Archive | March 2014

Pain

Is time the best healer? I don’t agree at least for those pains that I categorize as life pain. It has been more than a decade but the intensity of the excruciating pain remains the same. The same to have sleepless night accompanied by a wet pillow when the memories of the pain gushes over as if they all have  just happened yesterday. There is no hope anymore. It is time to realize there is no way out and just accept to live with it. Not to realize for those few days and forget but to realize and be mindful about it always. The biggest challenge is to be mindful and yet live with sanity. After all, life is full of challenges.

 

Zen mother

Sharing a first hand experience of how a mind shift in split of a second makes a great difference with Parenting.

Scene: I was multi-tasking on a weekend and wanted Adi to start with essay writing practice as she had an essay contest to participate in another one week. Adi was playing with N (next door girl) ignoring my plea to think of a prompt for the writing.

We have procrastinated the practice enough and I was so desperate to get her started on that day. My plan was to make her write one essay every day till the day before the contest so that she would have enough hands-on with the writing style.

Back to the scene, as it might sound normal to any mother, I reached my threshold after all that plea and was about to explode. Then, in a split of a second, the zen state took over me and I asked politely “who is willing to take up a challenge?”. I kept the challenge details as a surprise for some time, let it brew up and then spilled the beans when the girls couldn’t stand it anymore.

The challenge was to write on a prompt in 30 minutes and my phone was used as a timer. Not a minute more, not a minute less. Both the girls were ready with their writing materials before I could think of a topic. We were very strict on when to start the timer, pause timer while taking a break for nature’s call and every second was counted very carefully but end of the session, the essay was written beautifully.

There, I let out a big sigh of relief and one of my biggest worry of how to make this girl practice essay writing was put to peace.

On the following days, the girls were looking forward to the essay writing session. They liked my feedback, smileys and doodle on the paper and even wrote two essays on one day.

What I loved the most about this whole exercise is that I got to learn a piece of their mind and things that really impacted them in every essay. Some of the topics were

“Write about an event that affected you in the past” – Adi wrote about her fruit themed 8th birthday party that I arranged for her. I was jumping in joy upon reading the essay as she has recollected every detail of the party and how much she loved it.

“What one thing you will invent to make this world a better place” – their creativity was amazing with this essay.

“If you have a day to spend for yourself, how will you spend it?”

We also went creative with topics on certain days. It turned out to be a lovely exercise and all three of us enjoyed the whole process. I am very sure that my girl wrote the final essay very well.

Imagine the same scenario if I had let out my anger. We would have either had a terrible one week in the name of preparation with painful essay writing sessions or just gave up on the contest. I can’t imagine. For once, I was very happy and assumed myself as a zen mother. **If I may call myself so for at least few minutes**

Cross posted at IMC

 

Rasam

Amma’s kaivannam

Whenever she gives the choice to us we generously say “rasam mattum vachidunga..adhu podhum. It might be a simple task for her but she doesn’t know that its a feast for us”.

One dish that M and I unanimously choose from Amma’s list always.

Method 1
1. Tadka – Mustard seeds, Asafotedia, Curry leaves
2. Add cut tomatoes, slit green chillies, saute till the tomatoes get mushy.
3. Add pepper powder, jira powder, salt, crushed garlic, turmeric powder.
4. Add tamarind water and bring it to one boil.
5. Add coriander leaves after switching off stove.

Method 2
1. Grind tomato, pepper, jira, green chillies.
2. Add the ground paste to tamarind water.
3. Add turmeric powder, crushed garlic.
4. Tadka – Mustard seeds, Asafotedia, Curry leaves.
5. Add the tamarind water mix, bring it to one boil.
5. Add coriander leaves after switching off stove.

Enjoy!! Naanga appadiyae sapiduvom illai illai kudichiduvom 🙂

 

rasam

Career day

Career day at school will always see Adi wearing that standard doctor coat we bought some three years ago. We never discussed as what she really wanted to be for the fear of hunting for the right costume and she didn’t bother too. She was happy as long as she got her white coat and stethoscope.

But, this year the white coat was missing and we didn’t have enough time to buy a new one. So, while thinking what to do, Adi came up with this brilliant idea. She decided to go as an artist (she really wants to be one in grownup days). She wore the t-shirt that RM gifted her (decided to say that her aunt made this design and inspired her to be an artist) and took a card board color palette along with it. I was overwhelmed as this was the first time we made justice to the career day.

