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Recipe: Roti/Paratha for Ruth

25 Mar

This post is dedicated to Ruth @ The Mommy Café

She loves Parathas and so does her son Kenan.

So, well, lets starts treating them to a our very own Indian breads!!

Take some wheat flour in a bowl. Add salt and 2 teaspoons of oil and make a nice paste like this. If you find that Kenan is running low on his daily veggie consumption, then add some of it to the wheat flour before adding water.  I have added carrot paste.

Wheat flour and carrot paste

Wheat flour and carrot paste

Then knead it well. It should not be very watery. Neither should it be solid tight. It should be of the below consistency.

kneaded wheat flour dough

kneaded wheat flour dough

Now take a small ball and roll it out flat on a board with a pin. The ball size could be slightly bigger than a lemon, but smaller than an orange. The thickness could be 2 or 3 millimeters. Check the below rolled out bread. Apply some dry wheat flour ont he ball while rolling it out, so that it doesn’t stick to the board or the pin.

Rolled out dough

Rolled out dough

Switch on the stove. You can either allow it to cook on a greased pan or you could cook it on the fire directly like this. I prefer this, because see, how fluffy it comes out. My son loves this. He calls it bubble roti or bubble paratha. And this consumes less fuel to cook. Economical on me!

Cooking the roti/paratha on flame

Cooking the roti/paratha on flame

Remove it from the fire with tongs. Then grease it with some butter or clarified butter, whichever your son prefers.

Grease it with butter

Grease it with butter

You can add beetroot paste or any of the veggie paste to the wheat flour. You can also make them plain and simple. 

So, there, Ruth, you make your own Roti or paratha. I am sure they are going to come out yummy!!!

You can eat them with the most favorite vegetable of our home aka tomato ketchup ( 😛 ) or with any kind of gravy.

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BlogHer : A piece of my heart on an article – Down my memory lane of childhood memories

18 Mar

My son posing on his great great grandfather's chair. he was 2 years old and the chair is 100 years old!

My son posing on his great great grandfather’s chair. he was 2 years old and the chair is 100 years old!

http://www.blogher.com/creating-and-cherishing-childhood-memories-and-happiness

What is life made of?

Of beautiful memories, shared and cherished with our loved ones!

Of childhood stories which we tell and retell to our children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Of memorabilia and junk collected over a generation, and in some cases if preserved over a century.

Well, I will tell you no more, go and click this link and read my entire article 🙂

It is after all my first article on BlogHer.

Loving the daughter I have not met!

8 Mar

I love babies. I love baby boys and baby girls in no definite order. I have a son and I love him the most. Obviously!

And our family is a small family with the two of us, (my husband and I) and our dear darling 7-year-old son. No, we do not have a daughter. Hey, I am not pregnant either, in case you are wondering. So, what is with the title of this article, you may think.

As much as we would love to have a daughter too, I should say, nature has other plans. The three of us is going to be our family and I would like to think we are complete and happy. Yes, we most definitely are.

Now nature decided to bestow upon us a daughter too, a daughter in a different way. I became an aunt to the most beautiful adorable baby girl in the whole world. Yes, that is the mommy (aunty) in me talking! This beautiful baby girl was born almost two months ago and I have not met her yet. And here I write an ode to her and about her.

The pictures I have seen make me want to meet her ‘once’.  Not just once. But at least once.

My niece holding her mother's fingers

My niece holding her mother’s fingers

Her eyes are fiery, like the tempest. Her forehead is broad and shines with intelligence. She has a lot of jet black hair. Her father wishes for her to have hair like mine, straight, soft and docile. But no sir! I do not want her or her hair to be soft and docile like me.

I would like to think of her as a go-getter of the things in the world she wants and aspires for. Cheeky and audacious, bold and vivacious, like all the things and more I was in my younger days.

I wish for her not to be the stereo type-casted woman of India, nor like certain modern-day woman with minimum ethics or morals, but for her to have a delicate balance and show the world what a true woman is to be.

This beautiful baby niece of mine was born and stays just 230 miles away (6 hours’ drive) from where we stay. But I haven’t met her for over two months due to certain personal glitches. Now you may ask, don’t you meet a niece, your own sibling’s child, because of a ‘glitch’? Well, that is an entirely different long story. It requires a separate post(ok, maybe a book) in itself. So, the long and short of it, we planned twice to go see her, and we had to cancel our trip both the times. And now here I whine about not having met her.

