A bye with mixed feelings

Dear bloggers of the blogathon, there are mixed feelings when I am writing the last post of this blogathon. While generally there is a relief that the blogathon is over as I need not write a compulsory post every day, this time it feels like saying good bye to good friends for a while .

This time I got introduced to Prachee and Indu .I loved reading RM and Pepper after a long break. Constant companions have also been writings of MTW, RS, Vidhya and Seema. I loved the friendly bantering with Chaitra, FV, Ani, Tharani and SS. Visha ,you writing again seemed like telling hi again to a good old friend after a big gap. I would miss you all after you have gone back to your busy lives.

Thanks a ton Ani for motivating me to join the bandwagon. It has been a fun ride. While I am tempted to write about food after reading your post, I am pretty sleepy now. Good bye and looking forward to seeing you all in the next blogathon.

Guess the blogger – last for this blogathon

While I love reading many blogs I could not actually have many guess the blogger posts due to my frequent deviations. So now in this post I am copying FV by asking multiple questions in same post and reducing number of hints to make the exam hard..I am strict teacher ok.

Blogger A :

Hint 1 : She has one daughter.

Hint 2 : Her FIL is an awesome photographer

Blogger B :

Hint 1 : She used to travel to work on Mumbai local train

Hint 2 : She is a mother of two girls and is currently not in Mumbai.

Blogger C :

Hint 1 : She has named herself and her partner as a spice and herb

Hint 2 : so obvious..no more hints

Blogger D :

Hint 1 : She is a social worker and has travelled extensively across India

Hint 2 : She is a patriot.

Blogger E :

Hint 1 : She lives in Mumbai

Hint 2 : Her blogger name starts with P

Blogger F :

Hint 1 : She does home composting and has turned vegetarian

Hint 2 : She writes awesome travel posts

These are bloggers whom I loved reading through the blogathon. Thanks much for writing, sharing stories despite hectic lives.

Love to you all !!

Life is full of surprises

This is what I think is mustard plant

I grow 4 different plants in the pirandai pot . Priandai is a hardy plant and it can survive with other friends. Now I do not know what the three others are – Brinjal ? Tomato? Tulsi..God knows !!

Is not life also a matter of chance?? We do not know what will happen the next moment. I had given up researching about these plants too.. Are not children also like these plants? We can just put in our best effort and nurture them. Beyond that it is for the plant to grow .The joy for me is to see what these plants grow into without having any expectations.

We come with nothing when we are born and go back taking nothing with us during death. What matters in between is how we live the life in between gracefully hopefully and joyfully.

Let us talk about autism

I had been giving a lot of thought if I should be writing on this topic in this blog. After a lot of thought, it then stuck me if I do not share about this journey here, I am missing documenting and sharing an important piece of my life in this space.

Kiddo was diagnosed to be autistic by the age of 4. It took me an year and a half to completely accept the diagnosis. He was showing autistic features right from the age of 2.5. Though we provided for appropriate interventions since the age of 2.5, I started getting actively involved with him since he turned 4. I  now have the courage to admit about kiddo’s autism and get help. After all kiddo needs to get all the support that he deserves.

Being a mom of autistic child taught me to celebrate little milestones, and made me a better parent. Some days , I get sad as many times I have to see kiddo struggle through what is so easy for a neuro typical child. A bit of the sadness is also probably in having to say good bye to my dreams of sharing my world with kiddo and instead venturing into his world.

The bottom line I keep learning every day is acceptance , being happy with the child as he is and enjoying time together.

My kokki to patriarchy

The heart of patriarchy is control. The head of patriarchy is to serve to male members of the family. I had been raised in a very liberal family. My dad loves waking at 4 am and cooking idlis before my mom could even wake up and would serve her tea every morning. Dad also regularly does some house hold chores. I got married via arranged marriage in a highly patriarchial household and had been living with in laws together for the past decade.

While I had given in many times, to be fair my in-laws have too accepted me quite a bit.

My mother in law belonged to the previous era. Her daily routine is highly disciplined and fits to the clock. She had initially expected the same from me! Face palm moment. Every day I would wake up at different times and ultimately she gave up on me.

Control comes in various forms. Coaxing to eat what they cook, getting dresses that they like for me, setting rules to visit parents, finding fault with your family etc. The fun is breaking all the control structure.

Controlling the kitchen is one of the most important ritual of patriarchy and deciding what to serve for whom.

The gravest insult you can give to the system is to eat the icing in the cake or the choicest dishes solely prepared for the earning male of the family. Some days it is buying what you like or visiting your family as you wish.

While we have both accepted and co exist reasonably, some days I shake a bit of patriarchy and enjoy the fun.

Breaking patriarchy needs male allies. It is unfortunate that the gate keepers of this regressive method of control have been the victims of patriarchy. I have many days encourage mil to have fun her own way and take care of her needs. Some days she listens, some days not.

Mix up

I am a master mix up person. Has to do a bit with my impatience in completing a work .

