Monthly Archives: April 2013

the organic idly


i tried my best — found organic idly rice. found organic urad dal… and an organic grinder [exaggerating, but you get the pic] and topped it off with organic salt and generally willed the batter to be a reflection of supreme health and taste.

and i CANNOT believe how thumbsdown my idlys have turned out. they bear no resemblance to the royal chennai idly, however slight.

hindsight] when the batter goes wrong, i prefer the hard idly. at least i could use it as a shield to deflect the sarcasm.

now the remarks about the pumpkin halwa-like idlys are seeping into my bloodstream.


it’s a good morning


when u srinivas is playing the mandolin. the morning slot is always a good time to bring out the flowers and do a flower arrangement like my friend J taught me to…

have i told you about J.

J, is my friend, who lived across my street in bangalore. it’s only today that i have recovered from her visit one month ago.
she’s a tidel wave who’s into giving. total senseless acts of generosity…

this is exactly why she works.
this is exactly why she blows her salary in one day.
and this is exactly why she lives.

these are the presents she gave us this time…

first look at how my house was transformed by flowers.J bought a bunch of flowers and whipped up this look in 17 seconds…







she cleaned the fans and scrubbed my bathrooms and left aroma oils for baby param to spray on…

she polished the kids’ shoes and filled their water bottles and picked them from school…

and promptly turned into santa…

there was cricket gear for baby param including a helmet and a bat [seriously, 4yo dont need a helmet, but why would i waste time telling that to J]
and she played cricket indoors for good measure

she gifted purest white A4 sheets for firstborn [who now believes he is an artist, so help us god]

then there was a shawl for ma
and a kurta for the mmmmim and
perfumes and paintings and kurtis for me
and a bengal cotton sari, matching bangles and a bag for our maid
a bedspread for ma’s friend who J doesnt know
and microwaveable glass rectangular bowl for ma’s cook
a nightie for gran
and a kilo of organic pepper for my mil
and giant tupperware containers for her as well
and water bottles for the kids
a huge round of juice for all the 10 kids in firstborn’s music class

face packs and foots scrubs made from mint, papaya and organic coconut oil that she kept concocting
and offering aromatherapy consultations for my friend who dropped in…

‘here you take my clip and pass me your rubberband, akka,’ she told our domestic helper lady.

she applied a fragrant homemade organic facepack on our maid. ‘ you are glowing like mahalakshmi,’ she told her and complimented her on her high cheek bones. it’s been a month since my friend J sped off on her shatabdi, but our maid here has been glowing ever since.

resolutions for the radio


radio is mostly kollywood and its music, and it’s a pity.

i need to get some cds to escape the onslaught. EVEN I cant take more of spb, chitra and ilayaraaja.

five changes i need to hear ASAP

1. children’s books should have an audio launch as well

2. a radio rj who speaks slowly

3. a dedicated classical music station

4. someone like anil srinivasan or sriram.v. to demystify music without wandering into film

5. a debate in english

this morning i heard Bhushany kalyanaraman; considering i have a lower threshold for the female pitch … i enjoyed her chakravakam as i stepped out to buy pudina and amaranth for a hot hot summer day here in chennai.

here’ s what the www has for you…

in other news, i have decided that me and the firstborn are going to live on 24 hours a day, like the good arnold bennet told us to.

the mmmim and baby param do not need this style of living since they pack 72 hours into their first 12 hours…

as part of our poetry improvement, we read ‘lead kindly light’

— watch this space



it’s the little things…


we share a landing space with our neighbours.

we have a ‘good fences make good neighbours’ kinda relationship. hovering on the neutral.

today i drew a teeny kolam that read ‘happy birthday to their 2 year old’…

and drew two lamps for candles.


heart-warming when a thumb-sucking 2 y.o. old wakes up and rings my doorbell to say ‘thank you’. 


obelix’s fraternal twin


at one point in my life, i did look like obelix down to the pigtails…

i wore more clothing, abstained from wild boar, But IQwise it was a tie, and we always laughed at jokes in hindsight ; we both were unafraid to label nutcases (these romans are crazy tap, tap , tap).

the thing is that i read the entire asterix series in french — where nothing was lost in translation.

this week, when the holidays are bobbing up, i decided to read em aloud in english and let them know about their oncle obelix.

while i cocked my ear fully expecting the rofls from firstborn, mais au contraire, it is baby param who actually held his sides and laughed when the water came out of the pool when obelix dived.

we are two books down already. baby param may soon be christened paramchortleix



in my fledgling days i  mentally pooh poohed anyone who went on about their kitchen gardens. 


what’s so exciting about tomatoes and coriander, i used to think while faking what i hoped was an enthu look. 


these days i need to eat my words and my harvest.