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Monday, December 21, 2009

Symbolic, sharply precise colourful *rangoli,
Adorns the **aangan outside the front door,
Sweet scent of ***Chaafa, ***Parijaat & ***Bakuli,
Rises from the ****Pooja Thali on the floor.
Silver oil lamps glow in the early dawn,
Sounds of Vedic Chants float on the air,
The sonorous Conch echoes in the still morn,
Tinkling silver bells add to the hallowed atmosphere
The chores of my grandmother occupy her day,
My aunts assisting, working alongside her,
Everything precise in the time honoured way,
Tireless precision---and without a murmur.
When the cows came home from grazing at *****go-dhuli,
The pooja room again the hub of activity at twilight.
Children reciting their Shlokas devotedly,
Traditional silver oil lamps glowing softly bright.
The latticed wooden windows are a part of history,
The red tiles, stone walls, cool cowdung smeared floor,
Are now a part of treasured ,dearly beloved memory,
The old studded door, the ancestral home exists no more.


*Rangoli is sand painting
**Aangan is courtyard
***Fragrant Indian Flowers prescribed for Pooja.
****Pooja is Worship & Prayer.
*****Go-dhuli is twilight or dusk

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 12/23/2009 12:36AM

    Sounds so ideal....like heaven! What a beautiful memory of childhood days for you....really fortunate!

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ATMANI 12/21/2009 8:31AM

    Beautiful! You should publish your memoirs. You write so well!

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

The quote about being a conformist or an individual set me thinking about myself as a person----was being a conformist bad?I have never felt like merging in a crowd but I've never wanted to draw attention to myself either.There are certain aspects to me which are uniquely my own but those aspects are not rebellious or loud .I have never believed in rebellion.I believe in being graceful and dignified always in each aspect of my life.
I am a product of a generation of Indian Women brought up by their parents to conform to certain social norms----we learnt very early what was expected of us.To become the 'ideal' woman we needed Tolerance and Patience in abundance.We were taught to put our needs last and those of others first.We were also taught to love,respect and honour our elders---specially our parents and parents-in-law too because they gifted us their sons as our husbands.We adjusted to the routine in the homes we married into and dissolved into the their lives seamlessly.Whatever changes we made in our marital homes took place years after we were accepted into the family as good daughters-in-law.These are the values I have lived by and these are what I passed on to my daughters.How can giving of yourself to every relationship selflessly be wrong?
Though women were considered to be the mainstay of the Home---Home Makers if you will--- their job was to devote themselves wholeheartedly to the well being of everyone who lived in their home.The husband was the mainstay of the home because he was considered the 'Bread Winner'.In giving every relationship it's due does one compromise one's individuality?Don't we need someone to try and make the World a better place to live in----to add a few real values?Behaving like this was cosidered being a 'door mat' but in fact this I feel actually kept the family knit closely together.Each relationship including Marriage and Motherhood has to be worked on constantly.In striving to maintain a happy and peaceful home I feel that my generation as a whole put in a lot of effort by giving of ourselves and our Time selflessly and whole heartedly to the family.We have gifted well educated and thinking individuals in the form of our children to Society.
I do not think that we suffered because of our outlook.In my case I always had a supporting husband who stood behind me in everything I wanted to do---- my being a full time wife and mother was totally my decision.I have a very rigid set of values---everything is either black or white---I don't believe in greys.I may look like a typical Indian woman of my generation but one thing that is way ahead is my mind.
My mind has been developed into a broad and a free thinking unit.There are certain types of behaviour that I wouldn't follow----but I willingly give others including my daughters--- their space.I have chosen my values from those taught to me and rejected those I couldn't agree with . I am individualistic enough to be myself in everything I think and do within the framework of my family environment.
I am a conformist in what I percieve to be right and am like a stubborn mule in not doing what I think is wrong.My personality is well defined and no one can get me to do anything due to peer pressure.Individuality is not in standing out like a sore thumb---it is in being accepted as an individual piece of the larger picture---in harmony but distinct!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SONPARI1 12/20/2009 11:53PM

    Lovelythoughts as always, thanks for sharing........ emoticon

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NITAINMN 12/20/2009 11:00PM

    I agree 100% with you and am glad it worked for you! its truly God's grace and blessing. Not every household is the same and we all have heard enough horror stories of disfunctional homes, in laws who mistreat and on and on it can go without a supportive husband. We do have much to be thankful for, Komal:) emoticon

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RITZY60 12/20/2009 10:09PM

  Very well written as usual.

