The first grey hair….


There are many milestones in life, which bring about significant change – going to full-day school, leaving home for university, getting your own car, getting married, having children and many more.

However, there are some milestones, which don’t impact or change one’s life dramatically, but are talked about quite a lot.

Courtesy – CanStock

A few months ago, one of my friends called me to say that she had found the first grey hair on her head. We talked about the momentous event, as I gave her the story of my first grey hair.

“Seeing the first grey hair” is when life pauses for a brief moment in time, and in that brief moment, we think deeply about what was, and where we have come. Just a grey hair, but we suddenly feel the weight of responsibility, a sense of time ticking away.

So also, when we turn forty, and realize that half our life is over. We vow to put the remaining years to good use, vow to keep fit, and do all those things that we’ve always wanted to do!

Sometimes, when the kids come back from school, and you suddenly realize that they seem to have grown overnight, and that they will be heading to University in a couple of years.

Life has this knack of throwing such moments at us; moments that stop us in our tracks and make us take stock of where we have reached, and the journey that brought us here.

These moments also make us more grateful, and more determined to take on what’s coming.

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Treasures to pocket


I am going down the elevator. The lift stops two floors below mine. A small boy of about four gets in. I say Hi! He says Hi! too. He seems preoccupied with a small pocket on his T-shirt.

He repeatedly looks inside it, and taps the pocket. I ask him what he has inside. He tells me that he has three ‘treasures’!

I smile, and ask him more about his ‘treasures’. He asks me to wait, and slowly pulls out the said ‘treasures’.

First comes a beautiful, grey pebble that is perfectly round. He tells me that he found it near the beach. He then pulls out a small bit of paper, on which are drawn shapes in different colours; a game he made, he adds, by way of an explanation. The last treasure is a small paper aeroplane, made by his grandfather, who’s visiting.

His eyes shine, as he carefully puts the three precious items back into the safe recesses of his pocket.

Soon, the lift reaches the ground floor, and he dashes out to play.

I remember how eagerly my classmates and I waited to go into Grade 6 in school; because that’s when we got to move from sweaters without pockets, to blazers that had four pockets on the outside, and one pocket inside.

There was so much excitement when we switched to blazers. We had our own ‘treasures’ then, ranging from candy, to lists of crazy games, secret code language sheets, chip-chops, message chits we wrote to our friends in class, and so many other exciting things, which formed an integral part of our childhood.

Courtesy – Wikipedia

We also carried ink-pens in the inside pocket, those ones where we had to fill ink from an ink-pot. It was a kind of ritual every night, where my siblings and I would fill ink in our pens. Our dad checked if the nibs of the pens were ok.

All it took was a hard fall for the pens to develop hairline cracks, which would then cause the ink to leak. We got rude shocks sometimes, when we opened the lid to write, only to realize that we had lots of ink on our fingers.

We also had nice fluffy pink blotting paper that would absorb any ink stain in a jiffy. Sometimes, we would look at the shapes formed by the ink stains and try and liken them to animals or everyday things!

We felt important with our blazers and these ink pens; we had secret treasures in our pockets, we had lovely candies tucked away…!

All these memories came rushing back, when I saw the little boy and his precious treasures!

Yay! My Blog turns 3 today


Dear friends,

Three years ago, on the 25th of January 2015, I posted my first blog; to give the words and sentences that constantly dance in my head a chance to narrate their simple, everyday experiences.

Image courtesy – http://www.clipartof.com

Writing about these simple moments has made me a keen observer of all those small jigsaw pieces that fit seamlessly into each other, making our lives so vibrant and complete!

This journey, however, is not only about writing. It is also about having met such wonderful bloggers and readers from around the world, who have encouraged and motivated me to keep this blog going. I am deeply grateful to you all for the constant support, and for taking the time to read my blog and leaving your likes and comments.

My blog stats show that I have written 393 posts over these three years! Phew! Can’t believe I have actually written so much.

I hope to continue this journey and capture these simple moments that form the mosaic of our lives.

Thank you all so very much.

Best,

Nimi

Paneer Paranthas & A Decade-long friendship


The sky is fast filling-up with dark rain-bearing clouds. I can hear the koyal’s call as I walk to my friend’s apartment.

It is nearly noon, when I enter her house. Over the next twenty minutes, the ‘gang’ shows up, each of us having rushed through chores and assignments to be here with everyone else.

It is not often that you get to spend quality time with your closest friends; friends you’ve known and grown with for more than a decade.

What’s a meeting of dear friends without yummy food. There’s only one dish on the menu today – paneer paranthas.