Thank you is a small word RM. She loves this t-shirt and kept chanting on the initial days of receiving this gift as “How does aunty know that I love books amma? Isn’t the words written are so true? very true amma, very true”.

It was a very thoughtful gift. Thanks you RM..

 

art-tshirt

Thirattu paal

Are you a lover of Thirattu paal but keep it aside remembering the labor intensive good old fashioned way involved in the making of it?

Well then, hakuna matata.

Here is the simplest cheat way to make Thirattu paal in microwave in less than 15 minutes. But, strictly no multi tasking. The entire 15 minutes should be dedicated to the making of this dish unless you are ready to spend the next one hour in scratching the microwave clean from spills all over.

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Ingredients

Condensed milk – 1 14oz can
Curd – 3 spoons (few drops of lemon juice is another option)
Ghee – 4 spoons
Cardamom powder – a pinch
Fried cashews – to garnish (optional)

Method

1. Grease a microwaveable glass bowl with ghee.
2. Pour the condensed milk into the glass bowl. If this is a combined effort with your kid, then handover the emptied tin to the kid for licking. Don’t forget to warn the kid about sharp edges of the tin.
3. Add a spoon of ghee, curd, mix well and microwave for two minutes.
4. Have an eagle eye on the microwave as the milk can overflow any second. When its about to overflow, take it out, give it a nice stir, add a spoon of ghee (if needed) and microwave it again. I had even taken it out for every 20 seconds few times. The kid can be of great help to watch the microwave. Make them own a task, they will take it so serious.
5. The milk should attain Thirattu paal consistency in 10 or 12 minutes.
6. Take it out of microwave, add the fried cashews, sprinkle cardamom powder and serve to your dear ones as a surprise.

P.S: By the way, in the picture the bowl shown under is the reflection of the top bowl on a stain steel plate. Just mentioning if you didn’t notice it at first look and forget to appreciate the photographer. Do I need to mention about the photographer 😉

 

Another one

I can’t get enough of the legend’s lyrics. Here is another one that I try to recollect while getting into the mode of blaming others (have helped me at least 50% of the time).

I don’t think I made a good attempt of translating his lyrics last time. So, will just mention the meaning of this lyrics, instead of  translation.

Situation: A 3 feet man sings this song after his one sided love was not accepted by the lady he loved.

It says “I was blindfolded by my greediness, why should I blame others? I decided to sell salt on a rainy day, sell flour on a windy day. I am responsible for those wrong decisions. why should I blame others?. Thank you for helping me realize it”

அந்த வானம் அழுதாத்தான்
இந்த பூமியே சிரிக்கும்
வானம் போல் சிலபேர்
சொந்த வாழ்க்கையும் இருக்கும்
உணர்ந்தேன் நான்

ஆசை வந்து என்னை ஆட்டி வைத்த பாவம்
மற்றவரை நான் ஏன் குத்தம் சொல்ல வேணும்
கொட்டும் மழை காலம் உப்பு விக்க போனேன்
காற்றடிக்கும் நேரம் மாவு விக்க போனேன்
தப்பு கணக்கை போட்டு தவித்தேன்
தங்கமே ஞான தங்கமே
பட்ட பிறகே புத்தி தெளிந்தேன்
தங்கமே ஞான தங்கமே

நலம் புரிந்தாய் எனக்கு
நன்றி உரைப்பேன் உனக்கு
நான் தான்

கண்டிருந்தேன் நான் தான் காதல் என்னும் கோட்டை
கட்டி வைத்து பார்த்தேன் அத்தனையும் ஓட்டை
உள்ளபடி யோகம் உள்ளவர்க்கு தானும்
நட்ட விதை யாவும் நல்ல மரம் ஆகும்
ஆடும் வரைக்கும் ஆடி இருப்போம்
தங்கமே ஞான தங்கமே
ஆட்டம் முடிந்தால் ஓட்டம் எடுப்போம்
தங்கமே ஞான தகமே

நலம் புரிந்தாய் எனக்கு
நன்றி உரைப்பேன் உனக்கு
நான் தான்

 

Vaali the legend

who continues to live for ever and ever through his countless mind blowing lyrics. Chanced upon this song today and needless to say its on loop.

A big big salute to this legendary poet.

