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Turning the Clock Back!!!

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

This morning it was raining heavily----and the Air was cold---I snuggled down under my coverlet after the Milkman delivered the Milk at 6.15 a.m.---and just luxuriated in enjoying being warm and cosy in my bed!!!The view outside the Window was was Grey and wet---but the Birds were up as usual---the sweet notes of Bird Song floating on the Breeze!!The beautiful feathry fronds of the Coconut Trees were tossing their heads in the soft curtain of the Rain---sending shower sprays of Diamond droplets all over the place!!!!
This is when I realised something that brought me up short----it's been years since I just did what I was doing then---I've forgotten to just stop and stare at such simple Pleasures of Life!!!My daily Life is geared up to run like a well oiled Machine----rushing around finishing my chores----keeping myself busy throughout the day.So often Sudhir asks me to slow down and I brush him off----"What's the need for all this rush??" he asks"Why d'you push yourself so hard???"I have no answer to his question.
This morning I decided that I will look for the answers----in fact I'll teach myself to relax a little.My Time Table works the way I fix it----despite that I'm constantly running after my Chores---which I've set for myself!!!I'm not answerable to anyone---owe no explantions to anyone either---then why the mad rush???It's just a force of habit I guess---which has me shackled firmly to it---and which I WILL break---in fact have already begun!!!
I will take Time off to connect and communicate with my surroundings and my secret Soul----Life is short and Time is running out----so it's NOW to make the most of it in my Sunset Years----returning to the simple,uncomplicated Rhythm of Life and Nature!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRASADAF 9/7/2010 4:02PM

    lovely morning u woke up with...i wud have done the same snuggled back in...well nice thought of "Me Time" ....get ur "Me Time" daily now.....have a gr8 and healthy day...

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ATMANI 9/7/2010 2:48PM

    Well said. Good luck!

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BOVEY63 9/7/2010 11:45AM

    Simple pleasures are the best!
emoticon

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EACHDAYAGIFT 9/7/2010 11:10AM

    Good luck on your endeavor. I am naturally a slow paced person, and a too tight schedule or rushing around leaves me very unglued. Sometimes it makes me feel embarrassed and deficient, but reading your blog, I guess I have that personality trait to thank for many moments of joy I might have missed.

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*MADHU* 9/7/2010 10:17AM

    Well said...wish my GMIL and MIL would understand that ;)

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MILLISMA 9/7/2010 8:22AM

    It's interesting how our lives become some busy, hectic and involved. Seems to take "aging" to realize that we need to stop and smell the roses and it's wonderful.

emoticonMary Anne

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My Appliances and Me

Friday, September 03, 2010

I firmly believe that all my appliances are people---they too have the capacity to act according to their whims and fancies!!I'm scared of all Mechanical Gadgets---and because of this I'm wary of becoming over familiar with them----I like keep them at an arm's length.I firmly believe that they too have feelings---this belief of mine has perhaps established me as being pretty eccentric in the minds of the folks but I'll show you that this,in fact, is true!!!
I've had an eventful day today.I'm in awe of Machines and give them due respect and reverence---and pray for them to co-operate with me.The problem here is that they decide when to harass me----like both the 'Fridge and Washing Machine behaved badly today!!!Let's take the 'Fridge first----I treat it with love and respect---never overstuff it or ill treat it and generally it returns the compliment---but today it just was hell bent on causing trouble!!The 'Fridge decided to take a break---and thanks to this all the Left overs stored in it had to be trashed---these were a sizeable quantity too!!!I really HATE wasting Good Food---and that's what it was till this rascal decided to sulk!!!Now here is the paradox---the entire Freezer compartment on the parallel side is working properly----it's the Refrigerator Compartment which has a problem!!!!!So I just switched it off,wiped it out,first scolded it and then buttered it up----and so far this seems to have worked---but only Time will tell for how long!!!!
The Washing Machine too has it's quirks.It needs only Vanita to switch it on to go through the initial Washing/Drying Cycles---it throws a tantrum by behaving like a spoilt child if I do the initial program---but when we restart it for an extra round of Drying---it thumbs it's nose at Vanita--but obliges me!!Unfortunately Vanita is sick today---down with hopefully Viral fever---I say hopefully because the other options are too scary to even contemplate---being Dengue and Malaria Fevers!!!Coming back to the Machine---it started okay but beeped for me within minutes---I had to restart it and it obliged me most reluctantly-----it was visibly sulking!!!So I had a talk with it too----explained why it was me and begged it on bended knees NOT to give me any trouble as I was ill-quipped to deal with any problems!!Thankfully it was smooth sailing after that-----and hopefull will continue till Vanita resumes in a few days!!!
These appliances are our Necesseties today---can anyone of us think of washing clothes by hand---the old rub-a-dub-dub way?Or can we function without frozen Food?At least I can't---and thus have to keep them happy since I'm at their mercy!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAJASHREE108 9/6/2010 8:33PM

