Thursday, March 29, 2012

Last Visits and Memories

One of the things I love about entering an Indian home is the mingled scents that greet you: fragrant incense from the shrine and the mouth-watering aromas of spices from the kitchen. Garlands of flowers strung over some doorways. Here are what some of the spices look like: Very pretty in the kitchen as you cook with them, as you can see. And 
 the grains are colorful, too. I used to keep glass jars of the
grains on my countertops, but then I needed the work space, so,

back they went behind closed doors.

You can see more of these spices at, where I downloaded this from.

We visited two more homes during our stay. One was to my husband's sister at the home of her youngest son, Madhu, and his family. As mentioned earlier, she keeps busy at three households, as she has a daughter in Bangalore and two sons, Madhu and Vasu, in Chennai.
My husband's sister, Pattu.
BR: Rohid, Malathi, Maithreyi; FR: Madhu, Pattu, me .
Like Ashok in Bangalore, Madhu is a tech expert, but he has a multitude of interests, including poetry and homeopathic medicine and acupressure. On our visit, he gave me five exercises to do that help control allergies and boost immunity, among other things. (The allergy ones seem to be working, too!) His daughter, Maithreyi is a doctor in homeopathic medicine and is now beginning her internship in Mangalore. Their son, Rohid (like Rohan in Bangalore), was studying for his twelfth standard finals in March. His wife, Malathi, is another excellent cook and has given me many great tips about how to make a dish come out right. 
A moment of humor between Malathi and Maithreyi
Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of Vasu and his wife, Srimati, who stopped by Virugambakkam one evening to see us. We were so busy talking, we forgot to take photos. They have a grown, married son and grandson, and a younger son, who stayed home—you guessed it—studying for exams. 

The bride, Archana, groom, Bahdri,
 and one of the  priests.
 I went to the married son's wedding
 six years ago on a visit, and I did 
take some pictures then. An Indian
wedding is a lovely event, dazzling 
in its array of beautiful saris, for one
thing, and a great social occasion 
where relatives and friends catch
up on news. And a great feast 
Vasu, Srimati, Archana & Bahdri

The Sunday after arrival on this particular trip, we visited Rajan's second brother, Narayanan, in an area called Tambaram, which is not far from the airport. He lives with his youngest son and wife, Vasanth and Nalini, who have two grown sons living in America. The eldest son, Arjun, got married last year, but we were unable to attend the wedding in India. Arjun sent us pictures of it, but we had the special pleasure of watching the CD of the wedding on our visit to Tambaram. 

The day we visited was also one of the days of the big cricket match between India and Australia. Cricket is HUGE in India; probably even bigger than football is here. So you know what we were all doing during much of the afternoon. Everyone was delirious with joy when India won that particular match. I do not have a picture of them cheering, but here are a couple of pictures of them:

Nalini & Vasanth

Nalini, Vasanth, Rajan

There are so many moments that linger in memory after I come home from visiting
India. Moments of visits with family, and moments of the sights and sounds during every journey: bougainvillea on compound walls, cows wandering roads, temples with painted gateways and towers, and every kind of traffic imaginable, including oxen carts and the occasional elephant. Nettu-lingam trees rising like tall, slender-but-bushy dusters; coconut palms, banana palms. The cries of vendors, selling their wares from door to door, and the stall where we take our clothes for ironing. Heat and dust. And always the warmth of the people. I hope I've been able to share just a little of it with you, and I hope you've enjoyed the journey. 


Richard said...

I've enjoyed it. Nothing like having family someplace to really find out what the place is like.

Theresa Milstein said...

I've really enjoyed these posts.

Love the spice pictures!

Rosi said...

Great posts, Mitty. I enjoyed every one. Thanks for sharing your travels.

alexia said...

I LOVE Indian food. And your descriptions at the end of all the sights and sounds is beautiful.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Richard, you are so right. If my travels to India had been with, say, a tourist group, I know I would see a very different India.

Theresa and Rosi, I'm glad you've been enjoying the posts. I enjoy sharing India, as you can tell. Journaling just doesn't seem communicative enough.

Alexia, thanks for the kind comments about the closing graph.

Lydia Kang said...

I've very much enjoyed the journey! I can almost smell the spices. The colors of the culture--food, clothing, everything--is so rich!

Rachna Chhabria said...

Elizabeth, you seem to have collected a treasure trove of memories each more richer than the other.

Damyanti said...

This one makes me long for India all over again! Lovely post.

--Damyanti, Co-host A to Z Challenge April 2012

Twitter: @AprilA2Z

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Lydia and Rachna, yes, "rich" is the word that comes to mind. India has lots of material poverty, but is rich in spiritual strength and culture and beautiful tradition.

Damyanti, I can understand. India stays with you. I always love going again.

Terri said...

Lovely post Mitty.So colourful and aromatic.

Robyn Campbell said...

Lovely. The spice pictures are beautiful. Thank you for sharing a part of you with us all. :-)

S.P. Bowers said...

Thank you for the journey. I've loved going back and reading all your posts and getting to know the place.

Kimberly said...

These are such wonderful posts about India. I know what you mean about the smell of spices. Love it when I go to my mother-in-laws for dinner and she's making curry. :)

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Teri and Robyn, I'm glad you have enjoyed it.

S. P., thanks for stopping by. There is so much more to know! These posts just skim the surface.

Kimberly, yes, it's the aromas of the spices that are so fragrant. Sometimes my husband cooks dinner, and I can smell the most wonderful smells asI'm returning from,tart class, coming up the walk.

Tamara Narayan said...

Thanks for sharing. My husband comes from a large Indian (but from the caribbean) family. These sites and description of smells is very familiar.

Elizabeth Varadan aka Mrs. Seraphina said...

Hi, Tamara, thanks for stopping by. Yes, even though the family is from another locale, the cuisine travels, as it is too delicious to part with! :-)

sophia blue said...

The kitchen countertops is most likely essentially the most important level with the placement at your house. This is when somebody cook your own foods in addition to useful for generating friends.

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