Curator series #3 – Peanut chutney

Verusenaga pachadi recipe

Pan fry green chillies – 5 to 6 and then fry a quarter cup of groundnuts in the same pan.
They can be fried together as well but make sure they do not get burnt.

Once fried enough, take them off the stove and let the contents cool.

Once cooled off, transfer the contents to a mixer jar and add 1 garlic clove, some dried coconut, a very small piece of tamarind, salt, jeelakarra(cumin) and grind them all into a thick paste.

This mixture can be stored in refrigerator and can be stored for 3 to 4 days.

Add water to the paste to get required consistency before serving.

Tempering is optional and not mandatory.

πŸ˜†πŸ˜€πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

Well, that’s me laughing. Never even in my dreams have I ever thought that I would be posting a recipe on my blog. That’s not because it is wrong but because of how great I am at cooking πŸ˜‹. I’m not a chef or even home cook. I’m just a cooking enthusiastic. I don’t even know if I can be called so. Though I’m always excited about cooking, I’m just not confident enough to treat anyone. I can safely say that I cook enough to survive and cooking is a stress buster to me. I cannot tell you how proud I feel when I cook something delicious. That somehow gives me the feeling that I’m on the top of the world. I know it is a bit of an exaggeration but that is really how it feels when I see yummy food entirely made by me.

On the other hand, my mum, my grand mother and my jejamma, all have been excellent cooks. They make amazing things out of the simplest of ingredients. While I can never cook like them, I do try to. Now that I don’t have my jejamma and ammamma to learn from, my mother is my only direct teacher apart from internet. I now wish I had learnt cooking in my growing up years when my jeji was alive. Apart from the day to day food, I used to get containers filled with home made snacks for my hostel dwellings. Aah, those memories 😍.

Not being able to tend to her in her last years is one of my biggest regrets in life. I got so much from her but couldn’t give her anything back. I wish I had given her my time. I wish I had taken a year off and spent time with her. Just imagine how much I could’ve learnt. She lived for about 80 years. Decades of knowledge lost in transition. I wish I made her a priority and took care of her when she needed us the most. Maybe, our love and care might have added a year or two to her life.

I will never repeat the same mistake with my parents. I will be there for them whenever they need me. No matter how hard it gets and how annoyed i feel or how much our differences grow, I’ll make myself available for them.

And on a lighter note, I also try to learn a thing or two from Mum every now and then. I write down recipes that she explains me on phone and then try them out. So, this is what I found today on my notes and so shared it here as a part of my curator series.

In a life filled with memories, food makes so many that even tera bytes seem less to frame them all in words β˜ΊοΈπŸ˜šπŸ€—πŸ˜.

Curator series #2 – Birthday Memories

Curator series #2 – Birthday Memories

When I think of birthdays, the first thing that comes to my mind is the birthday that I spent in office for the whole day and then met my 3 besties for dinner. It was nothing big or great but just some cake and dinner at a tacky restaurant. But those were my happy memories with people who genuinely loved me and befriended me for what I am despite knowing all my flaws and claws. They were all too busy people working full-time like me and some even in shifts. Yet, they gave me some time of their life which left me with memories that I will cherish forever. Thank you and Love you guys. My only regret is that I wish i had spent more quality time with you. Now that we are all in different parts of the world, it leaves me wondering, have i been a good friend to you all as you have been to me? I hope so.

And you, the guy who loved me with all my deficiencies, I don’t know if i have ever loved you, but i know this for sure that I cared for you like i did for none. Being the girl who never wanted to leave home on her birthday, who wanted to stay at home with Mom n Pop at all costs on all birthdays, i travelled on those stupid village buses for 3 hours only to let you have a glimpse of me on my birthday. And oh boy, the way you looked at me and the way you loved that birthday dress were things forever etched in my memory. I didn’t part with that parrot green dress for atleast 5 years. Thank you for loving me the way you did. Your love made me love myself. Your love told me that I’m worthy of being loved. We have our own flaws but whatever we shared was perfect in its own terms. For that I’ll be eternally grateful and a part of me will always love and cherish your memory.

During all those birthdays while at school, i always wanted to skip school on that day and that was one day my wish was always granted. I used to go to school, show-off my new dress, be the birthday girl and distribute sweets or wafers and come home to the yummy food mumma used to make. Till date, no other memory beat this one, for it happened so many times that i now wish for one more of such birthdays forever. And this feeling makes me wonder, can we ever love our parents like the way they love us? What kind of bond is it that binds us so strongly to them despite all the differences and distance in the world. I wish it wasn’t, as that would have made a lot of my decisions easier to decide.

