Pooranmashi ( full moon) after Diwali ( festival of lights), is that magical time of the year, that has always been special for me. The moon always has a special aura around it, after all it is the Gurpurab, the special day when Guru Nanak was born in Talwandi in Punjab, India, (now in Pakistan) 500+ years ago. It is that day, when I did not go to school in Bangalore, but went to the Gurudwara (place of worship) instead.
We were watching the movie, “Boy in the striped Pajamas,” where Bruno meets Shmuel. Bruno is a privileged nine-year-old while Shmuel, is in striped pajamas. What separates them is the barbed wire fence. Bruno envies Shmuel, as he imagines him playing with other kids his own age behind the fence, in the comfort of his Pajamas, while he is all alone in the open world outside the fence. Bruno is unable to comprehend the horrors of living in a camp, as he offers simplistic solutions to Shmuel’s problems. When Shmuel talks about being hungry all the time, Bruno gets him food from home.
“Talangu Tadigina thom tha thae thae thath… Kitta thaga tham dit thaam- Dit thaam kitta thaga thayi thath thae…
The opening sequence of Allarippu – a Bharthanatyam dance remains embedded in my memory. It is a beautiful dance symbolizing the offering of respect to both God and the audience.
It is Geography club time again at the elementary school. Even though we are focusing on the prominent countries of Asia, the islands continue to be my absolute favorite. My sons and me have spent many a night savoring the stories. Each island has a unique story. Our favorite ones are from Fiji and Pitcairn. Fiji had cannibals at one point, and back then, the most respectful way of greeting each other was “Eat me!” Pitcairn, a tiny speck of an island, only 3000 miles from New Zealand was populated by mutineers of a ship named, HMS Bounty, which soon grew over populated with 200 people. So, some people volunteered to move to another island called the Norfolk, knowing fully well that the Norfolk island was a penal colony.
I was making matar paneer, – Peas with homemade cheese, when the aroma jolted me back to my childhood, in India. It used to be my favorite dish, especially the way my mother made it. Cubed pieces of paneer – homemade cheese floating in a delicious orange colored sauce. I could hear ” Chalte Chalte ” Farewell – blaring from a neighbor’s radio at 6:00 in the morning. Watching movies and listening to movie songs is a huge part of people’s lives in India. All my friends saw movies. So, I expressed my desire to see the movie Chalte Chalte a popular movie in the mid 70s, my mother glared at me and firmly declared, “No more movies for the next few years, they promote wrong values.”
O is for “Ordinary”. Yes Ordinary is regular, mundane and then special too.. and Ordinary is “Oota” ( food in Kannada) …actually the only greeting I know that is related to food in the world ” Oota aayita” (had your food) is actually an Ordinary greeting like “How are you?” Often times complete strangers on the streets in Bangalore are bound to ask you, “Oota aayita”? I am often tempted to say , “illa” ( No) , but have always nodded my head and Ordinarily said, ” Howdo” ( Yes)……