Articles in the kids lunchbox Category
Growing up, we used to visit our granny every holiday. Reaching late at her house and being treated with warm and comforting Bajra khichda (millet porridge) was the best part of our trip.
She would welcome us with a sweet smile and rush to her kitchen to cook a quick meal. The wooden hearth would be hurriedly filled with charcoal to light the fire. She would then open the large round aluminum box placed neatly on wooden shelf and take out handful of wholegrain and lentil grits from it.
“Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” ~ Paulo Coelho
Life throws challenges when we least expect it. I received a call from ‘Deccan Chronicle’, an Indian daily news paper the other day.
“We have been browsing your blog and are very impressed, would you consider being a columnist for our daily?” a media representative inquired in a sweet voice on other end.
With on- going workshops and a food styling project I was not sure if I can commit myself for one another work. I asked her a days time to decide and called my hubby.
“I feel you should take up this challenge. I can see you getting lazy and comfortable within your comfort zone. This might help you create new possibilities in your career” He answered.
I have attended many blogger conferences over the last few years but have never been so excited for a meet, ever. Yes, I am referring to IFBM here, our very first Food blogger meet at Bangalore next month.
It is really hard to hold back the excitement of meeting many of my virtual food blogger friends whose blogs I have been reading and admiring time and again. Oh..well, I am making and packing the special South Indian lentil-spice mix in the picture above for some of my blogger friends who have asked for it.
Did I tell you that many of us will be sharing same apartments for close to three days….start music…it is party time
food styling, kids lunchbox, Lunchbox bites, pulses and beans, stuffy delights/Indian flat breads, Veggies/curries »
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”~Winston Churchill.
“Our company is into motion pictures and TVC (television commercials), are you interested in doing a project with us? If yes, we would like to meet you today, as the shoot schedule and the artists are already fixed” the caller on the other end continued and waited for my reply.
“Sure, I will come in the evening and let you know about my decision” I replied to ‘C’, producer of the Ad agency.
I got to know the enormity of the said project, a television commercial for Malaysia after meeting the director in evening and was slightly skeptical to take it.
I was a bit nervous when I entered the location early morning, what with hundreds of people running helter- skelter carrying giant light boxes, reflectors and the like.
I gave myself a few moments and quickly regained my composure after seeing a few familiar faces on-location. And after that there was no looking back.
A simple hobby which started with the percept of organizing recipes through a food blog has gradually metamorphosed into a memoir over the years. If some recipes help reconnect with my roots then the other recipes are woven around my personal experiences reflecting the cultural diversities I live in.
The omnipresent Idly from South India was a delicacy in mom’s place before my marriage. Many Sunday lunches were reserved for steamy hot puffy Idly (steamed rice-lentil cakes) dunked into spicy Sambhar (lentil curry).
The equation changed after my marriage to KK from South India in 1996. The humble Idly which is often taken for granted in Chennai is no longer considered a specialty food at my home.
Soaking a set proportion of rice-lentil, grinding the batter, fermenting it overnight and storing the fermented batter in refrigerator has become a way of life now.
I received a phone call from a photographer friend the other day, “Hello, Sanjeeta, there is a photo shoot day after tomorrow and I said yes to the client, believing that you are there to help me out with the ‘food styling‘ part.”
“You have to cook 15 plus recipes in the studio and style the same. Things moved too fast, and I could not ask for more time from the client.” He concluded hurriedly.
And I was like “What?”. From sourcing props, shopping raw ingredients, planning the shots and cooking recipes in the studio to styling the sets …all in a day’s time…single-handedly…
The thrill of getting employed, striving for power, reaching high-income bracket and standing on your own, right after the college is hard to explain. Yes, twenty years back life revolved more around making money and gratifying the ego.
And then, in between the hustle and bustle of life, the seed to plant a tree of my dreams was lost somewhere.
But no regrets…it feels good that I had been there (employed) and done that (earned). As they say ‘The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.’
“Mom, make your Rajasthani Pasta again, some of my friends will be coming home after the movie and they have asked for it.” Informed son and left hurriedly to join his friends. Today he is off to watch a regional movie (Thalaiva) on his own, refusing any favors from us. From boarding a shared auto, booking the tickets and co-coordinating with his friends…my little dumpling is a grown up kid now.
I am not old enough to start reading fairy tales again…but its time I changed my parenting guidelines. When he waved bye and planted a kiss saying “Don’t you worry mom, I will take care”. I know I would have given anything to keep him little….
But then, I do remember that the best gift I can give to him is to allow him to do things on his own and let him believe in himself.
There are a few moments in life when you are truly & completely happy. My yearly visit to hometown in Udaipur, Rajasthan is one such occasion when I wish I could stop the time and live in those moments forever. Though many old familiar houses have given way to high rise apartments now and there are very few familiar faces to greet, but every visit is worth preserving the childhood experiences and keeping them afresh…..from authentic Daal Baatis to exotic Gatte ki subji filled with nuts and dried fruits…they leave no stone unturned to pamper me with their love and let me indulge in my favorite food.
Home is where the heart is….my heart belongs to Chennai, the place where I got married and have been living since 1996. I have wholeheartedly accepted the city and have accustomed to the traditions, climatic conditions and the food here.
But even after spending a good 17 years in Chennai I feel that a part of my heart still lives in Udaipur. The place where I grew up, studied and spent the most beautiful years of my life with family and friends.
And why not, if one is the place of my birth than the other made me a complete woman! I take it as a special privilege of belonging to the two different cities at once.