The host, who is a cook par excellence, starts rolling and stuffing the first parantha. She tosses it with practiced ease on the tawa, as we watch her in admiration.

Paranthas are to be eaten hot, so we settle down on the kitchen floor for a round of gossip. We take turns to eat. The smell of ghee wafts all around us, as the paranthas are being made. Hot, golden, soft paranthas – perfect in every way. We add pickle and fresh yoghurt to our plates.

We talk about everything and nothing. We laugh at the silliest of jokes and relive old incidents, and talk about cooking fiascos, children-related stories, and of course, our dear husbands.

We realise how time has flown. Nearly a decade has rushed past. Where once we talked about birthday parties and play dates, food and party cakes, now we talk about universities, marriage and retirement. We talk about travel, about meeting up every year.

We realise how blessed we are to have this group of friends to lean on, laugh with and share these yummy paranthas with!

Walking down market street for Pongal


It’s been raining non-stop for the last week. The streets are wet, and water puddles gently splash around people’s footwear.

My friend and I are walking down market street to shop for our harvest festival, Pongal, which will be celebrated on Sunday.

All shops on the street have makeshift stalls outside the main shop to cater to the many hundreds of people who will shop for this festival.

Tender plants of ginger and turmeric are neatly stacked in bunches of bright green, the yellow turmeric roots contrasting beautifully with the green of the leaves.

Fresh and green mango leaves are on sale. Beautiful sugarcane plants are stacked along the walls of most shops.

Most shops also sell pieces of sugarcane for those who want less.

The street is teeming with people, all looking for the perfect mud-pot or stainless steel pot to cook pongal in, on the day of the festival.

Bright colours everywhere – red apples and pomegranates, yellow bananas, golden mangoes.

The flower stalls are doing brisk business, and the heavenly smell of jasmine is in the air. Beautifully threaded garlands hang neatly in every stall. Full coconuts and banana leaves await new customers.

The excitement is palpable. My friend and I get caught up too, as we soak in the spirit of this beautiful festival of harvest.

We offer a quick ‘thank you’ to all the farmers, who toil so hard to bring food to our homes.

Happy Pongal everyone!

Not so remote problems


The afternoon sun pours into the living room, leaving long streaks of gold on the floor. The flowers in the vase on my coffee table sway gently in the breeze.

Everything seems peaceful, but I am not. I am repeatedly clicking my tongue in exasperation. “Why?” you ask.

I have problems with my remote, remotes rather!

I have an elegant remote-holder next to me, on a side table. It overflows with remotes that help us stay entertained, with movies, soaps and lovely music.

Each device has a remote, and there is a ‘universal remote’, who’s the boss!

All’s well when all these remotes are behaving well. However, it’s not always like this, is it?

So, I have decided to watch a short film that was recommended by a friend.

Despite the latest gadgets surrounding me, I have to now battle with the remotes. Of late, the remotes have become quite rebellious.

The main TV remote has to be directed at the TV screen for a continuous period of 5 seconds, with the power button pressed, for the TV to sense it. It was not always like this. It used to be a good remote. We changed batteries, tried hitting it on the palm of the hand (isn’t that the universal cure for faulty remotes?) and also pleaded with it to work.

But this is the way it behaves now!

Our next remote is the smart remote for the smart TV. All is well here, except that something keeps rattling inside the remote. And ever since the rattling started, the ‘forward/right’ button has stopped working.

Courtesy – Openclipart

The one good thing in all this is that some of the features of these two remotes overlap!

Which means that before I start watching the short film, I have to use the ‘point me for 5 seconds before you see a flicker remote’ to switch on the TV.

I then use ‘the not so smart remote’ to click on youtube. I then navigate with the pointer on the mouse to reach the magnifying lens, which is the symbol for the search function.

If only it would point and click. Instead, the arrow runs wild on the screen, as if playing a game of hide and seek. I click in exasperation, as the pointer disappears from the screen.

I have to do it manually now. The right arrow on the not so smart remote does not work, I use the up, down and left arrows to reach ‘search’. Phew!

At this point, the naughty pointer arrow is back from its break! The system opens up a keyboard for me to type-in my choice.

I move left, up, down with one remote, then switch to the second remote, where 5 seconds are wasted before each letter is selected, then back to the other remote!

And this crazy thing goes on for two to three minutes, and I whoop for joy as the short film finally gets loaded.

“We have to get these serviced,” I mutter to myself, as I become one with the characters and their lives; and at this time, my problems seem remote!!!