Sunday, December 23, 2012

Capital And Punishments

Not a  subscriber to knee-jerk reactions which we Indians are famous for , realised am getting very cynical about all the  calls for capital punishments , justice with in 30 days, agitated blog write-ups after the  Delhi Gang rape incident .

Why am I not shocked or angered by this one  incident ? Because while this one got reported there are hundreds swept under the carpet every day . ( Cant help remembering the mentally unwell poor woman at the hitech city traffic signal close to where we live suddenly   pregnant and more pitiable than before )

While that does not in anyway make this act acceptable or any less gruesome ..sets me thinking ..

Why do we wait for something like this to happen to bring out all our feverish angst  towards such incidents..what comes out is lot of fire , smoke ,finally  we are left with  consumed  cinders .

Cold.

BTDT .

We need to silence the "Burkha Dutt" in us which serves no other useful purpose than being a mere journalistic /media paradigm . Instead  ponder over a viable , long term , preventive root-cause analysis.

Thinking aloud, my thinking allowed the following .

Why did those men behave the way they did ?

Why didnt they look at other commercially available options to satiate their needs ?

Why did they indulge in physical assault after the act like some species of Cobras ..killing their  mate  after mating ?

Why didnt they think of the consequences at that moment ?

Or did they ?  Given the innumerous such cases getting covered up did they think they could handle the  legal outcome .I mean ,if at all it came out ?

How did they do what they did without a thought ..was it planned ? was it on impulse ?

Isnt there a moment -a fraction of a moment -between the stimuli and response ? How do we tap it ?


The need of the hour is a continuous , on-going reform at grass root levels starting with "ME" .

Not for  a moment am I underestimating the need for a strong law and speedy redressal systems to penalise the accused in a most fitting way .

We need to take it up as our responsibility at an individual level and spread awareness without waiting for a professional to do so ...Even if we just reach out to handful of parents ..a few children .and ..have community discussions ..it is bound to have a ripple effect in the long run .
I am positive that we can make a change by talking about it constructively ..Let law take care of offenders ..while we can work towards protecting the vulnerable lot - Our children who are reading and watching our reactions to these .

We have so much to do at this level while we just lose it to agitated reactions which are neither curative nor preventive .



Let us  teach our children. Let us  start at the very beginning . Algebra , Trignometry , Spell bee contests , Reality shows can all wait .

Let us  train our children to spot their feelings ..and their thoughts which lead to those feelings .And the emotions they end up with because of those feelings .. early on .

Once they are trained to spot their emotions , let us  try to teach them to handle every emotion with care and concern for self and others .

Let us conciously break stereo-types.. . It is okay for boys to cry and girls to play basket ball . Let us teach our boys  to cook , clean and get involved in household chores . Let the girls be taught to change a fused bulb and run errands.

Let us  teach our boys to pee into the water without spilling on the toilet seat . It all waters down to being sensitive .

( While at it , we can learn too.On the job training .Parenting unfortunately is the only job which requires no training . The fact that it is least remunerative - In another blogpost .!)

Wonder how to impart all this to children ? Sounds like a herculean task ?

Try "Do as I do "  instead of "Do as I say "

The accused - Their up-bringing , life circumstances , lack of emotional support ,and many more reasons could have led them to behave the way they did . None of the reasons however can in anyway justify the gruesome act . So ..

So ,Catching  them young ..is the secret . Empowering them with the required knowledge and physical skills is the solution .

Will this knowledge help  in protecting themselves from rape and abuse by creatures much stronger than them ?  May / May not .

Does a Fire Drill prevent fire accidents ? Does it protect kids and adults from burns and injuries ? May / May not.

It is therefore imperative that we put these preventive mechanisms in place . Their value can never be understated . It is the least we can do .


Do check out ..Ripples..Small pebbles big waves My page on FB  for a cause , a social malady - Child Sexual abuse (CSA ). a small step towards this very goal .

    Tuesday, December 18, 2012

    Truth hurts ....


    Being a follower of Paramacharya and his teachings my husband and I decided to transcend all the social barriers during the upanayanam of our son and conducted it at home without much fanfare with a very closed group and concentrated on just the rituals ....The extended family, of course, was divided in its opinion ..while some friends felt offended and thought we were weird.But altogether it left us feeling satisfied having followed Paramacharyas teachings.

    Here is a very light-hearted take on the misplaced priorities seen these days in carrying out the so-called traditions.in my opinion we have just lost it all and need to "start from the very beginning "!!

    Below is a Forwarded message worth sharing I thought.
    Author unknown, but a brilliant piece .Read on