    When I first came to this country I used to name my appliances.. Sakhubai, Anandibai just to remember the ones I left back in Pune. Still miss them.

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RAGGARWALAX 9/3/2010 9:52PM

    Komalji - I do not want to think what my life would be like without my machines ...just not enough hours to handle all of that unless if I stay awake 20 hours a day!!! Thankfully mine are not as temperamental as yours ** knock on wood ** but one should not take things for granted LOL


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NICE125 9/3/2010 9:52PM

  I am having the same problem Komalji, freezer is freezing Ok but the fridge is not cooling, I have talked nicely to it already, and prayed for it to work properly, now the only thing left is a big whack on the back!!! emoticon

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BOVEY63 9/3/2010 5:13PM

    Hope Vanita is beginning to feel better.
emoticon
Good luck with the refrigerator and washing machine.


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DRASADAF 9/3/2010 4:43PM

    oh must have been a frustrating day...!

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ATMANI 9/3/2010 1:11PM

    emoticon it can be a real challenge!

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EACHDAYAGIFT 9/3/2010 10:19AM

    I hope Vanita will be okay. We complain about mosquitos, but they are just a nuisance here. Lets hope the machines aren't joining forces to stage a coup, I'd hate it if you lost your computer!

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SERENE.ONE 9/3/2010 9:40AM

  oh yes...ive seen this non cooperative movement many times too!

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Raucous Revelry!!!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

In India we celebrate all our Festivals with great gusto and revelry----we are a very loud and noisy people!!!Take today's example----the noisy "Govinda" Pathaks(Groups) are passing through our Street in high spirits----lots of loud Drumbeats and Music---all blaring out at full volume!!!Ear splitting and often irritating---but if it stops for even a beat I begin to miss it!!The enthusiasm is highly infectious---bringing involuntary Smiles to our faces!!!
We celebrate all our Festivals very joyously---to the entire population it doesn't really matter which Religion it is----it's the vivacious tempo of the Festival that matters----it could be Hindu,Muslim or Christian----everyone joins in whole heartedly!!Each Festival is special and treated with Respect,Reverence and Joy----the ambience,fervour and flavour of each is unique!!!Today the people are celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna at midnight on Thursday with lots of gusto and revelry.In Maharashtra this is a joyous occasion.Mumbai specially has a tradition of a certain gymnastic Activity known as "Dahi Handi" or a "Potfull of Yoghurt".
In the old days a lot of Men from remote parts of the coastal area called the Konkan Region of Maharashtra would travel to Mumbai to work as Domestic Help with the housework.Later they also came in droves after Mills opened in the mid 1800s as Mill workers----these people were known earlier as "Raamaa Gadies" in Mumbai and in their hometowns as "Chaakar Maani" or employed Folk and were highly respected there.These people carried along their customs and Traditions along with their hard working attitudes.One of these was this ---"The Dahi Handi".Dedicated to Lord Krishna this is peculiar to Maharashtra---and is undertaken very seriously.This is a dangerous Sport and there are many Casualties each year---but the Enthusiasm for this doesn't wane---The Prize Money reaches new heights each year!!!
The Participants taking part in this train every day of the year.On this Day,Earthernware Pots full of Fresh Yoghurt which is set in them overnight.The Ropes on which they are strung are festooned with Flowers, Fruits and Vegetables.Each Pot carries a Monetary Award----and the Prize Money is proclaimed at least a week in advance.The groups from the various areas of the City are called "Govindas" and they travel through each Street and Alley of the City trying to break these Handis and collect the maximum Prize Money.They form 7-8 tier Pyramids and the single person on top is usually a 4-6 year old boy.He carries a Coconut in his hand to break the Earthernware Pot strung aloft at a height of minimum 35-40 feet up.These people are very agile and athletic and train for this activity since childhood---therefore are experts in this Arena.
It is fascinating to watch these Pyramids form---a circular base that quickly builds up tier by tier to a Human Pyramid consisting of 7-8 tiers each---finally the Child Govinda is hoisted aloft and if they fail to break the Handi,the Pyramid implodes---the child is carefully brought to safety on the ground with the older members cushioning his fall---it's sheer poetry in the way these build up and break---truly enthralling to watch!!!
For the past 35 years we've been in the centre of this Activity---proceedings starting as early as 12 midnight---the raucous Music and Drums sounding for an hour or so before quieting down for the rest of the night----jolts one out of deep slumber with a nasty start---but should it not happen---it's a nastier start to the Day then!!!Sometimes I wonder why we are so noisy---but then I miss all this noise if I'm out of India during these days----all this is in my Blood---an integral part of my DNA!!!
I love this vivacity of my Country.Life is tough but despite that we as a people make the most of every opportunity that comes our way to brighten and enliven things up.Not for us Indians the sedentary pace---we constantly search for reasons to enliven our very existence---and each time I spend even Christmas away from India---I come back with such a yearning for my People,my Soil and my Country---that the ache is physically felt!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SONPARI1 9/3/2010 6:04AM

