Tag Archives: food

Valparai Tales! Part 1.

As another three day long weekend came up, the crowd of Bangalore, like me, decided to move away from the city to the surrounding hill stations where temperatures dipped and the real feel was more in the fresh early 20’s rather than the tiring late 30’s!

What do you expect when seemingly an entire city starts to move away from it? Well, apart from a lot of money for the tolls and travel agencies? A lot of traffic! So much so that at 2 AM, we were stuck in traffic for almost an hour. Well, a lot of people got to see a SpiderWoman on the top of our vehicle! Shh. Well, the vehicle carrier was lying unused. It must have been lonely and sad.

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Replace one of these monkeys with a woman! And remove the rest from the picture! Or you could keep the rest too. She doesn’t mind. I asked.

The SpiderWoman was tired after her two minute stint. After all, greater responsibilities requires greater power! So what would the next stop four hours later be for? Food! Breakfast combined food with ogling at a cute little bundle of joy, who was peeping out of his father’s arms and watching the early morning bustle at the road side eatery while his mouth hung open and eyes remained wide and bright.

The places we crossed, cities, towns all seemed to wake up the same way. The faces change, but the places remain the same – similar yet different in ways a traveler can’t distinguish in passing but only admire. The lone milk vendor on his cycle, the newspaper guys distributing the morning’s load, the vegetable sellers lining up for a swift morning, the jogger here and there, the early risers already on their way to work, more men, less women, more elders, no children, some yawning, others charged for the Sun’s next rotation.

A full belly and long travel dozed me off to sleep! I woke up next to find myself away from the cities and into the forests of the Western Ghats! Not to mention with a ‘Nearly Headless Neck’ and an almost bursting bladder.

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We stopped to answer nature’s call at the open air toilets provided by the Forest Reserve at one of the checkpoints, and lo behold! Their grit was eye opening! And their ways, harsh reality.

Let’s break this down for you. The gritty stuff? Well, their toilets were not gender biased – all unisex. Go figure, how! The harsh reality? Well, only 1 out of the 10 toilets had running water available. And when I say running, I mean 24X7 running, because the tap was broken beyond repair. Just like the 10% among us hold 99% of the wealth and waste it because they have no idea what to do with it.

What do you think when at an elevation of 340 metres, the heat is blistering and burning your skin but Google Weather reports that the 3400 metres’ elevation which is your destination is expecting rain? Well the obvious one is, ‘Google must be wrong. Finally!’. Apart from the obvious, I came up with, ‘Is it really possible that this same high and mighty Sun and sky will be shy and cloudy in another hour and 3060 metres?’. And after that I hit my jackpot!

‘Did the women of India really choose to cover their heads and faces with their attire because the men culture wanted it or because the women wanted to save themselves from the heat, the open countryside is subjected to? As if breathing fire wasn’t enough, they’d have to let it simmer their skin too.’

Looks like some of the heat got to me too!

To be continued...

Graciously Yours!

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Bed of thorns.

He sat with his hands folded in salutation. Once a while, a pair of legs would pass by him. He’d put out his open palms asking for alms. Sometimes, someone would drop a fruit or a sweet, other times a couple of coins. Some would walk away without leaving anything behind. Every time he’d get some food, he’d run down the stairs of the temple, take a left, then the first right into an alley, into the slum where he stayed in their one room house.

His mother was lying on the bed, her skin hot to touch, beads of sweat adorning her forehead while the temperature was dipping to single figures. The neighbour had asked him to keep feeding her from time to time. His father came home weekly. He’d seen his father three days ago. Whenever father would come, he’d bring some money and food. But today, the son was the bread earner of the house.

He kept his collected coins behind his pile of school books, fed his mother a sweet or two and ran back to the temple. The eight year old had a lot of work to do.

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Graciously Yours!

Fire.

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I could see the flames of fire leaping in his eyes. The hungry flames leapt higher trying to fly away with the winds to destinations unknown, on journeys more romantic. The gleaming eyes sent a chill down my spine even as the heat from the flames was making me swelter. I walked away from the man quivering, his words repeatedly playing in my mind. “I will burn you like those leaves if you ever see that boyfriend of yours again. I’ll forget you’re my wife.”

