I don’t have any hair on my top but, if I had had, I would have been tearing some out earlier this morning due to sheer frustration.

As my readers know, about three to four hours of my morning goes in reading newspapers and solving crossword puzzles. My frustration was due to non receipt of my morning fix as it were.

Yesterday was the final day of our Ganesh Chaturthi. All newspaper establishments were closed for the Visarjan. That is the final bidding goodbye to Lord Ganesh by immersion about which you can read in the link given above.

As a result of this closure, my morning fix was denied to me. Luckily I also practise Tsundoku and so had enough reading material waiting to be read to solve the problem of time-pass.

Crumpet Uppuma.

Uppuma is a very popular breakfast/snack food in many parts of India. The most common variety is made with semolina but other varieties with sago etc are also made.

A rather unusual but easy to make uppuma is Bread Uppuma with left over bread slices.

After reading my blog post Crumpets, my friend Raju who lives in the USA commented – “I have been eating Crumpets from 1970 when I first landed in Toronto. Crumpet was a standard available in all grocery stores. the attraction was it felt and to a large extend tasted like a thick “UTTAPPAM”. Though it was commonly eaten at tea time, as you know , we South Indian Aiyer folks always improvise, so the following were the tastiest outcomes!!!
1) Nicely toasted, buttered with lots of ” Thangam Vadu mango pickle Gravy” !!!!
2) Set of nicely toasted , buttered crumpets with Spicy Potato PODIMASS… best sandwich !!!
3) The ultimate crumpet dish is ” CRUMPET UPPUMMA”!!!!. This is the favorite dish with all my Canadian and American friends!!! They have given up eating crumpets with Jam and butter!!! it is simple to make crumpet uppumma… like the regular uppumma, sauté onions, green chilies, ginger and mustard seeds and instead of adding Cream of wheat, cut crumpets into 1 inch square pieces and mix them with the sauted onions and slowly cook them for 10 to 15 minutes in low flame to get some crisp . No water at all. You will go to heaven!!!
The British way back in 1656 in Chennai ate the Uttappam with “JAM & BUTTER” and now in 2021 the south indian Ayers in London eat Crumpets as crumpet Uppumma!!.

Its all Localization!!!”

Just goes to show how innovative people can be!  Raju who has never commented on my blog posts, was even inspired to when it came to one on a food item!

Having got into the spirit of things, Raju took the inspiration to another level. He got some crumpets
Seasoned some onion, green chillies, etc for the upma,
Diced the crumpets into manageable cubes,
Tossed the whole lot togther and ended up with Crumpet Upma.
He then sent the images and a write up about his creation via WhatsApp as the images could not be posted on the comments section of my blog.

When the mood takes me again, as I am sure that it will soon, I shall venture forth into getting some more crumpets and make some Crumpet Uppuma too.

Raju and I have been friends for over 55 years and went to Business School together. I have been very close to his family in India and his younger brother Suresh too is a homebaker having learnt the art during the lockdown here. He too has created the crumpet uppuma after having first learnt to bake crumpets at home.

The three of us have become cooks. What a waste of our education into fields far removed from this wonderful occupation!

The Other Side Of Seventy.

Mike’s post of the same title inspired this post from me. Please read the comments from me and Mike’s response to it too.

Just a day after that I received this in a WhatsApp message from my sister.

Yesterday afternoon, I received news that my friend, philosopher and guide of many years HI died following a failed chemotherapy session for cancer.

Last week was news of the death of a classmate and dear friend.

On the 10th inst, Nick wrote about biographies and autobiographies. I commented there : “I am not and never was into bio/autobiographies. Somehow, I just could not get interested in that genre. My own kind of biography is perhaps my blog just like yours is yours.” Nick responded with “Yes, blogs are very much a form of biography. Not at all chronological, but revealing all sorts of personal details.”

Little did I know that I was about to read an autobiography, and what a one!

Later yesterday, I received a forward of a video of a Cardiologist talking about life and death and how to manage our lives where he referred to a book called When Breath Becomes Air. I got a Kindle version and started reading it and just could not put it down.

Most of my readers here are senior citizens and quite a few are avid readers. For these, I strongly recommend this book. The most poignant and elegant book that I have ever read about a person’s last days written by himself.

Mother Tongue.

The above image is just the tip of the iceberg in India. According to the Census of India of 2001, India has 122 major languages and 1599 other languages. With that background, let me tell you my problem/s.

My late mother’s tongue was a mixture of Malayalam and Tamil spoken by a community called Palghat Iyers. My late father’s was pure Tamil. In deference to the latter’s comfort, the former changed to speaking the Tamil spoken by the latter and so I grew up speaking that Tamil.

What is my Mother Tongue?

My late wife’s mother was a Telugu, and her father was a Bengali. They spoke Urdu or English at home and my wife did not know either Telugu or Bengali.

At our home, we spoke mostly English and Hindi  now,  and our son grew up using both.

What is my son’s Mother Tongue?

My daughter in love’s mother is a Bengali and her late father was a Maharashtrian. She grew up speaking Marathi at her home. She has moved into our home where she too speaks Hindi and English mostly but, Marathi for effect when needed.

Just supposing I get a grandchild what will be her/his Mother Tongue?

How do I solve this conundrum when the census taker comes visiting?


It all started with a blog post from eclectica called The Trumpet Project. I commented there as: “As strange as it may appear to you, despite having travelled extensively in the UK, Australia etc, I have never had crumpets. I shall remedy that immediately as they are available here too and may be write a blog post about it.” Kylie responded: “I’ll be interested to hear how you like them. Ive heard them compared to Murtabak, which you might know. Murtabak is far superior in my opinion.”

So, I went to Uncle Google and sought crumpets in Pune online and lo and behold found that a young lady friend of mine Mitali who calls herself “Homebaker” makes and markets them in Pune. I contacted her and she sent some earlier today for lunch.

I added generous pats of butter and thoroughly enjoyed eating them accompanied by some delicious South Indian curry.

One item that never went into my bucket list and one that will not, now that I have had them.

Mitali has also offered to make crumpets with honey or jam in them and the next project will be those.

One item however has gone into my bucket list and that is Murtabak. Long live Google Uncle and perhaps I shall be able to write another blog post soon.