I most definitely have the sun and moon of my entire being, my darling son. But now, I also have a daughter, thanks to nature, in the form of my niece. My sibling’s child is my child too in some ways and it is the closest to my having my own daughter. And I have to thank nature (or God if you may call it so) for this gift.

But I hope beyond all the hope that someday I get to meet her, see her for real in person, hold her, feel those tiny palms and fingers which you can see in the picture, and cherish her.

Like I got the daughter which I was never destined to get, I know I will also get to meet her soon too even if fate has other plans.  (???!!!!)

Hey, isn’t it the International day of women today?

Divine Blessings, Ample Happiness, Best Wishes, Great Hopes, Spiritual Grace, Bounteous Joy and all the best of the Universe on this women’s day to the woman (who is yet a baby) and to all the other beautiful women of the world!

Isn’t it Kismet which has made me write about her, today, instead of all the other days, which in itself makes me feel an unusual sense of calm about this beautiful day of today.

$5 saves 2 lives in Laos. Learn how!

8 Feb

What would you do today with INR 266 (US $5)? I came up with a list of things I would do if I had US 45. Check them out.

$5 saves 2 lives 

  • I would book two tickets at INOX for the movie Vishwaroopam
  • Or I would go to Express Avenue and splurge it on a T-shirt for DDH or a kurti for me.
  • I would buy a Bey-blade (those fancy electronic tops from Cartoon Network) for DDS.
  • Heck, I would just buy this week’s grocery – plain and simple if I was not in a mood for splurging away that money.
  • Maybe I would hire a domestic help and get all the window panes and grill doors dusted and cleaned and scrubbed.
  • I would even get my unstitched dress materials stitched into chudhidhars.

I know, I know, I can get so many things done with INR 266 (US $5). But what I chose to do today is, donate to CleanBirth.org.

This week World Moms Blog and CleanBirth.org have partnered to raise 1000 birthing kits. I am in. Are you?

How much difference will $5 make in your life? And how much difference will it make in a mother’s life, in the screams of her labour pain, in the throes of sweat and panic, lying on a bed of leaves in the middle of a dense jungle, just about to give birth to her darling baby.

I gave an extra hug to my little one thinking about a mother out there giving birth under such conditions in the village of Laos. What about you?

World Moms Blog and CleanBirth partnered to donate their FB status

World Moms Blog and CleanBirth partnered to donate their FB status

You can do a lot more things too. Check out this article on World Moms Blog. You can even donate your status on FaceBook and do a lot more. (http://www.worldmomsblog.com/2013/02/05/social-good-saves-lives-laos/)

If you are interested in donating to CleanBirth.org, please do so by clicking this CleanBirth.org. You would have made a great difference to some mama and baby out there.

Love, peace, unity on New Year 2013

28 Dec

My latest article which got published on Huffington Post is about spreading Love, Peace, Unity in coming New Year 2013. The link to it is here.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/purnima-ramakrishnan/spreading-love-peace-and-unity-this-new-year_b_2361990.html

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2013 FOLKS !!!

If the world were to end tomorrow…

15 Dec

If the world were to end tomorrow … come on, the world is not going to end …

But in the remote chances that this were my last day … I would be very happy…  because …

The laundry yet to be folded and stashed away!

The laundry yet to be folded and stashed away!

I don’t have to cook, clean or do the laundry. Since recently, somehow I always seem to be laundering. I put the clothes in the machine, take them out, fold them, keep them inside and the  cycle repeats. I don’t know how I got into this vicious cycle of laundering repeatedly. And I am not even a new mom. So, good riddance to laundry, oh how I wish…. Check that pile I still have to fold and put away!

Is the space in the sink enough?

Is the space in the sink enough?

