Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Women's Web Contest

This is my entry for Women's Web -My Favourite Female character.

My favourite female character is Draupadi from Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's Pallace of Illusion.

All I know of great epics, from my small age of Draupadi, was sweet, fair lady and that role played by Roopa Ganguly in doordharsan's Mahabharat and gaping at the sweet baby face of Arun Govil in Ramayanam. All our school note books in 80s had ramayanam labels on it.

Chitra Banerjee has given Draupadi a powerful voice, its as if Panchalli is telling us her story. The original Panchalli is dark and attractive, fiery, wild tempered, haughty princess not the stereotypical docile, "fair" beauty that we get to see on TVs.

But this character has come a long way from her lonely childhood, with her beloved brother Dhri as her only companion and shares a special bond with Krishna, her childhood friend to her tricky marriage to Pandavas. Strangely, both of them are misled by the belief that they are born to fullfill their destiny- Panchali to bring about a war and Dhri to kill Drona.

This fiery princess surprisingly meekly accepts Kunti's decision(fooled by Vyasa's prediction of her life) of her being married to all Five Pandava Princes. This is where destiny changes her life...

Oh how she loves Karna. If only she had not insulted him at her swayamwar(which she does because of a strange folly and fate), her life would have gone in a different direction.

Those sad, ancient, unsettling eyes, his battered knuckles that she wished to touch and own. That forbidden love that she secrets for Karna even after her marriage. She goes to Duryodhana's palace just to catch a glimpse of Karna, without knowing the danger that awaited her and be shamed there. She cries over his death, finally the reader of the book, is at peace, by knowing that they get united in heaven.

Karna from his end, equally loves her. When the Panchalli and husbands live in exile for 12 years, he sleeps on the floor, refusing any comforts because Panchalli suffers in the forest. They continue to love each other, unknown to each other.

Her feelings at the time of his death- “It grew into a great radiance around me. A feeling emanated from it that I have no words for. It wasn’t sorrow or rage. Perhaps, freed of its mortal bondage, Karna’s spirit knew what I hadn’t ever been able to tell him.”

She sows vengence and reaps the bloody fruit of it. She loses her father, brother and her five sons in the war.

Sometimes we feel sorry for her, though married over five times, she doesnt find true love in her marriage. Bheem is the only one, who loves her, though her other husbands treat her with respect. She is passed like a drinking cup from one husband to another.

Panchalli choses her husband over her kids, when they leave for exile. Overcome with anger,lust and vengence to bring about the war, she goes along with them, so that they remain focussed and bring about the calamity.

All throughout their 12 years of exile, she remains with her matted hair, to constantly taunt her husbands of their failing to rescue her at the utmost time of her humilation.

Again after their exile and war, she longs to cherish and bond with her children, regretting their childhood that she had missed, so deeply. But fate plays a cruel hand here, Snatches them away from her forever...

All throughout her life she struggles for status, power and in the end, those were mere illusions. She dies alone and abandoned at the end.

This book leaves the reader contented, reading about a woman's initimate feelings, whom the world calls a Kritya. Read this book, you will change your view about Panchalli.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Air air everywhere, not a single bout for me....

To make a long story short, I broke my nose. It was swollen and I couldn't Smell or Taste any food. It was BLANK for me. See, I didn't worry about my nose, it was food that mattered here. How could I live for an eternity, without tasting chicken, prawns or fish..

Two days, I was shivering with fright, covered in quilts and in bed. Too frightened, Whatever I ate, came out both ways. The old lady in my house tried to lure me with specially cooked spicy liver fry. It was just looking plain without any special odour. Spend the whole day in toilet out of fear. Nothing was going inside, it was only coming out.

What a bad karma, oh God.. my own toilet was not smelling to me..........

At night, my nose played a trick. Each side I turned, the bone moved to that side, blocking air way out of the other side. More fear....
I told my dear husband. The bone is lose, its moving this way and that way.

Frantic I called 2 of my medicos' friends, one was in cinema watching Ravan film. Didnt pick. Desperate, I messaged-"I'm dying". It worked. Another was in emergency room.

