PMS or no PMS, I have always believed that good food has a magical, calming and soothing effect on me & my moods. And I am spellbound. For me, Food is my absolute religion and so I have many Gods, many many favorites…one of it that comes very handy in all hours of a day, which somehow has managed to sneak in my diet chart quietly is this amazing favourites, mouth watering, tantalizing Indian savories#indoripoha (rice flakes)!!
When you dig deeper in the history (basically Wikipedia 🙃 for our generation), you will find how post-independence somewhere in the central part of the Indian subcontinent, in the city of Indore these flakes of flattened rice found its way to glory. For a country which lives mostly on two grains wheat & rice, some creative food artisans would have explored options to make food more delectable to the palate.
Poha does full justice to most of your sensory organs. Like as they say, you first eat food using your eyes, then through your nose and finally, the mouth enjoys it. The colour contrasts of pink onion, white potatoes, red tomatoes, green peas, curry leaves & coriander, with tiny black mustard seeds sprinkled all along the turmeric soaked flattened rice flakes…And if this wasn’t enough to tantalise your taste buds, garnish it with tangy lemon juice drops & crispy green chillies. It’s like a poetry, written with love ❤️, it’s like a colourful painting where all the careful details make it a picture perfect!!
The greatness of this cuisine lies in the fact that it can be customised as per the regional or personal preference for taste. You can add fennel seeds & sugar if you like it a bit sweet. If you want to give your taste buds a spice kick, just add lahsun sev or indori namkeen to garnish. It’s such a typical representation of us Indians that while keeping its identity intact, it warmly adopts everything that adds & increases it’s flavour and makes the look & taste more richer.
So next time you travel to the Central India, make sure that “IndoriPoha with masala chai” is in your list of Must-Try!!
You have been molested And I am a culprit too.. I wished there was something I could actually do..
A place of historical, heritage value, We have treated you like we treat our women, Yes we did!! We raped, exploited & abused you!! And than to wash away our guilt, We would light a candle on India Gate, too!! But sorry, we can’t light a candle for you As it may cause global warming, I thought, you knew…
At the moment, the only thing I could do is Wish you a speedy recovery and Sorry, we left you in ICU !!
He was one of the Ace Performers in his team, “Boss’s favourite” a computer science graduate from one of the reputed Engineering Colleges. So when he decided to quit the job, it had to be the talk of the town, buzz of the hour, a breaking news!!!
He always had this spark, this zeal to pick up challenges. His friends loved him for his great sense of humor. If there was any blue ocean strategy project coming, everyone would know whose name will be on the top of the list. Interestingly, he knew exactly why all his managers wanted him to be on the most critical & high pressure projects.
It was not just because of his tech-know-how or THE “Zero Defect” every single time his code went the code review. It was also because he was a bachelor, who lived thousands of kilometers away his family, in a paying-guest accommodation. So, there were no commitments at personal front, he could be made to stretch for any long hours, the onsite visits, for him would extend from weeks to months, no distractions !!
So what would have triggered this decision?
Thank you Ganesh for playing along…It’s so true that an individual’s mindset doesn’t change, with time his/her priorities may change.
PS: Would truly appreciate if you leave us a response on email@example.com (Ganesh) or to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sidara & Parvez were married for over 7 years, then. Both of them were working professionals with MNC Banks, having their offices in Connaught Place. Every morning they would help each-other in packing the breakfast & would eat it, on their way to office while they discussing their daily targets, schedules & routines. From the outsiders viewpoint, they were a perfectly happy couple. How most of their friends would comment – “Made for each other couple” :)). The more competitive ones, would often tag them as “DINK- Double Income, No Kids” !! But only the two of them would know, how desperate they were to start their family. They were handling pressures from all angles, @ work – the pressure of targets, @home, “when are they giving the good news wala pressure”. And individually, also they both felt, the clock was ticking. They were in their early thirties. Month after month, she would hoped that she may skip her periods, but every month she felt disappointed !!
She had to meet her Gyne!! Parvez, though was pleasant and mature guy but he was extremely hesitant in meeting the Gynecologist. He had always found those intimate questions, little difficult to answer. Back home, they were only boys in his family so he wasn’t very exposed about those girly-girly issues…Yes, they have been married for a long time now and Sidara was not a stranger to him. They knew each other since the day Sidara was born, they were 2nd cousins. Still, he felt AWKWARD!!
