Food · Memories

Of childhood memories

I grew up in a small town, which was famous as it hosted a Cement factory . Our little town was the perfect blend of rural and modern life. And we had a special advantage, because it was our hometown- the place where my dad grew up. The streets he had roamed on with his friends, wiping his nose on the back of his palm, pulling his shorts ups with the other hand, were the roads we walked on. Even thinking about my time in Lakheri fills me up with so much joy.

Almost everyone knew my dad and his family. His Grandparents were sort of the community elders and my dad started working at the factory, after he finished his Masters degree. We lived in the Company Colony and went to the local sabji Mandi( vegetable market) for all fresh produce. I can still picture the dusty sabji mandi, set up in an orderly manner.

We also had the local tailor, stationery shop, food hawkers , flour mill , sweet makers and a grocery store. I am told that the flour mill belonged to my great great grandparents at some stage. Every month, my dad would drop off the monthly list at the grocery store & the old gentleman that owned grocery store would keenly watch his helpers( usually sons/ nephews/ grandsons) pack everything in paper packages made from old newspapers. These packages were then neatly stacked in a huge cloth bag and he would set out on his bicycle to deliver them to our house.

And every time he came, he came bearing gifts for us – for my sister and me. 2 packages containing hot Kachori and Jalebi. And that my friends, is how my love for Kachori began. He would plant himself on the swing in our porch, my sister and I would run to fetch him a glass of water, which he would accept graciously and shower us with blessings, “ Khush raho, bitiya”( God bless you,daughter) and give us the hot Kachori & jalebi packages. If mom protested, he would tell her lovingly, that he had the rights to spoil us because he had known our dad since he was even younger than us😊

❤️ Kachori in a paper bag ❤️

Once the list was tallied up , he would ask mom for a cup of tea, drink his tea, bless her and be on his merry way. This and many other beautiful incidents is what made my childhood so special. As my sister and I always joke, we feel like Princesses in our beautiful hometown. There is so much love and goodwill there, it fill my heart and soul with so much happiness.

Recently, I found a lovely home chef that makes these yummy kachoris and every time I eat them I am instantly transported back to my childhood home, sitting cross- legged on the cold porcelain floor, wearing a cotton frock, eating hot kachoris and jalebis with the syrup dripping , hearing the faint rustling of paper as a little hand dug in to find another little treat..

Oh my heart 💓
❤️❤️❤️

What’s your favourite food from your childhood? Do leave a comment and share with me 😊

Much Love,

Trish ❤️❤️

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Whispered promises

There is no better time than holidays for sibling bonding.

MsAn told me that once you make a Pinky Promise, you cannot break it.

MsA made a pinky promise that she will share her pop tarts with her sister. I hope she remembers the rules of Pinky Promises ❤️

This is one of my favourite photo of the girls from our trip back home in December- January. I loved it that they found comfort in each other’s company when we were outside or when they were in a new place.

It gives me comfort to know that they will look after each other when it matters the most, even if they are ready to kill each other on most days at home 😀

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All talked out

Officially first day of school holidays and this was me!! Only I just have two kids! And even the quieter one, MsA has been wanting to talk to me!

MsAn is the chatterbox and she is constantly talking. I was trying to reply to a work text and she followed me around talking in my ear – it’s definitely to her advantage that she comes almost upto my ear now.

In the evening , I was sitting in the yard supervising Ms An play and my dad called . While I was talking to him, on a video call, Ms A started talking / showing me the links to online shopping.

MsAn finished playing and then had a massive meltdown because –

  1. She didn’t want to have a shower- she wanted a relaxing bath instead and how could I not find the time to clean it.
  2. She didn’t want to do any writing and why was I being mean asking her to write.

While she was having her meltdown, SP and MsA wanted to tell me things too. As much as I love my family, some days it just feels like everyone wants to talk to me at the same time.. and I struggle to focus on multiple things and voices.

She calmed down after a bit and had a shower, did her writing too and is happily playing now. Me? I am exhausted. And here’s the thing- most of the times, she leaves me alone, does her own thing & I want her to come to me then. Isolation is getting to her as well and some days little things trigger an outburst. For now, all is well in our little world 😊

Dinner is ready, I am going to take a long shower & join an online chat with Neha about how to make your kids more self reliant.

More later,

Trish ❤️❤️

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Little things we took for granted – 2

Today I had to go collect something from someone in our suburb. I asked the girls if anyone wants to go for a drive with me. MsA, being the teenager with selective hearing didn’t hear or respond. Ms An on the other hand, was all excited and agreed straightaway.

She was so excited to go out in a car and made it a point to tell me. She asked if I had a spare set of sunglasses in the car like before and I said, yes and gave her the spare set. She put them on and sat up straight, looking out the window.

