Sunday, May 26, 2013

I Feel Sorry For My Husband!


This is an old cutting of the players of the 1971 India-England match - I had this cutting in my scrap book! I had written the names of the players too! One more link of the players of the same match is here.

Well...the cricket memories for me goes back to my school days.  I have written about them in a post here.  In those days, we used to 'hear' comments in the radio.  I was familiar with some players' names.  I saw the players being worshipped as heroes, in the years to come. I was watching some matches on and off, after marriage,  in  TV...watched two matches in the cricket grounds in Bengaluru and Chennai, but was not crazy about cricket, like my husband!

My husband was playing for his school in his childhood days.  He used to go to the 5 day test matches with his friends...some 20-30 friends.  He studied in Hindu High School and lived in Triplicane.  The Triplicane crowd was the true connoisseurs of Cricket in those days, he says.  This must be around late '50s or early 60's.  The children were playing cricket in each and every street whenever they got a break from school.  He still has got a hit mark on his forehead when he fell on a rod on the road while trying to catch a ball! 

Well...back to cricket of those days! There were only 5 days test matches in those days.  No 'one day internationals'.  The season ticket was Rs.8 to Rs.10.  They were allowed to take anything with them, inside the stadium.  The matches were not played in the current Chidambaram stadium.  It came late.  The matches were played at Corporation grounds, which was called Nehru stadium later.  No chairs.  They were going in by the cheapest tickets.  They were buying a few tickets, go in and throw the tickets to their friends outside the compound and they were coming in! No punching system! They used to bring their own food from their homes.  They used to stay outside the stadium overnight to get in first via the cheap tickets. Ten of them will stay and the rest will go home and bring food the next day for all.  They used to take turns for doing this!  Boys who stayed there, never slept at night, but play cards, sing songs etc. (no bath for days together, I said).  The night crowd also was huge, he says. All of them used to shout so much that their voice became hoarse and spoke in whispers after the match. The test matches in Madras were held mostly during Pongal holidays...mid January.  If the children didn't go home the mothers and sisters used to bring the pongal dishes in huge vessels (thookku) and distribute to their children and others.  They just walked in with the food inside the stadium.  Nobody bothered to check for the tickets in the middle of the match! Golden days, I would say! The whole atmosphere was like a festival atmosphere, he says with so much happiness in his voice, even now.   

If the wicket didn't fall for sometime, they were placing a camphor in a chappal and do haarti (pooja) and it used to work most of the time it seems! (Even now, he is a cricket his mid-sixties! He claps, shouts and stands up in excitement while watching the match in TV).  

I had written about the atmosphere we had at home, in Hosur, when we won the cricket world cup in 1983.  We had so many people at home enjoying the match in TV.  TV also was still new in those days, very few houses in the colony had TVs.  I was making tea and coffee all the time and cooked also.  Food came from other houses in the colony too.  All of them were shouting so much that we, women were going out for  chatting, standing on the roads!  Whenever a 4 or 6 was hit, or a wicket fell, the shouting was so much that our Andy also got excited and shouted standing on two legs,  jumping, looking at all of them!  It was pure happiness in the atmosphere! Kapil Dev was treated as a GOD!

I don't feel like writing about the current atmosphere.  Betting is common in cricket everywhere, my husband says.  Spot betting is bad, he says.  It is legal in other countries but not in India. My opinion is, we need not worry much, since the money is not our/tax payers' money.  It is gamblers' money.  We should worry about the Bansals and other political thieves who thrive with our money and escape punishment.

I have read so much and seen so much discussion in TV about this scandal.  Feel sick hearing about it now.

They have made a fool of all the cricket fans, sincere fans, here.  Betting outside is different.  But the players playing to their wishes is sickening.  Hereafter, we will be watching the players' body language than the actual match, to check if they are sending any signals to the bookies.

Today CSK vs Mumbai Indians' match is there at night.  Feel sad for the sincere players, esp. Dhoni.  Spectators might cheer but with some reservation today.  

I am planning to watch the finals of IPL today with my husband and son.  Will make 'easy to make' idly.  Saambaar is already done.  Don't know if we would have a sincere captain like Dhoni playing in the future!

We were watching Suresh Raina's interview in India TV's 'aap ki adaalat' prog. just now.  He looks so innocent and speaks from the heart.  He went to Shirdi Sai Baba's temple once, it seems.  When he came back, he saw in the TV news, a clipping of himself in the temple and the anchor was saying that the man standing behind him was a bookie. He had never seen the man before! His mother told him 'ab se tum ghar se hi baba ko pranaam karo, kahin math jaana'! How long can the players be 'protected' from the filthy money makers? They should be very strong minded unlike Srisanth, whom we thought was very childlike...crying baby, until now.

I just wonder if Dhoni would make a good new BCCI chief or Dravid or Ganguly? They should be tough to curtail the bookies' activities or at least they should see to it that they don't reach the players.  Or am I dreaming?! Will the game ever be the same again? Feel sorry for fans like my husband.