After a great deal of convincing on her 33rd birthday Sidara fixed an appointment with her Gynecologist during the weekend. They were anxious about the procedure, the kind of tests & were utterly nervous about the reports.
The reports were to come the following Monday. They decided to take a day off from the offices. Sidara could only manage a half-day. “It was more stressful than waiting for the 10th board results”,she recalled. They were the first ones to reach the hospital, outwardly in-control but inside there were anxiety attacks, emotional riotes!! When their turn came, the doctor in her so-called-professional manner dropped the news that they wouldn’t be able to conceive a child!! (Both of them didn’t want to disclose the reason for this, and I totally respect that 🙂).
It felt as though they were hit by a bomb !! For quite some time they couldn’t believe what the doctor had just told them. Their minds had gone numb, bodies were not responding. They wanted the doctor to check the reports again, may be take another sample & conduct the tests again. For it was not easy to believe, what they have been told. They sat down in the cafeteria, in the hospital. None of them spoke for a very long time, they felt angry, upset & almost shattered. “Somewhere deep within my fears came true, I was scared of this”, she disclosed. They didn’t talk to each other, Sidara had to reach her office, so she left. Parvez kept on sitting there, he had lost the track of time. He would have driven back home, for when Sidara came back later that night, he opened the door for her, but he doesn’t remember, how he managed to drive back home!!
“Life continued mechanically, we were still not talking about it. Not that we were angry or upset with each other, but were scared to hurt ourselves & the other person too. Come to think of it, both of us were shattered, but we chose to ignore it for the sake of not hurting the other person, which in turn was giving us more pain! We had stopped hanging out with friends, we were punching-in longer hours at office… Not that we became more productive or efficient…On the contrary it became like a gas chamber, ready to explode. And it did just that too. It was Tuesday afternoon, I received a call from her office that afternoon that Sidara had fallen unconscious while making a presentation. That was it!! We couldn’t take it anymore”, confessed Parvez.
She had a nervous breakdown !!
This event had the ice breaking effect on them. Once Sidara was discharged from the hospital, they decided to take break from work and went for a 2 week long vacation to Mauritius. “Sidara loves beaches”, he added fondly. It was during the vacation, they mustered the courage to talk about it. “I still remember that evening, it was our 9th anniversary. Parvez had arranged for a special Thai Cuisine, my favourite purple Orchids, red velvet cake & country music for me, along with a note that read, “Truly, Madly & Deeply in love with you… Now & Forever!!” I was in tears, I cried like a baby and he held me tightly. We cried in each other’s arms for hours”, she recalled.
During this stay, she had watched “A Boy called Po” a movie based on a true story of a boy named Patrick who was suffering from ASD & his father’s relationship. She was touched by the story, the struggle and moved by the depth of relationship that she started to read more about it. Autism spectrum disorder impacts the nervous system and affects the overall cognitive, emotional, social and physical health of the affected individual. She visited a couple of ASD therapy centres in Mauritius and later in India. She found it calling !! As if her life has found a meaning in helping the kids at the NGOs. She had started to spend most of her free time working with the autistic kids. Eventually, Parvez also joined her in the cause. They found a release of their pant up emotions while working with these special kids.
Until one evening, Sidara after offering namaz (prayer) was still sitting holding her hands, tearing were flowing from her eyes but she had a smile on her face. Parvez got really concerned and worried. He reached her and she hugged him tightly. “I want to adopt Roshini”, she told him in between hiccups. He was taken a back, he knew how Sidara has become mentally more stronger while working the therapy centre & the kids who come from various NGOs. The bigger question glaring at him was, would she be able to love her as her own? More importantly, would he be able to accept the kid like his flesh and blood?
It wasn’t an emotional decision, she had been thinking about it for over a period of almost 10 months, since she was sitting in therapies with Roshini. A 6 years old, a beautiful child somewhere from north-east India, she has been living in the orphanage for past 2 years. Even before discussing with Parvez, she was thinking about adopting a child. Roshini and Sidara had developed a bond over these months. Parvez has been noticing how happy she is when around Roshini. He knew, Sidara would be a very loving mother. But the thought of adopting has never crossed his mind. So when she mentioned about adopting Roshini, he couldn’t react immediately.