Another good memory is the last birthday with ammamma. She died a month after that and that memory of her forcing me to wear a traditional dress and making all those dishes for me on that day. Ammamma and Taathagaru, I never really realised how much important you guys were to me until you left. I atleast had grandpa until i finished college but you ammamma, did you have to leave while i was still at school? But anyways, maybe, you wanted to leave that memory for me and so called us over to the village for that birthday. Thank you for leaving me with such lovely memories.

And left are just memories, some sad, some mad and some just normal. Of those, the birthday that i spent in Johannesburg comes to thought first. But it is not necessarily bad. My stupid ego played games all day and at the end, people around me still forgave me and showed kindness. That is my introduction to inherent goodness in people. They left me with no choice but only love and respect them after that. African wildlife Safari and a cosy birthday party with friends isn’t that bad afterall.

Update: 22Oct2018

And then there is the 2017 birthday in Melbourne that is during a very crucial point in my life. The transition time between my suffering and certain realisations. Loved every bit of Melbourne and its experiences. The friends it gave me and the love they shared are just invaluable. It was only after 2017 that I came to know that even cities can love and be loved. One day, I’ll be there, loving it, living in it.

I wrote this post on 26June2017. A couple of weeks before my 28th birthday in Melbourne. I guess 6 months of living alone in a new city makes you recollect all the memories of a day that is important yet not so important to everyone. I’ll be 30 by the next birthday but I look forward to every year that adds new pages to my book of life.

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Balcony and the little ones.

I have a little balcony and a few plants too. Ever since I was little, i always loved the plants i had around. In all those rented houses that I lived across, i have very fond memories of one or many plants that existed alongside. They were just a part of my growth, never too important for anyone to notice but never less important for me to ignore. I was always scared of the little creepy animals that existed in the mud but that never stopped me from loving those plants.

I never understood the appeal and don’t understand it even now. But there’s one thing that I now know. That every minute i spend with those plants, every minute spent muddying my hands, every minute spent worrying about their withering leaves or growing buds, a part in me start living again. It feels as if these plants exist to bind my heart together one piece at a time. They make me forget about the world. At one point, books used to do that for me. Putting brakes on my thoughts is no mean feat. Tv shows and movies succeeded at it to some extent. But these little ones demand my complete attention. Sometimes I even get lost in a completely different set of thoughts when I’m working on them.

When i need to do something with/for these plants, i feel some peace setting in. Some parts of the lost soul returning. In my conflicted and confused mind, i find reason. I have ordered a few plants online a couple of weeks ago which were delivered today. Had to redo the placement as the nursery guys did a lousy job setting them. They left the polythene in the pots. I donno if it was supposed to be that way but i just thought it is common sense. I didn’t even Google it. Maybe I will have to learn a thing or two about balcony gardening. But at the end of the day, it was a good 3 hours of mud play and plant love. My otherwise totally wasted weekend became productive.

I’m looking forward to Monday now. A new day, in the life of my new plants. Hope they live long. I love the fact that there are only limited number of variables that decide their life. Sunlight, Water, Co2 and some fertilizer. Thank you dear god for this pleasure and peace.

Will post some pics soon but for now, good night people.

Sunny Days # Day 174

Some days are good days and some are not. This seems to be a good one.

I think if I try well enough, i can keep my personal life at bay and prevent it fron affecting me. But unless I’m really working or do reasonably well at work, I’m never going to be at peace. These days my personal life is wrecking havoc in my life but a bad day or lazy day at work makes me feel 1000 times worse.

Today is a good day. I’m totally motivated and undistracted. Though there is a minor set back about a credit card, everything else is just good. 3 things that worried me a little are my credit score and sister’s placement anf the thoughts about dealing with the neighbours once he leaves with his furniture. That’s a scary thought. Other than these, I hope I’m like this everyday.

Thank you Dear God. I wish to maintain this pace for a while. And also, i wish sleep comes to me a little early than it usually does. I want to fall in love with the early morning sun like I used to be in childhood. Aah, i envy all those early mornings which now seem impossible. πŸ’†πŸ˜ŽπŸ™…

Keep Fighting. Aja aja. πŸ™…

Smile. It costs nothing.

