Thursday, April 30, 2009
I MUST SAY..................
Today is the last day of APRIL,a month full of happenings,festivals and events.
my thoughts are always scattered.i can't focus on anything.i live in my own world,recollecting the childhood memories.the memories are so vivid,sparkling and endearing.
within days, i will be in chandra prabha.iam longing to hear the laughter of the leaves,listen to the whisper of blooming buds and see the cheerful old faces of my village.
i don't know whether the strong wind will scatter the mangoes for me.there are noone to run after the mangoes .
amma used to make mango jam-here it's called ,mangad-with the surplus yield of mangoes.one must enjoy the the magic of mangad.homemade stuff has acharm that we can't find in the market.
here,let me express my gratitude and love to all my friends and well wishers who gave me the support to write more posts who tried to improve my way of writing.it's human nature,everyone likes to be thanked.i appreciate your kind gesture.
i love to listen to the old songs which make us forget our worries.let's fill our life with magical,musical moments.
this is one of the morning greetings that i received.it brightens my day and i want to thank my friend whole heartedly.daily i receive warm greetings from him. i really feel touched.
many a time i could destress myself by writing a new post.
here tourists are enjoying the cool breeze of the beach.just one more month for you to land up here and catch the crashing waves for a splash of relief.
this is the best place to be in the scorching heat.enjoy the warm and pleasant holidays.
you can find the perfect combination of celebration through faith,festivity and fun.until the next feast comes along,your anu will be away.
when the whole world enjoys a holiday on may 1st,iam working.
when did we last dance in the rain?when did we last walk in the moonlit beach?friends,we are losing the beautiful moments of life.
but,i must tell you,at any age life can be begun again.it's never late.let's make up for the lost time.
friends,i feel lucky to have you in my life.[hey,hope my long absence won't put me in the fast-being-forgotten list of dear and near ones.
wishing one and all, a happy and cheerful may month,full of hopes and promises,
it's anu signing off.i get excited at the sight of green fields,rivers and the beautiful scenery of our GOD'S OWN COUNTRY.
we will be crossing the tunnels at night.so,i won't be able to count the number like a child.and iam sure you must be knowing ,we have maximum number of tunnels in this route.
updating the event,
tomorrow is sample trichur pooram.and don't foregt to watch the live telecast of the famous trichur pooram on 3rd may.come to relive the traditions and celebrations.imagine,forty three sets of umbrellas!
what a wonderful sight!and the pooram exhibition awaits us with numerous stalls!
it's the most happening of the coming month.
before getting into konkan railways,
and for the last time to you,
kyo ye dil teri yaad me tadpta hai,
kyo tere tassvir me hi duba rehta hai..............
Saturday, April 25, 2009
THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS
the evening was cool.we had many guests today.guests become rare these days.we don't have time for visits and the visits become a disturbance to others.people can't spare time for others and we forget the golden culture,''athithi devo bhava.''
summer holidays usually translate to vacation time.we plan for holidays and relax.
i love saturdays as the next day is a holiday.it's always work,work and work.it's high time to take a break.we are getting ready to leave for trichur after one week.i really pray,the heat should not confine me indoors.let's enjoy the sunny side of life.
we can enjoy summer with a lot of cooling food items.in fact nature provides us the right fruits and vegetables for the season.
scorching summer days are nothing new for us.to beat the sun,i want to jump into kulam,to swim in the cool water.
i fondly remember,mariyam and pranchi.mariyam chettathi was our helper at kamalayam,andathode,in my achan's house.after crossing the field,we often went to mariyam chettathy's house to play and enjoy the real life in their neat,cool hut.there was a small kulam,on one side where the ducks swam.there were trees lining the kulam and chettathy used to wash the vessels there.you won't know,how much,the memories are alive in my mind.they didn't have children and now both of them are not alive.
mariyam chettathy used to make tasty ariyundas.
i will be soon with amma and nanda.i want to go to temples in the mornings with nanda.she takes me to different tempels and the morning fresh air is so refreshing.i want to have a stroll among the different pooram exhibition stalls.the kuppivalakal are so attractive and i just love wearing them.
i know,nothing completes our day better than a home cooked meal.but there are so many new hotels in trichur to try out some new dishes.
here,people shake their legs to the rhythm of the cha cha,hip-hop and salsa to keep themselves in shape.
let's like what we do.before the rains and before the school bell rings and before work beckons us back,let's go back to our child hood activities where we can have our masti.
i will be away on along vacation to trichur,guruvayoorand chennai.i will miss the long hours that i sit infront of pc.i will miss interacting with you.
updating about the events,
VAISHAKHAMASAM begins tomorrow.it's known as MADHAVA MASAM.to have darshan of LORD KRISHNA in this month is punayam,maha punyam.
