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Roses In December

Friday, December 25, 2009

As a child I loved the Winter---the hazy Bluish Purple Mountains sprinkled with snowy Icing---the Silver Oak's Rusty brushes thrust against a back drop of deep Royal Blue skies----the heady scent of bonfires of burning dried Leaves---the cold crisp Air---all was pure Magic.
This was a celebration of Nature at it's best---fabulous Vegetables---great tasting Soups----open fires in the fireplace----roasting Sweet Potatoes and Potatoes in the embers---warm afternoons spent snoozing in the sunshine----all simple pleasures in an uncomplicated and innocent environment.
There was one thing that I loved the most---our Garden full of Flowers!!!The varieties of Flowers were mind boggling----in every shade and each with a distinctive characteristic speciality--- Dahlias,Chrsanthemums,Pansies,Narcissus,Gl
adioli,Larkspur,Marigolds----so many varieties---a riot of colours!!!And the Roses!!!!
Most of all I loved the Roses.The huge blooms would scent the Air with a delicate perfume and lend some of it's grace to the ambience in the house.My mother would pluck only the full blown blooms and filling a bowl with Water---she'd add an Asprin to it----then she'd float the bloom on it---we had these bowls on every concievable surface---the natural scent acted as room freshner in the closed rooms during the cold rainy days.
Chandigarh also has the Rose Garden----this beautiful Park is filled with Roses of every colour including the Blue Moon a Bluish-Violet bloom.There always used to be a competition amongst all the neighbours on the street to have the best flowers in their Gardens---the Maalis(Gardeners)had a great time.All the Sahibs and Mem Sahibs would consult them and seriously act on their advice!!!Those truly were the days my friends!!!
Today my Garden lives on in my memory---I close my eyes to see the Garden full of home grown Flowers and bursting with scents and colours----nostalgia is a funny thing!!!A feeling of sadness tinges my mood sometimes---when I see the Roses on sale---not as scented nor as beautiful as those in my childhood---but infintely exceedingly expensive!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 12/27/2009 10:04PM

    Yup! Your memory so beautifully re-painted here, reminded me of my grandfather's rose garden. He used to do his own grafting of roses, crotons and other plants. For years, my Dad nurtured and nourished the roses until he could not any more. My Dad would bring a rose ( my favorite fragrant pink one that grew blossoms year round and was a huge bush like a dwarf tree!) to my bed (daily for me to wake up, open my eyes to see and smell the fragrance) and chant "Chandramaamana sojata chakro suryo ujayata!" My nick name was chandrama for Chandrika although, as tradition would have it, my DH re-named me Neeta.

I still remember how my Mom compared her girls to the roses when I refused to drink my milk and buttermilk using the excuse of our neighbor's and maids who did not drink milk, yet were growing fine, in response to the need of calcium for my growth! Mother explained we were the roses that needed the special food (fertilization and care for the bush versus the weeds) to blossom. Does not make sense now, knowing how everyone needs calcium, lol but, sure made me feel special then!

Thanks for sharing.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ATMANI 12/25/2009 10:34AM

    You have painted a beautiful picture for the readers to enjoy. It takes me back to my rose garden in Indianapolis, I grew blue roses too! Of course, now it is only a memory. But I am told that the person who bought my house is enjoying the garden I laid out.

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WINDSONG~ 12/25/2009 4:46AM

    Your memories keep you company.



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AMC Cookware 3

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I used my AMC utensil today to cook my Cabbage Vegetable and Spinach soup.The Vegetable and Soup both tasted wonderful---the taste was totally enhanced---no Water no Oil needed for cooking----but tasted like Heaven!!!!
I just put the washed ,cleaned and chopped the Spinach Leaves,1 Potato,1Onion and 1 Carrot all together.I then put these to cook on slow flame in the AMC till the Visiotherm reached the centre mark.Then switched it off and allowed it to cool to room temprature.I then added a little Water and blended it to a Puree.Thinned the Puree to the right consistency with a little more Water and added a little Cornflour---1tsp. well mixed in 1 tbsp.Milk.Added a pinch of Salt and Black Pepper Powder.Mixed it well together and brought the Soup to a boil on slow flame stirring occasionally.It really had a great taste----reminded me of the Food we used to eat when I was a child!!!
For the Cabbage Vegetable I heated the AMC covered on low flame till the first Red Mark on the Visio Therm.Removed the lid and added the Black Mustard Seeds,Sweet Curry Leaves,and pinches of Turmeric and Asafoetida Powders.When the Black Mustard Seeds began to sputter I added the finely sliced Cabbage and half a cup of fresh Green Peas. Seasoned this with a pinch of Salt and a little Red chilli Powder mixed it well and covered it with the lid.Allowed to cook on low flame till VisioTherm reached the second Red Mark.Switched off the Gas and left it covered till ready to serve---the taste of both was truly enhanced!!!!
Though expensive it was worth every paisa----a lot of Paisas actually!!!
Tomorrow Tomato soup---let's see how that turns out!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 12/27/2009 10:08PM

    Great! Glad you found a way to save energy - especially natural gas in India. Congrats. Enjoy! emoticon

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SONPARI1 12/24/2009 10:33PM

    enjoi!

