Magic

Norwegian wood“, said the man with a grizzled beard and thick eye-glasses as he ran his hand across the polished surface of the dining table lovingly. “It’s a bit worn and some of the woodwork seems to have lost its original luster, but it’s been in my family for ages. I hate to part with it…but such are the times. Between you and me young lady, I’ve always felt there was a bit of magic in this wood…”

She didn’t really believe in things magical and mystical but she was drawn to the sincerity in the mans voice and without really thinking about it, it found its way into her home.

That was over five decades ago. Over time, that table had grown into a favourite destination in her home. It was where family and friends sat down to enjoy hearty meals together. It was where silent tears had fallen and hours had been spent laughing. It was where counsel was given, comfort received and prayers whispered.

Perhaps that old man had been right. Perhaps the table was magic. For it was around that table that she had been made privy to the secret of a happy life – Eat, Pray, Love.

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The books:
-Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
-Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda and it got featured this week!

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A is for…

…April Arrivals!

Apparently golden-yellow sunshine has given way to pale moon beams and then returned to reclaim its territory over and over for more than a month now. When I was told, I blinked in disbelief. I moved out of my room and looked at all the calendars in the house suspiciously, to see if I could spot any sign of mischief, but all of them; from the one that hangs in my parents room to the one on my phone; show me that today is the 8th of May! It seems then that what I have been told is true – I have been entrusted with the care of the most precious parcel for five weeks already! I can scarcely believe that she has been here so long. True she was scheduled to arrive in April; but she made her grand entrance a lot earlier than she was supposed to. A friend of mine joked and said, “She definitely knows her mother is a CA…why else would she arrive on the first day of the new financial year!?!”

When I called my doctor to discuss what I thought was a silly problem and she told me that the baby had to come the next morning – days before she was due – I did what any reasonable person would have done in my shoes…I panicked. Would the baby have grown enough to be able to survive outside its cocoon? Why so much before the due date? Was I becoming an inhospitable host? Why wasn’t the husband there by my side?! Could I handle a baby? Would I know what to do? What if we didn’t bond well?  And worst of all…was I even ready to be a mother?!? To say I was freaking out would probably be an understatement…

wpid-img_20150508_092554.jpgNow a little later I know, although it is normal, I didn’t have to turn into a great big mess because lying on that operating table, strapped up to strange contraptions, my mouth covered with an oxygen mask, I can’t recall a time I was happier than those few seconds when they let me gaze upon her face before whisking her away. I realized that my biggest fear about being ready was probably the most foolish of all. Of course I was ready! I’d been ready to be her mother since the day I saw her as nothing more than a little speck on the ultrasound.

April…you have brought with you many nights of disturbed sleep and a painful recovery post surgery, but, you could not have been a more beautiful and blessed month!

Restoring Faith

I was looking at the housing.com website and watching the Look Up – Housing video and their ideas of housing being the right of everybody – filling the world with positivity and optimism resonated with me. (You can check out the video here). I suppose it has something to do with the fact that there is a baby on the way (and who might be here a lot soon than I anticipated) but, I seem to have a lot of questions that I desperately wish I had answers to. From the silly, ‘will my child ever see a tiger or will poachers truly wipe them out?’ or ‘will my baby really have to listen to music without soul?’, to the more serious, ‘will he or she be able to cycle in the street and not leave me constantly worrying about an accident?’ or ‘will he or she be able to go to school and come back home without some sick sick person taking away his or her innocence?’ As any mother-to-be must wonder at some point, I have looked at the world around me and questioned if it makes sense to bring a child into the world when things are as miserable as they are. While on one side we celebrate India’s wins at the cricket world cup, on the other we hang our heads in shame as we come to terms with the existence of men who can so casually justify their heinous crimes. Whenever I think we as a country can sink no lower and the only way is up, something happens and I realize that it’s only getting worse. But, it’s not just at home…it’s everywhere in the world. Is anyone, anywhere safe anymore? There are days when the future seems all too bleak…

But then I only need to recall an evening I recently spent with my four-year old niece…

That day, she wanted to play “sports day” and got out her little motor bike, Speedy. “Come Teyti! (which is what she calls me) Let’s have a race!“, she said. Thinking that it could be fun and since everyone had told me the more active I am while pregnant the better, I agreed and like any normal adult, I made sure that I followed her slowly while she turned on “super speed” mode and crossed the finish line first. My mother put an imaginary medal round her neck and she was thrilled.

We had repeated the race a couple of times and she had won a whole lot of imaginary medals when suddenly she stopped and looked at me very sadly. “You haven’t won any medals no, Teyti?” I shook my head and said, “No. You’re just too fast for me!” That’s when she said, “Come, I’ll hold your hand so you can go faster and get a gold medal this time. I have so many already.”

I looked at her and all at once, my faith in our failing world was restored. I remember seeing an episode of Greys Anatomy where one of the characters said something like, “This is how the world changes, good people raising their babies right…” Perhaps it isn’t such a bad idea to believe that and be optimistic about tomorrow…

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E is for Exciting Experiments!

So for those of you reading my posts regularly you would know that yesterday I was excited about the outcome of my first bread baking experience in my new kitchen here. Let it be known that all my earlier experiments with baking bread have been fails. Enormous fails. Usually, the dough just never seems to rise enough and the finished product is terribly heavy and dense or it never gets that beautiful golden crunchy crust and well, I’ve had to throw the blob of hard dough out without having eaten more than a slice.

So, yesterday, when I had kneaded my dough into a smooth elastic ball and placed it in a greased bowl, I prayed to the big bakers in the sky to help me out a little. They were kind to me for when I checked on the dough after about two and a half hours it had doubled in size and was this big airy soft ball. It felt almost therapeutic to punch it down and re-shape it into a loaf shape. When I put it in the oven, it was with the hope that I would, after so many failed attempts, at last have edible bread.

Maybe it was going to be my lucky day… 🙂

Once it had baked, I took it out, tapped the bottom and was rewarded with a glorious hollow sound (which experienced bakers tell me is supposed to mean that the bread is baked well). Ta-daaaa!

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I know it’s a little flat but I choose to believe that that is because the loaf tin was a little too big for the amount of dough so it spread out first and then rose up. Next time I’ll make more. But, it’s golden and look at those air pockets on the side! 😀

Any of you who have baked will know what I mean when I say that the hardest part is waiting for the enticing baked yummy to cool down enough before you can cut it. For me it was excruciatingly long. But it was worth it because when I finally when I cut it, this is what I saw:

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It looked just like those bread slices from the store. Well maybe not exactly, but close enough! And oh joy! It even tasted quite like bread from the store! Perhaps this marks my independence from store-bought bread. Speaking of which, happy independence day to everyone who is celebrating today!

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Written for ABC Wednesdays E is for…

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