    A RUNNING COMMENTARY ON AN UPANAYANAM


    நேற்று ஒரு உபநயனத்துக்குப் போனேன். மேடை மேல் உபநயனப் பையன் மாலை அணிந்து கொண்டு நான்கு புறமும் வேடிக்கை பார்த்துக் கொண்டிருந்தான். அவன் அணிந்திருக்கும் செயின் போட்டோவில் விழவேண்டுமே என்ற கவலையில் அவனுடைய தாய் அடிக்கடி குனிந்து அதை எடுத்து மாலை மேல் நெளிய விட்டுக் கொண்டிருநதாள். ஸாஸ்திரிகள் புத்தகத்தைப் பார்த்து மந்திரம் சொல்லிக் கொண்டிருந்தார். வீடியோக்காரர் அவருக்கு வெளிச்சம் காட்டிக் கொண்டிருந்தார். வேத மந்திரங்கள் மகா புனிதமானவை, அதைக் காதால் கேட்டாலே புண்ணியம். அதை வாயால் வேறு சொல்வானேன் என்ற எண்ணத்தில் பையனின் தகப்பனார் மந்திரத்தைச் சொல்லாமல் வாசல் பக்கம் பார்ப்பதும் வருவோர்களைக் கை கூப்பி வரவேற்பதுமாக இருந்தார். அவரது ஓவர்சைஸ் தொப்பையும் பஞ்சகச்சமும் பொருந்தாத் திருமணம் புரிந்த தம்பதிகள் போல போராடிக் கொண்டிருந்தன. வேட்டி விவாக ரத்து செய்துவிடப் போகிறதே என்ற பயத்தில் அவர் அடிக்கடி அதைக் கையால் பிடித்தபடி இருந்தார். வடுவிற்கு பசிக்கப் போகிறதே என்ற கரிசனத்தோடு அத்தைகளும் சித்திகளும் அவனுக்கு அடிக்கடி பால், ஜூஸ் முதலானவற்றைக் கொடுத்துக் கொண்டிருந்தனர். என் அருகில் பேண்ட் டீ ஷர்ட் அணிந்த மீசை வைத்த மூத்த குடிமகன் ஒருவர் இருந்தார். (அமெரிக்க) நாடாறு மாதம், (இந்தியக்) காடாறு மாதம் வாழ்பவர் என்று அவர் நெற்றியில் ஒட்டியிருந்தது. அவர் முன் வரிசையில் பிட்ஸ் பிலானி என்று அச்சிட்ட டீ ஷர்ட் அணிந்திருந்த ஒரு பையனிடம் ஸாஸ்திரிகள் சொல்லிக் கொண்டிருந்த மந்திரங்களுக்கு அவ்வப்போது ரன்னிங் காமெண்ட்டரி கொடுத்துக் கொண்டிருந்தார். ஒரு தடவை என் பக்கம் திரும்பி இதை எல்லாம் நாம தான் இந்தக் காலத்து இளைஞர்களுக்கு எடுத்துச் சொல்லணும். ஒண்ணுமே தெரியாமல் வளர்றதுகள் என்று சொன்னார். ஆசீர்வதிக்க வந்த மக்கள் பல குழுக்களாகப் பிரிந்து பேசிக் கொண்டிருந்தனர். ஒவ்வொரு நேரத்தில் ஒவ்வொரு குழுவின் பேச்சு பலமாக ஒலித்ததால் எல்லாவற்றிலும் கொஞ்சம் கொஞ்சம் காதில் விழுந்தது. * * * * * * * * ஏன் மாமி, இந்தப் புடவை பிரசாந்தியா? அதில் தான் நிறைய வெரைட்டி வருகிறது. நன்றாக இருக்கிறது. * * * * * * * * எதுக்கு மாமா கல் மேலே நிக்கறான்? கல்லைப் போல உறுதியா இருக்கணும்னு உபதேசம் பண்றார் குரு, அதாவது அவன் அப்பா. குழந்தாய், இந்தக் கல் மீது நில். அதைப் போல் அசையாமல் இருந்து உன் எதிரிகளை வெற்றி கொள் அப்படின்னு அர்த்தம் இப்போ சொல்ற மந்திரத்துக்கு. * * * * * * * * சென்னை சூபர் கிங்க்ஸ் இந்தத் தடவை ஜெயிக்காதுன்னு முன்னாடியே தெரிஞ்சு போச்சு. * * * * * * * * எதுக்கு மாமா கயறு கட்டறா? கயறு இல்லேடா. அதுக்குப் பேரு மௌஞ்ஜி. முஞ்ஜிங்கிற புல்லினால் செய்யணும். இப்போ தர்ப்பையாலே முறுக்கிப் பண்றா. இந்த மௌஞ்ஜி வீட்டைத் தூய்மைப்படுத்துகிறது. பிராண அபானங்களுக்கு பலம் தருகிறது. ஸத்யத்தைக் காப்பது. பகைவரைக் கொல்வது. இதனால் நாம் நலம் பெறுவோம்னு அந்த மந்திரத்துக்கு அர்த்தம். * * * * * * * * வாண்டுகள் ஒன்றை ஒன்று துரத்திக் கொண்டு மண்டபத்தைச் சுற்றிச் சுற்றி வந்தன. சுரிதார்கள் ஒரு ஓரமாக நின்று கிளுகிளுத்தன. ஒரு எட்டு வயதுப் பட்டுப் பாவாடை மாம்பழ ஜூஸ் கொண்டு வந்து எல்லோருக்கும் கொடுத்தது. குடித்துவிட்டு எல்லோரும் பிளாஸ்டிக் கப்புகளை நாற்காலியின் கீழ் போட்டுவிட்டுப் பேச்சைத் தொடர்ந்தனர். * * * * * * * * தக்ஷிணை எவ்வளவு? இருபதாயிரம். அடேயப்பா. இருந்தாலும் இந்த வைதீகாளுக்கு இவ்வளவு பேராசை ஆகாது. இதெல்லாம் டிமாண்ட் அண்ட சப்ளையை பொறுத்த விஷயம் ஸ்வாமி. நல்ல வைதீகா கிடைக்கிறதில்லே. அதனாலே தான் இந்த டிமாண்ட். இருந்தாலும் வேதத்தை அத்தியயனம் செய்துவிட்டு தர்மத்துக்கு வழி காட்ட வேண்டியவா இப்படி அக்கிரமம் பண்ணினா ஜனங்களுக்கு வைதீக சிரத்தையே போயிடும் ஸ்வாமி. * * * * * * * * குருவே, நான் வேதம் பயிலத் தகுதி அடைந்து விட்டேன். என்னை அருகே அழைத்துக் கொள்ளும்னு பையன் சொல்றதாக அர்த்தம் * * * * * * * * காலம்பர டிபன் நன்னா இருந்தது. யார் கேட்டரிங் அடுத்த தெருவிலே தான் இருக்கார். அவா கிட்ட எப்பவுமே சாப்பாடு ஐட்டம் டேஸ்ட்டாகத் தான் இருக்கும். ரேட்டும் மாடரேட்டா இருக்கும். ஜனவரிலே பொண்ணு கல்யாணம் வெச்சிருக்கேன். இவாளையே சொல்லிடலாம்னு பார்க்கறேன். மத்தியான்னம் லஞ்ச்சையும் சாப்பிட்டுப் பார்த்துட்டுத் தான் சொல்லணும். * * * * * * * * வேதம் காயத்திரி, பரப்ரும்ம்ம் இவ்றில் எதை நாடுகிறாய் அப்படின்னு குரு கேட்கிறார். பரப்ரும்மமே எனது லட்சியம், மற்றவை சாதனம்னு பையன் சொல்றான். இவா ரெண்டு பேருமே வாயைத் திறக்கல்லே. ஸாஸ்திரிகள் தான் கேள்வியையும் கேட்டு பதிலையும் சொல்லிண்டிருக்கார். * * * * * * * * மேடையில் ஒரு ஸாஸ்திரிகள் செல்போனில் பேசிக் கொண்டிருந்தார். நீங்க