Thursday, November 08, 2007

Happy Diwali and...

One more inane post from me with colorful pics which might not interest anyone and in fact has nothing to do with the writings. To keep the interest alive even without food, you have to do the unthinkable.

The fact is I am not cooking much these days. The sweet ma-in-law who is visiting has been delegated the task to feed the family. Now she cooks delectable delights and had I been the ideal Indian Bahu with virtues like patience, docility, ghunghat…blah blah I would have patiently stood by her side and jotted down recipes in neat cursive writing in my recipe book with expensive monogrammed pages(Do they make those by the way)

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At The Capitol on a crisp cold November morning

But as luck would have it I have neither patience nor cursive writing and in fact not even a decent recipe book. So I don’t write, I just come back home, lay the table for dinner and eat the sumptuous meals, all the time doing my bit by praising her culinary skills. In fact I sometimes even suggest the menu and throw in my ideas about how it should be done (ok no one what), and then cook the Dal of the day while I let Ma-in-law wallow in the pleasure of cooking rest of the meal. The only thing I can't get her to do is measure which no decent cook worth their Indian Spices does, so the blog suffers.

Had I done that, Ekta Kapoor would surely feature me in her next multistarrer "Kkabhi Bahu bhi Saas Banegi"

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The Washington Monument standing tall

So you see, that is though you do not see food on my blog I am enjoying good food, family and life. That is I have proved that I actually have a life now outside the Blog. Wow I actually proved something… incredible.

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Can we decide on the next President

Now to keep the Mom part of the Blog alive a short update on lil’ S who in fact refuses to grow up and doesn’t even want her Birth Day anymore. Given that I have not read Peter Pan to her yet, I don’t know how she got this idea.

She however started showing an increased interest in dancing after we plugged in to 4 Indian Channels who showcase dance and music like there is no tomorrow. In the fear that she could bring shame err fame to the family by becoming the next Rakhi Sawant and dancing to tunes of Himesh, I signed her up for a Indian classical dance lessons. She did not really take to it much initially and even made me hold her hands and do some steps with her. Me with my two left feet holding a 3and ½ year olds hand and dancing Kathak was a sight to behold, but I would do anything, really anything to keep my child safe from Himesh and gang.

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Fall colors in the woods across my backyard

Also had much fun at Halloween. I like Halloween because of two primary reasons besides the candy.

The burgeoning cost of costumes have not hit me yet as the lil’ one is really good and wants to be princess and nothing but the Princess and does not want any costume per se. So while last year I dressed her up as the Indian princess in her ghagra-choli with a crown, pearly beads and wand this year she was a Princess in a hand-me down pretty Cinderella dress. So whatever the costume as long as there is a crown she is happy.

The second reason might evoke sniggers but I really like this one time chance I get to take a sneak peek at the unknown neighbor’s. The unknown always holds enchantment for me and instead of using that curiosity to discover the new planet in the galaxy with intelligent beings, I take sneak peek at the neighbor’s (don't get wrong ideas ok ?). The daughter however turned to be too propah and refused to ring doorbells at unknown houses so we did the rounds of familiar boring homes and collected limited candy

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And now there is Diwali. Staying in a different land has its advantages. You get to celebrate all your own festivals, adopt the ones that the new country has to offer and also celebrate some which others like you have brought into the culture. The result is nothing but celebrations year round. And even then I pine for Durga Puja back home which actually might turn out something like this (Do read this hilarious post by Anamika)

And that brings me to the actual reason why I wrote this post. To wish all of you A VERY HAPPY DIWALI .

And please do pardon me if you don't see me around that much, I try to and then life happens.

* Pics are from our recent DC pilgrimage
* For all who wanted to know the make of my camera , I mostly use my Canon SD700 IS. The first 2 pics in this post have been taken by the Nikon D80, which is a recent gift from D and which I have not used that much yet.


  1. Beautiful writing and equally beautiful photos Sandeepa. What a great Ma-in law you have! Lucky girl, enjoy and yes, praise her talent every time you sit down to eat!!:)
    Have a very very happy Diwali and wish you and your's the best. Hugs to you!:))

  2. Sandeepa, have you ever been to D.C. during the cherry blossom season? It is spectacular. Great pics and post. I hope you enjoy your festival and time off from the blog.

  3. Thanks Asha. You know what Kannadigas say right "Swalpa adjust maadi"...that should be the new mantra of life, makes things much more easier to handle ;-)

    Nooooooooo, many attempts had been made but somehow didn't fall through :(
    Last weekend it was pretty chilly there

  4. sandeepa..i could not help laughing about the digs at rakhi sawant..i actually felt kinda sorry for her..but she has milked the cow too far..i saw her acting like a nut in kofee with karan..i had my face covered nearly the whole time, coz i was embarrased for her!!...and glad that u are having a break from cooking...all of us need that :) have a great diwali and my wishes to you and ur family :)

  5. Rajitha
    Don't know much about rakhi sawant truthfully except that i hated her when she was on this one show on Sony.
    Haven't seen that Koffee with Karan either

  6. Beautiful photos! I'm in DC as well and I can't wait for all the leaves to change so I can get colorful photos of the Capitol in fall.