And you guys all know my apathy towards cooking. Ok, I made it public and now you all know it, if you didn’t earlier. But I am a dutiful wife, or at least I think so. And for the records, my husband is snickering at that statement. Ah, so, well, cooking – the famous sustenance which makes me stay alive. Well, eating makes you stay alive. But for that, someone has to cook, right?! And a stay-at-home mom cannot claim to not have time to cook, can she? If only, the world ends tomorrow, I can be rid of this chore! Hmmpphh!!! Oh well, if someone cooks for me at least once a month, I will take up cooking. And by someone cooking for me, I don’t mean eating out. I mean, someone cooking (read it as husband) once a month(only once in 30 days). Is it too much to ask? I know… I know… All those hubbies reading this, are going to say, ‘what a bad influence for my wife’!!! I did not even mention cleaning up the dirty dishes!! The picture suffices.

Toys (aka junk) which could be dumped in various cartons and ideally banned from a sensible household.

Toys (aka junk) which could be dumped in various cartons but ideally is supposed to be banned from a sensible household.

And then after good riddance from laundering and cooking, I would also like some respite from cleaning and tidying up the house forever. I don’t think this needs any explanation at all. Does anyone want to see how my son’s room look like? Do you think my frail body can survive another attempt at tidying up and decluttering???

lol!!! serves us right, to get freaked out for everything..!!!

lol!!! serves us right, to get freaked out for everything..!!!

I cannot imagine the world coming to an end, because I want my son to grow up, live his life, do something with it, find its purpose, have a goal, work towards it, have a family, be happy, have children of his own and generally enjoy and be in joy. He needs to find his zest for life. This alive existence would all be a waste, if not. I would want him to be happy and jolly and whatever else he wants to be. Can the world end without he experiencing his existence? Nay!

I have more pressing problems! I have to create enough room in my cluttered home, for 3 bodies to move, habitate and hibernate without getting hurt !!!

I have more pressing problems! I have to create enough room in my cluttered home, for 3 bodies to move, habitate and hibernate without getting hurt !!!

Well, I really don’t think the world is going to end tomorrow, because God, if he were a male God, would not be so kind to give a woman respite from so many of the above mentioned things. The male-God would want my inner domestic goddess to rise forth and shine and be the goddess she was meant to be. And God, if she is a woman, will not be so hard-hearted to end the world as well, without a mother realising her dreams of her son’s purposeful and happy and joyful existence.

So, coming to the end of this world, … err… the end of this post… If at all the world ends tomorrow, I don’t have to do anything. Oh, how much an over-worked, stressed out mother would understand that! My inner domestic goddess can just vegetate! Ahhh!

This is part of a link-up. Today World Moms at World Moms Blog are talking about what they would do in case the world ended tomorrow. Come, check it out!

http://www.worldmomsblog.com/2012/12/15/saturday-sidebar-if-the-world-were-to-end-tomorrow/

My son’s Annual Day Program

24 Sep

He got down from the bus excited and shrieked, “Amma, I am also there for the school day program.”

“Oh, that’s great. So what are you doing?” I asked my son.

“I am compering, as usual,” he said.

“That’s great!” I said, and picked up his bag which he duly handed over.

So, it has now become, “as usual”, I thought. He talks well, I should say. And he can conduct a program. He has ideas of his own about how a program should be conducted. He comes home and says, after this dance, there is this song, but after this play there should be this dance, because of this logic. And I just nod and say – ‘maybe the teachers have a different logic too which makes equal or better sense.’ But the point is, he has his own natural flair in not just talking and compering, but in conducting and the logical sequence and the conclusion of a program.

So, he was in the school day program compering along with three akkas (elder girls), and he was excited. I am always surprised about the excitement he catches when he has to talk in English in front of the audience. He says he loved to see a crowd and he loves to make them listen to him, not in a self-conceited narcissistic way. He is way too young, he is just 6 years old, and I can feel his love for public speaking.

Last year he won an inter-school award for the best story-teller. He was 5 years then. I blogged about it here. And then he also was one of the best comperers for the kindergarten annual day. A pic from last year’s compering is below. Isn’t he cute like a nattamai (South Indian village chieftain)? That’s the traditional South Indian costume for men.

Just getting ready to leave for the school!

Just getting ready to leave for the school!

This one is after reaching the school last year.

