On Remembering and Not Forgetting to Remember

Even Sunday afternoon pakora reminds me of Appa and Amma.

Amma used to love only the thool (powdered pieces) portion of pakora.
Appa would buy pakora only from 2 of his favorite places (one in Chromepet and one in Tambaram).
He said everybody else didn’t use the right oil or fry the pakora the right way.
He just wanted ONLY the best pakora for his 3 girls (Amma, my sis and me).
When he went grocery shopping, he would save the “pakora” buying for the last. After he bought the hot pakora, he would rush home so his girls would eat the hot and crunch pakora. He would take only a lil piece. I would urge him to eat more. But, he would always say “Nee sapadu ma” (roughly translated to – “you eat dear”).

So, how do I forgot?
How do I forgot the memories that are stored as bio-chemicals somewhere deep in my brain?

I understand now why Poet Kanadasan said –
Irandu manam vendum
Iraivanidam ketpen
Ninaithu vaada ondru
Marandhu vaazha ondru

He asked the Lord to give him two minds
One to remember
One to forget

I wonder why Kannadasan didn’t say
Irandu manam vendum
Iraivanidam ketpen
Ninaithu vaada ondru
Marakama vaazha ondru

Because, I ask the Lord to give me two minds
One to remember
One to remember not to forget

To all of you who have lost a loved one, I send you my love.

Remember not to forget your loved one.

On Living and Non living Things

We are crossing several milestones this summer.
It has been 2 years since Mommy passed on to higher realms.
It has been 6 months since Daddy passed on to higher realms.

It has been 5 years since we moved to TX.

Kumar and I spent several weekends this summer clearing out old boxes in the garage and closets.
I found so many photos, books, cards, letters and trinkets from the last few decades of life.

I found 1 sided papers and books that Daddy had given me in the boxes.
I also found spices and other kitchenware that Mommy had given me in the kitchen cabinets.

Papers, books, spices, kitchenware etc…things we typically call non-living things.

It turns out that non-living things are living on and are still here with me.
It also turns that people (Mommy and Daddy) that we call as living are not living anymore and are not here with me.

May peace prevail amongst both living and non-living things in this cosmos…however foolishly they are tagged as living and non-living things by the follies of the human mind.

Be brave and show up

Sometimes, as my heart deals with grief, all I can do is get up in the morning and show up to where the sun is shining brightly.

Even that simple act is such a big sign of bravery.

And, I know that is what Daddy would want me to do.

Enjoy the Rare Solstice FULL MOON Tonight

 A solstice is an event occurring when the Sun appears to reach its most northerly or southerly excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere.

Today, Dec 21, 2018 marks the winter solstice. Not only that. It is all a glorious full moon. This is a very rare occurrence and won’t  happen until the turn of this century.

Since this day marks endings and new beginnings, I am going to be reflecting on 2018 and making plans for 2019.

You do the same. Enjoy the moon.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening – Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know.

His house is in the village though;

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow.

The little horse must think it queer

To stop without a farmhouse near

Between the woods and frozen lake

The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake

To ask if there is some mistake.

The only other sound’s the sweep

Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely dark and deep.

But I have promises to keep,

And miles to go before I sleep,

And miles to go before I sleep.

On Sangam

In Tamil, there is a Thirukural (sort of like a 2 line poetry) that goes like this

sevikku unavillatha podhu siridhu
vayirrukkum eeya padum

It literally means, food for the stomach can follow when there is no food for the ears. Today, I had the honor and fortune of being treated to both stomach and ears.

Here goes the story.

I got back late evening on Friday after week long travel and will be heading out again on Monday for another week long travel. I hadn’t had anything on Friday after lunch except for coffee. I was so sleep deprived when I came home. I just spent a couple of hours with the boys and went straight to bed without dinner. I slept in for about 10 straight hours (thanks to Kumar for juggling boys morning routine) and woke up Saturday morning and had a cup of coffee. Then, I did some quick house cleaning and caught up on emails and work.

Kumar Nagarajan suggested we take the boys and head to Sangam for lunch. My friends and colleagues had all been urging me to go check out Sangam…so, I immediately said YES to Kumar. By, the time we got to Sangam, I was starving.

Within a couple of minutes of us settling down, one of the waiters came by and took my order in Tamil. I was delighted. As if that wasn’t enough, my buddy Rathan Raja came by to say hello and told me if was his family that was running the business. Rathan introduced me to his wife, sister and sister’s husband. I was very pleased at how the family was actively involved in running the business and serving the customers. I gave Rathan and family a quick update on all the rave reviews I had been hearing about Sangam.

Food arrived and the boys and I started digging in. I thoroughly enjoyed the delicious food. The beetroot halwa was to die for. My favorite was the sambar….it tasted as if Amma had made it. You all know I don’t say that often.

As we were eating lunch, my favorite Tamil songs (vaigai kari kattru nilli, vellai pura ondru, oran all unnai naan, prove samosa, henna satham etc) started playing. What can I say? I was more than delighted to spend Saturday afternoon with the boys at Sangam….with feast to ears and stomach.

As I left with the boys, I conveyed my hearty congratulation to Rathan’s family members and wished them the very best.

Sangam is located in North West Austin (intersection of Parmer Lane and McNeil Road). Go check them out at 6001 W Parmer Ln, Austin, TX 78727