ஒண்ணும் கவலைப்படாதீங்கோண்ணா. வேன்காரனே கீத்து, கழி, சட்டி, நெய் ஜாடா சாமானும் கொண்டு வந்துடுவான். நான் இன்னும் அரை மணிலே வரேன். * * * * * * * * இந்த்த் தடவை புதுக்கோட்டைலே ஏடிஎம்கே தான். சொல்லமுடியாது. ஆன்டி- இன்கம்பன்சி பாக்டர் தான் கடுமையா இருக்குன்னு ஒரு பேப்பர்லே எழுதியிருக்கான். * * * * * * * * எதுக்கு மாமா மரக்கிளையைக் கையிலே வெச்சிண்டிருக்கான்? பொரச மரம்னு ஒரு மரம். அதோட கிளை இது. பலாச தண்டம்னு ஸம்ஸ்கிருதத்திலே சொல்லுவா. பலாச தண்டமே, நீ எப்படி தேவர்களது நிதியைக் காக்கிறாயோ அப்படியே நான் பிராமண நிதியான வேதத்தைக் காக்கணும்னு பையன் சொல்லணும். * * * * * * * * நாளைக்கு நீர் ப்ரீயா? நான் நாளைக்கு துரோந்தோவிலே டெல்லி போறேன். உபாத்தியாயக்காரா ஆத்திலே கல்யாணம். வர நாலு நாளாகும் லகாரத்தோட திரும்பி வருவீர்? அப்படிப்பட்ட எடம் இல்லே. கொடுத்ததை வாங்கிக்க வேண்டியது தான். நாலு நாளைக்கு ஊரை விட்டுப் போறதுன்னா தக்ஷிணை கணிசமா இல்லாட்டா நீர் போமாட்டீரே. சிஷ்யனை அனுப்பிப் பண்ணி வைக்கச் சொல்லிடுவீரே. எனக்குத் தெரியாதா? * * * * * * * * பாடம்னு சொல்லு, பாடம்னு சொல்லுங்கிறாரே ஸாஸ்திரிகள். எதுக்கு மாமா? குரு சொல்றதுக்கெல்லாம் சரி சரின்னு பையன் சொல்லணும். .நீ பிரம்மசரிய ஆசிரமத்தை அடைஞ்சுட்டாய். நான் சொன்ன பிறகே உணவு சாப்பிடணும். ஆனா தண்ணீர் மட்டும கேட்காமல் பருகலாம் .பணிவிடைகளைச் செய் பகலில் தூங்காதே பிட்சை எடு. ஆசிரியருக்கு அடங்கி இரு இப்படி ஒவ்வொண்ணா குரு சொல்லச் சொல்ல பையன் சரி சரின்னு சொல்றதாக அர்த்தம். * * * * * * * * இது தான் கடைசி மந்திரம். பையனுக்கு சந்தியாவநதனம் செய்யறதிலே சிரத்தை உண்டாகணுங்கிறதுக்காக சொல்றது. சௌபாக்யம் உண்டாக்கும் சிரத்தா தேவியே, உலகில் இன்பம் தேடும் அனைவருக்கும் இன்பம் தருக. உன்னை நான் மூன்று வேளைகளிலும் அழைக்கிறேன். எனக்கு சிரத்தை உண்டாகும்படி செய். இந்த மந்திரத்தையாவது பையனை ஒழுங்கா சொல்ல வெச்சு அர்த்தம் சொல்லி இருக்கலாம். ஸாஸ்திரிகளுக்கே அர்த்தம் தெரியுமோ தெரியாதோ! * * * * * * * * ஒரு பிளாஸ்டிக் வாளி நிறைய அரிசி வைக்கப்பட்டிருந்தது. பையன் வெள்ளித் தட்டைக் கையில் ஏந்தியபடி, அம்மணி, பிச்சை போடுங்கள் என்று பரிதாபமாக வேண்டிக் கொண்டிருந்தான். வித்யார்த்திகளுக்கு உதவ வேண்டும் என்ற பாரம்பரியம் தவறாத பட்டுப் புடவை மாமிகள் க்யூ வரிசையில் நின்று அந்த ஏழை மாணவனின் பசி தீர்ப்பதற்காக வெள்ளிக் கிண்ணத்தால் அரிசி மொண்டு மிகுந்த பரிவுடனும் சிரத்தையுடனும் தட்டில் போட்டனர். கூடவே ஐந்து ரூபாய் பத்து ரூபாய் நாணயங்களையும் போட்டனர். அரிசியையும் காசையும் அவன் வேறு ஒரு வாளியில் கொட்டிக் கொண்டிருந்தான். அவன் எல்லா அரிசியையும் காசையும் தின்று அஜீரணத்துக்கு உள்ளாகிவிடப் போகிறானே என்ற கவலையால் ஸாஸ்திரிகள் எல்லாவற்றையும் ஒரு மூட்டையாகக் கட்டி வைத்தார். தன் சிஷ்யனைக் கூப்பிட்டு டேய் இதை எடுத்துக்கோடா என்று சொல்லிவிட்டு மேடையில் இருந்த தேங்காய்களைத் தன் பையில் போடத் தொடங்கினார். அவர் கிளம்புவதைக் கண்ட பையனின் தகப்பனார், ஸாஸ்திரிகளே, மாத்தியான்னிகம் பண்ணி வைக்கணுமே என்று பவ்யமாகக் கேட்டார். எனக்கு நேரமாகி விட்டது. இன்னிக்கு ஏகப்பட்ட வேலை. உமக்காக வந்தேன். நீங்களே மாத்தியான்னிகம் பண்ணி வெச்சுருங்கோ. நான் வரேன். பையனின் தகப்பனார் எழுந்து பஞ்சகச்சம் விழாமல் பிடித்துக் கொண்டு கீழே இறங்கி வந்து ஒவ்வொருவரிடமும் மாத்தியான்னிகம் பண்ணி வெக்கறேளா என்று வேண்டிக் கொண்டிருந்தார். ஒருவரும் சம்மதிக்கவில்லை. என் பக்கத்தில் இருந்த அரை அமெரிக்கரிடம் கேட்டபோது அவர் நான் பேண்ட் போட்டுக் கொண்டு வந்திருக்கிறேன். மந்திரம் சொல்லணும்னா அதுக்குள்ள வேஷத்தோட இருக்கணும் என்று சொல்லி மறுத்து விட்டார். என்னிடம் வந்தார். நீங்கள் சந்தியா வந்தனம் செய்வதில்லை. உங்கள் பையனும் செய்யப் போவதில்லை. நாளை முதல் நிறுத்துவதை இன்றைக்கே நிறுத்தி விடலாம் என்று சொல்ல நினைத்தேன். அதைத் தான் சொல்வானேன் வாய் தான் நோவானேன் என்று நினைத்து மௌனமாகத் தலையாட்டி மறுத்தேன். பையனின் குடும்பத்தாரின் பிராமண அப்பிராமண உறவினர்களும் நண்பர்களும் கியூ வரிசையில் சென்று ஒவ்வொருவராகக் கவரைக் கொடுத்துப் போட்டோ பிடித்துக் கொண்டார்கள். போட்டோ செஷன் ஒரு மணி நேரம் நடந்தது. பையனுக்கு வேத அத்தியயனம் செய்யத் தகுதி வந்து விட்டது. வரும் ஆவணி அவிட்டத்து அன்று அவன் வியாச ஹோமம் செய்து வேதத்தைக் கற்கத் தொடங்கி விடுவான் என்ற நம்பிக்கையுடனும், தன் மேல் சுமத்தப்பட்ட வேத ரக்ஷணம் என்ற மிகப் பெரிய பொறுப்பைப் பிராமண சமூகம் இன்று வரை நிறைவேற்றிவிட்டது என்ற திருப்தியுடனும் எல்லோரும் சாப்பிட்டுவிட்டுக் கலைந்தனர். இப்படியாக உபநயனம் சிறப்பாக நடந்தேறியது ......!