After reaching the school in front of his favorite 'friend' - Lord Krishna

After reaching the school in front of his favorite ‘friend’ – Lord Krishna

He still claims Ms. B (in pink saree below) is his favourite teacher. She was the one who discovered his talents in Kindergarten. And I can also feel the mutual love every time they speak to each other and when he speaks about her at home.

With his kindergarten teacher and classmates

With his kindergarten teacher and classmates

This one is with his KG co-ordinator, Ms K Madam. At last at the end of the year he had lost his fear of her.

With his KG Co-ordinator Ma'am

With his KG Co-ordinator Ma’am

The entire KG Day album is here – https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.10150735738124918.492032.625559917&type=3

We received his script for this year and made him practise a couple of times at home. Once he even said, “Please don’t make me practise so much. I don’t want to lose the interest. I am so happy and excited and please let me preserve it till the annual day. Trust me, I will talk well. I don’t want to practise more.”

Oh man, I loved him and trusted his capabilities, but now I respected my little fellow. I did not spoil his interest by making it stale and overdoing his practise.

On the day of the annual day, I dint wake him up in the morning, because the program was at 6 PM and I knew he won’t have time for an afternoon nap because we had to report at 2 PM. So he woke up pretty late. But the kind teacher who was in-charge of this, called me up and made him tell his lines on the phone and gave some advice to correct something and said that we can come straight for the program, maybe around 4 PM. She asked, “He is almost a baby. What will he do in the school in the burning hot sun from 2 to 6?” I will not forget the kind lady Ms. R V’s mercy on me.

So, this year, check him out just before we left home. He got into the North Indian traditional costume. This suits him great too. Oh, everything suits him, I guess. In tamil, there is an ancient adage, which says, “A crow’s baby is the most beautiful for its mother.” Oh, well, I know, he is the most handsome anyway. 😉 Scroll up and check out the same pose in the same background last year before leaving home. he sure looks more matured and poses better, huh 😉

This year before leaving the house for the Annual Day

This year before leaving the house for the Annual Day

Another one below…

At Home again

At Home again

I am not sure if I can put up the below pics. If any of his teachers requests me, I will pull them down. But I just cant resist for now!!!

With his wonderful teachers who trained him

With his wonderful teachers who trained him

Another pic with the wonderful teachers… Ms. R V Madam claimed she is shorter than him and hence look at the tiny laughter which is about to erupt!

Another pic with yet another wonderful teacher

Another pic with yet another wonderful teacher

Ms. J madam, who is in charge of the primary wing, introduced the Principal, Ms. S U madam as one who exudes positive energy, and that she was innovative and creative. I totally agreed with the first part. She was a nuclear store house of positive energy. I had personally seen her during the practise sessions motivating the kids and teachers. She had a word for everyone. No one felt neglected or ignored. I am sure even if the chairs and desks had roles to play, they would have felt her positivity radiating. Even when she chided and criticised the participants or teachers, no one took offense. They only worked harder to please her and get their parts better. I haven’t met a lady in an administrative post who took so much interest in a mere practise session and that too on a weekend. Her mind was into everything and she knew what to say to whom and how to correct whom. I was awed with the way she handled all the kids. And let me tell you, she knew the names of all the fifty or so odd children who were practising. She called them out by name and dished out suggestions/changes, etc.

But I am yet to know her innovative and creative side, or so I I told her husband, sitting next to me in the auditorium. Oh, yes, but I definitely had respect for this amazing lady and even little affection.

So, my little boy opened the program, wished all the people, and welcomed them and spoke for almost 3 to 5 minutes. I was surprised when the scrit was slightly changed. He used certain synonyms for certain words. I mean, he stuck to the script, bu looking at people, he forgot himself and spoke from the heart what he had to speak. For instance he smiled at them all in the middle of something once. The crowd applauded for him thrice. Once when he invited them to the “First Primary Annual Day”, then when he invited the dean and director of the school and then in the end once again. And the speaker, waited each time for the applause to die down and then restarted. I mean, how did he know he had to do that, I asked later on. Oh, I just know, amma. Trust me, I am a good speaker and I will become better and better. I love the crowd. I know. He is a natural. I cannot take credit just because I am his mother and just because I teach him the rudimentary like vocabulary and pronunciation. His teachers do better jobs than me too, anyway. Ok, check out the below video of my little guy keeping the crowd enthralled.