so,before this auspicious month gets over come to KRISHNA NAGARI.
and i don't have to tell you,27th monday is AKSHAYA THRITHIYA.best of luck for a prosperous life![i don't know whether you are searching for jewelleries where the salesman talks to you the minute details......]the ad world must be getting mad with the numerous catchy lines they had to script for the auspicious day!
monday 27th IS Balarama Jayanthi.and this day marks an auspicious day in the Catholic calendar at the church of st.jerome,mapusa.paying homage to MILAGRES SAIBINN[OUR LADY OF MIRACLES]on her feast day,this event brings people of all faiths together.devotees give MOTHER MARY an oil bath.
maza did her college in st.xaviers ,mapusa and with my each post she is becoming nostalgic.
my little star was at panjim,doing her professional course.
hey,friends,it's close to midnight,but i know i won't be able to sleep unless i finish my post.
it's getting late and i have duty tomorrow.so,sad,na?and evening we have kerala cultural association get together.the members join for annual cultural programme and dinner.
it's anu signing off..........
it's time to take a break from the life of this beautiful land of beachs,churches and music.it's state known for its delicious food,specially,rice and fish curry and feni.one can enjoy the boat cruises and the tasty food at the shacks.
i love you all.special thanks to my friend who brings a smile on my face daily morning.
thanks to all well wishers who encouraged me writing posts and sparing your valuable time to post comments.
this summer vacation,please browse through different blogs and let the writers know your suggestions.encouragement is the best award any writer can receive.we value your comments.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
A LOVELY HOLIDAY.................
One more holiday in this month of april,due to elections.i would like to share the beautiful morming sms received from my friend.
''friendship is like a mercury drop.........if it's dropped then it's impossible to collect.so,be careful.do not drop your friends.''but i have dropped many of them as they proved wrong for the title,'friends'.
we all know,smiles and laughter are good in many ways.smiling is apotent beauty treatmen,the simplest most easily recognised action-even a brief flash.so,friends,flash asmile,the world will be on your side.
the more we smile,the more we are known for our smile and more popular and likeable we will become.and it is abonus,we become happier inside.so,friends,sharpen your sense of humour.
on holidays,here we wake up to the konkani songs flowing through the speakers.the locals enjoy life with music,feni,beer and fish curry,rice.by the way,'feni' got 'GI' status;that's Geographical indication status.it's the hot news and all are thrilled.this is the first alcholic spirit to get the GI status.
now,no one need to smuggle out the liquor anymore.[i know,in many of the baggages,feni bottles were hidden on the way to their hometown].
the mood is upbeat and there is a sense of excitement and joy in the air.just within a walk of every five minutes one lands up in a bar here.
and i must say,an important feature is the crosses,the life of the people.we can often see,people stand together and say the rosary at the cross on the roadside.
here,neither exams elections nor the rising mercury levels are able to keep people away from dance floors. there are wide publicity for HIP HOP summer dance camps.
like in kerala,so many people have sold their old ancestoral homes here .the builders who buy them demolish these majestic houses and create a concrete jungle.
a depressing feature of today's landscape is rapid giving way of traditional houses to modern high rises.
the problem starts with the children migrating to foreign lands and the parents are left in a big house all by themselves,who ultimately crave for their children.they are also then taken along,leaving their houses totally unattended.finally when they come down, after four to five years they find the house in such a mess that they feel, it would be better to sell it off.
with the passage of time,we will have to see the wonderful ancestoral houses only in photographs.
a practice that is disappearing is ,'saving for a rainy day'.here,in the month of april,women stock up on chillies,onions,tamarind,dried mackerels apart from salt and sausages.
first they will be dried in the scorching heat of april.
women start buying onions in bulk from the month of may itself.these onions are tied into bunches and tied to the kitchen roof as we do with vellarikkas and kumblangas.
the joy of storing food items and being ready to face the long monsoon season was something that the people of the good old days thoroughly enjoyed.
waiting eagerly for the showers,to walk along the thin varambu in between the green green padam,occasionally,spalshing water in the small chira.so,cool just like the cucumber!when we get down at punnayoorkulam bus stop,we cross these fields,playing in water before reaching achan's house,kamalalayam.very small paral mean thullikalikkunna chirayile vellam!ethra sundram!
let's love nature.be eco friendly.when you cut one tree,please plant two trees.let's pledge ourselves.
celebrate ''THE EARTH DAY,EVERY DAY''.
it's time for me to pack my bags.i will soon be leaving for trichur to join amma on tricur pooram.nanda will be leaving for the city at the Hudson river.shankar is so excited as he is going to witness pooram after along gap of fifteen years!
even though iam a loud speaker,i don't like sound pollution!
achan used to take us to the pooram exhibition stalls.hope i may get a chance this time!i fondly remember those summer vacations,so colourful,full of excitement!
don't you have plans to visit this lovely place? enjoy the fish curry rice at the shacks in the beaches.you will love it!
it's anu signing off.........................
have a great day!
before,winding up,let me share another sms with you.