    மாத்தி யோசி (Maathi Yosi !))

    My children are truly my inspiration .would they say the same about me ?..I know not ..! But .. They are the reason behind the fluffiest idlis in the world that I make.
    Both my children think I am so lucky to be at Home cooking, cutting veggies, grinding, atta kneading and such other messy but memorable chores ..Ask me !!!
    It was one such day when they got interested in the clutter on my counter.
    S - Amma, what is this?
    Me -Rice.
    S-why is it in water?
    Me-sigh.becos my mother taught me so!
    S-What is this then?
    Me-URAD DHAALL
    S-Patti asked you to put this also in water?
    Me-mmm..
    S-what will you do with it ?(wishing ..I didn't have to do anything with it !)
    Me-GRIND (ing my teeth )
    S-Both ??
    Me-What do you want now ??
    S-No Ma, will you grind both?
    Me-yes ..
    S-Together ?
    Me-er..mmm. No. One after the other.
    S-why can't you grind it together ma ??
    Me-Do you want to watch TV?
    S-Yes ! with a pulled fist.
    As always I fell for their trick. Left me wondering why we have been grinding Rice and Urad dhal separately all these years?
    Probably as most recipes dictate that rice  be coarsely ground though my mom always grinds both to a fine paste.
    Decided to grind them together.The flip side would be, not able to make idlis.But this versatile dough that is capable of taking several avatars - Day1 Idli; Day 2 Dosa; Day 3 kuzhiappam; Day 4 oothappam and so on will surely not go waste.
    A job well done. Resulted in a well-fermented dough.i or Dosa ? Tried Idlis and waited anxiously only to  realise 7 minutes is long enough to clean up the kitchen. I should try doing it everyday !
    And I dished out the fluffiest Idlis in my life ..The khushboo kinds .
    The entire day went in announcing the tedium coming to a GRINDING HALT .
    Another source of my inspirations is sheer laziness, and that gave way to the idea of soaking the ingredients in the grinder overnight. That's not all ..I let it ferment in the grinder ..salvation comes before actually making them.
    It Just took a few idlis to convince my mother and sister ...on this new discovery ..Preparing the idli dough has never been this delightful .



    Fluffy Idlis apart ..I learnt the மாத்தி யோசி concept through my children ..

    Cookery shows !

    It was one of those days when all work , routines had to be put aside as Sashvat was not keeping well enough to attend school ..Both of us were bored and decided to watch TV for sometime and surfed for cookery shows which are our all time favorite ! Infact the only thing where there is consensus !
    Sure enough there was this maami on Raj TV demonstrating in chaste tambram tamizh the nuances of Oma kuzhambu ! Sounded interesting and looked delicious ..( lunch time !) and resembled vetha kozhambu ..first cousin ..once removed types !
    Sashu threw a challenge at me .." amma , enna panna poriya ?" ..I sure did take on the challenge with the little one guiding me and reminding me of every ingredient ...( amma , remember what that aunty said ..dont over do the omam bit !!)
    MMmmm..turned out quite nice especially with the appalam bits in almost every bite !
    Though "Yukk" was Sashvat's reaction !



    Quick recipe :
    Same as vetha kozhambu except ..you add 1 tablespoon of omam along with the tadka , a little bit of dhaniya and zeera powder . And yes ..dont forget to add the special ingredient -broken pieces of ulundu appalam along with the tadka..The pieces in every morsel of hot rice ..are divine !

    Monday, December 17, 2012

    Nilaya vidhwan !


    My  Nilaya vidwan!

    I often stand arms akimbo in front of the grocery cabinets, refrigerator, freezer when either they are

      1) overflowing with near expiry cartons which run up my guilt meter or

     2) nearing re-order levels

     Add to these -Friday evenings, when you throw all routines away, Saturday mornings when your limbs refuse to co-operate, Sunday nights when you want to conserve all the energy for the next week ...SIGH ..Not to mention the days when you have to cook for just yourself!

    These are times when " what to cook ?" becomes an overwhelming, brain- crunching, and to an extent scary thought, .with four hungry mouths to be fed.

    During  BC period ( before children !) I used to call up G and say "surprise !! for dinner " on such days ..only to reveal my sly but strategic plan of eating out while he goes sniffing into a clean, long-since used , dry kitchen looking for the surprise !!!

    Guess , I am not alone here .

    Writers ' find themselves at a point when they run out of ideas ..Writers' block.

    AIR has a panel of artists on rolls for such days ..Nilaya Vidhwan!

    25 years down memory lane ....

    " Indraya Kaalai Malaril Bhakthi paadalgal paada irupathu namathu Nilaya vidhwan Thiru .Kumbakonam Swaminathan avargal "

    My "Nilaya Vidhwan" is the ubiquitous Upma - Rava upma ! Neyar viruppam - from Sash and Shaks -"Amma, no vegetables, only plain onion and vellayya !"


    Here I go ! And I owe the success of this recipe to my M-I-L which is a hit everytime and anytime.


    A few secrets that my M-I-L shared ...

    §  roast rava very lightly without changing the colour

    §  boil water separately -it is always water over rava and never rava into the water!

    §  add a big scoop of fresh curd to the boiling upma

    §  add a spoonful of ghee to the water!


    Cheedai Vedi ..Patent pending !

    Sarvam Krishnaarpanam !




    Was enjoying the Lovely late monsoon at Hyderabad ..while enduring the viral infections that come free with it . Decided on a low key Krishna Jayanti till one of my friends touched a very sensitive nerve in me, by wondering about my cheedai and murukku pics ..and that too on FB !

    Team S & S shortlisted "thatai" , "uppu Cheedai " , and Mysorepak !
    Started  ambitiously with the thattai . True to its name it  fell flat - soft and fluffy (more like poori's second cousin ) Never the one to give up,moved over to Project "uppu cheedai ".

    Having made the round balls , heated up oil while S & S ran out of the kitchen beckoned by Doraemon. The cute , innocent cheedai balls when slipped into the oil looked perfect, till I heard a loud "'Dhoom" ! Before I could figure out the source of the "Dhoom" there went "dhoom 2 " !
    I let out such horrible screams myself with every "dhoom" .

    What followed was a "saravedi" of sorts ! Realised it was the cute , innocent looking hand grenades that we as a family rolled ,that I so lovingly slipped into the oil which was now all over. 
    Cheedai ,cheedai everywhere not a single one in the pan ! 

