Monday, 14 April 2014

Bishu

Today is a special day for us. It is the last day of the Hindu calender year. On this day we the Bishnupriya Manipuri community make special offerings to the Lord. We cook different pure vegetarian delicacies and make the offerings on a banana leaf outside the main gate. The offering is done by the eldest member of the family. After the offering is done the cooked items are exchanged among the neighbors and relatives and than consumed. This festival is known as Bishu.

On this day the whole house is cleaned and the kitchen is mainly cleaned of all non-veg items. Once properly cleaned the food is cooked. On this day the alters and deities of every household is cleaned and new clothes are worn by all. It is said that in ancient times on this day the offering was made of 108 food items. But now a days due to many reasons it is practiced no more.

It is believed that by cleaning the house, wearing new clothes and worshiping the Lord everyone is preparing to welcome the new year with fresh enthusiasm and hoping for a smooth new year. 

But since this year my mother-in-law expired we are not supposed to perform this ritual. But I am sharing with you all a few photographs taken last year.

Since in this congested city life it is not possible to make the offerings outside the main gate, we offered it on our terrace.. 

Anindya doing the offering..

 Akanksha doing pranama after the offering..

 
The platter ready to be consumed. On this day we sit on the floor to eat our food..

Anindya and Akanksha sitting in the traditional way to have their food..

Since here we have no relatives nearby and no neighbors of the same community we do no exchange of food but we always share what we cook, with our landlord. On this day, we prefer to stay home and welcome the new year in a peaceful manner and also make it a point not to eat outside.



Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Emotional Farewell

Akanksha is gaining proficiency in the art of cake making. After the first cake she made she had excelled a lot. Now, she is always ready to bake a cake. Now my neighbours come and ask for recipes of cake from her. They even invite her to their home to make sure that the cake comes out properly. Is not it funny?



The above cake she baked on the 31st of March for our landlady whose birthday Akanksha never forgets. Our land lady was overwhelmed to see Akanksha bake a delicious cake for her.

Yesterday night she baked two cakes - a farewell cake for her cousin brother who is leaving Kolkata for Assam where he is going to join a new job and a birthday cake for her cousin sister who stays miles away. The cake was shared through facebook.

The birthday cake for her cousin sister

Her sister was very happy to see the cake on facebook and messaged back:

awww....thats so sweet of u all  thanks to all of you n special thanks to my lil sister..she made my day wid dis cake 


The farewell cake for her brother

Her brother cutting the cake at night since he will leave when she will still be in school today.

Everyone relishing on her cake

The two naughtiest cousins trying to tease her

Overall it was an emotional moment. From today we will be missing Ricky and Akanksha will miss her brother with whom she shared everything. Ricky too got emotional and wrote the following on his facebook timeline:

It's an emotional night for me.. M leaving this place without my will. Leaving another home..Kaku-Kakimoni, thank you will not be enough for what you did for me. Bappa da my roommate my brother.. thanks for being with me.. My lil sister Shikhi(Akanksha).. will always love you n thanks for the cake.. it was really very tasty.. Thanks to all.. thank you for the surprise.. Will miss you all  

I am happy and content that merely for baking a cake  may be, Akanksha will at least remember occasions and be able to value relationships.






Monday, 7 April 2014

Fan's resentment

Now a days, as I mentioned earlier, I am able to somehow control my anger and emotions to some extent, which was not possible earlier. it is not that I do not have mood swings and neither it is that I do not get angry. But now, I seem to realise and control it.

We women had lot of things to get disturbed. Moreover, we Indian housewives are pampered by the maid servants so much that their absence seem to make us mentally misbalanced. Since my maid left me in the mid ocean with all the uncleaned kitchen utensils, laundry, cleaning, cooking etc., my temper always remains at the saturated level, ready to explode at the simplest of pretext. 

But of late, I am somehow able to guard my anger. But yesterday was an unusual day. The whole day was passing off quite pleasantly. Hurriedly I tried to complete my house hold chores as in the evening Indian cricket team was going to have its world cup final match against Sri Lanka. 

