Posts Tagged ‘AtoZchallenge’


Y: Yummy

April 29, 2016

One of the times my Mom was over at our place for a few days, she taught A to respond with ‘Yummy’ when she asked ‘How’s it?’ with reference to whatever she was eating at mealtimes. Now, I didn’t consciously reinforce it since it feels like fishing for a compliment, but hey there were the odd days when I would feel like one, so I’d ask her and she would unfailingly oblige me. (How do somethings stick in their minds for life, but other things, despite numerous repetition, refuse to leave an impression?)

So the other day, I was trying on a new skirt that I had bought, and asked her, ‘Ammu, how’s it?’

Pat came the answer, ‘Yummy!’ 



April 28, 2016

After thinking long and hard and looking up the list of words that begin with an X (twice), I turned to pop culture. And phew, I was glad for XKCD. In case you’re not familiar with it, XKCD is a popular web comic by Randall Munroe, and in his own words, ‘a web comic of romance, math, language and sarcasm’. Admittedly, I don’t ‘get’ every single strip right away – but hey, there’s Explain XKCD for that (I swear I remember it used to be called XKCD explained!). 

I don’t read it as regularly as I used to, but it’s fun to catch up every once in a while. Here are a couple of my favourite strips –

Duty Calls


This one here, though has to be my absolute favourite. Works even better in text-based communication!


(Tried really hard to embed the strips here but failed!)


W: Wishlist

April 27, 2016

It would be so amazing if I were to wake up one morning with these wishes having come true!

  1. Two extra hours in a day all to myself, where I can sketch and/or read to my heart’s content. This is apart from the hour I get to myself at the gym pretty much every day. 
  2. Ability to drive a car like a boss, especially in Hyderabad. 
  3. Ability to not care what others think (I paused here and wondered if I should really put this in here, because…what will XYZ think when they read this point. No kidding. Q.E.D!)
  4. Clarity in what sort of a job I should look for next
  5. Ability to be more even-tempered, more understanding and the ability to let go and forgive those who’ve hurt me. 

It would be fun to re-visit this list in the next April’s challenge and see what’s still on the list, and what’s new on the list 🙂


V: Vizag

April 26, 2016

Vizag, or Vishakapatnam was our last vacation location (alliteration and rhyming attempt #fail). We were looking for a beach destination for A’s first beach outing, but Goa and Kerala seemed too expensive, so we thought hey, why not look closer, and zeroed in on Vizag. We went in with no major expectations. And what lovely surprise it turned out to be. 

We stayed at the AP tourism hotel, Haritha, atop a small hillock overlooking the Rushikonda beach. The view of the coastline from the hotel room was fantastic. The beach wasn’t exactly clean, but there were small fairly clean stretches. A’s reaction to the waves was mixed across the three days we spent there. Oh well, more reasons for more beach holidays 🙂

The more popular Rama Krishna beach, or RK beach was great as well, but very crowded on the weekend evenings that we visited. Driving along the Beach Road gave us some great views of the coastline and we wondered, over and over again why the Eastern coastline of India isn’t as developed as the Western one. What’s more, Vizag is green, dotted with parks, and very, very clean. Apparently the 5th cleanest in India. And boy, what a splendid job they’ve done of rebuilding after the 2014 cyclone Hudhud struck!

We also visited the Kailasagiri hillock and took in the 360 degree views from the toy train. The rope way, unfortunately wasn’t functioning so we took a taxi up the hill. On our last day, we had some time, so we visited the aquarium and A enjoyed looking at the fish and the turtles. The aquarium could do with a lot more work to make it a more pleasant hour to spend there. 

We had wanted to take the famous train ride to Araku valley, but we decided to save that for another trip. In all, it was a lovely little vacation and I think we returned pleasantly surprised by what a lovely city it seems like. 