    By now S & S were screaming for me to come out ,which is when it dawned on me to switch off the gas and run out of the kitchen. Phew ! I always thought vella cheedai as the villain as it  spreads out like a giant squid in oil . Looks indeed are deceptive !

    Once I was out and safe my daughter  made sure I was okay and said " sorry ma , I love you ma , don't mistake me ma ,but it was so funny to see you and hear you scream after every Dhoom ! "and she went ROTFL ... (takes after my side of the family .)

    She went on to narrate this to my mom too amidst her giggles ..Can't really Blame her. As this giggling fit is due to a a genetic disorder that runs in our family. All my close friends and family will vouch for it !! Especially when someone trips and falls (includes self , my own children ) it triggers a giggling fit in me ! In fact I owe my 15 years of marriage to my sister-in-law who after the 3rd day of my marriage just pulled me into another room sensing the impending danger of my giggle burst when none other than my m-i-l tripped ..! My own children think I am the "crueleessst" mother who could giggle when her own children trip and fall ! Can't help ! It is a disease of mine that others suffer from .

    I actually help the victims after I am done giggling .

    My mom wondered how I could even think of attempting to make cheedai with children around. Well ,this opinion of hers was not part of the recipe which I confirmed with her just before project uppu cheedai .Too bad !

    Aw ! Then came the worst part - Cleaning .Called up my sister thinking she would take the cue , offer to come over and help me. Hard luck ! But she gave me such a gem of a suggestion to clean up the oil mess on the floor.

    Sprinkle generous amounts of gram flour on the floor and sweep it off . Any guesses on how she knew the perfect recipe for a "cheedai vedi " clean up ?! If you don't ask questions , you won't hear lies !

    We let go of Basil and Basumati. Not any more .My very own "Cheedai vedi " ..Patent pending ! 2011 Diwali release !

    Here are a few tips :

    1. After slipping the cheedai balls into the oil run away to the nearest exit

    2. Include 1/2 a kg of gram flour in the ingredients for post production effects ( Oil clean up)

    3. Have a heavy lid with handle ready to cover up the pan incase you hear a "dhoom" ( imagine women making cheedai armed with a "kedayam" in one hand and a long "karandi " on the other !!)

    4. Incase the lid also goes up ..pretend you are demonstrating a science experiment ! Rocket launch.

    5. self-reliance is old fashioned ..what you cannot do efficiently - buy-out / outsource / import !

    6.Tip from my son  : Have a remote control for the Gas stove .

    7.My daughters's rejoinder : Keep the remote control out of the kitchen or carry it with you when you run out !!!

     Oh Yes ! The Mysorepak was a success after all that !

     

    Friday, December 14, 2012

    Sojourned Musically at Perla .....

    Sa  Ma pa .That is Sarvasri for you,  a  tri -tonal Raga credited to Dr Magalampally Balamurali Krishna 's innovative genious.

    Having grown up in Madras couldnt escape carnatic music as a Child ..but did we like it ?? Not one bit then.. especially the ones with the typical gamakas and pidis which calls for an acquired taste from previous janmas preferably !.

    Music didnt reach anywhere beyond the "thenju pona" record -vara veena mrudhu paani -at every golu sung religiously for sundal as a return gesture and very often dished out only to stop it !!

    Some maamis had the audacity to ask " haven't you learnt anything else, apart from this ??"  Did maami expect a pulsating thaanam in return for the garnished pulses ??!  How naive!


    The tipping point was when I  heard Dr Mangalampally Balamuralikrisha for the first time ... remember the song vividly ..Brihadeeswara Mahadeva ...which had very stylish gamakas and his voice quality was so mesmerising ...and the clarity in lyrics and diction .. Talking about lyrics... was always fascinated with his lyrics , the swaraksharams , .! ( .In case you missed... I tried a swaraksharam with  swaras of Sarvasri  for the tittle to  this post .. dont even want to think about how long I took to arrive at that !! ) Whereas the lyrical value of Dr BMK 's compositions would merit a separate post from a more knowledgeable person than me ...

    My tryst with Carnatic music started precisely then ...and continues to grow ..till it took a new turn when I stumbled upon Dr Balamurali Krishna's student Prince Rama Varma 's  video lessons and airings on SVBC channel ..

    I found it very appealing and non-threatening ..and lucid .It had all the ingredients ..mesmerising voice quality , perfect diction whatever be the language , melody and stylish  pidis and gamakas yet very authentic and traditional .

    And the lovely videos on teaching sessions at Perla ..a quaint little place near Mangalore was so intriguing ..especially the residential 2 day programs in Gurukul format was so enticing ...that I landed up there .


    Started off with lots of apprehensions ..doubts ..(silly  urban mind was all the time thinking about the urbane nitty gritty ) and was really overwhelmed with the warmth and friendliness and hospitality extended there by  Yogesh Sharmaji who runs this music school -Veenavadhini and the calm and composed  Rama Varmaji who conducts residential music workshops once every four months ...While there is  a dedicated set of students ..they are gracious enough to welcome music enthusiasts , wannabes , late bloomers .. ( you guessed it right, I am one of them ! )

    Before I talk about the music there ..must say a few words about the ambience of this place which smells green with a nearly 100 year old Jack fruit tree ..clean fresh air , star-studded sky accompanied by    simple healthy food ..topped up with Good music . Pure bliss .

    And the divergent group .of .participants from all walks of life ..teens , tweens , a mother-to -be , mother -daughter duos , father -daughter too , a grandmother , over the hill moms -who escaped from home ( there I go , again !) ..made it a very enriching experience .

    The children who come here get special treat from Varmaji ...bubble makers and generous amounts Swiss chocolates after every session . ( Just why didn't my gurus think of this ?  ..If not Bubbles and bourbons I am sure they could have managed some groundnut chikkis and Pallanguzhi ...Sigh .what a loss .)

    The daily chores like cutting vegetables, cleaning up after every meal, doing the dishes were all so seamlessly sewn into our routines ...that it gave such a beautiful sense of involvement.The regular students there take such good care of the new comers and wouldnt let us do any menial jobs at all ...such much hospitality was really touching ..A gurukul with a difference ..serving not only the guru ..but each other too !

    Typically the day begins with breakfast and music sessions start at 9.30 am

    Every session starts with a warm-up song from their repertoire of nearly 100 songs taught so far from earlier sessions ..the one I attended being the 22nd  such session.

    Loved the format and structure of the teaching sessions  adopted and fine-tuned by Varmaji here ..We  proceed on to the new song ..with an elaborate swara exercise in that raga which is the  highlight !.which consumes more than 50% of the time devoted to teaching / learning the song .