  7. Happy Diwali to you!
    enjoy all the food till u can get it, and then later it's back to the pavillion ;)
    btw i'm typing with my left hand, does it seem any diff ;)

  8. A very happy Diwali Sandeepa. Very nice write up. I am with you on Himesh(Nasal king) and Rakhi sawant bit. I saw her on Kofee with Karan and she looked/behaved nothing like a celebrity(is she a celebrity??). I hate all the mallikas and rakhees of Bollywood.

  9. That was a nice writing & some good photos, specially the fall colours!! Good for you - Ma-in-law cooks yum food & takes your advice too :-) Enjoy girl till you can.. Happy Diwali to you all.

  10. Hey Sandeepa
    Love your pictures, they look amazing!! love those sparrows!!
    happy diwali to u n your family!!

  11. I have to disagree with you in the first 4 words itself... a sweet and beautiful one with the Sandeepa touch :)

    Wishing you and your family , a very happy Diwali. Hugs to your lil princess too :)

    So Dancing Kathak now, eh :)


  12. Awesome and very well written post by you Sandeepa as always.. I loved the gags over Rakhi and Himesh.. hehe.. and lucky u for such wonderful, caring ma-in law..
    Happy Diwali to you and your family dear..:)

  13. happy diwali to u and ur loved ones san. will come bk and go through the post later... got to wish so many friends;)

  14. Lucky you...I do pine at times for someone to cook for me :(

    Lovely pictures...glad to know you're enjoying your time...Happy Diwali to you and your dear ones.

  15. ah lucky you, hot food waiting for you everyday... And don't worry about posting recipes, just give us some of these delightful writings once in a while... :) And beautiful pics too!

  16. Hey, loved reading your post.
    Thanx for the diwali greetings,and wish you n ur family the same too!

  17. Hahahahah... i'm rolling here:). Beautiful pictures Sandeepa.
    Enjoy ma-in-laws cooking...
    Have fun.

  18. hey sandeepa...nice ma-in-law story..sounds very familiar:) but its ulta in my house...I am the one who keeps feeding them delicious recipes, more bcoz my pa-in-law likes my cooking better than hers:D imagine how that would've put me in her books!!!

    beautiful pics girl...Happy Diwali, and have tonnes of fun!

  19. Ha ha ha, enjoy someone else's cooking as long as you can, Sandeepa. and little S sounded all proud and grown-up, esp when you mention she doesn't want to go to strangers' homes for candy!

  20. It's so nice having parents at home to do the cooking for you. Makes you feel like a child again...*sigh*
    P.S: Love your post...and yes, enjoy your kid's childhood while it lasts. Before you know, they'll be lecturing you about proper behaviour! ;)

  21. It's always a pleasure catching up with you. Enjoy the "break" :) and Happy Diwali to you and the family.

  22. Kkabhi Bahu bhi Saas Banegi...ha ha ha :) Now that's what I call foresight. Will keep remembering this line of yours through the day and grinning!

    Good to know you're being pampered with good food and don't need to spend much time in the kitchen.

    The pictures were awesome. I loved the sparrows.

    And I like the second reason for liking Halloween ;)

    Happy Diwali!

  23. kabhi bahu bhi saas banegi!!!! LOL.. i just adore ur sense of humour san...
    and lucky girl, enjoying all yummy food cooked by ma-in-law... ah!!! i still have to experience that properly. i hardly got time to spend with her.
    and little S has started kathak classes? hope she is liking it. i hated my classical dance classes initially but later i quite enjoyed it:) and i guess u r getting kathak classes at home by her;) he he he...
    wishing u once again a very happy deepavali:)

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  25. Sandeepa, as always a pleasure reading your posts. You were in our neck of the woods, if you had given me heads up I would have come to the Mall armed with THE song and we could have (re)united :)
    Well next time do tell me ahead of time and lets also decide on THE song Hindi movie style :)

  26. Wishing you a Very Happy Diwali! Sandeepa dear.
    In all the rattling I forgot to do that!

  27. Kelly
    Yes the trees were still green in DC. The Fall colors would have made a pretty sight

    Yeah waiting for that :D

    Have not see much of Rakhi Sawant, but Himesh I started hating after seeing him on Sa re Ga Ma. He has all the wrong attitudes. And I just don't like small girls dancing to Bollywood tunes


    Taking my advice..not really ;-)

    Thanks and have a lovely Diwali

    You are a dear. You know what you should write more such comments for me under different names ;-)
    Everytime I blog, i wait for a few people to comment and you are one of them. I keep checking until I see yours which inevitably makes my day.
    And little S has started on Kathak because that was what the teacher nearest to my house taught. Personally I prefer BharatNatyam or Odissi.
    But anything to keep a little girl dancing to our dear Bollywood music.


