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My Elephantine Memory!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Memories are my Secret Hoard---my Pirate's haul of Treasure----my very own to open out and gloat over!!!Since childhood my Memory has been a Blessing---good and bad both----with every detail of that particular incident etched very precisely and clearly in my mind!!!!My father was very proud of this aspect of my mind and encouraged me to improve it even further----since my babyhood he'd ask me to play games like "Memory" with him.This was a Card game with all the Cards spread out face down on his Drawing Board or the Bed.All I had to do was randomly pick out Cards and make pairs.By the time I was 5 he started playing "Reference to the Context" with me.I loved reading---in fact was addicted to it---still am!!!He put that to good use by starting a sentence and asking me to finish it--each correct answer earned a reward---so Greed was a great motivation!!!He also taught me to read my English,Hindi,Punjabi,History and Geography Text Books in the Summer Vacations as just Books---these were the subjects I excelled in after the School restarted in the next Grade!!!
Daddy loved to observe people---he was a wonderful Painter and a good Mimic---and though I'm not exactly a Mimic---I learnt the art of minute observation from him.Many were the times he'd ask me to guess what a random person on the road could be thinking---and try to read their expressions----those days I used to write Short Stories and Poetry as well as Paint and this helped me grow in both fields.I still write Poetry but somehow I've lost touch with the other two------long back!!!
It then became a habit to observe things minutely and file away tiny details---now it became an important feature of my Personality------like my huge girth I've developed an Elephantine Memory.In fact my Memory was gloriously blooming till July 1996----that was when the downfall started----my beloved Diabetes fell in love with me and since then we've become an inseparable pair!!! Thanks to it today my Memory has developed gaps---the dive my Sugar takes sometimes makes me slowly forgetful in the Present---but the Past is still crystal clear!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATMANI 7/13/2010 2:04PM

    I too can relate only too well. I miss my father a lot...

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SAASHA17 7/13/2010 11:37AM

    wow...u have an amazing father...I can relate to some of the things like making me read and stuff...Hope i can do the same for my kids...

take care
manasa

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DWROBERGE 7/13/2010 3:35AM

    I can reallly relate. Have patience and you will succeed.

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An Arranged Marriage!!!!

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!!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SONPARI1 7/13/2010 1:11AM

    Great write up, I agree with rainey, what a memory you have. I can't remember what I wore 2 days back. Loved the pictorial description of the events.

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RAIN454 7/12/2010 6:54PM

    you know what i think is amazing?!! Your memory!! I'm only 29 and cant remember what happened yesterday, much less 20 years ago...and here you are with the exact menu and salwar colors...simply AMAZING!!
Great story...i have my own opinions on arranged marriages BUT this was definitely a happy one. And i've been to atlanta...gorgeous city!! take care!

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BOVEY63 7/12/2010 1:13PM

    I love reading your blogs and learning about your culture. Thanks for sharing.

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DRASADAF 7/12/2010 11:16AM

    nice one...really loved to read this one..the sheer reminder of our culture and tradition....so pure and true..and special..

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ATMANI 7/12/2010 9:17AM

    emoticon

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MESSENE 7/12/2010 8:36AM

    emoticonArranged marriages can sure be emoticonWhen both couples agree. My Mom, and Dad had an arranged marriage in Mexico as well, but there was money involved. My Mom used to think that by getting kissed you were no longer a virgin. My Mom was so naive! emoticonShe told my Grandma she was no longer a virgin, so my Grandma married her for money, she was 16 years old. My dads Mom paid for her, and arranged the wedding. They knew my Mom was really a virgin too, they made her get drunk on her wedding night. The next day My Dad went to my Grandmother, my moms mom, and said here are the sheets. They had blood on them. My Grandmother never forgave herself. They had 5 children, and only lasted 6 years married. My Dad died when I was 10 years old from liver damage. He was a boxer, and never planed on getting married, but my Grandmother, his Mom wanted grandchildren from him.
Marriage is so much better when agreed on, and family support. emoticon emoticon

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CELEST 7/12/2010 6:40AM

    It is wonderful when marriages arranged or otherwise manage to find reasonable happiness and stay in tact. We have a Portuguese couple that we are friends with. Theirs is an arranged marriage too and has lasted 30 yrs. The first time she saw her husband was when she landed on our shores. He had moved to South Africa, but still wanted a Portuguese wife. He sent a message home and one was found that was prepared to travel sooo far to be married to him. It's amazing what can be accomplished when both parties want the same thing. Thanks for sharing this beautiful story with us.