It is extremely important for an individual to express and do what she/he wants in life only then does an individual really grow. Many a times in Indian Households the lady of the house is taken for granted and is always a submissive person. emoticon

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SKSS74 12/20/2009 3:46PM

  A very well written piece.

Your statement/question "In giving every relationship it's due does one compromise one's individuality?" brings up so many questions. Can a relationship truly flourish without compromise? And without compromise would it be possible for anyone to give the relationship its due?

Conforming, to me, means less confrontation. As such, a conformist may also be the compromiser (not sure if that word exists, but a bit of dramatic license can surely be allowed?). So then, if you compromise are you giving something of yourself up? A key component that contributes to your individuality? Or is the compromise in itself a unique part of your individuality? Clearly, not every woman/person can compromise, hence the contention in many relationships. So doesn't the compromise in itself make you unique and heighten your individuality?

Thoughts to paper.....or blog. :)

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RAJASHREE108 12/20/2009 1:56PM

    Yup, that's our generation alraight. Nice blog.

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ATMANI 12/20/2009 1:51PM

    well said, thank you.

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*MADHU* 12/20/2009 9:54AM

    You've described the scenario perfectly to a "T". I couldn't have said it better emoticon

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EACHDAYAGIFT 12/20/2009 9:24AM

    Another awesome piece of writing! We are in the midst of the days leading up to our big holidays, so I am too busy to spend a lot of time on the computer this week. I'll be coming back to this blog to reflect more on it!

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HEILAS 12/20/2009 5:12AM

    Good for you.

Heila, Cape Town, South Africa.

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AMC Cooking

Saturday, December 19, 2009

My sister Ritu has bought one of these AMC utensils made from surgical steel---they can cook food totally fat free!!!These utensils help you to fry,steam,bake and roast---all in the same utensil and on low heat.In India the Head Office is in Bangalore and these like Tupper Ware are sold through the party system.
These have a visiotherm knob on the lid which indicates the temprature inside.It does not need added Water to cook the foodstuffs as they cook in their own steam.These utensils are capable of cooking food in a tasty and healthy manner without Oil and preserving all the nutrients of the food cooked.Fuel efficient,these utensils have a highly polished mirror finish.I have ordered a couple of these---extremely expensive they cost a lot but then 'Health is Wealth'!!!!
Will post a blog to tell you all about these after using ----familiarising myself will these will take some time!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 12/20/2009 11:04PM

    Interesting...not heard of it either! Do keep us updated after you receive and use yours. emoticon

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HEILAS 12/20/2009 5:13AM

    Let us know how you get on.


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TERIE93 12/20/2009 12:05AM

    Thanks for reading my blog, thought I would come over and visit you today. How interesting, never heard of this cookwear. Hope it works out for you, will be interesting to see.

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SONPARI1 12/19/2009 11:36PM

    I am using AMC cookware for the past two years, it's really good..I enjoy cooking in it though cooking dals consume lot of time. THough they have introduced fast cooking lids, I feel it was not worth paying 10k in addition just for the lid.

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HEALTHYPRIYA 12/19/2009 9:46PM


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ATMANI 12/19/2009 10:12AM

    ya, keep us posted.

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*MADHU* 12/19/2009 9:38AM

    Yes...do keep us posted on your experience of using them - it sounds too good to be true ;)

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BLUEGOOSE2 12/19/2009 4:43AM

  Keep us posted, Thanks.

