Monday, April 28, 2014

Positive Terminal


Stepped into mommyhood much later than my peers and have felt a pang when I see my friends' kids already in college and all grown up while I still have to play the boxing referee and pull my kids apart to prevent them from killing each other. 

Not anymore.

Recently one of my friends envied my position and said you will still have your kids staying with you in your sunset years while we face empty nests. What a perspective! 

This has made me terminally positive, indeed.

This is how.

Caressing the dishes to be washed with love and whispering to them how lucky they are to get the direct service of the Queen herself, on days, the domestic help decides to throw a surprise by her unannounced absence.

Seizing the opportunity to read a book while waiting for the Doctor and hoping, at least, two to three people jump the queue. My reaction to such jumping jacks on a typical day would put a street fighter to shame. 

The joys of reading a book without being interrupted by a phone buzz, calling bell, or a war call by the kids - cannot be expressed. 

Ditto with a delayed flight take-offs. 

If you try to look (really hard, I mean) every situation - however worse, does show a positive terminal.




Foodie Vs Cookie

I Love food. Anything Anywhere Anytime. Panacea to all ills and to the many lows in the life of a mom with two preteens trying for a  double promotion into adulthood .
While the mom  is dyeing to age not -so-greysfully.

Here is some food for that, and many other  thought(s)..

To drown my sorrows when domestic help does not turn-up  or to rejoice when she actually turns up  !

A cuppa Tapri chai with some Hindustani kapi playing at the background. This boost with Chai and kapi  is the secret of my energy.

Have been a  Madras Filter Kaapi loyalist ,until the day I discovered Tapri chai. The south Indian Chai that I knew was actually Tea in coffee's clothing with  too much milk and tasting  more like toffee.

Tapri chai !

One  cup of water + just about a ladle  milk + 1 tablespoon sugar + 2 teaspoons Tea dust / leaves all boiled together at one go . Best had in typical chai glass for that true Tapri chai effect and taste.It is a strange feeling of fullness and emptiness with the last sip, every time.
Tapri Chai



One of the kids unwell or given our track record for freak accidents, nursing them at home ...

Kichdi and kadhi with may be a keeravani (preferably just the audio) by Ilayaraja? All round comfort comes with that. Doubt if I can  say the same with the video though .And a fast pasta for the kids. Celebration . All of us on good behaviour . All is well . 

Pre -MS , Post MS and all the days in between ..

After what seems like a plausible anger outburst, some hot rice and avakkai with a dollop of ghee makes the initial reaction actually puerile. 

Pantuvarali time ..this  soothing raga signifies hope and optimism and may aid in getting past the guilt from misplaced anger mostly due to misplaced keys , spectacle and such other  prime candidates for misplacements .

The Trauma Traingle as I call it .  Domestic help, Kids and my very own paroxysms. 

And a single-window redressal comes in the form of  Food ! Widespectrum antidote.

While the palate pleads for Tapri chai or Rice and dhal with pickle ,the meandering mind  finds meaning and solace in food blogs and food photography along with  the meend's of Maand. 

Therapeutic Past time . 

That reminds me of yet another simple remedy to all ills - Time pass ! also means singdana or mung-fali . One of my  favorite past time , nay  Time pass. Was so amused the first time I heard the vendors in Bombay selling "Time pass!"

The joy of relishing Sing Dana/mung-fali/ time pass...  one at a time just cannot be expressed with words . It is a matter of the heart . 

Your wish for  the skillfully rolled  conical  paper pack , to turn  into a bottom less pit , clashes with the  impatience to read the matter in the old magazine page  . Parodoxical past time .

And what can I say about the  feeling of having lost  one's entire wealth when a peanut slips off the  fingers ? 
Only  another peanut lover can empathise with the associated emotions however fleeting they may be . 
A 10 Rupees worth refill is the only way to make up for this loss. It just used to be Rs.2/-per pack in those days .

Never mind if that gives away my age ..

The cling cling sound of the iron ladle on the iron vessel with sand is music to my ears.
 No Varamu or Varali can match this veritable melody.





Oops ! It has become Rs.20/- now ..


Did I say I love food? Actually, all about food except the Climax which turns out to be an anticlimax most often .. Cooking . 

I just love all that goes on before cooking. The grocery shopping. Going that extra mile to get some organic vegetables. Hand pound masala. Unpolished rice. Cold pressed coconut oil. All these resulting in a well stocked fridge, pantry and the associated feeling of abundance and comfort . Still does not alter the above state of mind a wee bit. 

So call me a Foodie if you wish ,though I personally  detest this word ,but  never a Cookie. As I detest  cooking and  the cleaning that comes free with it with equanimity. 
  
Gone are the days when I didnt  have to worry about cooking, to remain a happy Foodie.


Ofcourse ,the  exclusive Foodie  days too were peppered with  situational hazards, thanks to the division of labour system followed in our huge joint family. Each one of us had an assigned  chore (boring of course) depending on our age and behavior from time to time while we used to try  all kinds of stunts and tricks to get past the chore. 

The one that I hated most was the Cleaning of the floor after every meal .The luxury of a dining Table in later years meant escaping the  giant leap while cleaning the floor !
 In chaste vernacular, it was called the “Echal Idarathu” or the Uuvaack chore in our lingo back then. The commonest ploy employed by us siblings was  to skip dinner when it was our turn  to do the 'uuvaack' chore.  
The rule makers were  smarter cookies and plugged the loopholes in the local law to read:

  " The uuvacck chore shall be carried out with due diligence by   the person  assigned  with such task based on his age and , past credentials irrespective of  the said person   having / forgoing dinner on any  day / period during, which the said task was so assigned to the said person "

That’s the way the cookie crumbles. 

These woes  continued to bog me down post marriage too. However, with a few willing and over enthusiastic hands who believed that this chore  helps them accumulate good karma.. I escaped much of it .

Needless to add , I used to willingly bequeath my share of the good karma to them. A win win situation for both .

Back to my cooking woes. There are some days when I do not feel like cooking. Then there are some more days when I do not feel like cooking.


Why I wonder ?

Cooking requires too much of attention and concentration and planning .  A wandering mind cannot handle that. A demanding chore that does not allow me to close my eyes in between a breathe takingly beautiful Bihag and explore its  higher realms without  burning a few vessels and some liquid boiling over .

The  pots and pans in my kitchen and the indelible dark spots on them,  all have a musical background. 

As they say, the milk never boils when you are watching and sure enough ,my cup always runneth over. 

All this madness adds cleaning to the cooking . Insult to injury or should it read Injury to insult in this case ?

The fact remains that  I dont enjoy cooking on a regular basis . Infact I hate cooking ... except when I love it . 

And when I love it , it is because of the  many skills that mommy hood thrusts on you unwittingly . 

An acquired state . Much like an acquired taste.

That is  precisely  why, foodies blog while cookies cook ! 

Yours Truly.