Author: obsessivemom

Can a parent ever let go?

Can a parent ever let go?

This past week, in a bit of a coincidence, I’ve stumbled across multiple stories from friends – children and parents – who’ve disagreed with each other over important life-decisions like the choice of career or life partner.

It’s heartbreaking – this disagreeing with people closest to you, this not being able to understand each others thoughts and motivations.

Desperate children have been driven to the brink of suicide because they haven’t found it in their hearts to rebel. When I was younger I’d wonder why parents wouldn’t let them learn from their own mistakes. It seemed like such a logical thing to do.

As a mom now, I am no longer so certain. My children seem such a part of me, like a physical living part of my body, my heart, that it seems only natural to reach out and stop them, protect them from making mistakes. Separating myself from them seems the hardest thing I will ever need to do.

I wonder where I will find the courage to let them do something that, to my mind, is clearly a disaster. Would I be okay if they left the tried and tested to strike out on an unknown journey? Would I be okay, for instance, if one of them chose a career in music over academics, or would want to try their luck in Bollywood or strike out in the jungles as a photographer?

Would I be able to let them go? And yet be ready to have their back should they fail? Without a hint of ‘I told you so’? And then when they’re back up on their feet, would I be ready to let them make their next mistake? Be ready to have their back yet again?

It’s not going to be easy.

As I’ve grown older, possibly wiser, I’ve known some people who rebelled against their parents and found happiness. Some didn’t. Some heeded their advice and found happiness, others didn’t.

The thing is, one never can tell with life.

While children follow their passion, parents have to be the voice of reason. Click To Tweet

Ever so slowly, I hope they learn to balance their passion with reason, on their own. And I hope I’m around till they learn to do that. As their parent if I’m even writing this post, thinking I will have to let them go someday, it’s a step forward.

Meanwhile I make this promise to myself..

that I shall keep an open mind and respect their wish to follow their passion.

that I shall always always place their happiness above societal pressures – a lesson gifted to me by my parents.

and most of all, I will never close the doors of communication.

And I hope when the time comes, the children will give me and my concerns a patient hearing. And then, if they choose to go ahead despite it all, I shall find the courage to stand by them.

***********

 

Linking up with Mackenzie at Reflections from Me #mg

Eat Seasonal, Eat Local

Eat Seasonal, Eat Local

I never really was fond of winters. They’re just so cold, no? (Reminds me of Ross who doesn’t like ice-cream because it’s too cold!) They’re supposed to be cold I know, but that’s just me.

The one saving grace was food. And I’m not talking of Nawabi winter desserts like malai pan or malai makkhan I grew up on.

I’m talking regular everyday food.

Winter brightened up our daily dinner table

There was delicious matar aloo, my absolute favourite, peas and potatoes in a thick rich tomato gravy. Or we had peas simply sautéed with ginger and topped with lemon and coriander that could be had a side dish or a snack. Sometimes they teamed with carrots for the sweetish gajar-matar.

There was cauliflower made with potatoes or cooked elaborately into a dum gobhi. There were green chick peas to be made into an aromatic nimona or just roasted to be ready to munch on.

We had capsicums and tomatoes stuffed with paneer or potatoes and baked to perfection; not to mention a variety of greens – spinach and fenugreek and mustard greens made into a saag.

Even the salad dish looked brighter with brilliant white radishes, sweet with a tiny hint of bitterness, deep red beets, tomatoes and carrots.

There were peanuts to pass the time and til laddoos or gajak for dessert.

The rotis tasted better too. Besan ki roti with gur and ghee or makki ki roti with sarson ka saag were couples made in food-heaven.

It was such a relief from the entire gourd horde of the summer – bottle gourd, sponge gourd, bitter gourd, white gourd – lauki, torai, karela. Seriously!!

So why am I talking in the past tense?

Because it isn’t so any longer.

Now we get everything in every season

I find cauliflower throughout the year, the red carrots might disappear but the orange ones happily take their place and we have frozen peas if fresh ones get too expensive. And wonder of wonders I can even get kairis, raw mangoes, in December if I want to make a chutney.

However, it isn’t the same, is it? The peas aren’t as sweet, the carrots not so flavourful and the radish not crisp enough.

