Friday, July 26, 2013
As I grow older it's amusing to analyse myself and find certain Family traits that I have begun developing as I age--most of these are new additions!!There are a lot of traits in common with my Parents,Uncles and Aunts on both sides as well as my Grandmas too.According to my Sayali we belong to a truly mad cap Family or as our oldest grandchild Trisha puts it "totally Dysfunctional"!!The Gene pool I spring from is pretty confusing.My mother and my husband Sudhir were first cousins as are again Sudhir and I.my father loved quizzing our guests by asking them to solve this Riddle "My daughter and I share a Grandma-in Law--guess how?" or "my daughter and my grandchild share a common Great Grandma--guess how?"Daddy'd explain the relationship patiently but some how it was always too confusing for our Family friends to understand!!
Today I see so many of those amusing quirks becoming a part of me.For instance my paternal Grandma,Akka would love to sit in the Doorway of our ancestral home in Kolhapur each evening and watch the World pass by--replying to the greetings essayed by those whom she considered worthy of her attention and ignoring those whom she disliked.Her favourite manner to pass Time in Bombay was to sit in our Balconies and keep up a running commentary on everything that would take place outside.After we shifted here in 1975 she loved to sit in our Balcony.There was a beautiful "Waadi" of Coconut Palms just beyond our Boundary wall and this was dotted by single storey Cottages with Red tiled roofs populated by Mill hands.There used to be Marquees permanently set up--for there would be a steady flow of activity constantly taking place there---Weddings,Engagements,N
aming Ceremonies and Religious Functions going on all through the year.Today there are no such activities any more and the Coconut "Waadi" too has been taken over by Progress.There is now a 10 floors high Match Box like structure built there to house the Tenants and another one rising as high as 30 floors coming up----but still the Trees bordering the small lane that divides the two properties are as thick and prolific as ever--and this is my favourite spot to spend my "me" time in the early morning and mid morning--I love to sit back and just soak in the Atmosphere----the passers by are too far away to hail--so a vigorous wave has to suffice!!
Akka as well as my maternal Grandma, Aaji hated to remain idle.They would spend their time Knitting and Sewing as well as Embroidering.I have always loved all these activities but after my Cancer operation the mobility in my right arm is somewhat diminished.I cannot work on any of these for a long time as I develope a crick in my right arm and shoulder---so I now do what both my mother and my Aunts did.I watch Cooking Shows on T.V.!!This is something that amused me about them--they'd discuss the Recipes they saw with such sprightly animation and would present it so well--for they not only sounded delicious but the descriptions were fit to make us drool!!Today much to my amusement I've taken over where Mummy left off--watching these carefully and writing stuff down then later experimenting with these Recipes--so far pretty successfully!!I've sort of evolved my own personal version of Shorthand to help take these Recipes down fast enough.Now I'm venturing way beyond my typical Marathi,Mughlai,Punjabi and Anglo Indian fare to dish out exotic new dishes!!I would never have tried the unfamiliar ones out while Sudhir was there--for he loved his curries to be rich in colour and robust in taste--but today I find that I'm now open to cooking a delicately flavoured White Meat Curry which gives instruction for the Meat to be cooked in Milk!!
Like those before me I've always been very particular and precise in whatever I do--those are the only times when I'm the epitome of Patience!!Otherwise I need things done yesterday and hate it when my body fails to respond fast enough---something that happens pretty often these days!!However like my Grandmas I'm prudent enough to change my routine a little now--I take an hour's Siesta every afternoon to rest my back and because I rarely can sleep in the afternoons I read--my History is much improved and so is my brain as it absorbs all those new Recipes that I get in the Magazines that i subscribe to!!Like Mummy i too will perhaps leave my daughters and grand daughter a wealth of Recipe Books cut out from these--various Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian recipes from each and every corner of India as well as Papads,Badiyaans,Pickles,Chutn
eys and Preserves---all gradually fading away into lost Arts as these become available easily in Store bought Bottles!! I make my own Spice Powders and supply these to my daughters and nieces but now will have to look out for certain Shops that can substitute for the Home made stuff as I grow older and in time become less inclined to make my own.I'm noticing that my stamina just cannot match the one of both my Grandmas or even my mother--the price one pays for ingesting everything poluted--including the very Air we breathe!!