Saturday, April 27, 2013
My mom had just arrived in the U.S and without much of rest to do away with her jet lag, she hosted a Valaikaapu ceremony, a traditional practise to protect a pregnant women. She did not have much time to make an elaborate arrangement as she said the function should be celebrated in odd months of a pregnancy, and the next day I will be turning into my tenth month.
The 35 hour long arduous journey from the other side of the U.S has not worn her a bit for she was full of energy and excitement all through the function. The audience: a group of lovely American women whom I meet every Friday while my husband and myself went to play some sports.
My mom had brought a whole bunch of stuffs for the function as well as for our to-be-born baby that the night she arrived, our house was a mess with all the dresses, sweets and savouries that were spread all around.
"Let us first pick all the stuffs we need for the ceremony tomorrow", she said. I helped her with the bangles while she was knitting an artificial garland that I would be wearing the next morning.
The next day started with my mom cooking a delicious south Indian spicy breakfast which our friends loved so much. By the time the food was cooked, mom and myself were getting ready to be dressed up for the occasion. Our friends were so excited to be here with us on the occasion that they arrived promptly on time and had a chance to learn about the preparation.
Us with pretty bangles
The function was a successful one. For my friends, it was something new, but they seemed to have enjoyed it very much. Their faces were beaming with joy that showed their excitement when they took turns to put bangles on my hand.
The occasion ended with the spicy breakfast that included coconut rice, lemon rice and curd (yogurt) rice and some savouries my mom had prepared back at home. It wasn't really a spicy food according to Indian standards, however, it was spicy enough for our friends. They loved our food so much that they were praising my mom's cooking throughout.
While we were having our breakfast, my mom talked about how she liked American and Italian food and that how we Indianize the food by adding hot spices as toppings.
Extraaaaa large pizza!
The next day, one of my friends who attended the function called us to say that they are coming home with an extra large pizza with veg toppings.When an another friend of mine came to know about this, he felt sorry that he could not be the first one to buy a pizza for my mom! We enjoyed the extra large pizza and spent our day playing card games till midnight.
The Valaikaapu function and the pizza night with our friend's family was something that I would never forget in my lifetime.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Recently, I watched a Tamil movie "Paradesi" with my husband. The movie, which was taken in black and white, reminded me of one question which I asked to my parents when I was a kid. The naivety in my question made everyone have a good laugh then.
I think it happened one fine day in 1990 when my parents took me along with my siblings out to our native village for a farmhouse day. The day was welcomed by a warm breeze flowing gently through the streets in my village. The picturesque beauty of the rising sun set the perfect atmosphere for such a wonderful and memorable trip.
We started our day with an aromatic filter coffee. Then, there was a competition amongst us to apply oil on our head and run first to the pumpset. Nobody wants to miss out the fun in a pumpset bath!
Meanwhile, my dad arranged for tender coconuts for everyone. We spent hours playing under the pumpset, chilled out from the warmer temperature which was turning hot with time. After the bath, we filled our stomach with fresh and tasty coconut water while the warmer temperature and a mild breeze was taking care of drying ourselves and our dresses.
A pumpset in a paddy field
With our thirst quenched and feeling refreshed, we returned to our farmhouse. On our way, we spotted a few snakes chilling out in a brook. Everyone was so hungry that we all rushed in to our house for a lunch. The lunch was served in a traditional way on a banana leaf which we plucked from a plantain field nearby.
After a delicious meal prepared by my mom and grandma, we took siesta. When we woke up again, it was evening already. We decided to watch a film on TV to spend our evening before going back home.
It was on our way back home that I asked my parents, "Were there no colors in olden days?". At first, they did not get my question. But later, when they were reminded of the old tamil flick we saw which was taken in black and white, they all had a good laugh!