The other day I was at a hotel and they served watermelon for breakfast. I didn’t even feel like going close to it. Come  summer and it becomes the fastest vanishing fruit in our refrigerator. The Husband would go to the wholesale market and stock it up because we just couldn’t have enough of it.

There really is something to be said about having food in the right season. Click To Tweet

I’m not going to launch into a lengthy ‘Why’ of it because it is quite obvious. Seasonal food is fresher, cheaper, more nutritious and with fewer preservatives, as also so much more delicious, when had in the correct season. In the larger perspective, it is often sourced locally and good for your local farmer. Besides, half the excitement of it all is not getting it all year through.

And while on that, I have to take back the insults I heaped on the gourd family. They are perfect for the summer – cool and light and easy on the stomach.

It’s rather sad that the children don’t even know that specific vegetables are available in specific seasons, except perhaps mangoes. And that is why they remain an absolute premium fruit for them.

I’m no cook but prompted by Rachna’s recipe I tried sarson ka saag. It turned out really easy to make once I got all the ingredients together and absolutely scrumptious. Wonder of wonders, the children loved it, tucking into it with gusto, first with the makki ki roti and then with rice. It is set to become a regular at our table.

The makke ki roti looks like tiger pugmarks. I struggled to keep even this small a roti together.

Do drop by Rachna’s blog if you’re a non-cook like me and are looking for easy-to-make recipes.

Do you have a favourite food memory linked to a season? A favourite winter staple, perhaps?

*********

Linking up with Shilpa for #FlavoursomeTuesdays

New Learnings and Kitchen Adventures

New Learnings and Kitchen Adventures

Last week I went down with a bad back. After the initial shock had worn off I settled down with my current read on my kindle. I was just beginning to enjoy the experience when the cook called to say she wasn’t coming. That was the worst kind of spoke in the wheel of my happiness.

As I sat there feeling rather helpless, the children offered to take up the cooking. It might have been the result of a phone call from the sister, which turned them from busy-without-business-tweens to Santa’s hardworking little elves.

Of course there’s much difference between good intentions and actually getting down to work. After staking claim to each task and fighting tooth and nail for each one, H disappeared behind his book leaving N to handle it all.

Glad to have him out of the way, we made up the simplest menu of Egg Curry and Rice. No cutting, no chopping and no need for the dreaded pressure cooker. N, dear little, careful, meticulous N went to work and did a pretty good job of following my instructions to a tee. H appeared from behind his book (after much coaxing) to cut the salad and lay the table.

H is rather unconventional when it comes to doing up the salad plate.

In the end we had a pretty decent meal.

While I prayed the maid would come back, an inspired H prayed harder that she wouldn’t, so he could prove his powers as a chef too. God, as they say, listens to the prayers of children. The maid didn’t turn up.

And so come evening, we chose another simple recipe – paneer in a ready-spice mix. The only tricky part was grinding the tomatoes which H said he’d manage given that he’s comfortable with the food processor (because he uses the juicer all the time).

They’re so very different, these two. While N is overly cautious, stopping at each step, confirming and reconfirming, checking with me and cross checking again, H blunders in full of confidence even when he hasn’t the foggiest idea about things.

And so it was that before I could give him a single instruction he had chopped the tomatoes, dropped them into the mixer and switched it on. Forgetting to put his hand on the lid. Yeah, you know what happened next. The kitchen looked like the site of a tomato tornado! H stood there, tomato pulp splattered on his spectacles trying to figure out the way to the kitchen sink.

I blew my top worse than any food processor and a rather remorseful H got down to retrieving the bits and washing and grinding them all over again.

Finally he did handle the paneer, completely on his own, while I managed the chapatis and we were good. He was so very proud as was I.

I told them to go write down the recipes in their recipe books and guess what was the first thing H wrote – “Never forget to take your hand off the top of the mixer while grinding tomatoes”!

So there, that’s my silver lining. Thanks to my bad back, the children took a small step forward in their culinary journey.

Be careful what you wish for 

Be careful what you wish for 

This week I went down with a bad backache. My initial reaction was pure disbelief. The thing is I never fall ill. The worst I ever get is a cold – it’s often terrible, but it’s a known enemy. I’ve learnt to manage it. Besides, despite the cold, I can go about most of my chores. This time, however, one attempt at getting out of bed brought sudden tears of pain to my eyes and I promptly retreated with a tube of Volini and a hot bag for company.