My friend Devi picked up and said:

"There are 2 outcomes A and B.
A is worst case scenario. B is positive
Lets hope its B, but still not rule out A.
It has to be either A or B.
Same time, lets not downsize A's possibility
Nevertheless its A or B, is not conclusive,
Lets wait for one more month

Cool girl, You deserve a kiss for scaring the wits out of me.

My mom was more sweeter in scaring me. One of her office colleague had lost his sense of taste. That had the desired effect in me. My sis phoned and told me that she has read Kanda Sasti Kavasam 6 times for me. My nose will soon be alright. My mom asked me to listen to Shanmuga Kavasam. My home computer was blaring day and night with Shanmuga Kavasam in my otherwise atheist house. My neighbours gave us a weird look.

My mom told me that, "Lord Muruga has miraculously healed
Pamban Swamigal's broken leg". My mom assured me, that god would heal it miraculously and still believes it.

Oh Maa Kali, you wrote on Kalidas tongue and made him learned person. Please come down with your thirusool and touch/dig and heal my nose...

Remember the tamil film Kandasamy, devotees throng to a place and tie their queries to a tree. Like that, a tree exist in
kolanjeappar temple. My plea got placed to that god, as well, by my concerned mom.

Finally, after 4 days, a Small Whiff of Smell came in occasionally.

Like a baby, hearing its voice for the first time and experimenting it with delight. I went around the house and smelt every odd thing possible from recking garbage to onions, shoe polish, cinamon, cardamom, kitchen drain.. everything expect chaddis.. Getting excited at every baby step.

Silent prayers:God, Please don't make this person, who is reading this disgusted and hate me.

Wow, I can get something faint into my nostrils.

The septum got deviated and the bones where your specs rest, slightly moved down, as I did not operate it immediately. Planning it at my own sweet pace after 8 months. I already had a septoplasty four year back, so it broke easily.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

God's Own Hands

I'm dedicating this post to a very sweet and special person in my life- Dr.Nithya Ramamurthy.

Divine touch with those blessed hands,
To those that grieved and sought her,
Blessed life through each of them,
Crafted through God’s own sweet hands.

Those that in pain, that sought you,
That little life,
That comes out, by God’s wish,
Through God’s own messenger,
Brought that little life out safely,

May your generations to come,
Be blessed by your noble deed,
Flutter on sweet angel,
Gentleness thy way.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Krishna Jayanthi

This pic is from my sister's puja today. She is a health freak.
That's wheat payasam with splenda.
And those are out of proportion bondas. I did nothing other than drool at this photo.......

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Alter Ego

I flew a little kite,
Painted it with hues so vivid and bright,
So proud of its beauty,
Soared it high and haughty,
Wind blew against her little face,
Tiring her, in full pace,
Branches gnawed and clutched,
A Tide high and wretched,
Washing her colors,

Back she came as a shattered piece,
Tainted with mud and grease,
Drained of her color,
Embraced her lovingly and kissed her pallor,
Sewed her back together,
With my nerves, so strong,
Never again to go wrong,
Filled her with blood so pure,
Painted her back in tears of gold for sure,
Flew her more high than ever,

If you ever, come across a little kite,
On a lonely site,
Wave to my little cherub.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Drop by Drop of Happiness

Down she came with her dainty small steps, at first,
With her anklets jingling and pattering,
Drenching her lover’s quest,
Soaking him, with all her might,
He, lustily heaved out a waft of sweet earth breath.

The little boys, happy to be let out,
Joyfully and muddily,
With their paper boats,
In wavy lanes, born out of this union,
Mysteriously filling every crevices of his, with her happiness.

Gently she ruffles,
Sending out a pleasant breeze,
With the old and young smiling and breathing pure love,
Couples huddling for warmth,
There she crafts her magic wishfully,
Placing the seed of life on earth.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Madura Varutha Curry

Of late, I'm showing an interest in tossing out new dishes. I visit my fellow foodie blogs and strangle them with my over extra dose of my love. Ask them cooking DOUBTS. These poor girls, do come back.. They do.. to clarify my doubts.

But seriously I read line by line of their recipe and alas..tried out a couple of them. Paniyaram(sweet and spicy one) and biryani.

