Tag Archives: milk

Grandma’s Chess Game

It is late in the afternoon. The curtains are billowing in the breeze. My mom winds up her chores and settles down on the couch with her afternoon mug of coffee.

She smiles in anticipation, as she awaits the arrival of her youngest grandson, my nephew.

Soon, the door bell rings. My five year old nephew walks in, hugs me and then runs to hug his grandma.

The aroma of love wafts around the house.

My nephew has brought a plastic bag. He pulls out a box from within, and then informs my mom,

“Grandma, today we are going to play chess. I have brought my chess board.”

My mom: Sure, sweetie.

Image courtesy – Canstock Photo.com

They clear the coffee table, and sit down on either side. My nephew arranges all the pieces carefully. As he arranges them, he quizzes his opponent to see if she can identify the various pieces, and identify which way they can move.

My mom passes the test.

My nephew: Grandma, I will take the white pieces and will start first.

Grandma: Sure.

The game progressss, my mom taking her time, my nephew, impatient. He knocks off a few pieces from the board and whoops in joy.

And then his queen is at the wrong place at the wrong time. My mom grabs the opportunity and knocks down his queen.

And then the rules of the game change, and how! My nephew cannot accept that his queen is not around.

He looks at his Grandma and says sweetly, “Let us go back a few moves ok? Let’s bring my queen back.”

My mom says, “No, that’s not fair.”

Nephew: No Grandma, it’s okay.

And this is how the game progresses. My shoulders shake in mirth. My mom’s pieces are watching the game from outside the board, while my nephew keeps bringing back his queen and his rooks, and other pieces. My mom indulges him.

The game finally comes to an end with a loud checkmate. My nephew announces grandly, “Grandma, I won.”

He then walks over to her and sits on her lap, reveling in all the love and the cuddly hugs. She asks him if he wants cookies.

And as my mom heads to the kitchen, my nephew carefully packs his chess pieces and puts them back into the bag!

I watch this truly special bond between grandma and grandson.

A love that lurks in black knights, pawns and rooks, who gave up their cause for the love of a grandma for her grandson.

Bread and Breakfast

This Monday morning, we all had a serious case of the blues. We dragged our feet from room to room, bracing ourselves for the week ahead.

I went into the kitchen to get started on breakfast. When I opened the packet of bread, the first slice that I took out had a hole – that was in the shape of a bird’s head – right in the middle of the slice.

This was so strange that I called out to my kids. They came running to see what the excitement was! The blues vanished, as we debated how the bread slice turned out this way, when all the other slices were perfect.

We discussed various theories and what possible bird it could be, and then finally popped it into the toaster. Just a little bit of breakfast excitement and laughter to beat the blues.

This brought back memories of my childhood, and breakfast times at home.

When we were growing up, my parents had this rule – ‘No skipping breakfast, ever.’

When we grew into teenagers ‘who knew everything’, we tried our best to slip away without breakfast, but our parents had antennae and tentacles that caught us every single time.

I remember fun times when we ran around the dining table trying to slip away, but our Dad was at the main door and mom was at the back door. We could only leave after we had had our milk, and idli or dosa or upma or bread. We frowned and grimaced, and left home, still wolfing down remnants of our breakfast.

When I left home for college, there was no one to remind me that I had to eat breakfast, but then by mid-morning my stomach would rumble and I would remember mom and her yummy dishes. But these thoughts were soon forgotten as there were so many things to see, to learn and to do.

Corporate life was no different – I would only eat a late lunch. It took a few years for the wisdom behind having a wholesome breakfast to sink in. And by that time, I had become a mother.

The cycle started again, now it was I who was running behind my daughter, and later behind my son, trying to build ‘breakfast wisdom’ from their formative years.

But History repeats itself. Now my teen tries to slip away unnoticed, if I am not breathing down her neck.

“I’m running late, mom.”

This is her constant refrain. So, I do the ‘door blocking annoying mom act’.

But if I am any example, maybe life will come a full circle again.

Moms and lunch boxes

My kids are now at the age where they seem to be hungry all the time and are always asking for food. One meal is barely over before they want to know ‘what and when’ they will eat next. As a mom it is nice to see this phase, but my kids were not always like this.

They were picky eaters and wanted only a certain type of food. My daughter would have milk only from medicine dispensers, strange as it sounds. 

There have been many different food phases in my kids’ lives.

I am reminded of a funny incident that happened many years ago, when my daughter was attending nursery school. I would prepare small sandwiches, mini dosas, mini idlis, vegetable wraps etc, trying to make my daughter’s lunch box as interesting as possible, knowing that she was fussy about what she ate. I would check with her the previous evening about what she wanted  – just to give her a sense of involvement, so that she would eat her food at school.

Picture courtesy – Clipart.com

I derived a lot of satisfaction to see her empty lunch box after school everyday! One day, however, the box came back untouched. I was worried if she was going to fall sick, but she seemed her usual self.