I think I’ve mentioned earlier that I’ve been going for yoga this past year. I’ve been rather a reluctant ‘yogi’, so to say. Somedays I develop a random reluctance to doing the plank, other days I get bored with the endless suryanamaskars.

That’s not to say I don’t do them. I do. And, despite my weight (which I seriously need to reduce) I find I have more stamina, greater flexibility and fewer aches and pains than a lot of others. A result, perhaps, of having had an exercise routine all my life.

However, instead of being grateful for all of that and feeling a sense of achievement, I began to resent it a little bit. I resented the fact that people who couldn’t do it were getting away with easier/fewer exercises. I sound stupid even to myself as I write this, but that’s how I felt.

So the other day I was chatting with some friends and I said, half in jest, that what I needed was a good backache to convince our instructor to go easy on me. And BAM.. the very next day just as I was on my 12th or 13th suryanamaskar I pulled a muscle or something and that was it.

Mercifully the instructor helped me with some relaxing exercises and I could get back home. Once home I was confined to the bed with that excruciating back pain.

I’m better already, with just a lingering pain now. I’m enthused enough to go for the Pinkathon this Sunday, that’s tomorrow. I figured if 80 year-olds could walk their way through it, so could I. And then of course there’s the handsome man-behind-the-run to consider. So yeah, I’m going, bad back and all.

And I’ve learnt my lessons. Here they are:

– Be grateful for what you have.
– Nothing in your life deserves half-hearted effort.
– Enjoy your exercise routine.
– If you don’t, give it up.
– Pick up something you do enjoy.
– Oh and don’t try to sit on a beanbag when you have a backache. Go for that hard, straight-backed chair you’ve written off as ‘most uncomfortable’.

Beyond the learnings, there was another huge plus to this whole episode. I’ll talk about it in my next post. Do check back soon.

All things bright and beautiful

All things bright and beautiful

I had almost forgotten how much fun going to an exhibition could be. I  used to love going to them. Correction – I love going even now. It’s just that I cannot/do not do it any longer. During my working days, visiting exhibitions and writing about them was part of my job. That was such absolute fun.

My favourites were the crafty ones, you know the kind where craftsmen come by with their wares. Not because I’m a great shopper or because I have a great eye for pretty things. I do not. I love them because there’s always the chance I’ll stumble upon something quaint and quirky.

But it’s not just that; it’s the whole atmosphere I love – colourful stalls dotting a wide open field, shoppers laden with bags, children running around – yeah there was a time I could actually enjoy watching children running around without the face of an exasperated mom looming up in my imagination to spoil the picture!

But I am digressing. What I like even more than the cheerful vibe, are the craftsmen. They’re not mere sellers peddling their wares. In most cases they’ve made the products themselves so there’s a love for their craft that comes through way more warmly than the slickest sales speech of a savvy salesman in a swanky store. That’s quite a tongue twister but you do get what I’m saying, right? The craftsmen share a connection with and a love for their product. And that makes it special. It’s like I’m carrying a little bit of them with me when I buy their wares.

Remember my last post where I wrote about missing out on going to an exhibition? Well as it happened I did make time for it during the week – the delightful Dastkari Haat. It turned out to be all I loved and more. Colourful buntings welcomed us, a group of musicians all the way from Barmer, Rajasthan were singing folk songs and the air was filled with happy chatter.

Events such as this one are a bit of a rare treat for me.

Sharing a few pictures.

Rajasthani folk singers – looks like they spotted something interesting!
How I resisted buying these colourful kites! The thing is what do i do with them? There are only so many walls to do up.
An army in metal. Gorgeous!
Platters in blue and green

 

Did I mention quirky?
Camel leather lampshades. Such intricate designs.
… and there was food which I struggled to resist.

Meet me on Instagram @obsessivemom06

Load More
Something is wrong.
Instagram token error.

RSS On my other blog

  • The Conundrum – A Review
    Book Title: The Conundrum Author: Ajita Jabal Shah     The Story The Conundrum tells the story of Maia, brought up in a relatively sheltered world by open-minded parents who encourage her to follow her dreams. And that of Ajay, a poor farmer’s son, who has toiled his way to college. They don’t seem to […]