''the best cosmetic for lips is Truth,for voice prayer,for eyes pity,for hands charity,for heart love and for life friendship.''
let's be friends,ok?
Saturday, April 18, 2009
i feel like writing another post -this time on our own chakka.kishen n amma have already told me to make the posts,short.let me try.
the jackfruit or 'phanas/ponos'is credited as the world's largest tree borne fruit.chakka is called phanas in konkani.
idichaka is known as KUVLO[tender jackfruit without seeds].i love idichakka thoran.
in our tharavadu we had a jackfruit tree with was ladened with tender chakkas.
it was later cut,while chandra prabha was constructed.
after marriage,when i went to meppadam,i was so excited to see thamara chakka.it's small and round in shape which we can hold in one hand.we planted the seeds,and many jackfruit trees are grown.but,sadly,none of them bore fruit.
i like varikka chakka.after removing the chakka chula,the sweet madals were given to the cow and oxen.
the cleaning and cutting a chakka is a headache.we must apply coconut oil on our palms and the knife blade so that the latex does not stick while cutting.
a few recipes from this state with chakka are here.
a tender jackfruit is used to prepare a dish called chaako or charkuto.it's craved by everyone in this summer season.
kulvo is boiled in water.the outer prickly portion [char] and the central core[mav] is discarded and the edible portion is cut into fine pieces.chopped onions are then fried in heated oil and are fried in heated oil and a fried ground paste of coconut and masala powder ,pieces of jackfruit and salt are added.the ingredients should be allowed to cook for 7-8 minutes.
tur dal is boiled with chakka pieces.added to this is mirya vatap,which is a paste of coconut,pepper corns,tamarind,red chillies,salt and turmeric.
after cooking,temper it with asafoetida and mustard seeds.
a spicy preparation can be made by cooking boiled peas,tur dal and kulvo pieces with a piece of coconut,tamarind or ottambachi sola[rinds],chilli powder,salt and sambar powder.a tempering of asafoetida and mustard seeds is poured over it.the addition of jaggery is optional.
a well prepared chaako should have an appealing colour and aroma and should be spicy.chaako,as a vegetarian recipe,offersan excellent source of high quality dietary fibre,plant proteins,antiviral substances ,vitamins,calcium and phosphorous.
KUVLO or raw jackfruits of the right size are easily available in the countryside.
back in kerala,i was amazed to see the trees full of jackfruits from kunnamkulam onwards.the soil is the best suitable for jackfruits.we can see the fruits right from top to bottom of the tree.
our place,we have sandy soil in which coconut trees grow very well.
nature is kind enough to pamper us with such delicious fruits.those still long for the marvellous chakka,please plant the seeds in this monsoon.
how can i forget the chakka varattiyathu my mother-i-law sends for us.it remains for one year and for special occasions we make chakka prathaman with it.hours are spent to prepare it.
kumbalappam is also special with arippodi and chakka varatti.it's so tasty.
last time when i was in pune to attend a training,my friends were busy buying the chakka chulas.i was surprised to see the excitement in their eyes.they were really enjoying the delicious fruit.
my all time favourite is idichakka thoran.shankar's ammamma used to have hot kanji with chakkappuzhukku.we used to feel nice watching her having kanji with plavila.my little star enjoys someone really respecting food and enjoying it.
the fried chakka chula are so,yummy.we can just finish it within no time.i prefer it to banana chips.the long thin,chakka chula fry is added to my favourite list.it's the most wanted snacks with the non keralites.
i still remember,our tenant kuttippennu, coming to our compound to collect the leaves of the tree for her goats.she sells the goatmilk for a living.even now when her son has reached the middle east,she still keeps her goats.
it's nice to live in a house surrounded by all kinds of fruit trees.we have to just remember to be ecofriendly and for the next so many generations,our kind gestures will be a blessing..............
it's anu signing off...................
yes,friends,it's rightly said,''oru maram,oru varam''.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
kani kanum neram kamala nethrente..................,''kalabham tharam, bhagavanente manassum tharam...........''..vishu is on tuesday,fourteenth april. vishu falls on medam first.on this day,the sun is moving to MASHA RAASHI.any celebration arouses the terrific feeling of missing our dear ones,our hometown,the traditions and rituals in the minds of a pravasi.
the main attraction of vishu is vishukani.
the decorated idol of KANNAN wearing gold chain alongwith kani vellarikka,konna poovu,chakka,manga,the half coconuts,silver coins,valkannadi,the grantham,unakkallari,ashta mangalya set and the lighted lamps...................what more can we ask than this amazing sight in the early hours of the new year?the whole forthcoming year will be wonderful and prosperous!
