Tuesday, March 19, 2013

(a+b)2 =?


Good times are short-lived; good times fly by ;( reminds me of the Kingfisher Airlines advert here, ha!!).Talking about times that are good and cherished, the week’s journey to back home and amongst familiar faces, while refraining from the less desirable only enhanced the time spent with the rest( a few, importantly C & A may comment on my being brusque and candid for comfort).

Well there was plenty of spirit, the cherished and the enchanting Glen Livet Single Malt and the lesser cousins of the desi variety; plenty of food especially the daily lunch- the bewitching  dishes of the Mallu kind that was cooked by one of the most favorite- mom!(  chembavari choru,ayala curry, erusheri, avail, chura vattichathu, netholi curry, pullinkari……”).

Tucked in at the corner of the sprawling lawn of the TVM club and in the much cooler air of the night fiercely protected even from rains by the thick overhead canopy of the huge mahogany trees twice my age if not more, I sat and reflected back at the years and stared helplessly at the fact that, a decade and few years more from now, I will be a septuagenarian. Insipid or is it helplessly hastening fact? The less comforting matter of commencing a life midstream or when towards into the rapids- changing course midstream and more perilously because it is closer to the falls!

“(a + b)2 = a2 + 2ab + b2.” He said aloud and I was startled from the stark dream- thought I briefly had slid into. He did refer to his late mother even the previous day when he dropped by at home after knowing of my being in town. I could sense some controlled emotion in him when the topic of discussion was about her and the mess the super-specialty hospital in Thpuram ravaged upon her and in the bargain certainly hastening her passing.

“The difficulty is that I miss her much more amongst the seven of us, perhaps more because of the fact that since I was little I was living with her. The void is quite sore even though she died at a good ripe age.” he said. “The amazing fact was her knowledge of math and her adroitness in algebra even while she was bedridden. You see she was from the old school education and thorough in what she learned that she often used to correct my son in his homework. She used to answer in a trice to our question in jest, what is (a+b) 2.She would say with a wry smile a2 + 2ab + b2.”

“Well she was quite fortunate, she lived a good life, she bore seven children, reared them well and also traveled a fair bit outside India – to Rome in particular where my sister took her once.” He was pensive.
“I guess she lived fairly long after you father’s demise?” I asked.

“Yes, yes she did thirty five years!” he replied.

And he continued, “She sometimes reminisced with satisfaction what father told her when she expressed to him once her fear of her old age, that since the Christian succession laws disqualified married Christian women from inheritance- assets of their paternal or maternal family, she may find it tough in old age from the lack or deficit of financial independence. It was a tough task for them as you can imagine, bringing up seven children and of which there were three girls who had to be married away.He told her this that proved reassuring and a fact, 'I have given you seven children and if not all seven at least one of them will take care of you till your last day', She was indeed  taken care by all!”

17 comments:

Happy Kitten said...

Lucky mother...

nd all those curry names left me drooling...

Enjoy!

Happy Kitten said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NRIGirl said...

Hi Anil: I am back after a couple of weeks - back to the blog world. It sure feels like being back home seeing familiar people.

Leaves me mouth watering for all of those items you have mentioned... Sure to try aviyal one of these days as it has been so long.

The problem with the 'Netholi curry' is the 'mullu'. It is so difficult to remove them before cooking and so annoying to do after...

Insignia said...

Anil,

The dishes you mentioned - ummmm I could smell them all but if given a chance would grab the avail.

Truly lucky are those who live a happy, peaceful and fruitful life and if its a long life; blessed are those around the person as well.

KParthasarathi said...

Your friend's mom was lucky in that instead of one child all the seven took care of her till her end.I know of cases where all the sons desert and some kindly daughter takes care of.The trend is catching up fast.
Being a septuagenarian or octogenarian is not a pain or irksome so long as you have money to take care of your needs and reasonably good health.You develop newer interests,reading/writing,
music,friends and many things you wished to do but did not till then.

Usha Menon said...

The lip smacking delicacies that you have mentioned, sent me back nostalgically to my first visit to Kerala. An interesting post.

Ashwini C N said...

At this day and age, your friend's mom was really lucky to have been under the care of not one but all 7 of them. Blessed indeed.

rama said...

Wow! with all 7 children taking care of their mom really feels great. I can't understand any of the dishes mentioned by you, but they all seem to be the mouth watering types, except the avial mentioned there, which is indeed a favorite dish of most people. And by the way, I can make excellent avial.

BK Chowla, said...

Unfortunately,there is very little that I know of Kerala food.
But,One can get Punjabi food,Chinese food in most of the cities.
Ever wondered,why Kerala food is not being made popular?

Arun Meethale Chirakkal said...

Your post is capable of evoking mixed responses. On the one hand all the food and the very famed Glenlivet Single Malt and on other, a blessed mother. The passing of time, well, the other day I was telling a friend of mine that I feel like missing 10 years from my life as if I’d been in comma. It went so quick that I didn’t even realize it!

....Petty Witter said...

Clever to have included so many food references even if I have yet to sample many of them.

If you care to stop by my blog I've answered the 11 questions you posed for me.

Meera Sundararajan said...

Very interesting- mothers are like traditional food. We are so used to them that it is only when they are not around that we realize their worth!

Shilpa Garg said...

When we hear so many incidents of kids abandoning their parents in old age or treating them shabbily, the family here is an exception! A blessed family, indeed!

rudraprayaga said...

Old-age fright is a waste.The days will take their rotations and our soul will remain inside till we get our 'visa' stamped.If none look after,W or X will provide for the stomach and Y or Z will draw the body to the crematorium.Nice.Took me to the nostalgic Kitchen corner.

Musings said...

@ Happy Kitten/@NRI Girl/@ Insignia/@KParthasarathi/@Ashwini.C/@Arun/@Rudraprayag/@Shilpa Garg/@ Petty witter/@ BK Chowla/@ rama,

In this age of decorated backyards called old age home where the new generation cast away their parents such stories are indeed a shimmering light.
As for the food well, traditional cuisine where ever they are from are unforgettable to the new concoction adapted for convenience.

....Petty Witter said...

Stopping by to thank you for your recent comments and to wish you well.

....Petty Witter said...

Stopping by to thank you for your recent comments and to wish you well.