    The swara exercise opens up the raga  to be  stretched , cajoled , crooned , tugged at , paused appropriately -  only to reach a crescendo , pampered , pushed to touch the boundaries , crinkled , with typical prayogas .., some novel prayogas and dished out   .in a highly  concentrated form ...so much so that the entire place resonates with that raga and smells of it too ..Ah ! that merits a mention about the lovely filter coffee served there . Good food ..Good Music ..is the punch line of Yogesh Sharmaji whenever you appreciate the food !!

    By the end of this half an hour of Swara exercise one is ready for a neat take -off .
    Varmaji or Varma sir as he is called,goes on to give the lyrical essence of the song explaining the whole song in a common language and sharing little tidbits about the composer, the composition, significance of the lyrics, special themes and most importantly the kriti's meaning is explained  word by word to a bunch of multilingual students.
    It ranges from Tulu , Kannada , Hindi , Tamizh , Havyaka ,( a cross between Kannada and Tulu is what I was given to understand ) and  Malayalam .

    When you hear them sing though their diction is so authentic that one would think it is a manavaadu  singing an Annamayya Kriti or a true blue kannadiga singing a Purandara dasa kriti  ( no scope for swalpa adjust maadi ..here at all !) or a Bengali singing a Robindra Shangeeth ..or a Mylapore maami singing a Neela kanda sivan composition with the 'zha' in its place !

    What a beautiful feeling when the language and diction get their due respect! Fitting  Tribute to the vaggkeyakaras who must be so disturbed turning in their graves each time a composition is rendered with wrong lyrics.

    Never will you hear a -Endharoma - haanubaavulu  or for that matter nada thanu - manisham or saramaina maata lenthura - Jaanu Jaanu ra at Veenavadhini School under Varmaji's tutelage ..It is always Endharo- Mahaanubhavulu or  Nada Thanum Anisham or Saramaina Maata lenthu ra -tchsaalu tchsaalu ra !!

    Varmaji never  gives the notations for any of the songs he teaches ..surprising , eh ? ! He ,instead takes it from the students ! Which is like a cake walk for the Perla regulars ' after the swara exercises .. Varmaji sings a line and they notate it then and there within a matter of minutes !

    Cant help remembering the adage .." A good teacher is one who becomes progressively unnecessary .."

    Move over to the song.Each sangathi is taught so meticulously, and the subtle nuances of each sangathi are book marked by cute and funny tips, reminders by Varmaji, which works wonders with the children , who sheepishly recollect the funny reminders while rendering the sangathis.( Oh , yes  It works wonders with late bloomers too who otherwise tend to blunder !)


    Never a dull moment during the sessions that stretch from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm with a lunch and tea break .. Actually nobody looks forward to these breaks except the Perla campus cows whose body clock is in perfect sync with the break timings ..Amazingly on-time ..everytime ! There are no cattle traps nor is it a gated community ....spotted a deadly scorpion too.Inclusive living of singers and stingers .

    One of my musically inclined  friends wondered  if the cows  at Perla moo with a shudha madhyamam or pratimadhyamam .?! .what with so much Dwimadhyamam flowing out of  Veena Vadhini school through a bhavam soaked Behag and  a ravishing Rohini .

    Break ke baad .- the students always have a quick bite and religiously practice whatever is taught and render it so neatly when the session kicks off again ..The songs are revised over and over again that at the end of 2 days they get recorded in just one-take !

    The choice of songs is again a heady mix of a ghana raga, a peppy nottuswara , a  hindustani raga, a " thrillana ", and lots of Dr BMK's  lovely compositions ... a Rabindra Sangeeth, a swathi krithi, or a Faiyaz Hashmi's  composition, a Neela Kanda sivan or  MDR composition and some thukaddas generously thrown in!

    Was lucky to learn these songs at Perla this time.
    1. Ghana Rasike - Hindolam -Dr BMK composition.

       A lovely composition  sprinkled with a lively chittaswaram By
         Varmaji himself.

    2. Sankara nin Karunai Purivai- Behag ( my best friend ! ) -Neelakanda Sivan  Composition

     Talking about sangathi's and the little tips that Varmaji gives out to remember the same ..The charanam goes like this "Mangalam ongiya vengirivasa "  -vengirivasa meaning  -Shiva a resident of the snow clad mountains ..and he asked the children to imagine being on a snow clad mountain and sing the second sangathi with a shiver !! A fifth grader there was so quick to catch on and whispered to me  "Aunty .thats a .Behag shiver "! I am sure  he would never forget to render this sangathi the right way in his entire life . Behag shower thus became Behag shiver !

    Varmaji went on to explain the nuances of Behag -a dwimadhyama raga and the Rishabham and Dhaivatham prayogas in the South Indian versions.

    3.Nava sidhi Petralum - Karahara Priya - Neela kanda sivan again .

        A composition with high lyrical value and the song has scope for  minimal vocal ornamentation, keeping the lyrics as the focal point .

    4. Ahir Bhairavi thillana - By Dr BMK

       Simple yet  an awesome Thillana. Varmaji explained the nuances of this raga and its connection with an allied raga Chakravaham .

    5. Dora va Dari Vachtiva  -Natta Kurinji - Dr BMK composition

       A  very soothing melody .that refuses to leave my head.

    6. A lovely Dikshitar nottuswara -Sankara Vara Pankaja Kara

        Here the notations were given, and the students were asked to try out the tune and the sahitya themselves ..and they all did it at one go. Impressive !

    7. Maname Ramanai Pada Maravathe - SindhuBhairavi - MDR composition

       Another lovely composition in Tamizh where lyrics play a vital role .

    The only impediment to learning for me was the  internal battle  with in me to just close my eyes and listen to Varmaji's  singing or take in what was being taught so lucidly ....I lost the battle to the avid listener in me and emerged a winner .

    you will know what a great teacher he is from this video.

    http://youtu.be/NyQS5quY6d8.

    Oh, my god!  In all this exhilaration did I forget to "miss my family" ?? After a  brief  guilty-mom perdition trip only to be woken up by a little girl who wanted me to braid her hair or stand guard outside the cloak late in the night and not to forget the little boy who would nudge me with a sheepish smile everytime  we had to deliver a Behag shiver .

    If the music sessions were so absorbing ..the post music sessions were a real treat too ..every one relaxed including Varmaji ... which musician worth his varali would let down all airs and just sit around and chat ever so amicably with everyone alike on just about any topic ..he would sometimes breakout into a rare /unheard of composition of Dr BMK and explain its nuances or the Nava mukhi Taal invented by Dr .BMK ..which he explained to us ..( it is another matter that it went above my head and into thin air !) or   about Madurai Mani Iyer's Keeravani or about MDR's compositions ..Observed that not a day passed without him mentioning his guru Vechoor Harihara Subramaniam ..Something really worth emulating ..