    happy janmashtami, here in B'lore esp the place where I stay, we know it's festive time only wn the rates of flowers and fruits shoot up.

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MILLISMA 9/2/2010 7:27PM

    What wonderful times you have. I love all the festivity. Thank you again for sharing your life.

emoticonMary Anne

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BOVEY63 9/2/2010 5:27PM

    You're writing continues to bring to life the festivities in my mind. I enjoy reading about them.

Have a wonderful time as the festivities continue.

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DRASADAF 9/2/2010 5:05PM

    yes today when i called mumy she told me that it is janmashtami today so i know whats going on there ....its just the beginning of festive season...

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SAASHA17 9/2/2010 12:10PM

    I hear ya about the noise ...heheeh

When I first came here, i realised there was no fan in the bedroom and everything was so quiet. Scary n I couldnt just sleep.

my roommates found me under the dining table when they woke up. thats the only place which had a fan. hehe. But Yeah back home its so different. The noises we take for granted are part of our system. hehehe

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RAJASHREE108 9/2/2010 11:04AM

    I felt happy just reading about it. You keep writing and we will keep reading.. and enjoying your blogs.

emoticon

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NICE125 9/2/2010 10:48AM

  I have seen that only on T.V- the news or the soaps, but each festival amazes me, how can these people who are living in such simple conditions and have all that day to day misery ,celebrate these festivals with such fervour!! And I think in India there is a festival being celebrated almost everyday, whether it is a holiday or not!! emoticon All the more for us to enjoy!!!

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RAIN454 9/2/2010 10:35AM

    I just had to youtube it and you were spot on with your fantastic descriptions...the human pyramids look so neat! I couldnt help but hold my breath for the little boy on top reaching for the pot...but Im sure there's a lot of training for this and pretty safe...looks like a lot of fun for the guys. Read that girls do it too! So cool!
Komal, you make everything sound so fascinating and realistic...i feel as if I'm there with you. Thank you for sharing!
luv, Rainey

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ATMANI 9/2/2010 9:37AM

    I feel the same ache...