As we reached the main road, she let out a big sigh and said, “Oh! Mumma , I have missed this. This sitting in the car and relaxing, looking out the window and chatting.” It instantly broke my heart and turned it into mush!

All through out the drive, she kept reminiscing about random little incidents from before , when we were in the car going somewhere. After we collected the package, I asked her, “where shall we go next ?” Her face fell, “ Nowhere.. we can’t go anywhere, we need to go home.” I suggested taking a longer way home and that cheered her up.

I don’t know how we got to the topic of food, but I asked her about her favourite takeaway place and she replied with the name of our local Indian restaurant. I asked her why? Usually SP would suggest going there and both A & An would roll their eyes. Her response completely blew me over. She said , “ Because it gives me happy feelings, because I remember all the times we went there when everything was ok and we could still go sit and the restaurants and see our friends.”

She nailed it, didn’t she? Summed up everything in that little statement. I think it hit me more, because she is still my little girl , in my head, at least – she tells me very clearly, I am not a baby.And she is not.. she is all worldly and wise. But it breaks my heart that our children have had to grow up so quickly in this pandemic.

We came home and she was out playing . She saw our neighbor S and ran up to her and said, “Guess what ? I did something awesome today! I went for a drive in the car!” Both S and I said almost at the same time, “ we never thought going somewhere in a car would ever be such an exciting experience .”

Oh.. the things we took for granted… I leave you with a pic of my precious, enjoying the sunshine.

My precious sunshine making the most of a sunny day!
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Remote Learning and other Musings

Another week has gone by and the weekend is here. Is it just me or are the weeks going by faster than usual. How did we get to the middle of September so quickly? Wasn’t it just March?

We finished a full term of remote learning in Melbourne. Term 3 ended on Friday and I can’t help but feel a huge sense of relief and accomplishment.

When I was growing up, my dad was deployed in a dusty factory town in Saudi Arabia. While we were there, the Gulf war broke. And everything came to a standstill. We were in a comparatively safer location but still on high alert. We had light outs as the sirens were sounded, there was always a little strange anxiety in the air. I have had a feeling of déjà vu since this whole quarantine has started.

Anyway, I digress, back to remote learning. The school in our little town was run by a group of mums who taught the classes. The plan was open school and syllabus was provided by the nearest Indian Embassy. At the end of each school year, the staff from Embassy School brought exam papers and we had to sit for the exams. I was the only one in Years 6 & 7, so that meant I didn’t have any classmates for 2 years. It was strange and alienating but we survived. When we returned back to India and rejoined regular school, it was so different and we had a new found appreciation for schools, uniforms, classmates, everything!

I can now understand how my mom felt at the end of the year and also know how alienating it is for my kids, to not see their friends and classmates. Some of the thing that are better these days are :

1) Technology – The kids are still a part of the class/cohort through virtual classrooms. The teachers are online and accessible to them by emails or student portals.

2) The internet has made the world so much smaller – we are able to remain connected to family, friends across the world. One day, both SP & I were in back to back meetings and Ms An was very upset & clingy, I called my dad on FaceTime and asked him if he could entertain her for sometime , while I finished my meeting. Ever since I have become a mum, I haven’t ever had the luxury of asking a grandparent to watch my girls, while I finish some work. So this was a first.

As the number of cases in Melbourne are going down, I am feeling more hopeful. I hope, this means that we can slowly return to a little bit of normalcy, as normal as possible.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, the kids have school holidays for the next two weeks and then we have at least a 3-4 more weeks of remote learning ahead. But, let’s worry about it when the time comes. For now, let’s focus on peaceful mornings – the ones without wake up time dramas😊😊

More later,

Trish ❤️❤️

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Little things we took for granted

Today, I had to duck out for a work errand, so I decided to pickup a coffee.. coffee – from a cafe! This used to be our normal – stopping at a cafe to grab takeaway coffee..we, Melbournians love our coffee!

I love my masala chai but there is something about a freshly brewed coffee that kicks all my senses alive. So, as I said I got a REAL coffee today after what seems like forever. The last time I got a coffee from a cafe was more than 3 months ago.

The last time I went to the shops was 1 month ago- I went to pick up my click and collect veggies order. Oh I did duck into the corner store to pickup some milk as we were completely out. We are getting everything delivered , including milk and eggs, since April I think. I am happy to be in my little bubble , safe and secure.

The girls have been at home for exactly 6 months now. They have gone out exactly 5-6 times in these months – once/ twice to the dr, 4 days to school and once to the shops to get a gift for SP( same day as going to the school) . Of course they have gone out for solitary walks, but that doesn’t count as there is no interaction with anyone on those walks. In another 3 days, it will be 6 months since SP & I started working from home. Atleast I went into the office to collect critical items, SP hasn’t even done that.