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ATMANI 12/24/2009 11:21AM

    Wow, sounds like you have found the perfect cookware. Thanks for sharing.

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AMC Cookware 2

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Guess what??Got my delivery of Cook ware today and got a Demo too----Steaming and Oil-free yes but can anyone believe in oil free Onion Bhajiyas???No residual Oil,dry crisp Bhajiyas from the pan and just yummy!!!Money well spent----the trick is to let the Oil heat up and lower Gas flame to low.Place Bhajiya(Fritters)in the basket they call a Softiera and wait for the Bhajiyas to cook crispen up.When the Oil stops bubbling,remove from the Oil straight into the serving dish and serve hot with Chutney---yuuuuuuuummmmmmmyyyyy!!!!
Only one thing though---I'll continue to use my pressure cooker to cook the Dals---gives me the mashed Dal I prefer.
A bit steep price wise but definitely worth it guys!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 12/27/2009 10:12PM

    Well!!! So surprised you found a great way to make bhajiyas. I have baked and grilled and done all kinds of things, however bhajiyas have to be flash fried for that traditional taste. Happy to hear you found a new cookware that does the job without deep frying.....awesome! Does it really taste like it was fried? Can one prepare dal vada, vada, cabbage and potato ambado, etc.? Very interesting...is this like our non-stick calphalon cookware by any chance although, it does not sound like it.........

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SONPARI1 12/24/2009 12:20AM

    u r right about dals, can't beat pressure cookers anytime.

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SAASHA17 12/23/2009 11:43AM

    oh i saw these in India like 7-8 yrs ago...they were way too expensive back then....well i ma happy with my microwave n oven...

i bake my bhajjiya with oil spray on top:)

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A Bond

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Marriage is a commitment which we make between two like minded persons.In India this is a sacred vow to be kept against all odds.Every woman is supposed to abide by the rules of the bond----till death!!!
This the story of one of my aunts---- Premi Maushi.A beautiful,lively girl she grew up in a small village on the borders of Konkan and Goa.She lost her father very young but loads of landed property in the form of Cashew,Coconut and Areca Nut Groves kept the home fires burning.At the right time a search for an ideal Life partner began and ended with this man who was a Police Officer in Mumbai.The Horoscopes matched perfectly---the family came to the village to 'see' the girl---they approved,the Engagement Rings were exchanged immediately on the same day and early next morning the man's family returned to Mumbai.
Premi Maushi was over the moon---such a handsome well built young man--such a good family--landed and wealthy to boot---what more could a girl ask for?????The Wedding date was set to a month later according to the auspiscious 'Muhurta' by consulting the horoscopes of both the bride and the groom.The exchange of letters between the two began---he'd reply once to ten of her letters.One day a letter with a Bombay postmark arrived for Premi Maushi's mother-----the groom was no good it said---he had a wife already it said!!!
Premi Maushi's mother and brother ignored the letter---people were bound to be jealous of such a good match----maybe somebody wanted to break this match just so that they could get their daughter married off to this man----this was what Premi Maushi's family felt.
The D-day arrived and the marriage was celebrated with great pomp and splendour---Premi Maushi was legally wedded to this man in the eyes of both God and Society----she was ecstatic!!!
The Wedding Party left with the bride for Mumbai in the late evening and arrived home in Mumbai a day later.After the completion of a plethora of religious ceremonies the Bride and Groom were left face to face with each other---alone.The first words he uttered were that she was his wife in name only---he was already married to a Burmese lady who because of her birth was unacceptable to his parents.It seems he'd sent the letter to warn her family himself but it had not worked.He was already the father of three children--two sons and a daughter---and would be living in that home of his.By marrying Premi Maushi he had merely ful filled his parents wishes for a 'proper'daughter-in-law!!That was her status and he assured her he'd look after all her financial needs. He also assured her of a quick annulment should she want one!!!
Premi Maushi was devastated---she spent the week following the revelation in shock---what was she to do????Her mother was old and such a shock could kill her!!!So she decided to stay and abide by the blow Fate had dealt her.She decided her strategy and began to plan her moves.She asked her husband for only one thing---he'd attend every family function and gathering with her.
Premi Maushi squared her shoulders and began her plan---she became the ideal daughter-in-law,Aunt and sister-in-law.Years passed but she had no children.Despite her protests her brother took her to see a Gynaecologist and got the shock of his life to learn that she was still a virgin!!!This was when the story came pouring out----her brother was incensed---why hadn't she come back home leaving these callous people he asked.Her answer was----if this was what God had willed for her this was what she'd do---successfully.
She befriended the 'older' wife and her children----after the death of her father and mother in-law the children and 'first'wife became a part of her family.Many years later her husband died in his 'other'home but Premi Maushi insisted on giving the right to perform the funerary rights to her older son---that was the way she thought of them!!!!
She willed her property,and personal belongings equally among all the children in the house including her step-children.She divided her time by living with each of the step-sons,her nephews by marriage and her siblings' children till she died a peaceful death due to old age.
I salute Premi Maushi---she made an indelible impact on my mind---a woman who accepted her Fate and rose above it to become a shining Beacon of selflessness and Love---a true soul who won over her Self(Ahum)to rise to sainthood!!!
Nothing is impossible she used to say----learn to turn the Handicaps into advantages!!!
I don't agree with her thinking but she said she'd abided by all the promises SHE made to her husband during their wedding ceremonies---she had given her word to stand by him till death---through thick and thin----she did!!!"I can answer only for my own actions" she'd say---" I behave according to my code of Honour"!!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 12/23/2009 12:53AM

