The Idli Sambhar story …

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'Poetry, Verses and Writing'

 

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“The Idli Sambhar Story” ….  An unforgettable memory                                29th Oct’ 2013.

Yesterday, as I sat with my daughter and my Dad across the table along with my husband, I caught the familiar yet filial soft expression of my Father as he looked at us and fed us our favourite dishes in a Restaurant, I could not help but remember my Grand Parents who so often would feed me with Idli Sambhar on almost every Hols we went and met them.

The spicy aroma of the tadka in the Sambhar and the wafts of the steaming Idlis whilst it was being cooked,  a heady concoction often reminds me of my childhood. My Granny, who was the epitome of motherliness and often cooked mouth watering breakfast of steaming hot Idlis and piping hot sambhar along with coconut chutney so early in the morning when we stayed with them in…

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The Idli Sambar Story – Fond memories of Uncle & Aunty

The Idli Sambar Story – Fond memories of Uncle & Aunty.

The Idli Sambar Story – Fond memories of Uncle & Aunty

‘Fond memories of Uncle & Aunty’   –  Part1                                         29th Oct’2013.

I remember Uncle very vividly, even as his fond memories glisten my eyes a while as I write this down now. The first time I met Uncle & Aunty, my College class mate and buddy Prabha’s parents at their home Shakti enclave, I remember Uncle had a very stern expression showing years of leading a disciplined life, while Aunty had a charming warm motherly smile.

They enquired about my hostel and about me. And as I spoke to Uncle, something in what I was saying perhaps made him smile. And I saw his eyes suddenly twinkle with the faintest of dimples around his cheeks for the first time. His smile had so much understanding and warmth as he asked me to feel at home while he made the famous filter coffee, he would always love to make whenever I came and Aunty served me piping hot Idlis and Sambhar with home made chutney.

I felt absolutely heavenly that day – suddenly more homesick than ever, as a slight tear came into my eyes. Uncle must have seen it coming, so he asked me, “What is your Daddy’s number? Would you like to call up home ? If you wish, you can give them our phone no. too.”

In those days, seems like only yesterday; one had to book a Trunk call (STD call) for outstation phone calls and there weren’t any mobile services then at least in the part of the world we lived in!!  (I’m speaking of the year 1988) I must nodded my head very happily, wiping off as fast as I could that tear which was now almost threatening to roll off.

We were soon connected – and I still remember how happy and thrilled I was then ; hearing my Dad’s voice after so long. Although my Dad had promised he would write to me oftener which he did and I also wrote almost every day before going to bed, about all the happenings in hostel. In fact, some of my hostel mates were quite jealous as I received the maximum number of letters a week. I would write to Dad then pen down to my two of my best friends (who too were incidentally in hostels and missing home). The written letter and postcards / inland letter became my good friends as I would sit down and pen and pour my heart out onto them. And my letters to my Dad were definitely bulkier as I posted them in neatly addressed and stamped envelopes. The ritual to the Post-Office on my bike or walking sometimes was something I looked forward to.

Well, soon Papa and me were connected. And I gave my Dad the res. Phone no. of Uncle & Aunty and asked him to book a Trunk call via the Military lines which he promptly did and called back. The wait was almost a good ten minutes and it felt so long, I remember now. Anxiously waiting to hear my Dad’s voice. And when he called I was so overjoyed that I think I must have said, “I love you Papa” at least a dozen  times over while Uncle and Aunty watched me puzzled and pleased, smiling indulgently at me as I spoke animatedly over the instrument.

And then my Dad wanted to thank Aunty & Uncle, so he spoke to them ; while Uncle kept saying ‘Not at all ; she’s just like our daughter Prabha. And Aunty smilingly said, ‘She’s too skinny though. I hope you don’t mind us feeding her home-made food whenever she comes here on week ends’ as she smiled and looked at me affectionately too.

We were all so ‘connected’ suddenly through a humble ‘Idli & Sambhar Chutney’, served with so much love and affection. I recollect, ever after that whenever I went to Prabha’s place – Uncle & Aunty both would feed me delicious home-made food; something that I used to miss a lot those days in the Hostel.