Who would have thought that going into work or cafe or grocery store would become a sometime thing? It felt strange.. very strange. Who would have thought that using a mask would feel normal. Uncomfortable but normal. But I am not complaining, I feel safe when I have the mask on .

This takeaway coffee on my desk turned my home office into real office for those 5 minutes!!

What’s your favourite coffee? Mine is Soy Mocha 🤤 and I enjoyed every last drop of it, noisily slurping every last bit of the magic potion. 🤤

Do share your favourite coffee with me 😊

More later,

Trish xx

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Just random daily updates

Today we received a surprise package for the girls, from one of the lovely ladies in my study group. You know the excitement of receiving a package when you are least expecting it is far greater than the anticipation of waiting for one 😊 yes, when the postman knocked on the door, the girls and I looked at each other, then at SP,wondering if he had ordered something. The parcel was addressed to the girls & they were rapt! I am blown away by this little act of kindness.

Goodies! Ms An had ripped the packet open before I could take a photo.

MsA wanted to cook tonight, as she had to do a write up about cooking. And I gladly agreed. This meant that I was able to relax after work and not stress about getting dinner ready on time.

So, I spread a picnic blanket on the front lawn, grabbed a book and a cuppa and watched the world go by. MsAn played on the street, some neighbors stopped for a chat as they went for the daily walks or supervised their own kids. Mowgli was happy with all the extra attention too. The weather was beautiful too. SP came outside with his tea too, and we stayed outside for as long as we could, until it started getting dark.

He grabs the lead, if he doesn’t want to go back inside.

Another day comes to an end.. looks like the lockdown fatigue is here to stay. Tomorrow is the last day of the school term for the girls. We have officially survived two terms of home learning. At this stage we are looking at atleast 4 more weeks of home learning after the school holidays. But, I am not going to think about it just yet… one day at a time.. This will pass.

More later,

Trish ❤️❤️

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Self-care Awareness month

It’s all well and fine to promote self care, but it’s no good if we don’t practice what we preach. I have a day off today and I decided to spend some time on myself.

Usually, my day off starts no different to any other day. I still wake up at the same time, rush through the routine and get the girls , specially MsAn ready for school or online class . Today, I allowed myself the luxury of staying in bed a tad longer .

As everyone else was busy with work and school, I did some house work and then put on a charcoal mask and stayed in bed reading till it was time to wash it off. Isn’t it’s so important to switch off sometimes ? Put all your tasks on the back burner and just relax.

I also used the Hair dryer for the first time in 6-7 months.
MsAn had Food Tech at school today and loves cooking and baking.
Nutella scrolls
Scones

A quiet lazy day followed by a long walk with MsA and my big little puppy and my heart is happy . I am ready to deal with week and all the challenges it brings my way .

More later,

Trish xx

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4-oh!

This is a very late post,but how can I not blog about this very big milestone.

I turned 40 this year, in February. My big FOUR-OH! Normally, I am very excited about my birthday, but this year, I was surprised by own lukewarm response to the day. Could it be that the buildup to a milestone birthday, just fizzled out all the excitement of the day?

It could be due to the fact that I had just returned from a 6 week long trip to India and was still missing family, feeling homesick. Maybe because I didn’t have a plan .Or perhaps it was just that I was anxious about turning 40. My mom was 40 when she died and I had all sorts of worries about turning 40.

19th February,2020 arrived and it felt like a normal day. SP and I had taken a day off. We dropped the kids at school and went out for coffee and breakfast followed by a long drive to Williamstown. It was one of those rare kid free dates. Next stop was a trip to the hairdressers, followed by lunchtime cocktails and grazing platter , before picking up the kids. We finished the day with a nice dinner at a Mexican restaurant, complete with the most delicious margaritas and mini cupcakes.

Do I feel any different after turning 40? No, not really.. everything is still the same.. I still get the giggles over the silliest things, I still get excited over the same things and the things that annoyed me earlier,still annoy me. So, really 40 is just a number, isn’t it?

My anxiety or worries about turning 40 have disappeared or perhaps have been replaced by COVID worries. I keep joking with SP and the kids, that I didn’t get a chance to use 2020, so I am going to turn 40 next year ..it’s only fair, isn’t it?

I leave you with my favourite photo from a lunch with my girlfriends – they surprised me with a cake.. I was truly surprised and felt so spoiled at that moment and one of my friends captured it beautifully.

My necklace is my 40th birthday gift from my dad and sister ❤️💙

How did you celebrate your milestone birthday? Were you excited or feeling ‘meh’ like me ? Leave me a comment to share 🙂

Take care

Trish xx