December 7, 2009

Vegetarian?Oh Really!

I have been a vegetarian all my life and never thought too much about it till there came a time I had to explain to A that some people eat meat and seafood. And this was at a time when she absolutely loved animals. She had given me the longest stare possible when I first told her about it. I had started it off with just telling her that some people eat chicken but we don’t eat chicken; if anybody offers you chicken say “No chicken”. So there she was around 18 months…when anybody asked “A you want chicken” she would go “No chicken”.
That was easy and she went to a home day care and did not really have a lot of problems of being a vegetarian. Then she started preschool this September and turned out to be the only vegetarian in the class. So she reminds the teachers every day that she is a vegetarian. If she sees anything brown in her plate, maybe even grilled potatoes, she calls them and tells them she does not eat meat. It is kind of a joke at her school that she is so cautious and reminds her teachers every day. But I am so proud of her to have been able to understand the fact that we are different and that is how we have to be!
And then there are our grocery shopping experiences at international markets where there are live sea animals. She is enthralled by them, she repeatedly asks us to take her closer to them so that she can see them. After that she is very quiet deeply thinking about how people eat them. We have not introduced the concept of death to her as yet. So in her tiny mind there is one piece of the puzzle missing. She knows that people eat them and they look different when they cook it (thanks to food network of which she is a big fan). But she doesn’t get what happens to them after they are cooked and go inside people. I can almost read that question on her face every time she thinks about it. But she has not brought out the question as yet. Thank god for that, I am in no hurry to explain this to her. Already I feel she is growing up too soon.
And now when I am on this topic how can I forget the many questions I had from friends as soon as she was born if she is going to be fed meat. The first time I heard this question I gave them back such a stare as though to say are you out of your mind. Why would I make my daughter different from what we are?? And I heard many theories of how our vegetarian food lacked this and that and how many parents are opting not to bring up their kids as vegetarians. Well, I think generations of us have survived without any issues different from meat eaters, so why will things go wrong for her? And moreover it’s a personal choice, if somebody decided to give their kids meat, it is their choice I am not saying it is wrong. But what gets to me is when people react as though we are depriving our daughter of her basic rights or something. When she grows up and is capable of deciding for her own then it is totally her choice.
So in the meantime she is being raised as a vegetarian and will probably go through many such experiences. Her future will probably involve going for a group lunch to a restaurant and finding there is no vegetarian dish on the menu, talking to the waiter about making a standard pasta dish with meat without the meat. And sitting with her friends watching their food arrive, and still waiting on hers and wondering why, just why does it take so long for somebody to make pasta with lesser ingredients than what her friend is now eating!

November 4, 2009

Thoughts of Home

Thoughts of home have been haunting me for a few days now. When I say thoughts of home…it is not so much family and friends, it is the thoughts of Bangalore.

The memories of places that I used to frequent, the streets, the people, the markets, the language, the monsoon rains, the restaurants, the food…I can go on and on.

I am visiting Bangalore after 3 years in April and though I am really excited about the visit I am more nervous. I don’t want to witness what I have heard; I don’t want to experience what the others did. I have foolish false hopes of going back to the place and see it like the way I left it. Okay a little change is alright, the changes are okay in the hotspots of the city. But the residential areas still have the town feel right? Oh I so hope it does! I have spoken to A so much about the way things were when we grew up, I have described every single thing in so much detail that with me the poor kid is also going to be in for a shock!

Like for example one of our favorite games that we play is “Tarkari maro aata” (Vegetable selling game). She comes around with a basket of plastic fruits and vegetables and pretends to be a street seller. These guys still come on the roads right?? One of my favorite ones would go screaming “Kotambri, Puddina Karben soppu” with a style that nobody can match! And what about “Kaali bottle shisha paepaaaaar” ?

The other game we play with her is auto game. We take turns pretending to be the auto driver and the other says something like “Barthira Jayanagara”! She is so excited about autos now and is waiting to ride in one.

We have given her descriptions of all our favorite eating joints. And all the heart wishes for is not any of those fancy restaurants that existed then or any of the many new ones that have cropped up now. Okay I am curious to go to those too but not until I go to all the old timer places first and eat the authentic stuff. Maybe I will do a post someday with my list of must eat places when I go to Bangalore.

I last visited Bangalore in March 2007, but with a 3 month old baby, I could not do much. I flew out without stepping on MG Road, it was so bad!!! When I hear about the changes that have happened to that street I so regret not having gone there last time.

So with all these thoughts in my head for the past few days, I have been trying to feel at home by making Canteen style Yellow Pulav, Set dose with Sagu. It is not the same, especially because you don’t get it by just saying the name. Well I should not be complaining so much when there are restaurants here that make “Do-sas”.

October 2, 2009

Where was I? Where I am!

While reading some of my favorite blogs, I saw a link to mine in one and followed it to see that it has been a year since I wrote. Where was I?

Well I was taking a break to be with A at the beginning of the year...loved it..I mean I simply loved it. It was a lovely break for me and we made some sweet memories to keep for life.
And then I hopped back to being a working mom since may....getting a balance of work-home all over again...A started preschool since September. In between we bought a house...and spent some time making it our home. Now...things have fallen into a rhythm...well actually I hope it will since I have made a public statement about it (like getting up as soon as the alarm goes and not sleeping in for a little longer blaming it on the cold morning).

From last year to now...I feel refreshed, content with my life. Hope B does not read this and still puts up with my day to day cribs. I guess what the mind and soul needs is a little stability, a little time to enjoy what you have. And I have that now...not in the form of a house or job or family. Its a combination of things and above all its my outlook towards things.

Last year I sulked every single day about not getting enough time with A..okay B also! And when I decided to stay home, I got the time with them I longed for. I was happy. But there are other things in the equation, for which going to work made more sense. And now I it looks on both sides, I am able to make the best of what I have. Its still not ideal...but hey this is the best thats meant to be and I am happy with it and I am really thankful for what I have.

So on this happy note.....I look forward to more blogging in the coming days from Where I am!