    I do take break from cooking now and then even when we are by ourselves. There is so much work to do anyway that by Thursday I am usually tired and have simple meals. Yes now I get to eat Macher Jhol without cooking though.

    You, you , you...Auntie (your Mom) has left just a month and half ago and you forget your glorious days !!!

    Thanks. have agreat Diwali

    Happy Cook
    Thanks dear

  28. Shivapriya
    Have a great Diwali dear and don't laugh too much :D

    Thats a ploy I am telling you :D But its good to get those praises so you can keep cooking:)

    Lil' S acts like my grandma at times !!!

    She already lectures me, the time has come,, albeit early !!!

    Thanks dear and you have a great Diwali too

    Yes I shudder at the thought. Ahhh and there is work, if not in the kitchen, then elsewhere :D

    I had to really dance with her during the first few lessons and I am no good at it. That too not at my home but at her class with two more tiny girls !!!
    This week I refused to though. Till date S has shown interest in spurts but it is ok since she is not yet 4. Maybe she will get hang of it gradually or just refuse when she can decide on her own.

    Ha ha...yes but THE song is the toughest decision. maybe we should give Himesh a call (I am not sure if you know who he is)
    Have a lovely Diwali with the two DDs and their dad

  29. Pardon my ignorance, I have never heard of these Bollywood personalities. Quite a scene,eh? I don't care whether you cook or not. Keep writing Sandeepa. Be it about food or not, I enjoy reading yr posts thoroughly.

  30. Beautiful post Sandeepa. Isn't it amazing that you can eat all that delicious food and not have to do the cooking :) Happy Diwali to you and your family and a big hug to little S :)Enjoy your time off!

  31. Good post Sandeepa! IT made me laugh... love u're writing style. Love the picture of the woods in your backyard.
    Enjoy u're ma-in-law and all the good food! Good luck too for that ;-)
    Hugs and Happy Diwali

  32. happy diwali Sandeepa! lovely writeup!

  33. I really enjoyed reading your article and it does feel nice to have such a sweet mom-in-law...
    I really liked your fall winter photo...
    Happy Diwali to you too...

  34. Hey Sandeepa, as usual, this is a cute post :). Happy Diwali to you and your loved ones too, dear :). Am sure you had lots of fun for Diwali. and thanks a ton for sharing the lovely fall foliage picture! i dunno' why, but i feel like singing ek chidiya-anek chidiya song right now :-D. That was a cute one :). i was away for a cpl. of day and got back y'day late evening, so not much Diwali stuf for me, but given that we have a long weekend, i might take some time out to have some fun :-D.


  35. Wishing you and your lovely family a wonderful Diwali and a joyous festive season! Looks like you all had a lovely vacation!

  36. I can certainly empathise with life happening and taking you from your blog! You can be assured, dear Sandeepa, that your lovely photos and prose are most welcome regardless the subject! So glad to hear you are enjoying a full and happy autumn, and (selfishly) I will add -- even if your mother in law doesn't measure, I'd sure love to hear what she's cooking up! :)

    Hope you had a wonderful weekend!

  37. Hey Sandeepa, Have fun dancing with little S. And your comment about measuring ingredients, anytime me and my mom cook, this is a major struggle. She is like 'oh this is nothing, just add a little' and I go fuming a little :) Am we some measuring ingredient maniacs or what!! :)

  38. Hi sandeepa
    Happy diwali dear!!
    the pics are really wonderfull!!

  39. Hope you had a brilliant Diwali Sandeepa. Amar ma akebare aak. She never lets me cook when she's visiting... bit annoying when you have a food blog. I make her write all the recipes down for me in a notebook as punishment...

  40. Ha ha..girls. My lil one too only wants to dress up as a princess! I wish she would agree to be the Devil once in a while, which in real life she can be too. :-D

    And keep her away from Rakhi Sawant videos. I hate that girl! :-S

  41. cnpwweueHi Sandeepa. how lucky to have such a nice MIL :-) I am still giggling at the "kabhi bahu bhi saas banegi" bit... BTW as usual lovely write-up and gorgeous photos. I must sai though I think the credit for the awesome photos (in all your posts) go to you due to the thoughtful composition. Chalo, more later. BTW, the Mahisasur Pala ptr was fun :-)

  42. yay! You got a D80 :) I too have one :)

  43. Lovely pictures. Especially the one from your backyard and the Diwali greeting- such an absolute riot of colour. Yes do please keep lil S AWAY from that godawful Rakhi Sawant. Tak abut crude .


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