While I was Away…….

I know it’s been some time while I posted…..yet again! I even read two books for Karen’s 1956 Club, but never got around to posting anything, because, something called Life kept happening. Nothing major, no ah-ha moments, no life stage changes; just the usual, sick aunts, working for a international financial conglomerate during a Credit crisis stirred by pandemic, plumbing disasters at home and other inconsequential and minor irritants, topped by the realization that it is the festival season in India, and my Dad who loved all the festivities (not the religious bruhaha) the eating and partying and gifting is no longer around to enjoy it! It’s kind of shifts the ground beneath one’s feet and I am still trying to figure out, why when Mom passed away, 5 years ago, I was much more stoic while now, I am falling apart every alternate day! I was equally close to both my parents so kind of weird all this emotional upheaval!

Anyhow I have complained long enough and while yes, all of these events consumed a lot of energy, there were other happy adventures at play as well. I have been lately cooking with a vengeance, expanding my repertoire for all kinds of Indian cuisines. There is no national cuisine in this country, though many people do think it’s Butter Chicken and Chicken Tikka Masala, neither are truly representative of the food cooked in this country for hundred thousand years. The other thing most people do not realize is whole breath of food available in this country. What you eat in North, is way different from what you get in South and they have nothing in common with either the cuisines of East or West. So I have trying out a lot of flavorful lentil dishes from West, cooking fish in the traditional Eastern style like my grandmothers and chicken like southern India. I have also mastered the art of making a Chappati (see here); this staple has been my albatross for years and finally I was able to crack the code of making them soft (easier) and round (IMPOSSIBLE!) This by far has been one of the few personal best of what can effectively call a miserable year!

Claude Monet, Autumn on the Seine at Argenteuil, 1873

I also started training for hiking again! Many many moons ago , I had taken this with the serious intentions of losing weight as well getting in shape for some treks I wanted to accomplish. But crazy work hours and sick parents often disrupted the training. The only good thing for this year is this Work from Home environment which saves me commute time and allows me to do a lot more and accomplish a lot more and I am happy to report that I have been on track for 3 months now and lost 9kgs and have considerably added on to my stamina

Finally, Marian like a true friend directed me to the launch of a amazing online journal specializing in fictions, essays and histories. You have to check out Post Modern Journal if you have not already. I have loved their posts and discovered that they are open to accepting submission from general public. I did send of a short story and they have accepted and I promise to inflict the link on all and everyone of you once it is published. Lol

What else, Fall is finally here and I cannot get enough of this season followed by Winter. We in North India have a short window to actually enjoy these seasons but we try and make the most of it. The smell of woodfire smoke, the chilling breeze and all the gur patties (see here )to gorge on. Is there a better way to describe perfection than this?

I leave you with this short piece in honor of November –

November Night

BY ADELAIDE CRAPSEY

Listen. .
With faint dry sound,
Like steps of passing ghosts,
The leaves, frost-crisp’d, break from the trees
And fall.

13 thoughts on “While I was Away…….

  1. i used to walk a lot until my hips started giving me trouble; that’s one reason i took up riding bicycle… Monet not only captures the scenery, but also the mind set that goes with it: amazing! the cooking descriptions make my mouth water! i’m a bit overweight and could stand to lose some, but not too much, maybe an Indian diet would help!

    1. I am so glad you liked the poem; it’s haikuish style was what really drew me in. I am not much of a Cycle person, so I am not really sure what I will do when I grow up πŸ˜€ I hope you can try some real Indian food; the authentic Indian cooking is very scientific with each spice and ingredient built in not only to add flavors but provide some very essential nutrients for the body, like Turmeric which is a super food and besides it’s anti inflammatory properties, helps in cell regeneration and staves of Cancer. Legumes are a rich source of proteins and fiber which does not have any fats attached to them. it’s just a crying shame that world over this very scientific and nutritious style of cooking has been typecast into oily greasy butter chicken and the like!

  2. Welcome back! Life does get in the way sometimes, doesn’t it? ;D I am jealous of your chappati making – I love them but they never come out as soft as I want! I love walking too but as winter is on its way I shall be doing less. And thank you for the poem – I only came across Adelaide Crapsey recently but she seems to be unjustly neglected!

