Monthly Archives: November 2010

“i must compliment firstborn on…”


my dad is preceding most of his phrases with these words…
“i must compliment firstborn on…”
~ his discipline
~ finishing 2 chapatis (TPL pls note)
~ on turning off the TV when asked to

i am worried it will soon be

“i must compliment firstborn on…”
~ exhaling after inhaling
~ inhaling after exhaling
~ watching chota bheem

pfui. it’s getting so annoying.

i love old old old houses


they speak to me… i loved this one that we went to.

this was the place that the mmmim swung on the swing so hard and so fast…. that he crashed into their looking glass and broke their dressing table some 30 or so years ago…

a swinging time was had by all

and they are still inviting the mmmim’s kids in. but this time maami sat squarely in the middle and was closely monitoring the swing-speed.

they have things that i have seen in action say may be once in my lifetime… like this huge grinding stone.

idli maker now idle

(hindsight 20/20 moment: i regret hating idlies on sight when i was firstborn’s age. at a time when idli batter was made with this stone.)

i love the washing stone. I love the backyard. I love the space. I love the tree whose name i do not know, but know after maami told me, but forget now that i have to key in this blog.

i know this one's name:-)

jaggery fest


this time the mil was ready for us…
she had made several bucketsful of bhakshanam.

i think she used a mountain of jaggery.
how did the rest of you manage? we must have created a serious shortfall for the rest of tamil nadu.

there was
vella appam
vella pori urundai
vella kadalai urundai
vella thengol urundai
in addition
to ribbon pakoda
MTR’s gulab jamun

the mil's way of saying "welcome"

images in reality are larger than what they seem in the photo (and there's more where they came from)

wet, wet, wet


i cant remember chennai ever being this wet…

we came home to a lovely rainbow that we saw from our airasia flight window. i had to push aside the two kids to get a better view, and they pushed me back in return, and there was a lot of indignified pushing. really. when will my kids act their age?

and we saw the street outside ma’s house being slowly submerged.

the scene outside home


umbrellas are up...



baby param's preferred "vahana"


why did this woman cross the road? (same reason as the chicken?)

hot news. served wet

the kids stand on the grill gate, as a precautionary measure

in other news:
baby param’s tongue is mostly green in colour. my dad is making him a fancy drink.
both the kids are drinking apple juice 3 minutes before their lunch (my dad says “they are on a holiday… let them be “.)
firstborn is at his KINDEST with all other children except his brother.

a malaysian deepavali


we have spent three deepavalis here in Malaysia…

what i like…

1. the cookie culture. not mithai. the locals give away boxes of home made biscuits and cookies.
even the local tv channel’s cookery hostess teaches us how to make cookies with pumpkin seeds and such…

would never attempt. but nice to know

2. the peacock motif is a recurring theme. i see it all around me. blue and green glittery feathers, cardboard decorations, rangoli, invitation cards… similar to the oil lamp motif

3. ang-pao. a malaysian custom of giving cash in a special cover that says “happy deepavali”. it’s a chinese new year custom that spread to festivals of all religions.

4. open house. celebrating deepavali upto two weeks before and two weeks after deepavali by inviting friends and relatives. this is a very elastic concept. deepavali open house can be even one month later.
firstborn’s school is having deepavali and related festivities on Nov. 12.:-)

(i love this relaxed concept. no one is rushing to find the correct mahurat and the day and auspicious nanosecond. )

5. crackers are banned. fireworks are allowed. light. but no noise. the kids are thrilled.

what i made. palkova.

seven hours of stirring. four litres of buffaloes milk. one and a half tumblers of sugar. midway horror — brown/black cream because of the pan getting burnt.
transferred to next pan.
more stickiness.
add ghee and try to escape.
finally transfer to pressure cooker.
alls well.
never again.