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ELEANORABEMATHY 7/12/2010 6:19AM

    Wow, i love to hear these stories!! So moving!! Although even after living for six months in Kolkata I still get a little shock at the word "arranged"... haha
My boyfriend is indian too and a lovely guy, I will be returning to India at the beginning of next year, after graduation, to be with him and really can't wait!! Indian culture is truly amazing,
Thanks for sharing this exciting moment :)

Comment edited on: 7/12/2010 6:20:07 AM

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RENA1965 7/12/2010 5:32AM

    Good to hear one good story- alot of bad stuff happens these days.. My dad had a great friend whom came from old china- their marriage was arranged.. They lived their lifes under the same roof each their own end of the house.. Divorce brought shame against family back home in China..

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Solve This Riddle!!!!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

This used to be Daddy's favourite question after I got married---he'd ask all the visitors to answer his Riddle--he'd say"Komal and I share the same Grandmother-in-law----guess how???" and after Lotta's birth he changed it to"Komal and her daughter share the same Great Grandma--that too by direct descent--Guess how???"
The answer is a bit confusing but pretty simple---- my maternal Grandmother---Aaji and Sudhir's father Baba were siblings--she was Baba's older sister---and Sudhir's mother Atya was my father's older sister-----hence Sudhir is related by blood very closely to me from both sides--the paternal as well as maternal lineages.I however have an independent lineage as well---my maternal Grandfather Aazoba was connected to Sudhir only by marriage hence that part of my bloodline isn't common!!!
My parents were aged just 12 years and 2 years when Atya's and Baba's marriage took place.Atya soon became Mummy's favourite Aunt and by the time she reached a marriageable age Atya was already thinking in terms of Daddy and her getting married.Those days horoscopes had to match and Mummy was a "Maanglik" or with a very strong"Mangal" (Mars) in her horoscope. Daddy on the other hand had an equally powerful "Shani" or Saturn to offset her Mars---so the Wedding was fixed and they got married on 12th.May,1952.I was born a year later in 1953---3rd.September.In the early years I was extremely , terribly spoilt!!! Specially at Atya's home I was pampered totally since there was a very strong Family connection----Baba was my Grand Uncle and Atya my paternal Aunt-----so I reaped the results!!!
Later when Sudhir turned of marriageable age my paternal Grandma Akka suggested that the two of us get married---a suggestion snapped up by both families.So thanks to this connection Daddy and I share the same Grandmother-in-law----because Mummy and Sudhir share a common Grandma-----she through her mother and he through his father---and going further Lotta and I share the same Great Grandma----again me through Mummy and Lotta through Sudhir----direct lineage!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRASADAF 7/12/2010 2:35AM

    emoticoni got tired and confused too much figuring this out...but quite interesting..finally got it right...did pedigree charting then only i cud understand...hahaha

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ATMANI 7/11/2010 2:50PM

    how puzzling...

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SAASHA17 7/11/2010 2:28PM

    hehehe...can u believe it all my uncles and aunt married this way except my dad...when he was the only one who was supposed to marry his cousin...thank god...coz i hate that aunty...she is horrible..ofcourse I wudnt have been born this way if it wasnt for my mom...and the stupid part is even after 27years of wonderful married life, my grandmother still dislikes my mom coz she is an "outsider".....weird!!


M
anasa

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BSTELLING 7/11/2010 7:48AM

    Sounds like you have a complicated and fascinating family.

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 7/11/2010 6:51AM

    I simply can not follow that... but sounds like you have it all figured out!

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Tasty Memories----Wonderful Food!!!

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????

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAJASHREE108 7/11/2010 6:50PM

    Have a great dinner for me too.. sounds too tasty.

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SAKHAR74 7/11/2010 5:41PM

  NO WAY!!! How dare they? Me sad.....:( How am I ever going to break the news to Kart, Ma?