    1. Life indeed does! Please do not be jealous, as someone one whose native skills require ability to make Chappati, I was quite a disaster with it. Funny, Winters are the best time to walk in Delhi – the crisp air and the blazing sunshine! I have to agree completely with you regarding Adelaide Crapsey; she is so great and extremely underrated!

  3. It’s nice to hear you are doing ok. Grief is a weird thing and everything is made even weirder in pandemic time. It sounds like you are taking good care of yourself though. Well done on the hiking training and the increase in stamina! Also, I love lentils and I love a tasty chappati. I have made chappati before and they are only ever round-ish πŸ™‚ Love the poem!

    1. You are so right Stefanie! Grief is indeed a strange thing, but I am doing ok. Thank You for the encouragement, I hope to continue on the training and actually take a hike soon! I am so impressed that you can make round-ish Chappati. That is amazing! Yes the poem is quite something, isn’t it?

  4. Cirtnecce! I can’t wait to read your short story!! ❀
    Also I love hearing about your cooking. I wish I could sample all of it…
    Congrats on your fitness goals, too, that's an amazing accomplishment. I love walking & hiking, cause you can just let your thoughts and imagination come along. Hope to see some pictures of the views πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Marian though I would hold of on the excitement; it may not be all that good! 😦 I wish I could cook some of these dishes for you, maybe one day! I know the great thing about walking is how much your mind is freed to explore anything it wants. I will share pictures as soon as I take a hike! πŸ˜€

  5. I’ve been thinking about your post for a couple of days and the main thing I want to do is send a HUGE covid-safe HUG to you. Mr Books lost his father 3 yrs ago this week (his mother 13 yrs ago). Like you he was quite stoic about his mum’s passing, but his dad’s death has rocked his world. Part of it is that sense of feeling orphaned. Even though he knows he is loved by me, his children, his extended family and friends, he is feeling lost without that unconditional parental love. He also drew much closer to his dad after his mother’s death. As you say, his ground has shifted from under him.
    So I understand what you mean and have a sense of what you are going through and I just want to send love and hugs.
    I actually think it would help Mr Books if he could write something creative, so well done you for sending off your work and a BIG congrats on having something accepted. I will keep an eye out for the link πŸ™‚

    1. Brona, thank you so much for sending me this note! I am so sorry for Mr. Brooks but it helps to know that many of us go through the same process and despite all the love, we do miss the parental unconditional sort…..also like him, I grew closer to Papa once Ma passed away…..I am so appreciative of the words, the sheer kindness, and the love, you have no idea how much this post meant to me! Thank You so much my friend!!!! Hug Back!

  6. I think it becomes more weird once both your parents are gone. When we’re younger, death is so far away but when we become acquainted with it, it changes our outlook. I hope you have lots of people to hug you and spoil you. Sending hugs from afar! πŸ€—

    All this talk of food has made me hungry and while I appreciate your links, I would have LOVED to have seen a recipe. In fact, you’ve given me an idea for my updates. Since I’m not food blogging at the moment, it would be nice to include a favourite recipe monthly. Hmmmmm ……… πŸ€”

    Brava on your quest for exercise! You’ve inspired me. I’ve already started doing at least a walk a day but now I’m going to try to increase them. Please keep us updated on your meanderings!!

    That’s so exciting that you’re going to have a short story published! You’re an author, if not a famous one ….. yet! I look forward to more samplings of your talent.

    And finally, I’m so happy to see a poem! I’ve been enjoying your poem “stories” on IG. Poems are so underrated and we soooo need to read more of them.

    Take care, sis and don’t be away so long!

    Yours truly,
    Cleo (I thought I would sign off this way, as my comment has become a letter, lol!)

    1. You are right, it’s the processing as an adult that is more complicated, but I am blessed to have all of the love in the world. including yours, and Brona, and Marian, and Karen, and Stefanie….see I AM LUCKY!!! The concept of a recipe a month is actually a good idea and I will play tag with you, you do one Western/European and I do one Indian! I am glad you are up and about and in this restricted environs of a pandemic, it’s important to get some physical activity. Thank You for the kind words on writing, fingers crossed to a few more! πŸ™‚ I am glad you like the poetry stories on IG; I think we need something beautiful every day, to help us remember, life is truly quite wonderful. It’s always so good to talk to you and one day I want to do it in person ….Yours Cirtnecce (since mine is a letter as well…lol)

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