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Showing posts from March, 2011

Close encounters of the animal kind

Yesterday I bought a bunch of sardines from our local lady fishmonger (fishmongeress?? :-)). Buying fresh fish from her is an art in itself. All the fish that she will hold up for inspection will have red gills and firm flesh. But once she is gone, I always find that she has mixed in some day-old (I'm being conservative here) specimens into my purchase.  The reason why I don't buy fish more often is all the work it entails. Unlike super-cleaned supermarket fillets, here the fish come with all their organs intact and it's a slimy and time-consuming process to descale and gut enough for a curry.
To make it easier, I tuned in to my favorite FM station and sat down on my shady backsteps to clean the fish. That's when things got interesting. A crow watched my proceedings with interest and signalled his own interest with some significant cawing. I threw him a sardine head. He flew down, eyed me suspiciously and then flew offf with it. Okay, a few moments later, he was back o…

Bye, bye Indica!

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She was my husband's first car. After our wedding a couple of months later, she also became our first family car. She was there to receive me as the bride of the family and lent her quiet golden elegance to the ceremony...

She drove over 600 kms to our tiny little rented apartment a month after the wedding and we all started our new life together.
We soon found out that she had little endearing characteristics. She was afraid of thunder - when an especially strong one shook even the buildings at night, she would start wailing and we would drag ourselves out of bed to shush her back to sleep. She did the same every year during the monsoons till we built Karthika and gave her a closed garage where she could sleep peacefully.
When we had to travel abroad, she went back to Kottayam to stay with my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. She attended my sister's wedding even when we could not...


When we got back, she moved with us to Thiruvananthapuram. Once again, she arrayed herself out as…

Confusion...

Exam times are here, revision is in full swing and I am left wondering here about the types of lessons taught to our children...
For example, in my son's first standard English text book, there is a lesson about a frog who is about to be eaten by a tiger (poor tiger, slim pickins' ???) The frog escapes by saying that he is covered in mud and would like to wash himself before the tiger tastes him. Of course, the lesson's name is "Clever Frog".
Move over to the Value Education book - here's a lesson about an honest goat. She is threatened to be eaten by a lion (this lion probably came down to a village because the tiger was reduced to catching frogs). She asks him for enough time to get take her kids to her uncle (guess she was a single mom). The goat then COMES BACK! But the lion is so impressed by her honesty that he leaves her alone and presumably goes off to hunt any dumb frog that might be left over.
What are our kids supposed to take away from these lessons?…

My first Idiyappam/Noolpputtu

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I was excited this morning when I entered the kitchen - I was going to try making idiyappam for the first time ever! I was so excited to try out my new shiny steel sevanaazhi...


I took the packet of idiyappam podi, followed the instructions to the letter and happily filled the sevanazhi with the sticky dough, squeezed out one nazhi-full onto idli moulds liberally sprinkled with grated coconut and put it on for steaming. Then I proudly called my DH to see it. He took one peek at the now steaming appams and frowned. He has this habit of comparing eatables to the most odious things imaginable - so I begged him not to do so. No, he was just wondering whether the appam strands were supposed to be that thick. That is when I went through the stack of the different chillu that came with my sevanazhi and found this...

Don't get it? Below are both of the chillu - I had first used the one on the left - no wonder my DH started calling it "vadam" (thick rope) puttu instead of "noo…

A "Craft" all my own!

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Ha, ha, I bet that got you wondering...
It hasn't been a slack time here at Karthi with the houseful of people keeping me busy and going out much more than before. But I did manage to do some "decorating". In all the years we spent in rented apartments and homes, I never put up any personal photos on the wall, just reserved personal photos for the walls of our own home. But once we got here, I became even more hesitant to put up photos. For one, I couldn't decide on good spots to hang a picture from. Then I was also scared of drilling holes on our pristine walls (might explain why I cringed each time the termite exterminator drilled holes every foot or two along our walls last week). I also do not like the idea of hanging up a conventionally framed picture - it reminds me of the old irayams of yore where the whole family stared at visitors in rigid black and white photos all with the cream-colored mat and black frame. Okay, okay, I know there are lots of good frames o…