Edited now! I had linked a wrong post in the first paragraph by mistake.  Corrected now!

Edited on 27.5.13, after the IPL finals:  Mumbai Indians won and the BCCI chief (!)Srinivasan gave away the trophy! Feel very sad for Dhoni! It would have looked bad/worse for Sinivasan if CSK had won... Cricket is never going to be the same again! People who wonder about the IPL scandal, read this article.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Vengaaya Thogaiyal/Onion Chutney



1. Big onions/vengaayam, chopped - 5
2. Mustard/kadugu - 2 tsp.
3. Black gram daal/uluththam paruppu - 1 tbsp.
4. Red chillies/sigappu milagaai - 10 to 12
5. Curry leaves/karuveppilai
6. Capsicum/kudai milagaai - half (Optional)
7. Dri tam/Tamarind powder/puli podi - 1/2 tsp.
     (or a small round of tamarind)
8. Salt to taste
9. Sugar - 1/4 tsp.
10. Oil -  coconut or refined oil - 2 tsp. and 3 tbsp.


Put 2 tsp. of oil in a kadaai.  Add mustard first and let it burst.  Add the urad Daal and chilli and curry leaves immediately.  Fry it a bit till the urad daal becomes golden brown.  Then add the chopped onions and fry again until the onion is slightly  transparent.  Let it not burn.  If you add salt, the onions become transparent easily!

Let the onions get a little bit more transparent...otherwise the chutney will be very watery!
Put all these ingredients in a mixer along with dri-tam powder or tamarind.  Grind coarsely in a mixer.  This is also tasty. But it won't stay fresh for long.  If you fry it again, the taste differs and stays longer, esp. in the Chennai heat!

Pour 3 tbsp. of oil in a kadaai. I use coconut oil for roasting the onions, which gives a nice flvour for the chutney.  This time, I use gingelly/sesame oil, which is very good for health.  Add mustard.  Let it burst.  Add the ground onion paste and stir until it becomes transparent or glossy...around 5 to 8 mts.  Chutney is ready! The raw taste of the onion will not be there in this way.

This chutney is very tasty.  You can have it with dosa, chapaathi or anything ...with bread slices too!

P.S.: My mother adds a piece of LG hing.  Fry the hing first in the hot oil and then add mustard, when you fry the ingredients for grinding. You can reduce the no. of chillies if you don't want it hot.

EDITED TO ADD IN THE EVENING:   I am a typical Maradhi manni.  I should have posted this recipe in my recipe blog, 'Swaadhisht' .  Anyways, go through my other recipes in my recipe blog please!  I was simultaneously writing a post in Maradhi manni mixed up!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

I Am Going To Miss These Things...Part-I


It is always human nature...when we have things, we will not give too much importance to them.  Once we know that we are going to get away from them, then the nagging ache starts in our heart...slowly!

I had already written about our plans of shifting from our independent house to a flat here.  I have done a couple of posts on the flowers in my garden here. The day is nearing and I have started getting the 'missing/leaving anguish' now.  I will miss plucking the flowers in the morning with my cats following me around and watering the plants in the evening. We have a gardener coming once a week to clean the area from dry leaves and water the plants properly...washing the plants/leaves from dust and do other gardening jobs.  I was very particular about planting mostly plants of flowers with fragrance.  We are in the outskirts, so we don't have drainage facilities, yet.  The storm water drain is used by all, as a drainage for waste water from houses.  I will post a picture in the end.  It is too dirty.  It stinks.  So to contain that stink, the flowers help a lot. And one more thing, we get lots of butterflies and some small birds visiting us because of the blooming flowers, which is great to watch throughout the day!

This sudden attack of nostalgia was triggered by this article in 'The Hindu' about a book review on Madurai Mallippoo by Mrs. Uma Kannan.  I have got many varieties of mallippoo/jasmine flowers, but the fragrance of madurai mallippoo is exceptional.  Just 2 small flowers are enough to give fragrance, not only to the pooja room but to the entire hall in our house.  I have got some 4 plants of these flowers on all sides of our house.  The petals are unique...they are broad unlike the other types of mallippoo and look very beautiful at lights with the dark background of the green leaves.

Now, let me quote some information from Mrs. Uma Kannan's book:

One of the oldest flowers cultivated by man and believed to have aphrodisiac qualities, the jasmine, is the subject of this first-ever full-length speciality book. There are several books on other flowers as they make perfect gift books but none on jasmine. And particularly, the Madurai jasmine, which is world famous and gave the Temple town the epithet of jasmine capital of India.

When marriage brought her to Madurai four decades ago, she saw how the city revelled in an abundance of jasmine. Even the lone Indian Airlines flight to Chennai from Madurai in the 1970s was known as “Malli Special” and carried more jasmine baskets than passengers.

