Old memories, fresh memories

Old memories, fresh memories

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. I wish to never forget them, in fact I try to always take some sort of memory improvement vitamin like Cognishield to avoid losing what is most precious to me.  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.

Join me for Wordy Wednesdays at the BAR blog This week’s prompts are:Badge of Honour, Back to Basics, Between a rock and a hard place, Born with a silver spoon



8 thoughts on “Old memories, fresh memories”

  • Happy Thiruvadirai! You took me back to my own memories of this festival. I somehow miss the older generation which used to celebrate every festival with equal excitement and enthusiasm. I try my best to follow the rituals and traditions so that the girls are atleast aware of our rich culture.
    Love the way you have woven all four prompts into the post. I managed only one. 🙂

  • Relationships are the real treasure. Took me back to all those beautiful conversations and moments I had with my family. I still remember our evening non stop chatting, sipping tea and eating those handmade suzi ka laddu. Beautiful post Vidya… I never leave this space without a smile ?

  • Aaaand, I am back here 🙂 [ Not on my blog, though}

    A very happy post, this one.

    Happy Thiruvadirai. The kali and koottu make this festival yummily special 🙂 And as you have rightly pointed out, the koottu is one of the healthiest recipes I’ve ever seen, because it has balanced flavours, and a wonderful mix of veggies.
    Though we make kali with rice, the typical Keralite food for Ardradarsanam is the koottu, with Koova-payasam ( koova being arrowroot powder), which is yet another healthy preparation. It is essentially a women’s festival, and enthusiastic women have an early bath in the rivers, or ponds, as convenient, and get dressed in simple traditional settumundu to dance around the lamp ( the thiruvathirakkali). And the first thiruvadirai after wedding is called pootthiruvathira, where the husband and wife have to chew 108 betel leaves over the night 🙂

    Such fascinating customs, each with a meaning, yet hardly understood or followed these days !

    Lovely to be back with a comment 😀 I’ve been reading but not commenting.

    And I return with this thiruvadirai 🙂

  • Such fond and beautiful memories. And this goes on to show that no matter how much time passes, no matter what takes place in the interim, there are some things which will stay with us always. These are the memories that will never fade away!

  • Loved the simple and sweet sensation of memories as they cascaded down in your words – I am unfamilair with most of the terms but could realte to the echos of longing and joys of childhood memories – lovely writing Vidya

  • You really have a way of making old memories and new memories become more than just memories. For readers, they sort of become living experiences, like in this one you took me to your kitchen and I could picture you preparing those delicacies. Lovely read, Vidya, as always!

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