So, I asked her why she hadn’t touched her lunch. And this is what she said….

“Amma, the girl who usually eats my lunch was absent from school today!”

Aha….! That explained it all.

Imaginative nose

I have a sharp sense of smell. I can smell, from afar, if all the masalas in my curries have blended well for that perfect aroma. Enough said.

A few months ago, when I got back home in the evening, I could smell something milky at the doorstep. I sniffed appreciatively. Looked like one of my neighbours was making something with a milk base.

image

             Courtesy – http://www.123rf.com

The next morning, when I walked out the door, the same smell wafted in the air. I sniffed, this smelled different. Maybe a little like yoghurt. Maybe the neighbour was trying to condense the milk or make cottage cheese.

Day 3, the smell was stronger and not so nice. Had the neighbour put ‘the milky condensed yoghurt, cottage cheese ‘ dish out to dry or something?

Day 3 evening, the smell was unbearable, unbearable to the point that I wanted to puke.

What could I do? I walked towards the store room cupboard, to take out a new cereal box. This store room is right next to our main door.

I opened the store room and ughhhhhh! The stench was from my store room.

The smell of curdled milk hit me with such force.

I quickly ran to get a towel to cover my nose, and then started the process of discovery.

One of the tetrapaks of milk had puffed up and burst, the said ‘milk-yoghurt-cottage cheese’ had flown down the cupboard like a river.

Believe me, it took some cleaning. For days afterwards, I could feel the smell in every pore of my body. It was as if the whole thing had permeated my skin.

Hmmmm….so much for the milk-based dish !

Imaginative nose

I have a sharp sense of smell. I can smell, from afar, if all the masalas in my curries have blended well for that perfect aroma. Enough said.

A few months ago, when I got back home in the evening, I could smell something milky at the doorstep. I sniffed appreciatively. Looked like one of my neighbours was making something with a milk base.

image

             Courtesy – http://www.123rf.com

The next morning, when I walked out the door, the same smell wafted in the air. I sniffed, this smelled different. Maybe a little like yoghurt. Maybe the neighbour was trying to condense the milk or make cottage cheese.

Day 3, the smell was stronger and not so nice. Had the neighbour put ‘the milky condensed yoghurt, cottage cheese ‘ dish out to dry or something?

Day 3 evening, the smell was unbearable, unbearable to the point that I wanted to puke.

What could I do? I walked towards the store room cupboard, to take out a new cereal box. This store room is right next to our main door.

I opened the store room and ughhhhhh! The stench was from my store room.

The smell of curdled milk hit me with such force.

I quickly ran to get a towel to cover my nose, and then started the process of discovery.

One of the tetrapaks of milk had puffed up and burst, the said ‘milk-yoghurt-cottage cheese’ had flown down the cupboard like a river.

Believe me, it took some cleaning. For days afterwards, I could feel the smell in every pore of my body. It was as if the whole thing had permeated my skin.

Hmmmm….so much for the milk-based dish !

Innocence – A short story

Malaika was a little girl, aged five. She lived with her parents and little sister, Sarika, in a beautiful cottage on Fern Hill.  Sarika had just turned three. Malaika was in kindergarten in a school nearby.

Malaika loved Sarika to bits, and Sarika, for her part, followed her sister around and idolized her. Except for school time, the two were inseparable.

Malaika loved her school, her teacher – Ms.Beal, her lessons and her classmates. However, the highlight of every school day was the mid-morning snack break.

Just before the bell rang for snack time, the delicious smell of butter biscuits would waft through the classroom. Malaika’s tongue watered as the food cart was wheeled into the classroom.

Each child was given a nice warm glass of milk and two butter biscuits with it.  Malaika loved the biscuits and the milk.

The best part was yet to come. A few butter biscuits were always left over in the packet, so at the end of the morning, just before school dispersed, Ms.Beal asked questions. The first student to answer each question correctly, was rewarded with a biscuit.

Most days, Malaika managed to answer at least two questions before her classmates did, and took the butter biscuits home to share with her sister, Sarika.

But today, her luck had deserted her. She was not the first to answer even a single question. Tears ran down her sweet face, as she imagined the disappointment on Sarika’s face. What could she tell her? A cloud of worry descended on her face.

The teacher noticed that something was wrong. She asked Malaika to wait. All her classmates left the classroom.

“What’s wrong my dear?”asked the teacher.

Malaika told her that she was very sad that her sister would be disappointed about the butter biscuits.

The teacher smiled and said, “Guess what, I have a couple on my table, you can take those for your sister, ok?”

Malaika said, “Ms.Beal, could you ask me two questions. Please give me the biscuits after I answer them.”

Malaika answered both and took home – two semi-powdered biscuits that were filled with love and happiness, to her little sister.

When Sarika saw her elder sister, she shouted, “Butter biki, butter biki, give me.”

Malaika said, “Wait…I have brought them. I never forget, you know that.”