Paniayaram came out well, aiding as a crushing stone coz of poor fermentation. Blame it on the fermentation, they didnt tell me that I had to keep the mixture, to set out for 8 hours.

Biryani was scrumptilicious. H and the old lady in my house(my house keeper, an old lady of 75) just polished the plate. Tried out a new version reading from different ones- Dum Biryani, different varities of mutton biryani. Added a mix of green chillies, garam masala and chilly powder. The end product was really thundering.

It relieved ailing stomach.

Helps to wake up early. Both H and that old lady woke up without an alarm around 5 and sprinted across to the rest room. I had never seen H run so fast in his life. That old lady too...

What you have been yearning for is finally here........

I decided to give something in return for all the love bestowed on me. I'm going to pass on a really, really authentic recipe.

Handed down by women from one generation to another in H's side. From the Kitchens of Madurai ('those black people’ like in Chetan Bhagat's book-Two States of my Marriage). They say that the people of Madurai are violent, angry but affectionate ones(pasakaranga pasanga-meaning affectionate men)

A must in all kitchen: a small plate and a tea spoon to taste as you cook...

Pressure cook mutton with little ready made masala, onion, tomatoes, ginger garlic paste. By the way, Rush to your nearest reliance store and buy & try out Mother's recipie masala for chicken. Priced around 35 bucks, but Absolutely Heavenly.

No more attention deficit. Let me concentrate on the recipe. Splutter some cumin and red chillies in gingely oil in a kadai. Add the cooked mutton.

That sweet husband of mine, doesnt allow me to cook in peace. He has the feel that only his aunts and grandma(aiyama in tamil) can cook it better. He comes in with his folded lungi, takes the ladle from me.. With mopped brows and concentration spills out a generous amount of oil and fries it more.

The Thumb Rule is to add bits/pieces of red chillies, gingely oil for every stir along with a dash of cumin seeds. As he cooks, I look on patiently like a hungry dog. Now and then, he places a small meat on that plate. Eagerly we take turns to taste.

After an hour of stiring & oiling(with cumin & red chili), you get a condensed and tasty madurai curry. Condensed as you would be savouring each step of yours...

Now the secret is out... that's a real one.. I swear............try it out girls.........

Friday, January 15, 2010

Whispers to the Wind

Read it as a beautiful verse and forget it. Nothing to hurt or upset anyone. This had been lying in my drafts for a long time. I neither wanted to publish it nor delete it. Pass on to my other new post.

Sleep little one,
Your eyes tightly shut,
Hands clasped,
In God’s little world,
With little heavens like you.
To there, only innocent souls venture.

I dreamt a dream
Drizzy with frenzied happiness,
Though for a brief moment,
But to last a life time.

Holded you briefly,
Kissed you,
Till my heart ached,
Wishing a hundred times,
That how different it would be,
If you were here.

Sleep little one,
Gently snore your pains away,
Till its time for you,
To bubble in me.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Domestic Goddess

Not going to talk about any Sigmond Frued's personality types or any other stuff. Just my observations of compulsive domestic behaviours.

Baby Kangaroos- What do we do with waned bits of soaps. If you cost conservative, well you can stick it to your new bar like a baby kangaroos. In some houses, all used soap goes to kitchen/Toilet for washing hands, after you deal with dirty dishes/things.

Toothbrushes- Some people will chew their brushes. Their brushes will battered and bruised or look like a ruffled hair. In one go, they strain, strain and polish their teeth. Imagining that within one day, their teeth will become like Wrigley's Orbit White cow.
Some brush looks like it untouched for days(like Mine). May be they put it in their mouth and dream and let go of it.

Penny Savings: I have observed some ladies rinse the milk covers to drain even the last drop of milk sticking to it. And the cover will be stuck to the sink wall, to let it dry. It could give you some bucks. This has never worked out with me, stopped it, once my kitchen stinked of drippy, stale milk from the covers.

Cleaning Cloth: Square bits of clothes cut out from any nighties or sarees can serve as drab cleaning cloth to polish your floors. Dirts accumulated can be washed once in a while to make the sink, still more cleaner and fresh with all forms of invisible life.