Saturday, May 29, 2010

Chef in the Making

Day 1 - Tentatively rolling rotis

Day 2 - Less tentatively rolling rotis

Day 3 - Making rotis end to end (mini-disaster)

Day 4 - Making rotis end to end (success!)

Day 5 - Experiment making theplas (not bad at all)

Day 5 - Super confidently making methi theplas (ho hum)

Day 6 - Making Peas parathas (yumm!)

What a week....wooooohooooo!

PS thanks to M-i-l and Tarla Dalal

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Life's little lesson

One of the things i did as a child was to make a wish on your fallen eyelash. And I taught this to my little daughter Nia when she was barely two. Simple magical act - carefully place the eyelash on the back of your hand, close your eyes, make a wish and blow away the eyelash. And you know your wish will come true if: one - you keep your wish a secret and two that the eyelash has to fly off!

Nia always believed in the magic and strangely she always ignored the conditions. When she newly learnt this wishing process, she would blow away the eyelash and immediately tell me what she had wished for ( i guess her way of ensuring that the wish came true!) So much for Condition #1.

As far as the second (and easier) condition goes - here's what i discovered her take was a few days earlier. Nia just finisher her bath and i found her eyelash stuck to her cheek. As i was placing the eyelash on the back of her wet hand, i told her "baby, wipe your hand dry else the eyelash won't fly off."

Her response? "mamma, good thing if it doesn't fly off - i can keep wishing till, it decides to!"

Thank you for this lesson - my little believer of magic :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

A Holiday with a Difference

Summer break @ Magic Puddles and unlike all other summers, we haven't been able to plan a holiday back home to Bombay. So been hanging around in Bangalore partly planning for the next academic session and partly catching up on long-pending personal work. When this break started out, it wasn't a happy thought - not being able to take time off completely, still having to work during THE break of the year.

But a week down the line, i am quite enjoying this pace. Knowing that i don't have to rush through things. Being able to spend quality time with the folks at home and at the same time being able to attend to work. Meeting friends in the middle of the week. Finally learning to make rotis (total success) and experimenting with gujju cooking (total disaster!) Catching up on random movies being shown on TV. Reading up some cool stuff.

And the best part of the week has been the amount of introverted time i am able to create at different times of the day. This introverted time feels doubly special since life had been in a frenzy since the beginning of this year. So during these special times, i see myself taking the time to clarify things for myself. At times, stepping back and watching how i react in different situations. Thinking through my priorities. Connecting with a deep part within myself and in the process being able to connect better with people around me.

Best of all, i love seeing myself zealously guarding these moments of introverted time. I am so looking forward to the next week where the break continues. And i hope to be able to continue creating it for myself even after i resume my routine work!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

My Simple Truth

Everyone needs or has a place where they can recharge their life energies, their soul - or so i read in several feel-good articles (which for some weird reason are directed only towards female readers). And many of these articles will have a few suggestions for seeking souls like me about where you could find this place. I always romanticized that for me the special place would be at a friend's dinning table (desperately borrowed from one of the lists i guess) but never did find that table. I pretty much had dismissed the idea that such a place can exist until.... took me back to this eco-farm in the outskirts of Bangalore managed by a trust. We'd taken children there for an overnight stay as part of the summer camp. And despite the energy and alertness required when out with a group of kids (and a sleepless night) as i left the place the next day, i felt totally energized. I naturally thought that it was this place that has the magic for me. It is packed with lovely memories of times that i have spent with friends. It's quiet and peaceful, air and water cleaner than what i get back in my city home and i feel blessed with the generosity of my friend who manages this place.

And then it struck me - it was not the place, but the sheer act of driving on relatively empty roads, away from my routine and then the quiet journey back (i returned ahead of the kids - so that explains the silence!). That's when it struck me, my special 'soul-place' is not a solid still place, but it is the movement. I get this same sense of peace in crowded buses and trains (so long as i get a window seat to myself). Whether i am doing the driving or not, I love the road - stretching ahead, winding. I love things going past as the vehicle moves - in some sense so transient and yet so stable! It amazes me to see how much land is available outside of our over-crowded cities. I feel overwhelmed by the the richness of colours, textures, smells and sounds around. Sometimes i am completely absorbed in my thinking and sometimes I step back and watch how i think. And in the fast moving, i am able to connect with a deep stillness inside of me.

Finally, it feels good to discover that my soul-place lies just outside the doorstep, waiting for me no matter where i am!