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Himalayan Summers

Friday, December 18, 2009

Snowy peaks etched against the Cobalt sky
Mountains echoing with the wild Pheasant's cry
The sparkling Air--like heady White Wine
The gurgling Brooks and the sweet scent of Pine
The flight of an Eagle from his cree
Over lush verdant vistas---awesome to see
Sunrises Sunsets---gloriously unfold
Violet and Blue---Rose and Gold
The twinkling Stars seemso near and bright
The glowing Moon gilding the valleys with silvery Light
Rare Birds,Flowers,Plants and Animals abound
A riot of Colour,Contrast,Scent and Sound
Steeped in Tradition and Folk Lore
Legends,Myth,Temples and more
Timelessness prevails as Time stands still
Nothing has changed---not much will
A feeling of Peace and Serenity pervades the land
With Mystical Imprints of The Divine Hand
These soothe the mind with a gentle Calm
Refreshing the Soul with a healing Balm
I wrote this Poem far back in 1987 after my Char Dham Yatra.My new friend'EACHDAYAGIFT' asked me about my country---I was instantly reminded of this and so thought of posting this----such memories soothe my mind!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 12/20/2009 11:05PM

    Komal, you are very talented!

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ATMANI 12/19/2009 10:13AM

    very descriptive poem

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*MADHU* 12/19/2009 9:35AM

    Beautifully poetic....you seem to be very talented emoticon

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RITZY60 12/19/2009 12:38AM

  Very picturesque descriptive poem. You can literally feel that you're are physically there. Excellent!!!

Comment edited on: 12/19/2009 12:41:49 AM

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SONPARI1 12/19/2009 12:23AM

    Beautifully written komal..

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Nirupama Tai---A Farewell

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My nephew Babu(Nikhil)married Maithili on 19th.April 2007.Nirupama Tai was Maithili's mother.Was---past tense because she passed away yesterday----Cancer of the Pancreas.
A gentle woman with a quiet strength, she gracefully bore her cross with Patience and Fortitude.Diabetic she suffered a Sodium Deficiency just before the wedding and was hospitalized for 3 days.Yet on the day of the wedding she was back on her feet--smiling and radiant with happiness!!!Facing a Spinal Problem which led to an operation and a steel plate inJune 2007 and again uncontrollable Jaundice which led to an operation in October 2008 and the discovery of the cause---Cancer--the lady was cheerful and smiling through it all.She lived each day with a fortitude which was enviable.
Yesterday she quietly slipped away with the same grace with which she lived.Luckily she had a peaceful end and The Almighty spared her most of the pain which is a part of the disease.
Her face was radiant and relaxed as she left for her last destination decked like a queen for her last journey.I hope to pass away the way she did----with Grace and Dignity.
God rest her soul!!!
Nirupama Tai---we will miss you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 12/20/2009 11:13PM

    Komal, my sincere sympathies to you and the rest of the family. I can see how much you identify with this lady. Cancer of the pancreas, unfortunately takes one's life. Hope you are all comforted by this sweet lady's fond memories.

Have you read the book ' Last lecture' by Randy Pausch? A must read for people of all ages. He was a great professor with young family that passed away form pancreatic cancer. His last lecture is available on line for free perhaps on You tube, there is a book that he wrote too!


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SONPARI1 12/17/2009 11:12PM

    Great tribute, may her soul rest in peace..

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RAGGARWALAX 12/17/2009 7:25PM

    She must have been a lovely lady and I'm sure she will be missed by all who knew her.


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ATMANI 12/17/2009 8:19AM

    Very touching indeed -- a lovely tribute. May her soul rest in peace!

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EACHDAYAGIFT 12/17/2009 8:04AM

    What a lovely tribute. I'm so sorry for your family's loss. She sounds like a woman who added much to the family. May God comfort you all in your grieving.

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RITZY60 12/17/2009 2:30AM

  Hi Komal, as usual a very well written blog.

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ATULGARG2 12/17/2009 2:26AM

  Touching story of a gentle human being.
May her soul rest in peace and the family memebers learn fast to live without Nirupama Tai.

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