Today is Thiruvadirai, Mi. I was smiling fondly at the memory of how much you loved the kali and kootu, and how I’d fuss over eating it. And with all the teasing at home, I’d feel like I was caught between a rock and a hard place–all because of a simple meal. Just goes to show how we can escalate a minor situation into something, blowing it out of proportion. Funny thing is, I’d love to eat it now, you know. I have a good mind to make it one of these days.
I enjoyed the memories, though. The flurry of activity the previous day, making the list of provisions required to make the kali, then preparing the rice for it, getting the vegetables from the market and arguing over who would do what the next morning. The waking up early, the chaos of everyone wanting to bathe early and fighting for the bathroom, with those of us that had to go to work trying to get ahead of the queue and so on.
How hilarious to think of that feeling of dread over carrying the kali and kootu in the lunch box! Did I tell you I make kootu often these days? It is the healthiest and quickest option most days, especially the thiruvadirai type kootu, since it means the goodness of multiple veggies. I also enjoy sambar these days. I realize Sometimes it is great to get back to basics in life–life seemed so easy and uncomplicated back then.
For example, a festival and a holiday at home meant a pleasant day, waking up early to prepare the menu for the day, then having lunch together, followed by a siesta for some, and reading for some. I remember that window sill I enjoyed curling up in. Years later, when television came into our lives, we looked forward to Doordarshan airing a movie or a short film that we could all sit together to watch and enjoy. What fun it was. Then later in the evening we’d visit the nearby temple, meet a few friends around our area and return home, ready for an early dinner. So amusing to think that it was practically lights out for the household at 9.30 or so. When I was in college, I’d be the only one awake with a table lamp, studying. The radio would be on, playing softly, since Manni enjoyed listening to old songs.
We almost always had some houseguest or other at home that blended into the family. We spent time with neighbors. Friends dropped by all the time and we enjoyed going to the market and coming back with a bag of flowers that you loved to weave into garlands that we would wear in our hair. We’d walk on the terrace after dinner and on really warm days, take our bedding up and sleep under the stars. And what fun when there was a sudden shower and we’d be rudely woken up and had to scurry back home, grabbing our sheets!
Technology is great, progress is wonderful. It allows us to keep in touch in ways we could never have imagined before. Yet, the real badge of honor belongs to the relationships we enjoyed, the conversations we could look forward to, the time we spent face to face, Mi. I am grateful I have friends to hug for real, cry with, laugh with and call when I want.
I may not have been born with a silver spoon in my mouth, but I enjoyed your love. And by the way, as a child, I thought steel was silver, because manni always called it “ever silver”. Interestingly, I am still using the same utensils we have been using all my life, and they are far more priceless than any real silver item, because each one is filled with memories.
By the way, see the picture on top? Ani’s place. There were also gundu malli shrubs and I imagined you getting all excited over the buds. And of course, Mahadevamma still forces me to buy sampige flowers for you.