Winter Speciality Food.

Among the various people who have adopted me as their own, a notable pair from Mumbai, is ND and his lovely bride RD. ND without fail will call me every Sunday morning to check if I am still alive and to assure himself that I have not removed his name from my  last will and testament.

Today was no exception but, our conversation took off into a different orbit when he grandly announced, to irritate me, that RD was making Undhiyu for lunch today.

That took me to my younger and more adventurous days when I used to travel extensively and taste local cuisines wherever I happened to be. I have had Undhiyu the way it should be had; under a warm winter sun in an open field in a farm with the dish being cooked in the field. I have also had the dish made the modern way using pressure cookers in a number of places and, one notable occasion was when ND’s sister in love JD,  one day caught an early morning train from Mumbai to come to Pune for a day to cook Undhiyu for us.  She brought all the ingredients from Mumbai as she had doubts that she could get some of them in Pune.  She landed up at 11.15 am, came home, cooked and had lunch with us.  She then caught the 3.30 pm train back to Mumbai.

So many memories of this particular dish today and to rub salt in my wound the rascal ND, decided to send me a photograph in WhatsApp of what RD had made.

New Year Greetings.


2021 is here with us and what better can lead us into it than the inimitable Lucy?

I do not have a Lucy in my life but, my daughter in love more than makes up for that lack. She bullied me into getting dressed “properly” and took me out to lunch at our local club earlier today.   I had gone for a drive only once before during this lockdown and this was my second outing after March 5, 2020. I thoroughly enjoyed it though, wearing the mask was quite a nuisance.

The outing has given me the confidence to make other forays and I intend doing that to catch up with some socialising and shopping soon.

I take this opportunity to wish my readers a very happy and certainly a much better 2021. I hope as I am sure they do too that the Covid problem will leave us soon and that we can get back to some semblance of normalcy soon.

Synchronicity Again.


This story has its beginning a few weeks ago. I had asked my cousin who now lives in Tamil Nadu, the length of a South Indian dhoti to compare it with what we get here in Maharashtra where I live.

Instead of answering, he simply ordered me to accept two dhoties as gifts from him and that he will arrange to procure them and send to me. Naturally, I was delighted and gratefully accepted his gift which duly arrived.

During the same conversation, he asked me if I had an image of our Kuladeivam  (family deity) in my puja alcove. I responded with a no. He did not mention anything further but, I felt that now being the head of my rather dispersed family, I should have the same in my puja alcove and found a studio in Tamil Nadu who was capable of making one to my liking.

I ordered four of them to be sent to me, another cousin now resident of Maharashtra, my sister in Bengaluru and for the cousin who had asked me the question which led me to this activity. On being advised about this, the last on the list regretted that he would not be able to accept the gift as he already had one and had limited space in his retirement home. I therefore got left with one extra to my need.

Yesterday, I was in one of my periodic streamlining exercises and decided to part with a rare PDF spiral bound printed version of a very popular prayer. I offered it to a Vedanta classmate of mine who can read Tamil and she promptly accepted it. While I was getting it ready it occurred to me to ask her if she would like the spare deity too and she was overwhelmed. It turned out that we shared the same family deity and she too did not have the image in her puja alcove.

I sent both the PDF and the image to her earlier this morning and she is simply ecstatic.

I have been left wondering about the sequence of events that led to this development and can only come back to my favourite explanation “synchronicity”.

Do You Believe In The Great Reset?

Definition of reset
transitive verb

1: to set again or anew
reset type
reset a diamond
reset a circuit breaker
2: to change the reading of often to zero
reset an odometer.

Do I believe in the Great Reset?  I do not know about the “great” in that question but, I do believe in RESET.

When I look back at my life, I see that I have been resetting my life every so often that I never even noticed that I was resetting my life.  Relocations, new schools, new friends, new relationships, new jobs, promotions, again relocations, marriage, parenthood, illnesses and recovery, death and coming to grips with separations, and so on and so forth.

Then came retirement and its own resets.  I had just got used to that and settled down to a sedate and contented lifestyle when Covid hit the world and while everyone had to adjust, the only difference that it made to me was to curtail my regular meetings with my friends once a month and a reunion twice a year.  I could not go to my barber and pedicurist and had to make do with long hair and toe nails till the latter got trimmed by my very considerate son.   For a while my daily quota of newspapers stopped and I was lost but made do with books and online news.

All those have now been pushed back and life is more or less back to normal except that I still hesitate to go out as I am vulnerable due to my preexisting conditions.

When and if life returns to the pre Covid ways, I will have to do very little to reset.

“Sleep is our recharge function and our reset button…and we all need a reset button sometimes.”
― Sam Owen.

I sleep soundly twice every 24 hours and that natural reset keeps me going.

This is my contribution to this week’s Friday 8 On 1 blog post topic. The other seven bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Maria. Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman , Srinivas and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by Maria. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.

Friendship And The Social Media.

My childhood friend and neighbour VR posted this image on Facebook.

VR had disappeared from my life in 1958 when my family moved out of Chennai where we were neighbours. She came back into my life thanks to Facebook and her cousin who too came back into my life in 1980 when both of us were posted in Delhi and a mutual friend had brought us together.

I commented on VR’s post as “Thanks to social media in the last few years, many childhood friendships are being renewed too. Perhaps this is the single biggest contribution that sm has made to our lives.”

While social media has played its part in bringing back old friends into my life again, the observation made in the image remains true too. My longest lasting friends, two of them from my boyhood and two from my early working days, survived all separations and have continued to be friends though three of us live in different towns while two in the same city. Alas the last two do not know each other but, the next time that I am in Chennai, I will remedy that situation.

Social media has also brought back groups into my life like classmates, ex colleagues, fellow alumni family etc and to that extent the world has shrunk for relationships.

Another tool that has brought disparate people together is the blog world and this blog by Wisewebwoman brilliantly explains this.

I am blessed indeed to have so many old friends, and more so for long lost ones returning to my life thanks to social media.

Solitude.

My day starts every day at around 4.30 am. I spend about an hour and a half in meditation and yoga exercises. This is followed by a hot mug of tea which I have sitting in our verandah facing our garden communing with nature for about half an hour.

These two and a half hours sets the tone for the rest of the day. The peace and quiet that this time brings about in my being is like nothing that any other form of activity can.

This quiet time in solitude leads to another hour and a half of newspaper reading, breakfast and prayer time. Till about 9 am, I would not have met or talked to anyone other than our dogs and the visiting cat.

Then the day slowly starts to bring other people into my day like my son, daughter in love, gardener, maids and phone calls.

These too are just peripheral to my existence and I enjoy being on my own and follow my routine for the rest of the day, of solving crossword puzzles, reading, responding to and / or contributing to WhatsApp, Facebook and email messages besides the few phone calls.

None of these activities takes away my sense of being comfortable with myself and this feeling is now the predominant feature of my existence.

I call it a life of solitude. Not to be mistaken for loneliness. I am not lonely. There are plenty of people in my life but, if they are not there, I am not disturbed and am perfectly happy being left alone.

Coming to the illustration on top, I do not wish to be left alone by people or not to deal with people.  It is simply that, I am comfortable without them or with them and enjoy both situations.

What about you?

This is my contribution to this week’s Friday 8 On 1 blog post topic. The other seven bloggers who write on the same topic every Friday are Maria. Sanjana, PadmumRaju, Shackman , Srinivas and Conrad.  This week’s topic was suggested by me. Please do go over to their respective blogs to see what they have to say on the topic. Thank you.