Posts Tagged With: family

Lies of our childhood

Never tell a lie (else your nose will extend like Pinocchio!). This was and still is a consistent teaching from my mother. But during this vacation, while trying to make my 5 year old niece eat her food, I realized that our childhood is full of lies.

why I lie to my kids

Oops! I swallowed a seed!

And as innocent we are as children, we believed in them. I don’t remember even once challenging them. Things like don’t eat the seeds of a fruit else you will have a plant growing inside. I still remember on days when I accidently swallowed a seed, I actually used to dream at night that there will be branches and leaves coming out of my ears and nose when I wake up.

Or don’t go outside the gate alone; there is a baba on the street who takes away children.

The maximum lies were in food items. I used to hate yellow moong dal and love yellow urad dal. To make me eat that moong dal , my mom said it’s chota urad (small urad dal) and after that I ate it.. Despite the fact that I still didn’t like it’s taste, just because it was the smaller version of a dal that I loved I ate it. And this is the lie that I believed in till I went to college and fellow students in the mess told me that there is nothing like a chota urad and that this is moong dal.

Then another one that I remember was for arbi (colocasia). She made me eat it saying it was potato! Though I am proud to say they weren’t able to fool us for baingan, lauki, torai, tinda etc (eggplant, bottle gourd, snake gourd etc) :D.

A recent retort by Nandini (my niece) to didi made me realise not only were we innocent, we were also outright stupid :).

Here’s the incident:

Didi: Nandini sit upright.

Nandini: No. I want to eat like this.

Didi: You should not eat while lying down.

Nandini: Why mama?

Didi: If you eat while lying down; all the food goes in the donkey’s stomach.

Nandini: It’s okay mama. Even the donkey should get to eat.

Lies parents tell to their children

It’s okay mama even the donkey should get to eat!

There was obviously no reply to this one and we all just started laughing. Laughing at her response or laughing at the fact that all through our childhood our mother was able to fool us with this! 🙂

And then there are the bigger lies of Tooth fairy and Santa Claus. Of course these lies were for our own good. I sort of agree to a fellow blogger’s argument that it’s not lying; it’s parenting!

And come to think of it what would childhood have been without the ‘Lion’ who was always hiding behind the sofa ready to leap if you didn’t finish the bite!

Categories: around us, Family, Old times | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Writings from the past

Look I found my mother’s old diary!

I was inspired to write this post after reading Michelle’s Pieces of the Past. They have this beautiful bed and breakfast in Virginia, steeped in history. And they keep adding to that history. I always love her antique shopping pictures especially the tea-sets!

My find is not as exciting as Michelle’s who found letters that are more than 100 years old. But I found my mother’s old notebook :). I don’t know how old it is; and mummy also doesn’t remember when she wrote that but on page there is a number – 8.9.84 – which I assume is a date, so the notebook is 28 years old.

Yellowed pages, torn edges, dog corners… I opened the notebook with such curiosity as if I’m going to unravel some mystery or learn something new about my mom :). What excited me most is that it has recipes! 🙂 There are recipes like Apple Butter, Mango Jam, Orange Squash, Almond Syrup, Tomato Ketchup… More inspiration for My Weekend Kitchen! Mummy didn’t even remember she had a notebook like this until I showed it to her…actually because of the recipes, she might have lent it to my maasi and it was she who gave me this notebook during my last trip to Delhi.

Mango Jam, Orange Squash and many more…

Apart from recipe what caught my interest were the last few pages where she has done her household accounts..

Monthly household accounts
100 School fees; 100 Bank; 200 Ghar ka Samaan; 162.50 Milk; 45 Dance; 15 Taxi

I’m sure since taxi was a luxury it got mentioned in the monthly accounts and the bus fares did not.. Also I learned that didi used to go for some dance classes (Since I was only 3 at that time, I realized the fee must be for didi). At one place it’s also written ‘Mrs Pareek 25 Rs; Sawairam 14 Rs’ Maybe I should remind her that she has to either take from or give back this amount to them!

With our generation usually maintaining everything in e-documents, I really feel sad that our children will not have the pleasure of finding and going through diaries of their parents that have yellowed with time. That they would actually be saying ‘Look I found my mother’s old blog’!

If you liked this post, you might also want to read my other experiences of discovering old things 🙂

-When I discovered my Grandad’s old journal and learnt that he wrote shayari!

-On ‘actually’ ‘physically’ writing something. When was the last time you wrote at length on a real piece of paper?

