blogging about TOTALLY is!!!!There are six girls in our Family---equally divided in the way they got married---Alpana,Lotta and Sayali all went in for Love Marriages----but Sharmila,Shilpa and Sonal opted for an arranged match!!!All the marriages are blooming and prospering----Thank God!!!Today I'm going to blog about my niece---Sharmila's marriage------because both Sudhir and I were active participants in arranging it---20 years ago this July!!!
In May 1990 I recieved a call from Saru Maami---Mummy's cousin sister-in-law---she suggested a good match for any of our girls---there were 3 of them then of marriageable age in our family and the oldest was Sharmila.The boy,Prasanna was studying for his Ph.D. inBio Chemistry and was looking for a suitable bride-----so Sudhir asked his sister Suhas and her husband Suresh---Sharmila's parents--if they were interested.On getting an affirmation,he went and met Prasanna's family with Suhas and Suresh and they approved of Sharmila's Photo---which was shown to them!!!They however made it very clear that 1)they did not believe in Astrology or Horoscopes and 2)the decision would be totally Prasanna's-----they wouldn't influence him either way as it was his Life Partner---hence only HE would decide!!!
Our Sharmila then was a very delicate and ethereal looking girl-----still is------extremely pretty with masses of thick black curly hair and well etched features--we were sure that she'd bowl the guy over!!!Just a week before Prasanna came to India---Suresh had to leave for an important assignment in Singapore and it was necessary for Suhas to accompany him too.So the "Girl Seeing" ceremony was shifted to our home-----since it was nearer to Prasanna's and my Saru Maami had suggested the match.
Sharmila was readied for the D-Day in style----with a Manicure,Pedicure,other Beauty treatments besides getting her hair styled and set----the works!!!!The Menu for Tea was readied too----cups of strong,brewed Indian Tea served with Kaandey Pohey with mixed Vegetables and Shrimps,Samosaas,Dhokla-----and Kalakand Barfi and Motichoor Laddu----all traditional fare for such a Ceremony---specially the Pohey!!! Sharmila's outfit too was chosen with extreme care---a beautiful,lacy white Churidaar and Kameez--with a gossamer Chiffon embroidered Dupatta(Veil)-----the entire effect was truly stunning!!!She looked ethereal and unreal----like a beautiful Dream!!!
When the guests arrived introductions took place-----and our Matriarch Atya presided over the proceedings.Hot plates of Food were served and the guests urged to start sampling the fare.Halfway through eating Tea,Sharmila was asked to present herself---which she did---with what an impact!!!!Prasanna's jaw dropped---his spoonful of Pohey froze midway to his mouth and a glazed look came over his face----the two families present got the message!!!They were then banished to the Dining Room to find out more about each other and other generalities.The Door was closed and this was making me a bit uncomfortable--I kept urging Laxman---Milind's Man Friday----to go in on flimsy pretexts till finally Sharmila asked him to send me in!!Once I went in she asked me whether I'd be more relaxed if I joined them------I literally fled from there with an embaraased and enmphatic "NO"!!!
Some 45 minutes later Prasanna and his family left----promising to call us about his decision and urged us to find out what Sharmila had to say too!!!Atya,Sudhir and Milind spent some time discussing about the whole thing---how it went,what we felt would be the outcome etc.etc. and then Milind and Atya too left.About 5 minutes after they left ,the "phone rang---it was Prasanna's father with an affirmative answer and the way Sharmila's face lit up at this piece of news was answer enough about her opinion!!!
They got married 10 days later on the 15th. of July and complete 20 years of togetherness this year.Today they live in Atlanta and our grandson Kunal just graduated out of High School this year though our grand daughter Eesha still has plenty of time to reach that stage------Time just flies so fast!!!!It seems just like yesterday that all this happened-----it's still so fresh a Memory!!!!
Saturday, July 10, 2010
There is a wonderful Restaurant Chain called "Kwality's" in India.It has branches in New Delhi and in Mumbai too.They've been in business for more than fifty years---and now they're shutting shop in Mumbai-----the Owner's retiring at 86 years of age!!!!His original New Delhi Partner passed away recently---the heirs can't manage the Mumbai branch----too cumbersome to commute---so this closes soon!!!
Sudhir and I have been regular visitors at our local branch since we moved here---most of the Waiters have seen Sayali as a baby---they are like old family friends--enquiring about both our girls each time we visit the place----now very rarely!!!Earlier when the children were very young this was our favourite haunt for Friday night Dinners-----there was a wide variety of Food available----Roast Mutton and Chicken with Potatoes and Gravy,Chicken Liver on Toast,Mutton and Chicken Cutlets and Chops,a large variety of Cream Soups and Sandwiches in the Continental Cuisine and typically hearty and robust Punjabi Fare.Their legendary Pindi Chholey and Bhaturey were famous as was their Tandoori Chicken.Chicken Tikkas,Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala,Saag Meat and Rogan Josh!!!The beautiful Biryanis and Tandoori Rotis,Parathas,Naans and Kulchas were made to order---melt in the mouth soft or crackly crisp!!!The Food had a very high Calorie content---the amount of Butter,Ghee and Cream was used with a free hand----and that made each dish taste like Heaven!!!
Later the Continental Fare got slowly phased out as it began losing Public appeal and the new favourite Chinese Food entrenched itself in firmly----I really missed their Cream Soups, Sandwiches,Cutlets, Chops and Chicken Liver on Toast----but figured out the recipe through trial and error----so okay----the British Raj was finally over!!!!!They retained their wonderfully creamy Caramel Custard but the Trifle Pudding and Fruit Salad with Custard just melted away!!!The yummy Indian Ice Cream---the Malai Kulfi with Falooda still is one of the best in Mumbai-----my indulgence of these is now rare--and soon to be even rarer!!!
Today's Lunch was pure Nostalgia----piping hot Bhindi Sabzi with "karaari"(crisp) Whole Wheat Tandoori Roti and delicious Chicken Afghani followed by Caramel Custard-----immense satisfaction!!!Sudhir and I have decided to return again soon before they close and that day I plan to eat their fabulous Pindi Cholay with hot deep fried Kulchey----that day to hell with counting the Calories---I'll cheat on my Diet in style!!!Their greatest claim to fame still is their wonderfully greasy but heavenly Pindi Chholay and Kulchay.I cook a mean dish of these myself too---but I HAVE to admit "Kwality's" Cholay are still inimitable!!!Now that they're closing---wonder if the Chef there will let the secret out to me if I request????
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