May be, as I was born in a family of sportspersons or may be because of the cricket crazy country I belong, I am not sure, I am very much inclined towards the game and its outcome effects me a lot. In this series India had won all the matches. So, there was a believe that it will win the final too. 


With all the positivity in mind and prayers at heart, we sat before the television at half past seven in the evening. Maybe, because the Indian players were not good at bat or the bawling was not to the mark or maybe the Sri Lankan's played a better game than ours. Whatever may be the cause yesterday we lost despite a wonder game by Virat Kohli. We lost the T20 World Cup Final.  

As the match ended I felt as if all my energy was drained out. I felt sick. I was angry. All of a sudden everything seemed to disturb me. Suddenly I realised that the whole day I was busy with my household chores and the husband went to his sister's and even after the match got over he was not home. I called him and asked him to come home. I had such an unusual feeling. I felt like crying. 

Getting my call my husband came home and at the very sight of him I was caught by the women instinct and started attacking him with all the stupid allegations. Basically I used him as my punching bag to drain out my anger. When I do something like this, he never reacts but yesterday it was different. As I punched him with sour words he punched back with harsh words not at me but at his nephews, who came to visit us. I felt very bad. I was ashamed that for me the innocent boys were attacked by their uncle.

But then I realised that the resentment of loosing the game was not within me only, it was in him too. The whole house was silent as if we were mourning somebody's death. Such is the craze of cricket in India I suppose, where no 'Secret' works.


Photo courtesy : Google Images

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

The Secret

 I am basically a very impatient person. I get irritated at the smallest of things. I do not like when things does not work out the way I want. Also there is a believe in me that if the morning when I wake up is not pleasant my whole day gets ruined. This attitude of mine effects the people around me, I understand that but I cannot change my attitude.

Yesterday was the worst of such a day. In the morning I woke up with a call from my maid that she will not come to work anymore because of some personal problem. The news was as if I was struck by a thunder. But for a change I did not react. I just started to do the house hold chores. 

The next was that my daughter was driving me crazy from quite few days to visit our neighbour who had shifted to another locality. They have a little boy for whom she is mad. Since her school is beginning from today I thought of taking her to visit them yesterday but after calling came to know that they are out of station and that they would be reaching home at night. That plan too did not materialise. But we have fixed a visit today. 

Then, I was all ready to go to the lake for an evening walk. Our driver, one of the most punctual person I have seen in my life, for the first time did not turn out without informing. After calling I came to know that he had some urgent task for which he could not. This task also did not work out.

After that I thought of visiting Akanksha's doctor. No, Akanksha is all hale and hearty. We are to visit her because her swimming enrolment form needs her doctor's declaration that she is fit for it. The doctor, whom on our tenure of 10 years of regular visits have never seen to cancel her chamber, did cancel it yesterday. For a change I did not have any mood swing.

The AC mechanic did not turn out even after repeated reminders that the AC is not working in such a temperature when the mercury had touched 40 degree centigrade and we are just boiling in the heat but still I did not loose my cool.

Normally, one or two such incidents are enough to  loose my temper but to my surprise I was normal yesterday. I could not bring out the reason of my change. But at night when I was in bed a thought struck me - Is it the outcome of reading the book 'The secret' by Rhonda Byrne. 

From last few days I have been reading the book. I  completed the first book and started with the second edition 'The Power'. While reading the book I thought that some things are very good but most are bluffs, which are always better said than done. The book says that when you think something negative you attract more negativity to it. So, we should divert our thoughts from thinking more negative things to something we love to do or thinking about a person you love. I was not practicing anything as such but unconsciously I was trying to ignore whatever unpleasant thing is happening to me. Though the whole day everything that happened were negative yet it was for sure that it did not effect my mood. 

So, now I am wondering if it is the effect of the book? If it is than I am glad.

Photo courtesy : Google Images

Monday, 31 March 2014

Instinctive feeling is it?

Dad was very much willing to see at least one doctor from among his four children. He tried whatever he could to fulfil his desire. He admitted us to decent schools, always helped us with our studies, provided private tutors, etc,.