now, we keep all fruits in the brass uruli, available in the market like apples,pine apple,orange and grapes.but the main attraction is KANNANUNNI.we decorate krishnan with palakka mala or pavan mala.we never become satisfied till the last decoration is done.
the previous night amma keeps the vishu kani.the most memorable vishu kani was the one prepared by my little star at chandraprabha.she had taken pains to make the decorations beautiful with small kasavu mundu spread as the background .krishna was garlanded with fresh mullapoov mala. we have taken the photographs. early in the morning amma wakes us and bring us to the pooja room,with our eyes closed.with little water kept in the small brass kindi,we wash our eyes and sees the most beautiful sight of smiling krishna in the light of ezhu thiriyitta vilakku and the fruits and silver coins.
my little star and maza want to carry the traditions on....................
in our ancestoral tharavadu,the kani was shown to the cows and the oxen in the sheds.we had two big sheds with so many cows and oxen.
we,the children were eager to light the crackers,lathiri and poothiri.i love meshappovu.i like to see it going up.in achan's house we used to light the malapadakkam.thala chakram is also very exciting.it goes round and round and we used to run after lighting it.
after having a bath in tharavattu kulam we wear the new dresses.after the prayers,we were eager to get our vishukkai neetam.then we go to guruvayoor temple to have the darshan of unnikannan.so many devotees sleep in the temple blindfolded to have the ponkani of kannanunni.we believe,the forthcoming year will be auspicious and prosperous by the darshan of KANNAN.
the natural gifts are,konna poov,vellarikka,chakka,manga,coconuts and other numerous fruits.the day and night are of the same length on this day.it's the spring time.all are ready to welcome the changes in nature.it's the season to celebrate.i remember our kizhakke padam completely filled with vellarikka.the swarna vellarikkas are later tied to the kazhukkol of the roof.they remain fresh for many months.
thirumeni prepares the tasty palpayasam.it's really special.
mampazha prathaman or chakka prathaman complete the vishu sadya.
non keralites enjoy our meal.but vishu is a family get together following the traditions and rituals.we invite our local guests for onam.
a grand sadya awaits us at noon.mampuzha kootan,mangakkari,and chakka ellissery are a must. a nalu kari sadya is so delicious served on plantain leaves.
after keeping the vishu kani at the temple,shankar comes home late at night and does the vishu kani in our flat.he does it so well.on vishu day,kishen and my little star do the pooja to krishnan.they love the traditions and culture.
thirumeni gives one rupee silver coin to the devotees.
we put up the vishu bhalam on the notice board of SHRI AYYAPPA TEMPLE.after the prayers,little star always wants us to read the vishu bhalam louder.her star is revathi.i swallow the bad points and she always catches me on the spot.she is so much interested in jyothisham and vara bhalam.shankar gives us vishukkai neetam.
for the first time,the konna maram is bloomed at AYYAPPA TEMPLE.we could keep a few flowers for vishu kani this time.
In shankar's village,vishu vela is popular in THANIKKUDAM DEVI TEMPLE.kuthira kali,kala kettu and vela bring the joyous atmosphere.
i miss the temples in kerala where we have an aal thara,ambalakulam,aana and the village cool breeze.that's a total different experience.i want to be there in my village,kaveedu,at chandra prabha with amma and my family.otherwise any celebration is incomplete.i miss the vishukkai neetam given by amma n achan.
sabarimala and guruvayoor,preparations are over for vishukani.there will be too much rush of devotees.at guruvayoor,kanidarshanam is from 2.30a.m-3.30a.m while at sabarimala it's from 4a.m-7a.m.vishu vilakku is lit in pure ghee at guruvayoor tomorrow.the gold thidambu of kannanunniwill be placed in the mukha mandapam and the ponkani will be kept in the brass uruli.
children eagerly wait for vishu as this is the time to collect maximum pocket money in the form of vishukkai neetam.
the spirit of life is lifted due to the celebrations and get togethers.vishu adds colours to our attitudes,hopes and aspirations.
today tamalians,bengalis,assamese also celebrate their new year.
on this auspicious day,i extent my warm heart felt vishu aashmsakal to all of you!
can you hear the vishupakshi singing,
''chakkakkuppundo'',achan kombathu,amma varambathu''.
vishu is the beginning of new life;farmers start their ploughing and sowing in the fields.
we travel into the world of light and prosperity!
it's anu signing off....................
i feel like singing,
''amma mazha karinu kan niranju........................''pick up the phone and dial your dear ones' number and share the joy of the day.we need their blessings and good will.nothing else can replace that bond.
oru pidi konnappokalude ithalukal ningalkku sammanichu kondu,
SAMBAL SAMRIDHIYUDE ORU PON VISHU ELLAVARKUM !