    One could just about ask him anything about music ..and he would go on to explain at length ..without any pretensions ...During one such conversation the usual topic of "Thani" and people getting out during Thani avarthanams cropped up ..( Apparently it has never happened in his concerts so far !)
    He related one incident in this context from the past where in a famous musician  ( Name with held due to reasons of my poor , failing memory !) halted the concert when a rasika got up to leave the hall when the "thani" started ..and asked him the reason for doing so ..The rasika in all sincerety seems to have replied saying he does not understand the complexities of tala system and hence ..The musician I believe quipped back " So do you mean to say you understood all the swara prastharams and the nuances of the ragas that I sang till now , in its entirety ?"

    Varmaji ..left it open ended with out punctuating or being judgemental .. Having driven the point home . Mustered enough courage to ask him what was anyway going to spill out of my loud mouth given my restraint levels ... " What would you say to the idea of accompanying artists also being given a chance to briefly explain the subtle nuances of the Tala / laya etc before they break out into a "Thani" ? With sweaty palms (!) waited for an answer ..when he responded with utmost poise that he has indeed tried it with many artists who accompany him ..but unfortunately most of them do not want to or hesitate  to "talk about their performance "  .. Calls for a paradigm shift here I guess .

    The best of Varmaji's concerts are the information he shares about the composer , composition , the raga etc which makes it a wholesome experience .. While we all can enjoy a Pizza wouldnt it add pizzazz  to know what goes into the topping ??

    Thats Varmaji - a Maverick of sorts who treats every rasika alike right from the knowledgeable ones to the ones who cant make out a Vasantha from a Lalitha unless they came on two legs ! ( there I go , again !)

    What do I say about Yogesh Sharmaji - an Outlier in his own way  ( not because of Perla's location !)
    who runs this music school and organises these workshops every 3-4 months for a very absymally low charge ...such is his passion for good music ..( and good food ! )
    A very resourceful person himself who has tuned many compositions including that of one of his students  who is a lyricist ..such much talent abounds in this place ..

    That is the Perla I left behind which refuses to leave my mind ... I would never have been able to make this escapade with out my DH's support ! ( hope he is reading this  ..as there is one more camp coming up shortly ..!!  Cant a woman dream ?? !)

    My god ..I must be sounding like a first time "Amreeka"-returned-Desi to anybody crossing my way.
    May be putting them down in writing will contain the verbal diahhorea?    May be.

    Call/mail / message/inbox me at your risk !

    And those of you inspired to check out Perla may write to Varmaji @ writetoramavarma@gmail.com

    or Call Yogesh Sharmaji  @ 9447693944!


    Tuesday, November 13, 2012

    51 Things my children can never comprehend ...and may be more


            
    While there are hundreds of things that one  can list which are there now that never existed when we were young ,here are a few things which existed then which can never ever come back.

    Cud-chewing..
          1.    2.90  and 5 rupees  tickets in cinemas .

    2.    5 paise nutrine chocolates –which had no chocolate in them !

    3.    Stick  Ice cream –the milky creamy one and what value for money just 10paise !

    4.    Ambuli mama ! Ananda Vikatan ..kumudham ..

    5.    Walking 2-3 kms  to visit somebody ..

    6.    Waking up to the sounds of  “sarrak sarrak “sweeping and sprinkling of (saani !) water for the kolam .and the feeling  of All is well ..that comes with it .

    7.    New clothes only for Birthday and Deepavali !

    8.    Hand- me- down school books .(bound !!).

    9.    Treat means  jaggery and groundnuts and were we happy ! ( a very North Arcot treat though !)

    10.  PTC bus journeys to school and back ..

    11.  Black and white Dyanora  TV and oliyum oliyum , Chitrahaar , vayalum vaazhvum…kanbom karpom …

    12.  Sunday Tv movies (with lights off! LoL ) and one or two neighbours without TV who come to watch ! Simple home theatres !

    13.  Black colour Tring Tring Phone  Or simply the lack of it  !

    14.  Milk bottles at door steps morning and evening with aluminium foil caps ! Amazing logistics and distribution system …!

    15.  Playing Cricket on the road and coming home to only eat and sleep !

    16.  Mid term tests , Quarterly exams , Half-yearly exams and Annual exams ..Marks and Ranks !

    17.  50- 60 class mates !

    18.  TV antenna !

    19.  Yellow cloth bag with the store name printed in red !

    20.  Gold spot !

    21.  Dollar biscuits ..

    22.  Animal shaped biscuits..

    23.  Binaca miniature toy animals ..binaca geeth mala !

    24.  Balloons from BATA.I remember being more excited about the ballons than the boring sandals !

    25.  Vividh bharathi … Radio Ceylon ..Arangisai …and ofcourse  Nilaya vidwan !

         26.  Black push up switches for light s and Fan ..the only electrical gadget at Home those            days !

    27.  Ribbons for the rettai pinnal !

    28.  The roughage on coconuts used as the only scrub for washing utensils..How eco-friendly we were ..amazing !

    29.  The news paper “potallams “ at the grocery stores ..can see it even now in Moffusil areas ..

    30.  Goli soda ..We searched and searched for it at Kumbakonam this summer but couldn’t find a single one ..apparently they no longer make it that way ..thank god Paneer soda is still available !

    31.  “And the ball crosses the rope “!   Radio Cricket Commentary !

    32.  Raleigh cycle , Lambrata Scooter . Suvega Mopeds ,JAVA motorbikes and Premier Padmini’s !

    33.  Nalla kaalam porakuthu , Nalla Kaalam Porakuthu ..! ( Gudu gudupandi)

    34.  Ganga snanam at an eerie hour on Deepavali day .with the most irritating Pi pee pee dum dum .!

    35.  The relationship between a pencil and a cassette !

    36.  Kamarcut !

    37.  One for sorrow ..two for joy ..andangakka ! (ravens ?)

    38.  Ezhu kal !

    39.  Pallanguzhi …

    40.  The sundal collections during navrathri …Record players on two legs with just one thenju ponna ‘Vara veena mruthu paani “ record !

    41.  Yelling ..”pongalo , pongal ‘! Seriously ..I have done such amazing alarals  without inhibitions !!!

    42.  Early morning koil visits during Margazhi maasam …and the half-yearly exams …

    43.  Dhavani !

    44.  Kal chatti …adi rasam with nallennai …which  used to be the snack time dish during summer hols  which patti used to so lovingly serve us in our hands while we sat in a circle with a story from Ramayana or Mahabharatha …astonishingly the story would end exactly when the kal chatti became empty every time  !!

    45.  Sleeping on coir mats !

    46.  One single bathroom / toilet for the entire joint family irrespective of the numbers .Not No 1 / No 2 ..silly !.( wonder just –how did we manage ?)

