Sunday, March 31, 2013

A decoration

Cat on a cold tin roof



Every picture speaks a story. This photo was snapped through the window on a cold day! I was coming down the stairs and saw that our neighbour's cat was napping on the tin roof, next to a madal (dried cocunut branch). This is the same villain who used to steal into our home and cause a lot of havoc.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Art of the Perfect Roti


Styles in cooking differ; as many styles are available as there are people. This is one lesson that I learnt once I got married. For many of the food items that I knew how to cook at home were made differently here and held with amusement as well.

It was strange how a simple task like making a chapattis or a roti can be so different. My mother makes it big and wide as big as the tawa at home. It's soft and my comments were always along the lines that all her anger at people she sublimated in the act of making the dough for chapattis.

Here, at the new place, the rotis were small enough to fit the vessel my new mother-in-law (I mean one and the only mother-in-law) had and she could make it round and soft and full, like the ones shown in the advertisement for atta.

First, my trials at making rotis were met with laughter and my husband would remark:" Do these rotis go to the gym everyday?"My father-in-law said: "Kid, I'm past 65 and my teeth are shaky. If I eat these everyday, most probably I wont even have to visit a dentist". True to what he said, three months after I landed, his tooth fell.

Somehow I kept on making rotis and didn’t give up. Finally in a historical moment that witnessed great applause from all, the roti came out perfectly made and soft. More than my years at the college, these few months in the kitchen were the toughest in history.


Friday, March 15, 2013

New Woman

This soul was once like a huge flame leaping to the skies,
Then it withered, dried and drooped to the very earth;
Sometimes, like Icarus, it leapt out of its many mazes,
But burnt out in the heady dash for total freedom.
 
Then she brought forth a new-born, a swaddled baby
She sang her magnificat of newly found motherhood;
The soul forgot its troubles for a joyous interval
And learnt how to escape the many mazes again.
 
Yet mostly this soul was a single-celled organism,
Cowardly and crawling in this huge universe,
Too silent, too shut out and too withdrawn,
Incapable of learning or making its way around,
 
Sometimes, it longs for the crazy days of yesterday,
When the sun of total freedom had burnt its wings.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

A writing woman gathers no fat



Every writer needs a space to write, be it a lap-top or a quiet corner in the room, where you can sit and mull over things, real and unreal, present and past, serious and trivial. That idea of a sacred space can be found in the writings of many women writers, especially Virginia Woolf who spoke of the need for having a room of one's own.

For a woman to write, she needs to be free from the guilt of not doing household chores, unless she is well-off and has one or many house-helps. Otherwise, writing is like walking on tight rope- you might fail to balance the work world, the home world and the world of words. But creating balance comes out of setting priorities in day-to-day life.

Writing is a great relief from the world of stress; it can release lots of tension and keep you occupied with the jigsaw of creating good content. The satisfaction that you derive from writing a page can never be compared to that a well-cooked meal or a sparkling floor as each has its own value in life; but a piece of writing has a lasting value in that a meal disappears in a day or two, depending on the artistic talents of the cook and the floors have to be swept again and again.