The day we left was the day after Maha Shiva Ratri, and apparently it’s auspicious to take a dip in a large water body. I clicked this pic just as we were leaving. The crowds had been swelling up since 7.30 am. The first pic in this post was taken about four hours before this one below. Count the number of people if you can 🙂


U: Uddina Vade

April 25, 2016

Uddina vade/Ulundhu vadai/medu vada. It goes by many names, but it’s that golden brown delicacy from South India. If you were to ask me what I want to eat in my last meal and ask me to choose only three things, this would definitely figure in that list.

Crisp on the outside, and melt-in-your-mouth soft on the inside. Not dripping with oil please. Seasoned with just a hint of green chilli and ginger. Eaten with a nice gatti chutney and sambar (definitely the so-called sweet sambar that Bangalore’s darshinis are famous for). 

Growing up, it was the vade at Janatha hotel in Malleswaram that I first fell in love with. An aunt once got me way too many from Janatha cos she was visiting and she knew I loved them. In college, it was probably the darshini close by and the canteen’s version wasn’t bad either. 

Once I moved to Singapore, I all but stopped ordering them at restaurants. Cos I would get the insipid vadais- hard, not crisp on the outside and nothing like the darshini-style ones.

I haven’t eaten at Janatha Hotel in years, but having lived in South Bangalore for the last five years, I have a new favourite -SN refreshments at JP Nagar. 

And so it had to be that on my current trip to Bangalore, when I found myself in the vicinity, I took A there and we had a couple of them. She seems to like her uddina vade. And I can’t wait to see if she’ll turn out to be the uddina vade snob that I am. 

But she’ll have to stop calling them donuts to start with. 


S: Shh

April 22, 2016

Among the very many things that’s a taboo to talk about in parts of Indian culture is your period. And if your family has similar origins like mine does, you probably know of the custom where women are supposed to stay away from the kitchen and Pooja room and generally be untouchable for ‘those three days of the month’. Separate plates to eat from, glass to drink from. Wash the bedsheets and all the clothes you wore and touched etc. Yes, of course we’re in the 21st century, why do you ask?

Anyway, one incident from my childhood stands out when I think of this custom. I was at (high) school and I recall mentioning to a friend casually that I was on my period. Later she told me nicely enough, that I should keep such things to myself. Because now that I had told her, she’d need to go home and take a bath again. Because she knew.
Forget about temples not letting in women who’re menstruating. The change needs to begin at a much lower level – at home, with the kids, with women.


R: Raising children, Ruminating

April 21, 2016

Bringing up A has made me stop and think back to how I’ve been raised. When I compare notes with S, the conclusion I arrive at is that there were a fair bit of restrictions for us kids while growing up. Granted, my parents are conservative and orthodox so they like things being done a certain way. But I hardly ever recall stopping and questioning, or even thinking why something was not allowed. Honestly, I don’t think my folks really were encouraging of questions either. I also see my folks lay down similar rules for my niece and I’ve begun to wonder why this has to be this way. I don’t want to go into details, but there are a lot of ‘don’t do this’ and ‘don’t do that’ generally speaking. Of course, patriarchy has a BIG influence here (in a family with three daughters and four grand-daughters!) but that’s a whole other topic for discussion and I don’t want to delve into it here. 

Sure, we turned out alright, and even well-mannered and decent human beings. But there are also so many things ingrained in me, it’s slightly scary. I also think my outlook has been too narrow in general. I also can’t help but feel at times if I might have even chosen a different career path had I been a little more outspoken and questioning of norms. Oh well, better late than never. I’m lucky to be married to a wonderfully supportive man who, rather than asking me why, says ‘why not’ to a lot of my ideas. Thank you, S. 

I consciously try and stop and think for a second before I say no to something that A does. It took me a while to realise that a lot of my ‘no’s were initially from my own upbringing and conditioning, rather than being well-thought out. And I honestly hope she will learn to ask questions, challenge status quo and feels free enough to voice her opinions. 

After all, I’m still learning to do the same myself. In the process of raising her, I’m growing too.