Every year in Madurai alone, 9,557 tonnes of malligai are produced annually from 1,220 hectares. It is also cultivated in Virudhunagar, Theni, Dindiul and Sivaganga. What makes the Madurai malligai extra special? Its fragrance lasts for 36 hours as it is grown on laterite and reddish soils. Its petals are thicker and help the flower to retain moisture and delay withering. It blooms only after 6 p.m. and stays fresh longer and leaves no odour once it withers. It is greenish white in colour when it is manually plucked from the plant early morning. After a few hours it turns milky white and then a shiny creamy white during the evening.

It is a charming tribute to the sacred ‘satwik’ flower that has a unique link with Madurai dating back to 300 B.C., or even earlier.

Madurai malli is protected by Geographical Indication mark.

I am proud to have this flower at home...I hope the plants survive for more years! My pooja room will have its fragrance forever.

One more special flower is the Paarijaatha flower.  I had planted this plant nearly 15 years back in my backyard.  But 8 years back, when we painted our house, the painter washed the paint bucket and poured it near the roots of this plant.  I tried my best to remove it but no, within two days, the plant died.  I myself dug two feet mud from that place, put fresh red mud with coconut coirs etc. and planted again and again, but no, nothing survived.  After 8 years, a lone plant, grew in some other inconvenient place to pluck them, started growing and blooming! I am very happy to see the flowers and again its fragrance is spreading in the front yard of our garden.  This is Lord Krishna's favourite flower.  The story is here.  This flower and other parts of the plants are used in Ayurvedic medicine.

These fragrant flowers helped me live in this house,  in spite of the stench of the ditch, just in front of our gate, all these years. But, on second thought, I don't want to spoil the beauty of this page with lovely flowers by posting the dirty picture!  This and the road dust are the main reason which have pushed us away from this beautiful house and garden.


Friday, May 10, 2013

A Day Of Positive News!

Whenever we open a newspaper, we are used to reading news about murders, accidents, RAPE, burglary etc.  We are so used to it that we just give just a glance to them.  We have become very insensitive to the misery of other people.  We never think that these types of news hurt the affected individuals...for us, they are just 'other people'. As far as nothing hurts us or our relatives or close friends personally, they are just news.  Even the rape of 5-6 year olds have become just 'news' because they have started pouring out every day from some part of our country.  Somehow I felt happy to read this paper of 9th May, '13, with so many positive news!  Thought of celebrating it with you!

BJP loses southern foothold to congress!

I am not a fan of any of our political parties at present.  As I keep on saying all the time, we don't have a good leader, at least a reasonably good leader in any party, at present! 'The defeat of the BJP in the only South Indian State where it had managed to establish a solid presence marks a stunning reversal for a party that has tried hard to grow beyond the Hindi-speaking areas of the country'! I don't think that Congress has won because people think that they are better politicians but because they are fed up with the infighting and corrupt politicians of the BJP!

One lakh Mangroves in Adyar Creek soon!

Chennai, even South Chennai is losing age old trees for broadening roads, building bridges AND for building flats in a dangerously fast pace.  I am happy to know that some area of our city is going to be green in the future!

Nochi Plants along river banks to check mosquito menace!

Until 15 days back, I used to sit here, in front of my laptop with a 'hunter bat' (electronic mosquito hitting bat) while typing posts! Now, the heat is 'affecting them' I think.  They don't bother us...this will last for another month, maximum.   Once the temperature comes down, their battalion will get active! Our Corporation is taking some positive step without using chemicals which will be harmful to us also, to curb mosquito menace!

Click and cultivate - the internet shows the way!

This sounds like a good idea! Internet has occupied in so many areas.  This news might help the farmers to be happy in their business...we might get more food to eat...the speed at which the farmers are moving to the cities because of the difficulties they face because of natural calamities and real estate builders, greedy industrialists, this gives hope for a better future!

She braves grinding hardships, argues, wins case!

The illiterate woman who runs a grinding machine in a small village had the guts to come to Chennai court, argue her case and WIN it too! Read it, you will be happy to know that our Court solves cases in a jiffy, sometimes! I am happy for Maheshwari!

State says 'no' to chewable tobacco!

This might be a good step taken by our AMMA!  I might be wrong, but I feel that I see more of the migrated workers using paan than the local workers.  They chew paan all the time and spit everywhere! I remember once a man spitting on me when I was walking near a bus in Mathura, when I went there on a tour! I am very allergic to paan chewing people, esp. after this incidence!

The science of dosa making!

This news might not help individuals but I admire the way this person, K.Mohan, a final year Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering student from SRM University keeps on inventing innovative machines...he is a recipient of six national awards  and several state awards.  He first started inventing when he was in class started with a herbal mosquito repellent.   He is such a simple looking person with lots of brains and guts! Read the link please.

I am a happy person and a positive person today after reading so many good news in the paper...just hope that everyday will be like this!

Click on the titles of the news to read from the links of the newspaper please!


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Wordless Wednesday!


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