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Showing posts from August, 2011

Enjoying the rain...

Phew! I thought the rain gods had deserted our district this monsoon. After the first week it was a repeat of the "almost-rain" scene in Lagaan. Thick, thunderous clouds would roll up over us then a strong wind would blow them all up north and drench all the districts north from Kollam with bounteous rain. I had had grand plans for my garden this planting season, but all came to naught - I even had to untie and bring down my trusty watering can which I had hung up in the first week of June! The only rains we had were the sneaky ones that came at midnight and left just a telltale freshness in the morning. It took the birth of Chingom to bring the rains finally to our place. Today the heavens are positively shrouded in grey and it's my favorite color for this season! I've had enough of sunshine, let me enjoy some rain!!!!

Happy New Kollavarsham!

Yesterday, I managed to complete my Adhyatma Ramayana Paarayanam just in time for the new year. This is the 13th or 14th year since I started the practice and I've missed it only once, I think. Every year my handsome, red-bound copy comes out of its year-long hibernation to be dissected into 15-page portions that I set at the beginning of Karkkidakam. I can never stick to that portion because with all my diligence and care, something or the other will happen and I miss reading some days and then have to read huge portions at a stretch, almost destroying my throat in the process.
I love reading the Adhyatma Ramayana, not just as a spiritual practice, but for the opportunity it gives me to enunciate all the beautiful consonants of Malayalam in all possible permutations and combinations. Our day-to-day conversation is limited in its use of the very hard (athikharam) and resonant (ghosham) consonants. Even if they intrude in our daily speech, we soften them so that our speech flows smo…

For all Malayali foodies out there

I have just been blog-trawling on this quiet Sunday morning before the rest of the pack was up. Blog trawling is one of my favorite activities - I go to my favorite blogs and then trawl through THEIR favorite blog lists opening several windows and tabs in the process. Before my comp was reformatted, I had thus collected more than two hundred blogs, classified and categorized neatly and carefully. Before giving my comp for repairs, I took the opportunity to declutter the list and only wrote down the names of a select few that are my regulars.
Today I found a site that I felt I must share with in the spirit of the Salt n' Pepper. It is Kothiyavunnu.com . As the name suggests, it is mainly a compendium of  Malayali dishes, with added titbits. I was especially taken with the pictures on the home page. I don't have the time to check out individual recipes right now, because if I don't have dosas on the table within the next half hour, only inedible parts of me might be left by t…

Thru another pair of eyes...

Two weeks ago, the a big news item was the income tax department's raid in our two megastars' homes. Has anyone heard about it afterwards? Did they find proofs of tax evasion? Have they been penalized? Who knows or cares?
The reason I brought this up is because of my cleaning lady whom I shall call Chechi. She likes discussing current hot topics with me and I indulge her with salacious titbits of the day when she comes three afternoons a week. Some background info: She is a single mother of three abandoned soon after the third child was born and has been raising her kids alone since then. She started out as a day-laborer and now has several houses now on her roster and spends the whole day going from one house/business to another as cleaning/cooking help.
So, there was Chechi wielding her broom while I was ironing clothes. I told her about the raid and mentioned that a couple of elephant tusks (it doesn't become ivory till it's made into something, right? ) had been foun…

Movie Review - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

I would like to stand up and mark the passing of a great phenomenon in the publishing and movie industry - viz.,  Harry Potter. HP will continue to live in books and DVDs, but we've been lucky enough to witness the phenomenon live. I was 24 when I borrowed the first two books from the Kottayam Public Library. Unfortunately, I started with the Chamber of Secrets because my sis grabbed the Philosopher's Stone before I could. After returning the library books, I went ahead and bought the two as well as the Prisoner of Azkaban that was already on the stands by the then. Since then I never missed another book. I caught the Goblet of Fire too from Kottayam. I remember getting the Amazon-shipped Order of the Phoenix from the apartment office in Houston - my only American HP! We were back in Mangalore and still staying in a hotel when we went to a bookstore and bought the Half-blood Prince - the store manager had just unpacked it and I was the first one to buy it! That is the first HP…

From My Bookshelf - 6

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Whoo! First my computer goes down with a "flu" and gets fully reformatted. Then one by one, starting from the youngest, my family members succumb to a bout of stomach flu - the least said the better! Now, except for the excoriated throat of our elder son, we are okay! And to free to start blogging once again!
Magic - somehow after Harry Potter (movie review later!) - the kind that we see on a stage has lost its attraction and wonder for me. I think the movie The Prestige had a lot to do with it too(Hugh Jackman in a grey role!! :-( ). To think that all the tricks that make us ooh and aah are the feats of just a clever engineer and some very good distraction tactics somehow makes it all tawdry. The last magic show that I enjoyed was two years ago. It was a corporate event for kids and the magician was speech-impaired. I really marveled at his performance because a magician's best tool after his sleight of hand is his verbal skill and this magician really did well in spite…