“My parents were conventional but very supportive, still it bothered me what would they say? Why are we adopting? What’s wrong with us?”, he shared his fears.
While Parvez was still in dilemma, Sidara was very clear. “Allah has given us an opportunity to support one life and enable it to live to its fullest. It is as selfless & unconditional love as the prayers that I offer everyday”, told an assertive Sidara.
They continued to go and work with the NGO during the weekends, like before. None of them discussed about their decision. This was their way of handling a situation, they would let it “SIMMER” and let it take a natural course. Life for them has begun to move very mechanically, only weekends they both would laugh & play with the kids. Whatever doubts that Parvez had were slowly getting washed away with the laughters & giggles.
A couple of months later it was their anniversary and as a ritual, they had gone out for dinner in Sidara’s favourite restaurant. Just when they entered Parvez’s phone started to ring and he had to take it saying it was URGENT. He suggested that she should go inside and he would join her shortly. Sidara moved around the restaurant absent mindedly and was not looking where she was going. The Manager showed her to her favorite spot in the restaurant, it was in the open area closer to the water body. It had more Guppy fishes than the White Cloud Mountain Minnow this time, she noticed. What happened to the old turtle which was there, thinking of checking with the Manager she lifted her head and saw Parvez standing there, looking at her very intensely. It appeared as though, he has been standing for sometime now, and what was in his hands?
What was it about ? Her fears began to surface. Were these the divorce papers? She knew the kind of pressure they both were living in, since her last birthday. Her mouth dried, tongue got stuck to the palate, her throat had no voice. Before she realised a tear came rolling down her eye. Parvez was quick to reach for it before it dropped down from her cheek. He held her in his arms and gently made her sit. “I might have been blind for neither I saw the cake on the table nor did I see the message on it. It said- Happy Anniversary – Ammi- Abbu, Love Roshini”.
She couldn’t believe her eyes, she was crying, laughing, jumping with joy hugged him over & over again. She was thinking that after dinner, she will talk to him about Roshini. But this was the most amazing anniversary surprise ever !!
Parvez waited till she could settle down and gave her the adoption papers to sign, which she did very happily.
I had met Sidara & Parvez, when I was pursuing my research work. They were in the process of doing the formalities for the adoption. It was a long process and they had all the patience in the world to welcome their first child. Like Sidara said, “all kids are special but mine, would be extra special!!”
Today, they are together as a family of three, loving, caring and supporting each other. But that’s what families are all about, isn’t it??
While carrying your child, you would have talked to your unborn like a friend and in your imagination, s/he also might have responded too. Rest of your parenting years,you may waste in the search of looking for that friend in him/her. It’s a myth. Don’t get carried away !!
During the pregnancy & postpartum, your body undergoes a sea change. You become a different person now. Help your partner learn to adjust with this NEW YOU. Be more kind & nice to yourself. Your new-born won’t!!
If you had planned to have a second child, to give company to your first born. You were absolutely right about it. They most certainly will give you a DOUBLE-TROUBLE !!!
It is important to keep an eye on the domestic help in your absence using a CCTV camera. But be aware the wretched thing WON’T SPARE YOU TOO. Use caution while making out or hitting each other after an argument in the living room !!
If you are one of those who push their in-laws for looking after their “high on energy toddler” please spare them. Remember you have already had a taste of their parenting!! Let them enjoy their time, storytelling !!
Treat your support system/domestic help nice, else it will spill on your child for sure !!
Join an “All Girls Gang” on the social media. You will get a chance to interact many more sailing in the same boat. Remember “misery loves company”, plus it will give you a different perspective to look & love your brat.
If your child throws a tantrum in public or puts you in an embarrassing situation, keep your calm. What goes, comes back. Remember, Karma is a B***h !!
Create a ME-TIME, away from your family. Remember they also need a break from you !!
Last but most important, Parenting is a Serious Business, don’t let your partner take it lightly !!
PS: It is absolutely your choice to agree or disagree. In whichever case, would love to hear from you. Please leave a comment.