Smoke

He fumbled in his pant pocket. Nothing but a kerchief. Coat pocket. A gum wrapper. Irritated, he threw it away. Inner coat pocket. He found a stick finally! Wiping his brow, he keep his kerchief in his pant pocket again. He lit a match. He saw the flames lick the lips of the stick. The orange embers lit up the stick. He took a drag! Leaning against the pole, he let out the smoke. He felt his anxiety slipping away finally.

stove

She lit the stove. Blue flames leapt up. She kept the match box aside. Placing a pan on the stove, she added a little oil to be heated. Her son was coming back after a good, long six months! He had called her this morning and told her. She wanted to make his favourite food – at least one of it. A trickle of sweat ran down her neck. It was getting hot in here. The Sun was scorching outside. She wished her one room house had a fan that worked.

Corn Cob

They stood together in front of the corn cob seller’s stove. Time had wrinkled their skin, but couldn’t wane their love. Thirty seven years ago, when they’d gone out on their first date, a roasted corn cob was all he could buy her. Thirty seven years later, when he could afford to give her so much, she still wanted to celebrate with just a roasted corn cob and him. “It reminds me of where we actually come from,” she says. The air was chilly. She pulled her shawl tighter. The seller saw her movement too. He silently squatted on the ground and continued roasting and pushed his chair towards the lady. She sat on it and warmed her hands from the heat of the bright and shining coals as her husband lovingly looked on.

Graciously Yours!

P.S.: Would any one of you be gracious enough to come up with another word I can work on?

Freestyle Writing Challenge ~ Mischief.

I was nominated by Hargun to attempt a free style writing challenge. She has a terrific blog! Do land up there too.

So here are Rules I had to follow:

  1. Open an MS Word document
  2. Set a stop watch or your mobile to 5 minutes or 10 minutes whichever challenge you think you can beat.
  3. You topic is at the foot of this post BUT DO NOT SCROLL DOWN TO SEE IT UNTIL YOU ARE READY WITH A TIMER.
  4. Fill the word doc with as much words as you want. once you began writing do not stop even to turn.
  5. Do not cheat by going back and correcting spellings and grammar with spell check in MS WORD (it is only meant for you to reflect on your own control of sensible thought flow and for you to reflect on your ability to write the right spelling and stick to grammar rules)
  6. You may or may not pay attention to punctuation and capitals. However if you do, it would be best.
  7. At the end of your post write down ‘No. Of words =_____’ so that we would have an idea of how much you can write within the time frame.
  8. Do not forget to copy paste the entire passage on your blog post with a new Topic for your nominees and copy paste these rules with your nominations (at least 5 bloggers).

GOOD LUCK!

Here’s what I managed on the word ‘Mischief’!

Mischief ~ the first few things running across my mind when I think of mischief encompasses ‘Mischief managed’ which only Potterheads will genuinely appreciate, or possibly a dog named Mischief. But that’s just probably because I was discussing dogs and their barkings and whimperings with a friend! 

Let’s get you something more intresting though!

She sat playing with her toys. Her mother was across the floor feet away shelling peas for the next year whole. They were to be refrigerated tonight. Round, succulent balls of green. The little one stared at them, eyes gleaming with mischief. She wanted those. Her toys were boring! She slowly started casting across her toys. The mother looked up. The baby was about to throw another tantrum she thought. She went into the kitchen, to boil the baby’s milk. Before the baby started bawling, she’d feed her and put her to sleep. That way her work get over faster. While the mother was away, the baby slowly crawled across to the bowls full of peas. She settled quietly in front of the bowls. She pushed in a fist to grab a fistful of those. She then withdrew her hand and threw them across the floor. Slowly, they bounced and then rolled all about her. She chuckled! Delighted she did this again. And again. She wanted more of them around her. She flapped her hands on the green balls. She moved her leg to change her posture. Something was bugging her bum. She saw a green ball roll out from benetah her. Her leg tilted the bowl halfway. She looked at it, smiling with a grin almost evil. She reached out to the bowl and tilted it further. All the balls ran out in a hurry!

“Whaaaat?!” her mother said out loud, standing across the hall staring at peas all around!

She stared up at her mother, proud of the work she’d done!

No. of words – 316.

Time taken – 10 minutes.

And my nominees would be :

Globalunison

The Uncertainty Principle

Part and Parcel

Cat Jenkins

Soul Mate’s – near yet so far

Archita Rai

Soumya Chakraborty

And your word is – wine.

Cook me up something special! 😉

Graciously Yours!