    What a shame he did NOT keep his wows! He sure was a coward to have not told your Maushi himself, to her face that he was married instead of writing an anonymous letter. I am in no mood to pass judgement or honor her to say she was noble...at this point! Too tired and off to sleep.....Good Night!

Well written story though:)

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SONPARI1 12/22/2009 10:50PM

    Wow, id on't think I would have done that myself, it takes a lot of courage to do that.

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HEALTHYPRIYA 12/22/2009 10:07PM

    wow, a noble lady, salute to her.

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SAASHA17 12/22/2009 11:52AM

    wow Komal...God bless her...she was amazing..thanks for sharing...makes me wish i had known her....

Manasa

Comment edited on: 12/22/2009 11:52:28 AM

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*MADHU* 12/22/2009 9:39AM

    emoticonA noble lady indeed !

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ATMANI 12/22/2009 8:54AM

    Very touching story. A great tribute to a great lady and a noble soul!

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NATTIEGAL82 12/22/2009 4:21AM

    Oh Wow - what a brave lady! i love how beautifully u write!

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The House My Grandfather Built

Monday, December 21, 2009

This year Sudhir and I went to Kolhapur on our common Uncle Shyam's request.Reason---to say 'Good Bye' to the house that our common Grandfather had built at the end of the century before last.It had stood for over 125 years and was still strong enough to face another 125 years!!The family however had moved away---my oldest Uncle had settled in Mumbai--my youngest Uncle in London and my father never came back to India from Mauritius---and all three were dead now.Shyam Kaka is too old and so is his wife---- caring for the old house is becoming more and more difficult every day!!!
They'll be moving in with my brother who has built a huge new house---full of Light and Air while the old home has become dingy and dark because on each side the neighbours had extended their homes upwards thus cutting off both.It was a saddening experience for both of us----our umbilical ties to the place were strong but we could see Shyam Kaka's point----old order always gives way to new and change is constant.
Memories came flooding back like a torrent---the old house full of children--laughter and noise---mothers shouting---the dark mysterious and forbidden huge old attics-----our Grandmother Akka in the huge kitchen---the Chaaphaa and Bakul Trees in the backyard---the old Cow shed----so many!!! The call of the Cuckoo in the Jambhul(Jamun)Tree----the old home full of Light and Life---how different it was when we were children!!!Then we grew up and later our children enjoyed the old home filled with love and warmth---till one by one the older generation passed away and we too moved on.
Memories are like scented sachets of Lavender tucked away in the linen closet of the mind-----the smell lingers on with poignant sweetness and enriches our dreams of days long past.
This time we left Kolhapur with the sad but certain knowledge that the next time we went there---the old house wouldn't be there anymore!!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NITAINMN 12/23/2009 12:45AM

    I went thru these emotions when my Mother died and Father moved into my brother's new house across and their old house where we grew up was closed for good. I heard my other brother who owned this part of the lad with the old house sold it and the new owner abolished the house! It was sad....but, I totally agree Change is the only CONSTANT in life. My kids were sad when we sold our house in Queens, NY and bought an updated townhouse in Tarrytown, NY to avoid the yard work of snow shovelling, gardening, etc. Their memories came to an end and my youngest felt so devastated although, it was her idea for us to move on!!
Then, I got ill and we sold that large town house of almost 2,000 sq. ft and moved to a building with 1200 sq. ft of apartment. Sold that and now we live in our "Kothi" as you beautifully put it! Life is nothing but, change just like our body to show we are alive..isn't it?!

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FITNES3 12/21/2009 11:42PM

    Hey its really heart rending blog , it was for me like watching soem good old movie where they showed some moral values to humans & belongings too.

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ATMANI 12/21/2009 8:36AM

    Something to be said about strong old houses with many memories. I too went down my memory lane to my grandfather's house. Thanks for sharing.

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SRITHI97 12/21/2009 8:06AM

    hello ,
i can understand. i grew up at my grandfather's house in chennai. we had a big house.Now we have 6 apartments there instead of the big house. My mom and my grand parents live there.
but it is never going to be the house filled with all my lovely memories liked your biog, brought back my lovely memories.
vidya

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NATTIEGAL82 12/21/2009 6:00AM

    Thats so sad :( beautifully written - i could almost visualize my grandfather's old house..

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