Categories: digital living, Family | Tags: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Daddy Strongest

I don’t remember when I first heard this jingle, but it’s been with me since childhood! I remember a small girl shouting to the TV screen “My Daddy strongest”!. A quick Internet search showed it was a very old Dhara cooking oil ad.

Papa with friends in BITS Pilani

I can’t say my daddy is strongest in terms of muscle power but in terms of will I truly believe my daddy is strongest. It was only yesterday me and my sister were talking how papa steered our careers… how we had no ambition whatsoever; didn’t know about the various choices available but daddy knew what we can achieve and what is best for us. I had wanted to take up commerce in school, just because didi had studied commerce… how I loved copying her in everything! J. But it was papa who told me about IITs (imagine I had not even heard about them till then!), it was papa who gave me the advertisement for the IIT JEE coaching centre and asked to give it one try. In the middle of the coaching I wanted to leave it all, it was just too much and again it was papa who vetoed. I’m not sure if I was angry with him at that time for forcing me to stay in Kota but I’m sure I’m thankful now that he did do that. And that he had the faith in me all along that I will be able to get through… I don’t think I would have been what I am if it wasn’t for his dreams!
As kids we get to know our father only as a parent; but thanks to my father’s trusted friends; me and sister have known him as a very troublesome college kid also. How we enjoyed the stories Shringi uncle used to tell while they were in Pilani.. How Bauji had sent papa with money for engineering registration and how papa registered for B. Pharma instead and got a nice tight slap in return from Bauji J. Talking about slaps, how can I forget the rather (in) famous Roshan Kelly incident! How he started non-veg food in BITS Pilani mess when he was the mess co; how he used to tail the ‘supposedly cool’ Xavier guys… Shringi uncle maintains that it was his attempt to get in the ‘cool’ crowd that papa started smoking…

One very special quality that I feel he has is that he takes people for what they say they are; his first impulse is that every person is good and he trusts them. Of course this has landed him in trouble a lot of times and so many time into fights with mom but still this is one quality that I have tried to inherit from him because personally I’ve gained more than lost by trusting strangers. Despite the troubles, I’m always impressed by seeing how he springs back from any let down; how he faces life in its face. Even at 60 years of age he is all set to start something new; risk it all again to be his own boss..


I’m sure he fed me a lot of times when I was an infant; but this moment was special because it was after long long time that I was eating from his hands

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

Love you mom!

My mom is super-mom! Growing up (and even now!) I used to wish I could be like her.. she knows everything and she has eyes everywhere! 😀

I have these childhood images of all four us sitting on the terrace every Sunday morning and she would be oiling our hair; our tiffins will always have something interesting and not the usual parantha-achaar  like most other students; I remember her holding me close when we used to travel in bus to her office; I remember asking for “something nice” to eat and always been surprised; I remember her tirelessly making clothes for all the kids in the family; I remember the homemade jams and ketchups; I remember all the besan ke laddoos she sent with me back to hostel and which my friends finished in no time; I remember how she taught me cooking over phone; I remember how even now when I go home she never sits for one minute but is always thinking of what special to make for us… I remember everything and I miss everything… I wish life was such that we could always be close to them

No matter how much I trouble you by saying that you love didi more.. I know you love us equally! This is just my way of getting more attention ;).

You’ve been a mother, a friend, a pillar of strength. we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve played, we’ve fought. You’ve always known me, there was never a reason (or even a chance!) to hide.. and I’m sorry for all the pain I might have caused and I know I’m forgiven and I know you’ll always love me unconditionally..

Happy Mother’s Day .. today and everyday

Categories: Family | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

In loving memory of Amma and Bauji

This is my diary entry dated 05/02/2012. I wrote it in train on my way from Jaipur to Baroda. On reading it again I thought I should share it with the rest of family. There is no structure to this writing, I wrote as things came to mind and I’m not editing the entry (except for adding the pictures). There are so many things that I got to know only after reading his diaries, here’s sharing them with you.


