Wise enough to be foolish

I have to admit I hardly read books by Indian authors. It’s not that I don’t find them good enough. I loved the “God of small things” by Arundhathi Roy, “The white tiger” by aravind adiga and all of jhumpa lahiri’s books. It is just that certain books don’t resonate with my life here in the US any more.

I’m sure reading the works of Indian authors will make me more aware of the world I was born into and raised in. There’s so much about my country I don’t yet know.

I love to read. I mean I’m obsessed with the written word. If I like a book I re-read it. Many times. I even take notes when I come across something important or relevant to me. I loved “wise enough to be foolish” by gauri jayaram so much to have done most of the above. 

I read its review on another blog and was so thrilled, I went ahead and bought the e-book. I will consider my mini-goal achieved if at least one of you buys or borrows the book after reading this post.

It’s about the author’s life growing up in India and going through things many indian girls go through- boys preferred over girls, molestation by family members or strangers, expectation to look beautiful to better marriage prospects and  so on.

I instantly fell in love with this book and the author’s journey. It was nothing like the other indian authors I’d read so far. The English used here is not the literature-type that has a melancholic undertone. It is simple, free-flowing- a refreshing read. This book strengthened my belief that every story, if well-told, matters. Even mine.

She also tells the story of the India I wasn’t aware of. Live-in relationships in the 90s? ‘Space’ between a married couple? High school kids engaging in sex?

Certain parts of the book might feel cooked. But don’t stop reading. Heck! You WONT be able to stop reading. Did she find the love of her life in the end? you’ll want to know. I waited. I ended up with a big smile plastered across my face for the rest of the day.

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So…. read on.

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Brussel Sprouts Pulao

When I found a stalk of Brussel Sprouts at Trader Joes I knew I had to try the recipe for its Pulao I had once glanced at in this website.

I modified the recipe to suit my taste and also to avoid shopping for ingredients I had run out of. The cooking didn’t take long and the dish came out subtle and delicious. I’m not boasting but my husband couldn’t stop raving about it! Try it…. It’s that good!

First I made a paste of-
2 tablespoons of Cashews
a teaspoon of ginger
1 garlic clove
some Coriander leaves
3 Green Chillis
2 cloves
a tablespoon of coriander seeds
an inch of cinnamon
a teaspoon of cumin and
a teaspoon of pepper

I set aside a cup and a half of rice with about 4 cups of water in a rice cooker and let it cook.

Then I heated some oil in a skillet. To it I added an onion sliced thinly. After browning the onion slices I added about 15 Brussel Sprouts sliced lengthwise. In a few minutes I sprinkled some salt and turmeric.

I waited and waited and saw no sign of the Brussel Sprouts becoming soft. So I added the ground Masala paste to the mixture and tossed the whole thing into the rice cooker while the rice was cooking. That’s it…

I’m always curious to see how a new recipe turns out. It’s like magic- I toss a little bit of this; Sprinkle a little bit of that; Cook it all up and Voila! Something totally unexpected happens!

pulao

Used book Sale at the library

Books in boxes, on tables, in shelves; books everywhere.  Books on Religion, philosophy, art, literature, travel, western, Books for children etc. What more can a book-lover ask for from life than to wander among the tomes like a kid lost in candyland?

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This was my state at the library book sale. It was Half-price day and the Used books already priced low were being sold at half their prices. Can you believe that?

We bought quite a load of them-children’s books for medha, a memoir and a couple of fiction for myself. And all for about 5 bucks! Awesome!

I know, my sister, another crazy book-lover like me,  is going to be jealous when she reads this. 

Fruit-loops Necklace

My mom is an expert at Handmade Bead Jewelry and my sister is her Designer. I do my part in the family business by supplying beads and tools when I can. You can browse the gorgeous “Soni Summer collection” here.

One morning, for our daily project, Medha and I decided to dabble in Jewelry-making. We made a necklace out of Kellog’s Fruit-loops and a black string (from one of her dresses that I had saved up for a project). I let her pick the colors she wanted in the necklace and string the loops herself as they had holes big enough for the string to pass through. I just tied it up with a knot in the end.

She was very proud of her handiwork. After all that work and showing-off, she used it as a mid-morning snack as well.

Book Review- The Blind Men and the Elephant

This is a story of 6 blind men and their view of an Elephant. I read this retelling of a story from my childhood to my 3 year old all the time. We both adore the illustrations by Annie Mitra which, to me, are reminiscent of historical movies I watched growing up in India.

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The 6 protagonists in this story are, as I mentioned before, blind. That doesn’t hamper their ability to experience the world with the other senses-
1. They could hear the music of the flute with their ears.
2. They could feel the softness of silk with their fingers.
– reads the text written by Karen Backstein. Such descriptions that evoke imagery in my mind makes me drool with pleasure as I read.

According to the tale these men are curious to know what an Elephant that has newly arrived at the palace is.One of them touches the elephant’s side and thinks it is like a wall. The other touches its trunk and decides it is just like a snake. Each blind man touches just one part of the Elephant and makes his own assumption about its appearance. They fight over who is right.

Their blindness can imply ignorance and their fight over the Elephant’s appearance can show the communication gap between them.

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The Wise Prince intervenes, hears them out and tells them how they’re each right and wrong too. There are so many moral angles to this story-
1. There is a lot to be learnt when you listen.
2. A Question or a Hypotheses or a problem can be approached from many sides.
3. Every person sees the world through the lens of his/her experience.
– and so on, angles I try and explain to my daughter in words she can comprehend. Love love love this book and enjoy the discussion that ensues after we read it.