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Showing posts from June, 2016

Home Is....

Where morning is somewhere between 0700-0900, unencumbered and uninhibited Where ginger tea, biscuits and newspaper are a morning tradition as are afternoon siestasWhere the local dhaba's chicken  biriyani makes a fabulous combination with mummy's fish curry Where malai chap,chena poda, kulfi  and kalakand reside in the fridge always for a quick snack, dessert or just like thatWhere taking bath using the bucket and mud and splashing water everywhere in the bathroom is every child's dream come trueWhere mausi's evening massage is divineWhere bhata(rice),dali (lentils), aloo bharta (mashed potatoes) and amba khata(mango chutney) are so satisfying and fulfilling that one could eat them morning, noon and night and still ask for moreWhere the huge balcony the bedroom opens into gives the feeling of sleeping in close proximity to natureWhere the cuckoos create a racket in the morning which can wake you up Where one gets the rest and relaxation no Thai massage or expensive ge…

Bhubaneswar - first impressions

Bhubaneswar is my home town. I have developed a kinship for Bhubaneswar. When we reached the airport and I saw the Konark Chakra, I was filled with overwhelming delight. We could see my father and sister waiting for us in the entrance. Thanks to regular video calls, Chiyaa could immediately recognise her Aja. She ran with her trolley to greet him. It was indeed a spectacular sight. Blood indeed is thicker than water. In spite of the distance and gap , the granddaughter could immediately connect with her granddad. She has no reservations or stranger anxiety and immediately climbed into his arms. I think after a point, the sight of grand kids brings more joy than seeing one's children ;)

We had a pretty sultry ride home. In spite of the air conditioned interiors of the car, Pumki was very uncomfortable. She wailed through the ride back. But for Chiyaa who had never seen bumps before  it seemed like a roller coaster ride. In the back glasses of one of the cars there was a picture of t…

India - first impressions

I am back in India after 4 years. I did not know what to expect. I was definitely prepared to be rudely shocked. I was also prepared to be pleasantly surprised. It was definitely going to be interesting. 
Across the Asian sub continent we have a lot of shared ethics and practices. That is why when we landed in the Abu Dhabi airport, I could smell home. And one practice that is common is washing up after finishing our business in the toilet. In all the Indian homes I have been to in the UK I have seen some arrangement or other for washing up. The ring of toilet roll is there but also along with it is a bucket and mug or wet wipes.  In the Abu Dhabi airport I heard a lady in the adjoining restroom comment ' Thank God there is a health faucet here' I could not resist a smile. I came out of the toilet and noticed that the ladies who were thanking the health faucet seemed pretty westernised and well  travelled. There are some things which are quintessentially Indian and I reckon thi…

Alphabet soup for lovers

I read a book after a long time. An actual, physical book with pages to flip. It was a very easy book. A book I finished in a day which gave me a major sense of accomplishment! Yeah cheap thrills that is what I am into ;) It was also my first book by Anita Nair. I have another Malayalee writer I admire after Shashi Tharoor  and Arundhati Roy. 
The writing is beautiful. She compares food with life, which makes one hungry and contemplative at the same time. But the scenes between the protagonists are well written but seem like Mills and Boons for mature audiences. The book was a good read, wish the content was different. Will be picking another by the same author. Hope to like it more.

Americanah

Picked this book as a recommendation from my sister in law. And I have a new favorite author. Chimamanda Ngozie  Adiche  has a way with words. She writes like Arundhati Roy and is puts mundane facts in iridescent spotlight like Jhumpa Lahiri. I loved the way she brought to life very normal, generic emotions. 
The book is about a Nigerian girl Ifemelu. Like most Nigerians she too dreams of making it big someday. And big is equal to America. As with most developed countries, one is happening if one makes it to the hallowed shores of the United States. Life brings her to the US and she realises that she is black! At this point the novel turns into one about race. At this is the point u regret. I felt here Ifemelu left the pages and in came Chimamanda. The characters Ifemelu begins writing about race and how to deal with it. But to me it seemed like a long discourse by Chimamanda. The novel picks up again when Ifemelu returns to Nigeria and sees everything with americanised eyes. 
The book …

The journey starts

Well India happened two weeks back and till now I can say I am lovinggggggggg it. I had a lot of doubts and reservations about the trip but by God's grace none of them have turned out to be true.
Our tickets were booked from Leeds  so we had to make a trip from Ipswich to Leeds. The morning of the journey Chiyaa kept thinking we were going back to Leeds for good. She was  worried that all her toys were  being left behind. She even started dismantling her kitchen set to take back. The innocence kids have is just so so precious. My heart  went out for my little girl. 
The journey to Leeds involved a change of train. As we were in the waiting room for the transfer , we thought Pumki  needed a nappy change. There was no changing place nearby on the platform. We had to do it  in the room. But there was a lady having her lunch. We thought we should let her finish eating. I am not sure how she understood us, but she said ' if you need to change please go ahead. I have three sons and wi…