Thanks to you Maya for the 100 happy songs series. I am listening to more songs than usual these days.

Lyrics from the song “Nalam vazha”. I have made a lame attempt to translate the lyrics.

Situation: A friend gives birthday surprise to his friend who returns home after getting the best gift (divorce papers) from her separated husband. He sings this song to console her

மனிதர்கள் சில நேரம் நிறம் மாறலாம்
மனங்களும் அவர் குணங்களும் தடம் மாறலாம்
இலக்கணம் சில நேரம் பிழையாகலாம்
எழுதிய அன்பு இலக்கியம் தவறாகலாம்

(People’s true color can change sometimes
their character might go for a toss sometimes
grammatical works from past and
classical writings might even go wrong sometimes)

விரல்களைத் தாண்டி வளர்ந்ததைக் கண்டு
நகங்களை நாமும் நறுக்குவதுண்டு
இதிலென்ன பாவம்
எதற்கிந்த சோகம் கிளியே..

(We cut nails when they outgrow
What’s wrong with this?
Why to worry about this?)

கிழக்கினில் தினம் தோன்றும் கதிரானது
மறைவதும் பின்பு உதிப்பதும் மரபானது
கடல்களில் உருவாகும் அலையானது
விழுவதும் பின்பு எழுவதும் இயல்பானது

(Sun rises in the east and sets every day
Sea waves raise and fall naturally)

நிலவினை நம்பி இரவுகள் இல்லை
விளக்குகள் காட்டும் வெளிச்சத்தின் எல்லை
ஒரு வாசல் மூடி..
மறுவாசல் வைப்பான் இறைவன்

(Night is not dependent on moon
Lamps will show the path of light
God might close one door
but will always show the way to another door)

Parents night out

Isn’t this so thoughtful of Adi’s school?

Want to know the discussion about this at our household?

M – night out? couples? what does these alien words mean?
Ani – as usual confused, not knowing whether I would prefer to go or not, trying to educate the family as what this is all about.
Adi – why don’t you guys just go? At least I will get to watch a movie and eat my pizza at peace with an “i-dont-care-even-if-you-both-end-up-fighting-there” attitude. Priorities!!!!
LHB – was eyeing for a moment to grab the paper and chew.
Amma – was not in the vicinity at all.

Yes, we are one happy family. Any doubt?

The End!!

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Today’s Spl

I know I know, I will pay for this big big time once Amma leaves.

Sighh the fear of future never let’s one the enjoy the present!!!

Keeping the mind aside,tummy is very happy today 🙂

Idli immersed in pottu kadalai (fried gram dal) chutney for breakfast and the favorite kara kuzhambu getting prepared for Lunch. 

Working from home with Maya’s song collections in the background and savoring these yummilicious treats served in hands. Who cares if there is hands full of work? Bliss is the word to describe this moment!!! A moment spent to step aside from the crazy life and thank God for all his blessings.   

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Hope all of you are doing good. I am again lagging behind with reader. Hope to get to it sooner. 

Take care!

Puliogare mix

Adi keeps nagging Amma to share all her recipes **rolls eyes** so I decided to post the recipes here as I try them with Amma’s guidance.

Ingredients
Tamarind pulp – 4 orange sized balls
Gingly oil
Salt
Rice – 2 cups

To Temper
mustard seeds – 1 spoon
urad dal – 2 spoons
channa dal – handful
asafoetedia
curry leaves

Dry roast and grind
pepper – handful
jeera – handful
fenugreek seeds – 2 spoons
red chillies – 15 to 20 numbers

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Method:
1. Soak tamarind pulp in warm water and extract the juice from it.
2. Saute the ingredients given under “To Temper” list.
3. Add Tamarind juice, turmeric powder, salt and allow it to cook.
4. After 5 mins, add the dry roast-ground masala powder.
5. Stir well and keep in simmer until the mix gets thicker in consistency.
6. Cool it down and store in a dry container. Can be stored in refrigerator for a month.

Tamarind rice preparation
1. Cook rice and allow it to cool down.
2. Roast peanuts in a tawa.
3. Add the roasted peanuts and a spoon of gingly oil to the cooked and cooled down rice.
4. Add the tamarind mix paste to cooked rice and mix well for a sumptuous Tamarind rice. Add the paste little by little and adjust it according to your taste.
5. Serve it with papad or pickle or potato fries or any kind of thugaiyal.