Today was Bauji’s tervi (havan after 13 days of death). I reached Jaipur late last night from Jodhpur. Everyone was there, all the sons, daughters, son in laws, daughter in laws and the grandchildren. One amazing thing about Sanaganer home is that no matter how many people come, there always space for everyone to sleep. 🙂

Last night till around 2am me and menu bua were reading bauji’s diaries. In his 2006 diary when amma was not well, bauji has poured all his emotions. We all knew he was tensed at that time and obviously worried about amma, but that he was afraid, that he was questioning the purpose of life? The diary showed a completely different side of Bauji to me. Bauji kept a regular diaty of every expense (as low as Rs 2), who came to visit, what is happening in the house, amma’s entire treatment – doctors, diagnosis, medicine details everything. But most surprising to me were the gazals he had written. Meenu bua said that she knew Bauji did amazing shayari, but I’m sure none of the grandchildren ever got a whiff of that. As kids we knew him as a strict grandparent who was always after our studies! (at least for the ones who grew up in Sanganer). Amma was the softer one and I think they both purposely maintained this “Good cop, bad cop” routine 🙂

Here’s a scanned copy of one of his writing’s

Ravi panditji came for the havan. Ravi panditji (earlier his father) have been coming to our home for every pooja/havan that I remember. His father and him have conducted every wedding in our family in Jaipur. I cried for Bauji for the first time today (after his death). During the aarti at the end of havan, I remembered how amma-bauji used to insist that we join for evening prayers, even at the time when there was no temple in Sanaganer and amma had her idols in a small room. How they both used to read excerpts from Geeta and Kalyan (a periodical on religious teachings) and explain the meaning.

As kids we often found these pravachans boring but used to sit through them, just to keep amma-bauji happy but never paid any attention. It was always in from one ear and out from another J. However, I think its because of those sessions that today I know anything about faith. That today I believe there is a god. While a follower of Hinduism, Bauji believed that all gods are one. In one of diary entries (circa 1998) he has written that he went to chaura rasta bazaar (the book market in Jaipur) to find a book on common teachings of all religions but couldn’t find any. More recently (circa 2011) he wrote “God is one”.

I feel I’m lucky I grew up with grandparents. I remember the sweet smell when amma made laddus or halva. I remember how she used to make the gadmad sabzi (a dish prepared 2 days before Diwali and has more than 50 vegetables). That day we will have around 30-40 people for lunch at Sanganer and the dish was packed and sent to relatives. The year before she died, she had asked chacha to make the dish and she was supervising. (Did she knew she won’t be there the next year? Was she ensuring the tradition continued?).

Amma-Bauji used to play rummy for 50p a point. Amma taught me how to play rummy but I never managed to earn much from them :). Cards is also a tradition in Sanganer. Whenever all the brothers and sisters are together, they have to play cards!

Theirs was a love story set in 1940s (Imagine!). Ravi chacha told this story when we were visiting him in Ahmedabad . Bauji used to take tuitions for amma’s brothers  and in return amma’s mother asked him to eat in their home and so started their association :).

As I was growing up, the amount of time I spent with amma-bauji somehow became inversely proportional with age. Growing up, school, friends and tv became more entertaining than spending time with them. I remember after coming back from school, we used to rush to our room on the first floor. Amma used to call us (shouting hard so that her voice would reach our rooms) to come down and we would keep saying after lunch, after homework, 10 mins, 15 mins L.

I wish I knew then, what I’ missing now. I always took grandparents for granted. Where are they going? They would always be there telling their stories, I can always sit with them tomorrow. It was only today that it finally hit me that the tomorrow will never come. For me, one entire generation is gone. When I read bauji’s diaries, the fact that he wrote down who all came to visit and where did the grandchildren go for studies/ after marriage, I realised that all he wanted was for us to spend time with them.

The fact that amma-bauji, nana-nani are no longer there brings home the realization that mummy-papa are also growing older every day. As we get busy in our careers, in raising our families, we pay little attention to our time with them. I don’t want to have any more regrets.


Categories: around us, Family, Old times | Tags: , , , , , | 9 Comments

Because you’re my mom

love you mumma, you’ve been a mother, a friend, a pillar of strength. we’ve laughed, we’ve cried, we’ve played, we’ve fought. You’ve always known me, there was never a reason (or even a chance!) to hide.. and I’m sorry for all the pain I might have caused and I know I’m forgiven and I know you’ll always love me unconditionally..

Happy Mother’s Day .. today and everyday

I can’t do poetry, but I wanted something beautiful for my mom and so stole this one!