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Busy Day Tomorrow!!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I love this time of the year---and this year after a long gap, the Monsoon is back---and the way it used to be---in the old days!!!Tomorrow is "Janmaashtami" in Maharashtra---the birthday of Lord Krishna,the most Beloved Incarnation of Lord Vishnu---and widely celebrated all over India----but a day earlier in Maharashtra.
On the day prior to His Birth, Maharashtrians observe a Fast----for 24 hours starting at midnight---they do not eat or drink anything----only those who are medically advised eat certain Foods made from the approved "Fasting Items" or "Upvaasi Pharaal" as it is called.Dairy Products are totally abstained from in deference to the arrival of the Lord----to the extent of not taking Milk in Tea or Coffee---that day denying oneself the usual cup of Tea or Coffee is a sign of Devotion !!!The entire day is spent in Worship and Prayer and in preparing the Ceremonial Food for The Birth at midnight----a sumptous Spread is prepared to celebrate the Event on hat day!!!Each household has different Traditional Menus which are cooked on that day.In our home we cook Green Peas "Usal" and Fresh Corn Kernels "Usal" --- both being a dry dish simply cooked but truly tasty!!!Then there is "Masaaley Bhaat" or Spicy Rice,steamed White Rice,"Varan" or sweet mashed,lightly seasoned Split Pigeon Peas, "Aloo- Kansanchi Paatal Bhaaji" or Colocassia/Taro Leaf and Corn Vegetable Curry, "Bataatyaachi Suki Bhaaji" or Dry Potato Curry,"Khamang Kaakdi" or Cucumber Salad,Green Chutney, hot and spicy Panchaamrut(a Chutney type Pickle),Papadums and Vegetable Fritters.Not to forget the crowning Glory----"Saanzoree" or thin Rotis stuffed with "Sheera"a Sweet Semolina Pudding cooked in Coconut Milk.Once cooked this Food is assembled in the prescribed manner and served on tender,clean Banana Leaves----starting with a pinch of Salt placed first thing on the left,followed by a wedge of Lemon,then a tsp.of Chutney,followed by a tsp.of Pickle,then a tbsp. of Panchaamrut,then the Cucumber Salad,then the Taro Leaf and Corn Curry,then the Potato Curry,followed by servings of both the Usals,Papads and Fritters---everything is prepared fresh that day itself---cooking starts in the late evening.The Food is always served left to right----and the Saanzorees and both varieties of the Rice are pressed into moulds and served in the centre of the Leaf.The White Rice gets a large dollop of Varan and a tsp.of Ghee over it.This "Varan -Bhaat" is the first thing eaten---this traditionally breaks the Fast!!!
My M-I-L Atya observed this fast each year----the reason being that when she was pregnant with Sudhir an astrologer advised her to do it--saying that the outcome would be auspiscious for the new Baby.She fasted on this day ever since till she passed away in 1994---since then I've begun performing the Ritual---I however do not Fast----but do cook the entire Menu as prescribed and after offering it to the Gods/Goddesses in my home Altar---feed my "Godly Husband" or my "Pati Parmeshwar" before I eat.I love cooking this Meal--it acts as a connecting Bond with The Almighty---May His Blessing always rest on our heads!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MESSENE 9/1/2010 8:31AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonHappy Janmaashtami! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 8/31/2010 9:48PM

    Enjoy Janmaashtami.

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DRASADAF 8/31/2010 6:37PM

    i m hungry at this odd hour coz of ur food....

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SAASHA17 8/31/2010 11:07AM

    Hey Komal,

Sounds amazing. happy cooking. Can I come over for the next one? :)

Manasa

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ANU_20 8/31/2010 6:09AM

    OMG!!!! ....Everything sounds sooooo Yummm! Can I please come too?? ...am only 3 hours away from you ... LOL! emoticon emoticon emoticon ... And the way you describe the whole Ritual ... I wouldn't even remember that Menu ...hehe!!! U R just Awesome!