Relive

I have no clue how people with tough lives and sad memories write memoirs or autobiographies. It is such a painful thing to do. It is almost as if the person is reliving their entire life which is more painful than the original version. Atleast in the original, we just live experiencing pain or any feelings along the way. But while writing, we recollect everything and anything the mind remembers. And you see, this thing called brain is so amazingly weird that it remembers everything that caused you pain but forgets others point of view entirely. In such cases, writing becomes the most painful and tiring activity one has ever performed.

It crushes the soul like anything breaking the heart into millions of pieces every waking minute and day. And at times like this when you realise that there is a pattern in your life and you might have repeated your past mistakes, just kills you. It need not be true but to people like me, everything seems to be wrong or done the wrong way or done for the wrong reasons, in retrospect.

I wish it was easy. 😐 Or atleast, i wish it wasn’t this lonely.

Unhappy clients

The first time I met a client was some 4 years back. It was 6 months since I started working on the reporting tool and was pretty good at it and then I was in Joberg training to be a consultant. One of the consultant was facing some technical issues on site and requested my manager for help saying that the client was not happy. It was a Friday and when on training it was almost all play with very little work. Most of the team left for the day or were at different clients.
My manager asked me if I can help. I wondered how I could help if the senior consultant couldn’t figure out the issue and told him the same. He then said that the issue might not be with the report but might be with the settings and other technical details. So I agreed to give it a try. It was a short drive but it felt like I was sitting in the car for hours, I was so nervous with a thousand questions in mind. When we reached there the situation was no good either. Of course, the consultant was already on panic mode. He worked so hard to create that beautiful report and he was being bashed with technical issues when it’s time to take all the applause. I would have panicked too if it were me in his place.
I told myself to calm down and started gathering information. It was like writing exam on a subject that you have been learning for the past 6 months. Though not an expert on the tool, I set up the tool running on 4 different machines and knew the technical setup in and out.
The strange thing that I noticed was the client wasn’t in panic mode or didn’t even seem anything near unhappy. He was the Risk manager and responded to all my questions and complied with all my requests. Tell you the truth, he didn’t get a word of what my manager was talking and I had to intervene in between. It was the first time I have talked to someone about something completely technical and they not only understood well but responded me back. That was the first time I experienced the joy of being a techie. I loved taking to the client. Did I mention that he was this tall, dark and handsome guy with the perfect attitude. πŸ™‚ And of course, on his desk, he has pictures of a beautiful woman with a child in her arms. Sshh…my bad, you see!
Coming back to my point, after recreating the whole setup process model and debugging the existing process, we identified that there were a few war and jar files missing which caused problems in accessing the report. And once the missing things were replaced, things worked and the client was really happy with the first look. It was just a minor technical glitch that lead to the whole situation.
The work order was closed successfully after a few more visits that didn’t include me but I was more than happy. Though a small one, I did my part and that too very well. My happiness just doubled when I heard that my manager spoke very highly of me when he went back to India. If it was today’s me, it wouldn’t be a big deal but to that girl who is just 6 months old at the job, it was a great thing.
To this day, I always remember the moments of that day and those memories will stay in my heart forever. Whenever I have to face an unhappy client or clean someone’s mess, I remember that day and those memories.
To this day, client’s requirements haunt me and the thought of talking to an unhappy client terrifies me. But none of this stops me from facing them. I face them straight with a head high touching the sky and never once did I fall on my face. I always left the room with a smile or some hope.
Life isn’t easy but it is memories like these that give us hope and courage to face the everyday mess. And today I have a meeting with one such client and I am dead nervous.
I really wish everything goes well and my coffee count stays in control. πŸ™‚
And I forced myself to bed at 11:30 which was considerably better than the usual 2:30 or 3 am times. I will have to see how well it goes for the rest of the month. And todays addition is my green tea. My cup have been begging me use it since a month and today I’m going to grant it’s humble request. πŸ™‚
I happened to write the post early in the morning and only got a chance to edit now. The meeting went well and I was supposed to talk to her again tomorrow and finalise the solution. I really wish things go well. And I didn’t grant my cup, it’s wish! So to compensate for it, I will be pose in one asana for at least 15 minutes. Tough.. but will have to try!.

Hope you all had a great day.

Love
Sahasra