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RAIN454 7/11/2010 12:03AM

    Wow, I just had a HUGE dinner out and you still managed to make me hungry! lol
Great descriptions, Komal...I'm gonna miss Kwality and I don't even live in the continent! :)
P.S. We visit New Delhi often and planning a trip this year actually...will definitely search for this place. Sorry to hear about your loss...I totally can feel your pain
emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/11/2010 12:04:34 AM

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ATMANI 7/10/2010 9:43PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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SAASHA17 7/10/2010 11:55AM

    yum!! i just woke up and read about kulchey and choley..man my favorite.....

thank u

manasa

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MILLISMA 7/10/2010 11:01AM

    Sad to hear that they're closing....ask for the recipes - the chef might share. You have many wonderful memories - hold tight to them and keep sharing.

Mary Anne emoticon emoticon

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MESSENE 7/10/2010 10:44AM

    emoticonSuch a Yummy Blog! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Eccentricity!!!

Friday, July 09, 2010

Nostalgia is a funny thing----Memories are like bubbles-----they rise to the surface-----create ripples and then dissolve slowly into the deep well of the Mind.I belong to a really wacky and idiosyncratic Family-----we're an impatient, unpredictable lot and some of our actions are really difficult to comprehend!!!This episode took place in our old locality where we were living for more than 60 years hence were familiar with everyone on the Street.
My brother-in-law Milind(Sudhir's older brother) was impatient and unpredictable in the extreme-----in fact these were aspects of his personality that he revelled in!!!Once he and his wife Nina were invited to a relative's home for Tea.Milind hated being late as he was a stickler for punctuality.On that particular day Nina had some Chores and Grocery as well as Vegetable Shopping to attend to and left home early in the afternoon---promising to be back in time to honour the Invitation.
Since parking is a huge problem in our over crowded City she was driven to the Market Place by their Chauffeur.She managed to buy everything on her list and left in time--only to get caught in a Traffic snarl very near home.This delayed her return on time by some 5 minutes.Her husband was hopping from one foot to the other with impatience and finally decided to hire a Taxi---she ,he reasoned,could follow later!!!
He'd just flagged down a Cab and was about to pull away from the kerb when he saw the Car with Nina in it turn the corner of the Street.Stopping the Cab he asked the Taxi Driver to go as his vehicle had arrived----only to be presented with a bill for the minimum Fare----the Meter on the Cab had begun to run!!!This fazed him for barely a second------since he was paying the Fare,he instructed the Cabbie to drive him round the Block as long as the minimum Fare lasted!!!!
Thus he went round and round the Block---waving enthusiastically each time he passed a flabbergasted Nina and all their other neighbours watching him----literally bent over in the Cab with uncontrollable mirth!!!By the time the Fare was used up the Cabbie and Milind both had tears in their eyes from laughing so much---while the spectators too were convulsed with laughter!!!Later the Cabbie would wave to Milind if he was in the Balcony when the Cab passed by the old Home on that street----Milind's eccentricity left a mark on him too!!!
Needless to say that it joined the list of eccentric anecdotes of our wacky Family history---even today the memory brings on a smile---though Milind passed away on 24th.February,2001.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EACHDAYAGIFT 7/23/2010 12:38PM

    Laughing out loud at this story! Good for him... I like to get what I paid for, too! I love that the cab driver got into the spirit of it, too.The story really shows the complexity of human character...his earnestness about not being late giving way to his financial standards giving way to his sense of fun, all in the space of a few minutes. I think I would have liked him a lot!

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SAKHAR74 7/11/2010 5:42PM

  Oh...this is my absolute favvvvvorite Milma story.

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ATMANI 7/10/2010 9:44PM

    very funny!

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SAASHA17 7/9/2010 4:47PM

    hehehehe that was cute...

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BOVEY63 7/9/2010 1:14PM

    Thanks for sharing - what a character he is.
emoticon

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SAL2525 7/9/2010 12:09PM

    What a great a memory! Thanks for sharing!

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MILLISMA 7/9/2010 10:28AM

    Komal, I hope you print off your blogs and save them for your family. You tell such fantastic stories. Thank you again for sharing part of your history and making us laugh!

emoticonMary Anne

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ANU_20 7/9/2010 6:08AM

    emoticon emoticon .... that was really funny ... thanks a lot for sharing this ... i was abt to dose off after lunch while i was trying to concentrate on a lousy project ... This was very refreshing! ...hehehe! emoticon

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DRASADAF 7/9/2010 5:37AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticoni cant stop laughing too...how funny milind is...

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