The Rise of The New Condiment

In a society where arranged marriages are still the norm not an exception, the plight of the star crossed lovers in the Indian subcontinent is as old as the Himalayas! The matter takes an ugly turn when diktats and decrees are meted out by the elders, religious and castes  heads.  These self – appointed custodians of their brood  feel they have every right to play with human emotions and lives. Nasty and unnecessary violations of human lives follow , where love and acceptance would have easily made a warm home.

In this day and age there are many families who take a weird pride to oppose the lovebirds by emulating the strictest bollywood parents , wily aunts  or scheming uncles !  As long as they do come around in the end, all teary eyed and contrite to bless the happy union, the matter remains contained and personal. Still this appears needlessly dramatic to an outsider, alien to this strange phenomenon of arranged marriages.

Winds of change are blowing though! As I very recently discovered, one more such alien resides in my home. Yes, that makes three of us .  I, my husband and our lovely bright young teenager. On a recent road trip , she and her granny, were having an animated discussion on our various family members. She loves to meet and know them so was making the most of this annual opportunity.  Just  about into her  teens and still fascinated by happily ever after stories, she was goading her gran to divulge all the family secrets, like who met when and how and of course the great Indian wedding drama that ensued. After peppering the family tales to entertain her, my mom teasingly mentioned to her grand daughter that her parents match wasn’t the normal one.

Instantly there was a bewildered protest by my daughter. After listening to all the tales , she found that her parents, had had the most normal marriages. Boy and Girl meet, fall in love, get married. What can be more normal than that, she queried her gran!

Bemused ,my husband and I looked at each other,  thinking only if she knew the stiff opposition we had confronted then.

Well, after having surpassed the hurdle of family drama , we embarked on the mundaneness of running a household, after all one cant eat love and fresh air. I particularly remember the time  when we were both in the kitchen trying to make an everyday Indian dish of “Daal”  (lentils). At the end this humble dish requires seasoning of clarified butter (Ghee)  with condiments. That’s when the confusion happened , while he thought it had to be Mustard seeds, I was confident it was the Cumin seeds. It was the North and South divide playing out in full force to save our soul food.  Living and growing up in the same country we both were strangers to our  typical food, language and rituals.  At that moment we were quite certain any change in this crucial condiment would ruin our home cooked meal.

Today after two decades and two kids later, I profess that my awareness on condiments has risen. I can now rustle up a mean “Daal” with both or more condiments thrown into the crackling Butter , happy to report it has only tasted better. What I find heartening and now take pride in is that our children find this condiment mix normal.















The Art of Sweeping

It’s the Clutter which bothers. It spreads to nooks and crevasses laying claim to the Space. On impatient stifling days it surfaces up but mostly it lies breathing in inner recesses. Easier to step around it and turn a blind eye. It’s akin to a Pandora’s Box, albeit an open one.

Wish there was a *’Kabadiwala’, who would offer to pick up the plethora of thoughts and feelings cluttering our lives. Would we hand them over cheaply in the quest for a light heady space or bargain an extra penny for what is ours?  Sad truth is we can’t trade this particular scrap. Its our to keep. So we live with it, at times on display, most times swept to our deepest corners.   The fear of unvoiced stops us.

We resist the fine of Art of piecing together these fragments, the truest depiction of our Life’s Scrapbook.


* Kabadiwala –  a Hindi word used for a scrap dealer ,mainly of household items.

Fame and Sundry….

“I don’t care if I am famous Mamma” said my 7 year old son on his drive back home from cricket coaching. I was baffled and didn’t know what to make of this confounding statement. He who negotiates hard with tooth fairy , he who plans his next entertainment, birthday gifts like a professional planner, he who knows the power of a sulky whine or a pleasing smile to wriggle out of any wrangle, had suddenly discovered Zen !

I knew better, after all I am the Mom. So I asked point blank “Why are you going to be famous ?” He didn’t disappoint and pat came the reply “I will be an all-rounder cricketer !”

I guess being an avid TV viewer of world class cricket he understood that with his life’s aim , there is real hazard of fame! Fame, to him meant that he shall end up being centre of attention of crowds, an overwhelming thought to a tiny seven year old. So after careful internal deliberations he had declared aloud that he didn’t care about fame as long as he gets his hearts desire to be an all rounder cricketer !

In today’s materialistic world even our kids are not spared from aspirations and desires invoked directly or indirectly by media, society and sometimes family themselves. In the ‘busy’ness of life there is no time to chase our dreams. We end up pushing and applying ourselves towards wrong goals. Whatever happened to passion?

In his innocent pursuit of current passion, cricket, the little one is willing to brave all odds. Life lessons are truly taught by young ones, child is truly the father of man.


Forty and Moving ! No,  not just my garrulous tongue ,  but my Life along with its Boxes!

When movement is incessant and relentless , the most important and wonderful possessions are boxes. As I have been moving for as long as I can remember, immersing every time into different waters and treading different lands, I am a proud owner of all kinds of boxes. I confess a fantastical treasure lies inside those.   The old and heavy ones are difficult to lug around, but open them and one is transported. If the first one emanates a whiff of a muggy afternoon laden with separation from a loved one, the next exudes familiar aroma of long forgotten cozy conversation.

The must haves , shiny new ones , are light and breezy, easy to wheel around. Unfastening them is like drowning in gushing smiles and gurgles of baby laughter. Whilst the old ones stay guard to how the journey began, its the new ones which promise a future of an unfettered and unencumbered locomotion.

Movement is an imminent sign of Life. Welcomed by all , life arrives kicking and screaming creating a sweet commotion. It keeps gaining momentum , a crawl, a run and before we even begin to marvel at it , life is a blur of motion.   Many a times life stays thus , in a happy state of inertia. It could be thrill of an adventure, curiosity or plain foolish bravado, which acts as an impetus. It sets us on an uncharted course. While swimming the tide of time, unafraid of being adrift in ocean of life, is when new shores are discovered and fine insights are revealed.