    47.  Mobile post Vans !

    48.  Soan papdi wala with the enticing Big glass jar  covered with a red mul-mul and the inviting chime ..! We used to call it ‘Thatha dhadi “ ( I still call it that way ! )

    49.  Doing full thoppu karnam  at koil for pillayar ummachi ! ( not the half / qtr /pretend sit-ups like it is done now ..)

    50.  Studying in the mottai maadi for exams …( I mean also studying !)

    51.  Looking up at the sky when an aeroplane flies over ..( mm..I still do it ..)

     With contributions from DH here and there !

     Memories pressed between the pages of my mind
     Memories sweetened thru the ages just like wine,
     Memories, memories, sweet memories - Elvis Presley ..




    Tuesday, October 23, 2012

    சக்தி ...வெற்றி ...சாஸ்வதம் !


    சக்தி ...வெற்றி ...சாஸ்வதம் !
     

    குயிலுக்கு தெரியுமோ குரல் இனிதென்று ?
    மயிலுக்கு தான் தெரியுமோ நடம் அழகென்று ?


    விண்ணுக்கு தெரியுமா நிறம் நீல மென்று
    மண்ணுக்கு தான் தெரியுமா அதன் வாசம் என் என்று ?


    குழலுக்கு தெரியுமோ அதன் ஓசை
    யாழுக்கு தான் தெரியுமோ அதன் இசை ?


    சூழலுக்கு தெரியுமோ தன் சூழ்ச்சி
    புயலுக்கு தான் தெரியுமோ அதனால் வரும் வீழ்ச்சி ?


    தன் சக்தி அறியும் கணமே ....
    உன் வெற்றி  சாஸ்வதம் .. மனமே !

    what inspired me to pen these words ?? My children Sashvat , Shakthi !!! And this lovely kannadasam , TMS , MGR combo song ..Unnai arinthaal ..!
    http://www.youtube.com/embed/09EBJA1eTU4 





     

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    அம்மா.......





    அம்மா.......

    பிறக்கும் போது அழுதேன்
    பக்கம் இருந்து பாலூட்டி கண் துடைத்தாய்

    நடக்கும் போது விழுந்தேன்
    பக்கம் வந்து கை கொடுத்து மண் துடைத்தாய்

    வளரும் போது கொதித்தேன்
    பக்கம் வந்து தோள் கொடுத்து துயர் துடைத்தாய்

    இறக்கும் போது நான் அழுதேன்... நீ ..... இறக்கும் போது நான் அழுதேன் .....
    வடபக்கம் இருந்து கண் அயர்ந்தாய்

    சட்டென்று எல்லாம் புரிந்தது .
    அங்கும் எனக்கு கண் துடைத்து ,கை கொடுத்து , தோள் கொடுக்க
    முன் சென்றாயோ ?



    ( I penned this the day my best friend lost her mom )

    Thursday, May 17, 2012

    Sandy , Goldy and Pippo...

    As  children, we never had this yearning to have a pet like my children do, probably due to the fact that we had all the ingredients to create a mini zoo at home except, a Lion and an Elephant. While lizards used to live a shameless life in our bathrooms and cockroaches had their own free will and flights all over the house .. I am terrified of the flying squad of the cockroaches ! Not anymore and ever since Sashvat proved his skills at catching them alive from his 2nd year onwards . And just in case , hey die we have a separate collectors  box for them !
    We had our friendly Jimmy the street dog which used to come exactly at meal times and took on the role of an escort , running up to Trinity bus stop and wait till we board the bus to college ..And yes there was no dearth of cats who were literally ours !
    Understand  why my children feel a vacuum in their life ..which is why we give in to their " Amma , I have a surprise for you " while they  pull out an insect or two .
    That's how we gave in to the 'partners in crime " , and ended up buying 4 gold fishes ...
    Since they all looked alike ..we could not name them .What I most dread about Fishes at home  happened .. one of them died. This is one thing I cant digest ..the sight of a dead fish .But S & S didn't want to believe it was all over and wanted to wait and started chanting "Nam Myoho Renge Kyo " !! while I was happy about their faith in prayers  also wondered how to make them come to terms with reality .
    As growing up children ,death was dealt as commonly  as births and we were never protected superficially from seeing a funeral procession or a dead body ..It was  nevertheless a significantly different event from most other events in life .  We had that clarity growing up but cant say that about our kids as they are not exposed to such adversities unless it is a close family member . Set me thinking on how to make them accept the first loss of theirs in an objective way . It always happens to me that when I am searching for an answer sincerely I get it from somewhere out of the blue ,and this time too ! Speaking tree had this message about death ..
    "If you have loved someone enough and shown care while alive then you will not have regrets when someone dies "
    It really made sense to me and appeared convincing . When I quizzed the children on whether they loved the fish enough and showed good care till its death the reply was in the affirmative . And I just left it with a"So..let us say a happy goodbye." Think they got it or at least I would like to believe so as no further interrogations happened .But the elaborate arrangements began .They decided to name it on death ..Sandy ...Becos it went to sand ! with full honours -white bougainvillea (mothers flower for protection ) and our trusted Buddhist chant Nam myoho renge kyo ...
    Rest In Pictures ! Below ..

    And that is Goldy a real survivor nearly a year old with us ! Continues to get enough love and care .while alive and swimming !.Being lesson #2 learnt from death ...
    Children tend to extrapolate .....with that hope I felt it wasn't a bad idea, after all ,having a Fishbowl at home .
    Then comes Pippo into our lives ...a just born sparrow which had fallen off its nest .

    Sashvat came back home with this surprise  two days back . Their rehearsed lines (sashvat and shakti ) "Amma , you always wanted a third child no ma, please can we keep Pippo as our brother or sister ( not having figured out Pippos gender ) please ma .."and when I asked if it was a pup with a horrified look , they both gleamed and pulled out a Sparrow from behind and said " Its only a sparrow ma , easy to maintain '! Had no say or choice in this too .. And actually I liked Pippo a lot ..While I let them have it as of now planning to leave it back with its clan after Appa gets a chance to see it . Yes , the day Pippo flew in Appa conveniently flew out on work ..leaving it for me to handle - all alone .
    And the last two days have been really hectic ..when we couldnt find Pippo for a while when we had gone out ..and found him nuzzled up to the floor cushions ..he was being fed a humble mashed rice and milk , bread crumbs , atta and water ..till Sashvat googled and found out we needed worms ! But when I said it will be a vegetarian in this house , he left angrily .
    He decided to mash up some black ants and fed that with tooth picks ( shakthi's idea !) and sure Pippo relished her first sensible meal . When i asked Sashvat if it was right to kill the ants ..he convinced me saying food-chain , eco -system..etc etc mmm..
    Started my lessons with them on this ..
    #3  If you really love someone you must do what they want and not what you like ..even if it is out of  abundant love ..

    video
    Do you hear Pippo saying , "ouch , too much love hurts "...