Monthly Archives: November 2009

close up


what looks like white-lined steps from afar...

is actually a row of shells, beautifully lined. (photo@putrajaya, botanical gardens)

(ignore my foot. i dont know how it got there. yes. i know. it does have a certain likeness to an alligator’s paw. gah!)


gargle, gargle…


and my firstborn. i am teaching him to gargle. so he can gargle away his sore throat. i ask him to pretend he is grandpa.

and he says he cannot.
“because I don’t know how to remove my teeth and keep it outside, like grandpa did”

sometimes i want to gargle inside my head all day.

jumbojet trivia



~ she wore nine-yard saree everyday of her life from the time she was 18 all the way up until 81. (she was forced to switch to the sari for practical reasons — and she hated it)

~ she had all the phonenumbers we ever needed. if she met you, she would make you write down your ph. number in her tiny palm-sized notebook, in your hand. you could have a page to yourself. she would recognise your name by your handwriting, later.

~ she ironed her saris by sitting on them, or putting them under her bed

she was diabetic, hypertensive, had three heart- attacks, and took insulin shots everyday (15ml). and still helped herself to the sugar bowl

~ she travelled to the United States, 20 years ago. Alone. On the flight. Knowing only Tamil. Took everything in her stride. and went on a tour of Singapore, during the stopover as well:-).

~ She taught one of her grand-daughters to make microwave idlis 15 years ago, only one day after encountering the microwave. she could have patented her idea

~ she called my firstborn “pattanna”. I thought she would call baby param something else: but he too was “pattanna”. viz. all cherished kids = one blanket nickname.

~ she had a mental database of people whose status updates she’d want to be in the know about… and so she often clicked on refresh, whenever she found a source.

~ whenever she cried, she ran to the bathroom and drowned her sobs by turning on the taps on high.

~ she said she would eat any food: “so long as it didnt have eyes, hands or feet”

~ i taught her the English alphabet (small letters) when I was 12. She told my dad that she felt like she was going to be able to read the newspaper, real soon.

~ “He took all my teeth. Why do we have to pay him?” she asked my dad, after her visit to the dentist.

~ she would never mention the “good old days”. She only looked ahead.

the jumbojet was =


~ a planner: she could plan well in advance. if there were guests coming, the snacks would be ready on a tray 30 minutes before they arrived; she kept doing these mental countdowns — only 10 days before Uncle R. arrives from the U.S; only three days to pay the rent…

~ a welcome flag with the gun salute: she gave everyone the president’s reception to our home. she stood near the gate when we came. she stood near the gate when we left, and waved till we were out of sight.

~ everyone’s friend: the maid, the driver, the laundry man, the accountant, the cook, the former cook, the former cook’s kids, the granddaughter’s friend’s kids, the son’s bosses, the son’s ex-bosses, the daughter-in-law’s sister’s kid…

~ golden touch: silver sparkled, brass shone, diamonds glittered under her care. She cleaned out every last drop of curd from the utensil. i watched her do it. but i could never learn.

~ she could make 100 laddoos at one go. a few fistfuls here and there and everything would seem perfectly measured for a yummy murukku

~ no opionions: her blog would have been a wash-out. she was completely non-confrontational. she would agree well-before you made your point.
she didn’t have opinions but she always had her own agenda