This is his video – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKMcDlpNcE0&list=HL1348453399&feature=mh_lolz

Did any of you notice the guest of honour madam waving back to my little guy on the CCTV screen when she was introduced by him? Its way down towards the end of the video! That’s one of my favourite moment 🙂

The theme of the annual day was Panchatantra. Panchatantra are a treasure trove of stories which we use for children to teach them morals, values and ethics, just like the Jataka tales. But Panchatantra is more interesting and has a lot more animals and birds and keep the kids enthralled. For more information on panchatantra, click here. It has been in vogue in India since the 3rd century.

There were 5 stories which were acted out. They belonged to the five cardinal Panchatantra books.

There was a grand finale which was a set of more stories set in old popular Tamil movie song tunes. I could see my introverted shy husband smiling. I have to make mountains move to get a smile on his lips. The first time he smiled was when his darling little boy addressed the gathering of maybe 500 people. And the second time was this superb grand finale! All Indians would relate to this song dance drama sequence. Absolute beauty!

That is part of the grand finale’. I am sorry; I could not record the entire part. I was so enthralled myself that I just forgot to start recording.

The grand finale – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8wZx7ZxsqY

The Dean and director of this school was an octogenarian.  I always wonder does she really pay attention to each and everything or maybe is she sitting there for these programs because she is expected to. She put my doubts to rest this evening. After the program she called out each and every participant and praised them for each of their roles. She said how a child dressed up as tree is so patient and hence awesome. She called out to the kids dressed up as deer, as rabbits and mouse and just about every other animal and had a word for them all. She said the camel’s performance was great, but the costume needed a minor correction to make the hump pronounced. She praised the singers, the dancers, the kids who gave their voices for certain programs. Wait a minute, even I dint remember so many things out of the program and I am just 30. This lady of maybe 80 or more remembered every single participant and here she was appreciating them. One lesson to me – that is why this amazing wonderful woman is the dean and director. She deserves that place!

Ok, it is so easy to forget the children who are compering and talking, who are conducting the program. Because we are so much into the dance and song and play that we don’t remember that there are some kids who have put so much energy, time and effort into it. Wait a minute. You are in for a surprise. She called out to the little boy (my little boy) who opened the program with his compering. She appreciated him. Yes, madam, you humbled me again! And you are going to humble me one more time way down towards the end of this post.

So, she called him up on the stage after the program and blessed him.

On stage with the dignitaries - and the director Ma'am blessing him

On stage with the dignitaries – and the director Ma’am blessing him

There was a story teller who was the chief guest to this program. She told a wonderful story and she mentioned that there was thunder and then lightning in a forest. Oh well, the story went on. If you want to know that, ask my little boy, he repeated it even this morning during lunch.

And our octogenarian director of the school very sweetly corrected her saying that the teacher in herself is doing this – “The lightning comes first and then the thunder.” The story teller took it very nicely too. Ok, I am stmped again!! The entire hall was guffawing!!! Everyone was stumped!

So, after all this, and after all the fun and frolic was over, the principal said, please get up for the national anthem. She requested us to not sing along. Weird?! I mean, everyone requests everyone else to sing along, but she said, please don’t! Maybe slip of the tongue? Ah, no! Check out this version of the Indian National Anthem here.

I had tears in my eyes when it ended. My son was hooked on the screen. He had a lot of questions for me for after the program about the Silent National Anthem and I was happy to let him know that he was endowed, blessed by God for providing him all the faculties intact! The silent national anthem was rendered by specially challenged children, some deaf, some mute, some both and some physically challenged. We should show kindness to such souls who are differently abled, I said. A perfect opportunity to explain such things to children! “Amma, like Barfi?” he asked. By the way, Barfi is entered for Oscars in the International Category of movies.

Did I tell my husband, “Yes, the principal, Ms. S U is definitely positive and energetic, but I don’t know so much about innovative and creative. I am yet to see that aspect of her.”? Yes, I did. Now I knew better.

Lady S U, you are one amazing person. And blessed are these tiny gems to be with you. Yes, they are to be surrounded with so much positivity, so much creativity, so much love and so much fun!

The annual day program was much loved and we all as parents had a lot of fun!

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