This is so exciting! Thanks to the power cuts, I finally got around to clearing up stuff that I had meaning to sort through. Still in the process, but I was suitably rewarded on Saturday by finding the recipe book my mother wrote! Yummy, Mummy!! Am so happy about this. Some time back I was a bit distressed about a particular recipe. Okay, so this might seem a little silly for most people – but for us, this particular thing is sacred. We cannot seem to like any other recipe – it is not as though I did not try.  I didn’t bother asking my aunts, because they make it very different from how mom used to. Ah, well. Thank you Mi.

The other day when I visited Dr Raghu, and we were talking about mom, food naturally entered the conversation and I was telling him about this book. He calmly said I’d find it. And am so happy I did.

And its not just the recipe – I would have probably hit the right proportions after another couple of tries, but just looking at pages and pages of mom’s handwriting literally makes me feel as though I just ate a great meal! She loved to talk about recipes and variations. When Vidur was very little, they would both watch kitchen programs together and try several of the dishes. And mom was a queen at improvising and tweaking them into healthy stuff. She could taste something and say what went into it. Tanu used to always tell her to write a book. There was one point where we were quite serious about getting mom to make her famous  பொடிகள் and marketing them. Well, didn’t quite get around to it, but certainly enjoyed the podis, God bless her soul!

I also found the sheet from the diary where I had written the recipe for noodles, thanks to Padma – quite ragged it was – because I always kept it in the shelf with the bottles of  मसाला as a mascot! I’ll never forget the first time Padma made noodles in a large pan and walked across the street to our house back in ’87 soon after we first met them. Vishnu practically lived with us – and what a child he was! A total darling. Of course, mom and I doted over him. How can we ever forget the Thumpa (for Thums up), Pampa (for Padma), Chia (for Vidya), Unthy (for aunty) and Puk (for Hero Puch, my first bike). Every Sunday, Vishnu would walk in and look at the pressure pan and, point to it and say “Shwee” (for sweet). We used to wonder how he knew that we’d make kesari on Sunday. For him, actually.

Those were some real fun days – and the wonderful thing is – Padma (Vishnu’s mom) is the first person through all these years from ’87 to phone me on every occasion. It began with birthdays, when they’d come over with a cake – until we left Hyderabad. After that, she’d call. Now, it is my birthday, wedding anniversary, Sury’s, Mom’s and Vidur’s birthday. And of course, every festival. Truly blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives.

And now, looking forward to making some interesting recipes!!

Here’s our jolly Ranga Rao!!
Movie: Maaya Bazaar (1957) Sung By: Thiruchi Loganathan