Because You’re My Mom (poem by Linda Arlene Fassett)

Because you are my mom you loved me before I was ever seen
You thanked God for this miracle, this little human being
So exciting, yet fragile it all must have seemed to you then
Hearing my little heart beat inside you, now life begins

Because you are my mom no pain was too great for you to bear
Now you’re a mother and I your child with joys and pains to share
And so into this world my life began each breath now on my own
One day we will look back at just how much I’ve grown

Because you are my mom you worried for me within your every bone
You finally let go of my little hand to take my first steps on my own

Because you are my mom you showed me through the years
To care about others and their feelings and the things that they hold dear

Because you are my mom you taught me right from wrong
Understanding that my faith in God will forever keep me strong
Showing me that being my own person is the only tool I’ll need
When morals and values are your foundation to succeed

Because you are my mom you loved me enough to also be my friend
You would be right there in ways that no one could see or ever comprehend
When there was no way I thought you could ever understand
There you would be, non-judging and willing to lend a hand

Because you are my mom, God’s gift to me was you
As your daughter I will always love you and promise to be true
I thank you for so many things and will try to never make you sad or blue

Because you are my mom, and one-day I will be a mother too
I pray I never forget all that you’ve been through
I am your daughter and in your image I am proud to be
By the grace of the Lord you were created, and then I came to be

Source: Because You’re My Mom, Mother Daughter Poems

Categories: around us, Family | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Time Flies..


Wow! How time flies.. It was only yesterday when I was planning a month long trip to India before starting my Masters and here I am back in Abu Dhabi, packing my bags for London. India trip just zoomed away. 

But I’m amazed to think what all I did in this trip. I managed to meet most of my family and a lot of friends both from school and college. Travelled a lot and enjoyed every moment of it.

Abu Dhabi ->Delhi -> Panchkula -> Udaipur -> Cochin -> Mumbai -> Delhi -> Jaipur -> Delhi -> Abu Dhabi

The best journey was Mumbai to Delhi in Rajdhani Express. Yes it takes much longer than air travel and costs almost the same but Rajdhani was an experience in itself. Eat, Chat with fellow passengers, a game of cards, Sleep, Eat and welcome to Delhi 🙂 I boarded the train at 4pm. At 4:30 they got us some snacks, then tea at 5pm, soup at 7pm, dinner at 8:30pm, tea at 6am, breakfast at 6:30, again tea at 7:00 and you are in Delhi at 8am! The most comfortable journey during the entire trip. If I’m not pressed for time I think I’ll prefer taking trains everywhere.

It was papa’s 58th birthday and since 15th august fell during a 3-day weekend we had sort of a family re-union at Panchkula. Mummy, bua and chachi showing all their love through the food. For those 3 days we ate and ate and so many different varieties! Every time we visit my parents home Sikander is amazed at the variety of vegetarian food possible J. Otherwise his belief is “When there is chicken and mutton, why do you need vegetables!”. Bua also held cookery classes for her ignorant nieces and daughter to share her special recipes. I think I’ll post some simpler ones in my next post. Nandini was obviously the centre of attraction. Everyone wants a piece of her 🙂

Udaipur was a different experience this time. We were there for the first week of the holy month of Ramadan. Fasting, praying. I went inside a mosque for the first time to offer prayers. We obv didn’t fast all days but I was amazed to see the determination with which people fast for the entire month in Udaipur’s maddening heat. It’s easier to imagine Ramadan fasts in gulf because the businesses shut shop during the day. They just change their daily cycle. Sleep during the day and work at night. But back in India where everyone is working throughout the day, it’s difficult.

From there we left for Kerala to attend a friend’s wedding. This was my 5th visit to Kerala and each time I’m left speechless by the beauty of the state. After the wedding we spent a day in Cochin and then left for Bombay. Sikander left for Abu Dhabi from Bombay and I went to Delhi. Spent a lot of time with Nandini, shopped and just relaxed while waiting for my visa. In-between went to Jaipur for a day. And now I’m back, booking tickets for London. Just one week to go.

Categories: Gen, Travel | Tags: , | Leave a comment

See you soon Nandini..

nandiniA few more hours and I’ll be home playing with Nandini. She’s the main reason to visit home always (obv since she was born). Not meaning to offend anybody in my family.. but she’s a little angel (or demon as my sister says) Sometimes I get a little scared that if I’m not there while she is growing up, she’ll forget me. As such my sister doesn’t do much to keep up my image with her. My name is used more like “chod de.. nahin to dimpi masi maaregi!” 😦 So I have to go loaded with gifts to make up ..

Won’t get to spend so much time with her this time though. We are visiting 6 places in 15 days.. Delhi, punchkula, Udaipur, Jaipur, Kerala, Bombay..I’m sure by the end of it we’ll be eager to get back for some rest 🙂 But for now I just can’t wait to hold my niece in my arms 🙂
see you soon

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