So, based on the success and the happy reception of the besan-coconut-almond burfi, I decided to do a “repeatay”, Mi. After all, who doesn’t want to replicate a good thing? Also, the first batch left a craving behind, after its abrupt disappearance. Thus, yesterday morning…
Memories from another day . . .
It’s nostalgia week of sorts, Mi. I was in Bombay for two days and was so tempted to run across to see Little Flowers’, but didn’t have the time. I resolved to go see it next time I am there. By the way, I ate a mulberry and remembered how, in school, we’d pluck all the berries we saw on the hedge and chomp on them, hardly caring that some might be inedible. Such simple days.
I reminisced about those years when someone asked me why I wanted to visit the school. Besides having studied there, it was cute to recall that two generations from our family had gone to that school. You and your cousins and then me and my cousins. And then, the cherry on the cake was you being my teacher and your teacher being my teacher and godmother. Wonderful memories.
I don’t know if Rosy teacher is still alive. And that thought gives me the heebie-jeebies. I still have the book she gave me, you know. Spartacus. And of course who can forget how she took the responsibility of boiling an egg every day during recess at school! And how Celine teacher and D’Abro teacher took it upon themselves to tailor my birthday frocks! I remember all those frocks you know! My favorite was the blue lace one with the frills and bows and the puffed sleeves! And the satin ribbons.
Did I tell you that I am using your peeler these days? Have been for quite some time now. I see why you preferred it now. Safer to use it. I realized I was losing skin each time I used the one I used to prefer. Also the grater. Gosh!
If you’re wondering about the sudden topic switch, I cut one huge papaya in honor of Mother’s Day today, all the while thinking about how much you enjoyed the fruit. Remember how I used to get it from that fellow on 8th main? He would kindly peel it for me every time and pack it and keep it so I could pick it up on my way back from dropping Vidur at school. Then we would both cut it into pieces and enjoy ourselves. I had papaya and almonds for breakfast today!
I am planning to make baghaare baingan. I know you’ll be so proud of me for being an enthusiastic and experimental cook! And of course, I also know you will not be surprised because you always expected me to be one. I thank you for that because you are always my inspiration for most things and especially my time in the kitchen. I realize why you were happiest when you lovingly cooked all sorts of wonderfully delicious dishes! I am super-grateful I’ve inherited this at least partially from you. I certainly love cooking for Vidur, who enjoys his food so much. How I wish you were with us to see him all grown up with a strong mind of his own!
I really enjoy imagining how you would have reacted to various situations we go through, you know. And I am quite sure your innate wisdom would have kept us grounded a little better than we are, now.
I always maintain that god could not be everywhere, so he made mothers–and I am glad you are mine.
It’s so hard to believe that you’ve been gone for nine years–and I feel all choked up every time I think of that week in Feb 2010.
Wish you were here. Happy Mother’s Day to you and me!
Even temporary goodbyes are weird, Mi. This time we were imagining all the things you might have done if you’d been around, each time Vidur visited. Of course we know the mid-sem break is super short. Technically a week that includes one arrival day and one departure day – so that’s minus two days, really.
Of course it is always wonderful when he’s home. And it is always surreal when we return home after dropping him at the airport. After he walked into the airport I waited, intending to hang around until he crossed security and reached the boarding gate. And while I walked up and down–you know I cannot stand in one place–I spotted athai and athimber. I was just walking along when I saw them and thought they looked familiar. I guess I didn’t place them right there, you know. Also haven’t seen them for a while. It is crazy to see people getting old. Their son was arranging wheelchairs to take them through. While we waited, we caught up a bit. They were eager to see Vidur, who had already gone in, so made do with a pic. I think they last saw him when he was three or four.
I remember when athai’s son and dil visited for Vidur’s naming ceremony she was enthralled by the play of colors in his eyes from the reflection of the sea through our living room windows. They looked green and when he turned away, seemed to become more brown. When I mentioned it to her she was stunned I would remember something like that. Ha, if only she knew what went on in those memory cells of mine!
Then I treated myself to a cup of coffee and made my way back home. My eyes always fill up when I walk into the emptiness and silence. Sigh.
Lunch time was around the corner and since we’d left home at 9.30 we had only had breakfast. So I wondered if I should make myself a sandwich when I decided to check the fridge. And oh boy, the bits and pieces of leftovers from yesterday turned out to be a veritable feast.
Remember how we used to literally relish leftover meals? I recall how you once said – now I know how the super-rich have so much variety on their dining tables! We would see films and TV shows where the tables were laden with a large variety of foods – idlis, dosas, rotis, rice, gravies, curries and a number of side dishes with fruits, juices and whatnot. Now every other day we are rich people!
And so my lunch was yum. Leftover brinjal slices, palak paneer and rotis. I followed it up with a cold glass of buttermilk and felt a contentment of sorts–thinking of Vidur also enjoying his lunch on the flight. I packed him a variety too.
Funny memory — how Vidur always thought our fridge produced food when he was little. He thought it was magically fully stocked at all times and assumed that all we had to do was open the door to find whatever we wanted. How wonderful is a child’s world–unlimited in imagination but limited in many ways–because her exposure is limited to what we show and tell her for a while, until she grows up and listens and hears and reads and sees.
Hmm. I will postpone the coffee to later. The weather is already super warm and I think it is time to bring out the “eera thundu” By the way on the way back from the airport when we stopped at a traffic light, I saw a guy selling hand towels in cotton. Just vaguely rectangular pieces with the edges sewn. I bought 6 because i felt compassion for the guy sweltering in the heat. I’ve bought a set before from a lady at the same location and they’re really nice.
Okay. Let me take stock of what to do in the coming week. Loads on the list. I am grateful for the week gone by. I miss you, Mi.