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My "Rip Van Winkle" Stint!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Gifts I have recieved from The Almighty point to His Hand on my head----He has blessed me with a positive Attitude,love for Food,an ability to accept,deal with and face certain situations with Fortitude as well as to let go of Tensions. I have always been a sound sleeper---out like a light the moment my head touches the pillow!!!It is this sound Sleep that branded me as the "Rip Van Winkle" of the Family!!!
This incident occurred around the time I was preganant with Lotta---early 1971.Those days Sudhir was devilling for Atul Setalvad as his Junior in the High Court and they were engaged in some Heavy Matter---this required lots of Researching.Due to this Sudhir would stay up till late at night,noting down the relevant Points.I would go off to sleep by 10p.m.---those days Life was much simpler---listening to the Radio was our main Passion because the Idiot Box had not made it's entry yet!!!Coming back to the Story---I fell asleep and once asleep I'm dead to the World---- a violent Earthquake can take place and I'll sleep through it----my sleep is that heavy!!!Sometime later Sudhir needed to get a few things so he left to buy it from the 24 hour open Drug Store which also doubled as a General Store at the corner of the Street.
Now my M-I-L ,Atya was an insomniac----and used to pacing up and down in the House.On her rounds she noticed that the Door of our Bedroom was slightly ajar----and she knocked on it to see if anything was amiss.I as usual was dead to the World----so the question of giving any response to her query was out of the question!!!This disturbed her even more---she pushed open the door.The first person she looked out for was Sudhir---and then me as she entered the Bedroom.Sudhir was missing ----and there I was sprawled out like a sack of Potatoes on the bed----oblivious to the World of the Living!!!She tried waking me up for around 5-10 minutes to no avail---first calling me---then shaking me lightly-----till finally panicking completely she ran out to pound on the Door of Milind and Nina's Bedroom!!
Both Milind and Nina came rushing out in panic---and then began a 10 minute Drama----a pure riot!!!First they tried to wake me up---not succeeding in getting even a peep out of me!!Then in desperation, Milind grabbed my arms and dragged me into a sitting position while Nina poured a Glassful of Water over my head----this barely caused me to just shake my head slightly---before lapsing back into a deep slumber again!!!By now they were thoroughly frightened and panicky---and thankfully Sudhir came back home!!!
He too panicked at first but on coming to know about the entire proceedings---he just burst out laughing uproariously!!!"She ALWAYS sleeps like that---every night!!" he managed to tell them somehow---"it's normal as far as she's concerned!!"This reassured them and this Episode went down in one of the often retold Funny Stories about the Family's Eccentricities and Idiosyncrasies----but poor Atya never really could come to terms with this at all.Specially when I was preganant with Sayali and the Delivery was to be done here,she began keeping a vigil outside our Bedroom door each night as the D-Day approached---- listening to catch even the slightest sound----so scared was she that even the Labour Pains may not wake me up---she was so convinced that I could give birth in my sleep---without even realising it!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAJASHREE108 9/2/2010 11:07AM

    Yup! pass that sleep a little bit this way too...

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BOVEY63 8/30/2010 12:54PM

    emoticon
My mom can sleep like that too (unless a child so much as sneezes, then she's up like a shot).

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MESSENE 8/30/2010 12:48PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ATMANI 8/30/2010 9:44AM

    very funny story... I wish I could sleep like that. emoticon

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MILLISMA 8/30/2010 9:09AM

    What a funny story. I use to be a very light sleeper but learned to change and "shut things" out after my kids left home. A few years ago, as my husband and I slept, my son had stopped in late at night to fix my computer. Didn't even know he'd been in the house except for the note on the monitor. It has it's good points and bad.

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EACHDAYAGIFT 8/30/2010 9:00AM

    Great story! Oh, that we COULD give birth while asleep, and wake to find a lovely little baby...
emoticon emoticon

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RAGGARWALAX 8/30/2010 8:41AM

    OMG - that was sooo funny! Unfortunately I too am a light sleeper so I envy your ability to sleep so quickly and soundly!

emoticon emoticon

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SONPARI1 8/30/2010 3:53AM

    :) smiled all the way through reading this, I am dead opposite, a l'il sound and I am up !

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ANU_20 8/30/2010 3:37AM

    Hillarious!!! ...hehehehe... emoticon emoticon

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SAASHA17 8/30/2010 2:43AM

    hahaha give birth in sleep..that wud be convenient...hahaha...i am such a light sleeper wish i cud sleep so well...




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