 I became a part of their family rather I would say, they became a part of my family. I started looking forward to the whole week at College and studies and especially weekends and Sundays.

Oppenheimer’s Quote

And the Legend of Ramayana and also the Mahabharata lives on …

Rama

J. Robert Oppenheimer, famously known as the father of atom bomb, was an avid fan of Indian Mythology, especially the epic known as Mahabharata. This fascination of his was revealed during a lecture that took place soon after his successful test of the first ever nuclear bomb in the history of mankind. The explosion took place at Alamogordo. It was a controlled explosion under the project named Project Manhattan. The explosion blew a massive dome of fire in the air, the one that had only been imagined by the mankind but never thought possible.

When Oppenheimer was asked by a rather curious student if it was the largest of explosions to have taken place in history, Oppenheimer had provided a rather mysterious answer that led to several discussions over the next few years to come. His answer was, ‘well, yes, in modern times, of course.’ What did he mean by…

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River Sarayu- The Chosen One

River Sarayu- The Chosen One.

The Idli Sambhar story …

The Idli Sambhar story ….

The Idli Sambhar story …

 

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“The Idli Sambhar Story” ….  An unforgettable memory                                29th Oct’ 2013.

Yesterday, as I sat with my daughter and my Dad across the table along with my husband, I caught the familiar yet filial soft expression of my Father as he looked at us and fed us our favourite dishes in a Restaurant, I could not help but remember my Grand Parents who so often would feed me with Idli Sambhar on almost every Hols we went and met them.

The spicy aroma of the tadka in the Sambhar and the wafts of the steaming Idlis whilst it was being cooked,  a heady concoction often reminds me of my childhood. My Granny, who was the epitome of motherliness and often cooked mouth watering breakfast of steaming hot Idlis and piping hot sambhar along with coconut chutney so early in the morning when we stayed with them in their ancestral home at B’lore.

Perhaps she knew me and my brother and my Father simply loved those fluffy magical white Idlis . Her kind crinkling eyes would smile as she served GrandPa at the helm of the dining table and all of us after we had quickly bathed and changed into proper clothes, promptly to take our place at the dining table.

She would be ever ready donned in a beautiful Kanjiwaram saree or some colourful Pochampalli with the kindest of eyes and the dishes all laid out, ready to be served.

I remember, my mouth watering and my tummy doing a gastronomical dance as the wafts of the Sambar would gently awaken me on those leisure Sunday mornings, when nothing else could shake us sleepy heads, but GrandMa’s Sambar and Idlis  !!

(Granny whom I called Ammamma as we kids could not yet pronounce the ‘ch’ sound as in Achhamma and GrandPa as Ashaya instead of ‘Achachann’ in Malayalam)

 I think she knew we ate well and took more than our second helpings of Sambar and Idli that pleased her a lot and more so because Dad loved it too!  We would eat in stoic silence (maybe out of respect for Asaya , who I vividly remember had a stern countenance usually through years of a disciplined life in the Indian Air Force and commanding so many men under him) , occasionally slurping as we ate those delectable soft Idlis along with the a little spicy sambhar which she prepared separately for us and quite spicy one for all the adults around. There was so much warmth in those meals we had together despite an occasional discussion that Asaya & Ammama had with my Father and my Uncles at times. I would listen to them speak in Malayalam, fascinated by the sound of all the words that did not make any sense to me at all, at that time.

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I would hug my Granny after I had washed hiding my face in her soft, silken sarees and felt her touch our heads with deep affection, her voice smiling and saying, “Today why did you both not eat well ? See, so many Idlis are still left!” And I remember we both chorusing together, “No Ammama! We have eaten tummy full and now no place for more! Your Idlis & Sambhar are the best!” as we hugged her even more tightly and scampered off to play with Betsy who was already jumping all over and barking ever so loudly with excitement, raising a huge ruckus and wagging his tail, as if it could not control it to stop!

I slowly realized now and know why Papa loves serving and treating us with those soft, fluffy magical white Idlis or sometimes Dosas too which we enjoy and relish so much each time …   The magic of the Idli Sambhar story …

Copyright Madhavi Mohandas alias Madhavi Sood  Dec’ 2013

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