It was Christmas vacation. A trip to my parents place in Madurai is a much awaited break from the routine of life. After my wedding that was the first time I went to my hometown for the New Year. Train travel with a weepy kid can leave you exhausted 😴 physically and mentally but the comforting thought of my mother’s home was enough to chase the blues away. Holding him so that he can rest his tiny beautiful sleepy head on my weary shoulders, I lifted the handle of my trolley bag and walked along the aisle of the train compartment towards the exit. As the frame of the gentleman before me disappeared I saw the most beautiful person on the earth , waiting on the platform her eyes shining looking forward to meet her grandchild!
What is it with mummies and hometowns and homely houses that we grow up in? The tiredness flew from my weary bones as I hugged her while she was crooning at her preening grandchild, who was content in getting loads of attention.
Chattering on our way home, oblivious of the miles flying by, half an hour later we arrived home 🏡. Chinnu and me were welcomed by my pati, with a plate of vermillion water holding a betel leaf that had a camphor burning to ward off the evil eye, before we entered the house.
My 8 month old Chinnu had a built in clock, that even the sun 🌞 will be proud of. Within minutes of entering the house, his tummy growled, and our Chinnu started his music. I asked pati to hold my darling and I dragged my bag to the huge kitchen and fished out the box containing my trustworthy First Spoon . Spooning two tablespoons of First Spoon into a pan of water , I looked at my mother watching my actions and I said “What?” And her eyes brimming with tears, she said, “Nothing!” I looked back at her quizzically🤨. She smiled that lovely 😊 smile and asked me whether I was hungry.
I had not remembered when I had a meal when I did not had to get up half way through to attend to the little one, but my heart was not in eating . It was in feeding…my little one. Pati entered the kitchen with Chinnu and they both peered into the cup that held the cooked First Spoon and I saw Chinnu smiling his brilliant smile 👼🏻. Pati, sniffed the air and asked , “What is it? The room smells of omam rasam ( ajwain rasam)’
I laughed and I handed the packet of First Spoon to her. She was totally surprised looking at ajwain as the digestive used in the supplementary food that I was giving. As I blew at the first spoon that I fed Chinnu, she remarked at the prudence of using ajwain in the supplementary food, as it was not only a good digestive, but a very good anti microbial, anti helmintic too. She also expressed her happiness in choosing a baby food based on rice as that was what she used to give to her children and what she had been brought up with too.
As my little one slurped away at the last Spoon of First Spoon 🥄 , I marvelled at how some things never had to change in spite of Westernisation taking over the consumer interests. There is a wealth of wisdom in Indian traditional cooking and I thank God that there are still products out there in the market that are not only healthy with traditional wisdom but soul satisfyingly tasty too. I carried the sleeping form of Chinnu and placed him on the soft mattress that pati had made for Chinnu and proceeded towards the kitchen to have a sumptuous meal of lady’s finger sambhar rice with hot potato fry and a delectably green Keerai. Heaven on earth 🌏. A New Year, cherishing all that is good and old, waiting for the new untold stories to unwrap in life. Hopes and dreams flying high as we hold on to our roots firmly.
Let all the good in this world be Served Some More with love.