Last week, I was commenting in a hurry that I mixed up Mtw and Ani.

The week before, I mixed up Idli podi and Sambar podi in my hurry to have a side dish for idli.

For this pongal , I bravely ventured to make a rangoli and guess what I took instead of white kola podi??- Ariel washing powder!!

Worst is last year , I mixed up multani mitti and meera shiakai powder. I was wondering why the shiakai powder was not lathering while I had applied it to my hair. 🙄

Temple visit

Today, we went to the Nitya kalyana Permunal temple at Thiruvidanthai. It is one of the 108 divyadesams of the Vaishnava Sect and is a very old temple built in the 7th century. Though it is an archaeological site, regular Pooja’s happen in this temple. The chief deity is Varaha Perumal – the boar Avatar of Vishnu. It is believed that those who want to get married can pray to get married soon in this temple.

Temple visits in traditional setting with the family is a treat for me. This visit was one of the kind and it evoked strong nostalgia.

The temple is located close to the sea and the drive is through backwaters which are frequented by water birds and kingfishers. The weather was cloudy and pleasant.The scenic drive itself was a pleasure to the eyes.

Once we reached the temple, we first visited the temple tank and fed pori to the fish in the tank. Kiddo loved dipping his foot in the tank water and was insisting on taking a dip!

Enroute to the temple, we got flowers for the gods and fed agathu keerai to calves . There was not much crowd probably due to Covid and we could leisurely take in the peaceful atmosphere of the temple.

Getting prasad stall goodies is my favourite part of temple visits. We got puliyogara, laddoos , murukku thatai and milagu dosa and had most of it sitting together as a family in a mandapam located outside the temple.

On way back home we had refreshing tender coconuts to drink and bought some pana kilangu( fil’s favourite) and a December poo strand ( mil’s favourite) .

There is an innate simplicity and beauty in such experiences. This one is going to remain in my heart for a long time.

Pro Quota or Anti Quota?

This is a common contention point when it comes to a government job or an application for a government college.

While I do have a lot of friends who had been in the recieving brunt of quota based reservations and are strongly anti-quota my sympathy still lies with the pro- quota group.

The basic premise for the quota system is inclusion. It comes from the belief system that the starting point for everyone in a race is not the same. It takes privilege and access into account and tries to level the field to ensure that a diverse set of people run the nation or learn together.The challenges that an economically and socially deprived person breaks to reach a particular position must be taken into account for a fair competition.

As in any system there are people who abuse the system. Dummy panchayat heads from marginalised section of the society being controlled by dominant community leaders is still prevalent in Tamil Nadu. There are people from marginalised sections who have reached positions of power due to a generation of hard work and they take away the reserved seats due to the privilege of birth and caste. Our general election outcomes are still caste based rather than policy based.

Our quota system should be restructured both based on the economic and social privilege. This is my thought. What are your thoughts on the quota system?

Happy news

This is not about babies. When a couple gets newly married, relatives have a way of harassing them. ” When are you going to give happy news?” An indirect way of asking..” Are you having intimate moments together and providing the end product?”. This post is about other happy news. So again pausing the “Guess the blogger” series.

First happy news-I have discovered two new bloggers in this blogathon-Indu and Prachee. Thanks to Tharani and SS. I was scrolling through posts and silently laughing at the jokes written..SS oda sleeping yoga post etc.. My maamanaru was asking..unakku ethum loosu pudichuruchaa. Thaanaa sirrikura. My response 🤭. (Namma story ellan explain panna mudiyaathu.)

Second happy news – Joe Biden has take oath as the US president. Whatever said an done the US is still the most powerful country on earth and it is necessary to have inclusive and kind leaders wielding power. I am still aware that Trump is not completely dumped. What we saw as the capitol carnage which happened earlier this month still reminds us there are entitled bigots who are unapologetic and they feel that they are superior and deserve to have the best of resources just because of they belong to a certain race , color , gender , religion or caste. They are still at the large and waiting to pounce back to power. It is very important that we empower the right people, feed the right wolf to ensure a better world for our children.

The same applies closer home too. I am appalled by the stalling of the farm law discussions, the proposed so called development projects which would be at the cost of environment and the know it all patronizing attitude of those in power in India. Also in India , we do not even have a strong opposition to it. Atleast in Tamil Nadu though we have a govt which is in compliance with the centre, there is a growing group of third party of youngsters in politics and environmental activism.

Third happy news. You remember the Stop Adani, Save Pulicat campaign for which I had designed an art campaign, poster? The govt has postponed the public hearing for the project. This is because of mounting opposition of the project from different directions. See the chappa saaku they have given taking the upcoming elections in view. Whatever said and done, the project is stalled.

A small win

If you want to know more on the reason behind the opposition for the port expansion, do watch this video here. Language of the video is tamil as this is a local problem. English sub titles are available to ensure reachability to all.

Wishing a happy day ahead to all of you❤️