ulli Theeyal and some cooking thoughts

Cooking is not a constant love but love it is and a comfort, many times.So it was with cooking up ‘Ulli theeyal’ today.

When the work place looks threatening and the chair looks shaky, I always think that with some polishing I can cook up delicious stuff and that is reassuring.

After all there is always going to be demand for food, good food that is!

Way back in 2009 when we south Indian teachers team put up a Dosa stall at Daly College for the Annual Fund Raising Event ,with some chutney podi and coconut chutney, we not only made it to the Dainik Bhaskar but also topped in income.

Beaming at the top notch performance with the demand still growing at 6 pm when all other stalls had closed down, I was interrupted by Mr. Jacob John Sir who said, ‘So Lekha, what did you learn?’ , ‘Get started, don’t waste time,’ he laughed.

There are times when I hark back to this advice. When in 2016 turbulence rocked Alliance University, where I had rushed to join after a hasty retreat from the corporate. Then recently during the quarantine when pay cuts rock the apple cart, I do think, ‘will the ladoos sell?’ or may be the cookies or just the parathas….

Or should I look some writing jobs, but do they pay?

Maybe some speaking, but who will listen in the quarantine?

Thoughts come and go, but one knows for sure that one will stand up and fight, no matter what, as they say, been there, done that.

But Ulli Theeyal makes a good combo with malabar poratta. Worth a try.

Recently when my daughter dished up some tasty Paneer Butter Masala and Chicken curry, I complimented her on acquiring a worthy life skill…no, not for any man, but just for herself, her happiness.

So here is a video on the famed ulli theeyal…I might just start posting my cooking videos till then .. these videos by Hema are brilliantly done.

Rides and learning

I am happy about riding the two wheeler, just that I get very worried at the turns. So I wait endlessly at every right or left turn and once I find a few bikes or cars with me, I buck up the courage to take the turn. Now not all turns are manned by signals or policeman and not on all days either. So, this strange camaraderie of fellow travelers is what saves my life and rescues me from embarrassment, almost everyday.

How easily do we collaborate? The other day,I was drenched thoroughly and almost struggling to see through the helmet when this happened. I had been waiting for five minutes unable to decide whether to take the cross. A car stopped by, the driver made eye contact as if he understood my predicament, indicated that I follow him and then I crossed. I was more than relieved.

I am thinking of how strangers sometimes stop to help and move on without any expectation of reward or acknowledgement.

It is a beautiful ability to be able to do that and I am sure all of us or at least most of us have been recipients of unexpected kindness at some point or the other.

The world would be even more beautiful if we used this ‘strange camaraderie’ to spread love and positivism.

And it does not look to be impossible either!

Is the animal world trying to tell us something?

Breaching of whales at unusual places brings excitement and joy to a few onlookers in one of the videos I saw today.

Truly it must be a defining experience for the viewer.

(Don’t ask me of my travels, coz they are a-beginning. )

But seriously, I do believe that the animals, the birds, the creatures of the sea sometimes stay close and allow the humans a glimpse into their world, their magnificence with a purpose.

Perhaps those blessed beings want us to realize their magnanimity, their greatness and how we as humans are just so fortunate to share this planet with them.

You see, man need not hurry against or fight or conquer nature any more, it is there for all, the humans and the others.

These wonderful beings by being so splendid beg of man for his reckoning of their existence.

It is their world too, perhaps they mean to say.

When I read of sea creatures approaching divers, swimmers in hope for help or scratch, I am just overwhelmed at the trust they place in us, the humans.

They seem to somehow believe that we are kind, compassionate and powerful enough to be acknowledged and to reach out to in times of need.

With great power does come great responsibility.

When the stray cat or dog follows you in hope of food, he or she knows what he is doing. He knows this other bi-ped is capable of providing food and shelter and more.

This knowledge is instinctual to all animals and they naturally tend to reach out to man in the hour of need.

A broken wing, a poking needle, a fisher man’s net impeding movement, animals, birds and creatures of all kinds turn to man for help.

And we are forever surprised, nay shocked when an animal shows kindness, or exhibits the so called humane qualities. We refuse to believe in the innate goodness of nature and the compassion that is inherent in all creatures.

Years of living in conflict with nature in the earlier years of human existence has perhaps filled human mind with such thoughts about nature being a dangerous and vile force.

Today with a clear upper hand in the order of living on the planet, man can and should be kinder, warmer and more careful about the planet and his brethren, the other inhabitants of the planet.

As a species we need to teach our children to respect what we have of nature and not indiscriminately harm it.

It is in Shakunthalam by the great Kalidasa that one can read about the shrubs, the trees, the flowers and other living and non living things shedding tears or expressing sorrow as a young Shakunthala gets ready to join King Dushyanta at his palace.

Perhaps it really is so. Perhaps what surrounds us and get emotionally affected by us. Perhaps we are just unable to read their expressions.

Now who is to say that?

b