My dad was very focused of what he wanted his children to be. On the other hand the saddest part for us was that the medical college was and still is situated on a hill top just in front of our house. Every day dad used to show us the college and remind us of how fortunate we were to be born there, else people come from so far off places to study there. Everyday it had as if become a ritual for us to hear those lines which we secretly hated.

His first struggle started with his eldest son, a die hard cricket fan and a district level player himself. Dad was so determined that one fine day he took my brother to visit the medical college, hoping that the atmosphere there might help my cricket crazy brother to divert his mind from cricket to studies. But my brother, before entering the college compound, peed at its gate. At that my father was furious and came home and declared that a person who pees at the gates of an institute before entering it, should never be allowed to enter its premises. 

Then dad's focus shifted to my second brother. But this brother of mine was not a person to act on somebody else's wish, what if it was his own father's? He was least bothered. Then obviously the indicator was bound to shifted towards me. 

I was very ambitious. My class tenth results were out. I passed with flying colours and that also with letter marks in Mathematics. Dad was the happiest. He felt as if he had won half the battle. But, my declaration that I would not be studying science, shattered my dad. But I knew, though I scored above 80 percent in maths but I was not at all comfortable with physics, chemistry and biology. I asked dad if he wanted me to see study further or not. I told him very clearly that I did not understand science. At that, it seemed dad understood me and allowed to study arts. But it still hurts me that I could not fulfil my dad's wish.

On the other hand though my sister was studious yet my father was not so stern with her studies because my sister was not at all ambitious. She studied because she had to study. She always used to say that she does not want to study much. She declared that the day she would get married she would stop her studies. But she was the one who had to study the most. Because she got married a bit late and dad made her study one after another. After her graduation she did her BEd, then she studied law but just before she could complete she got married and she did exactly what she told before- she quit from her law school.

My purpose of writing such a long post is that there is no point, parents should compel their children to choose a career of their parent's choice. It is better that the child be given the right to choose his or her career. Because if the child obliges and fulfils his /her parents' wish its better but if he/she does not oblige why the parents hurt themselves in the process. But yes, parents should be always there to show them the right way so that they do not get indulge into any anti social activities. 

But now, the irony is that my brother complains that his son is adamant to study commerce and that my brother feels that there is no life in commerce for a student like his son and on the other hand I started convincing my daughter to study science when she grows up so that she can either go to medical or engineering studies. 

Now, I wonder if it is instinctive for all parents to feel the same as my dad felt.



Picture courtesy : Google Images

Friday, 28 March 2014

Oil and water

I am the third among four siblings and the closest to dad. I always used to cling to him all the time. I used to work in the garden with him, used to go to the market, to most of the morning and evening walks, to all his friend's houses. In short he was the best of friends. 



During our walks to the market or during our morning or evening walks he always used to talk about the childhood pranks of himself and his friends, which I used to enjoy thoroughly.  



One day, I had a good thrashing from my mom for spending some money (without her permission) she gave me to buy grocery from the nearby grocery shop. I was very upset. In the evening dad asked me to accompany him for a walk. I followed him. He knew I was very upset. He knew that I did something wrong but he did not tell anything to me. My dad never used to scold us whenever mom used to do it. He just told me that I should not repeat it because it was not good.

Than he started narrating a story of one of his friends who did something similar to what I did. My dad's friend was a poor chap and was the naughtiest of all his friends. His mother gave him some money and asked him to buy hundred grams of mustard oil. The boy bought only fifty grams of oil and with the remaining money he bought a cigarette and smoked it along with his friends. While returning home he filled the remaining fifty grams with water. But he never knew that oil and water never mixes. He shook the bottle all the way home but once he stopped shaking, the oil and water would separate. Thus, returning home he had a wonderful thrashing. Hearing that I started laughing. What amused me more was the thought that how he did not know that water and oil does not mix.

But today I think that the story my father narrated had some other deeper meaning. I do not know if he just told me the story then or he wanted to teach me something but today it has a different meaning. Today, I feel that every relationship is like water and oil. We must keep on shaking the bottle properly so that the mixture of our relationship remains smooth. Once we stop, differences take place.

Isn't it true that as we grow we grow complicated? 

Photo courtesy : Google images