Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Hallo Idli!

I was cutting a whole bunch of veggies (well kovakai - I think it is called Ivy gourd in English) this morning and while doing that I was thinking about how in Indian weddings, quite commonly some 500-1000 people attend and the cooking team manages to cut the vegetables and put together a grand meal all ready before lunch time (this after a breakfast meal in the morning). The team doesn't look like a large team on the face of it. Quite amazing how they manage to pull it all off. The head chef in these teams usually sports an air of cool authority and doesn't look tense about having to prepare such large quantities and *well* since food is very important in Indian weddings and will be talked about during the post analysis sessions. I find some of the scenes in the dining area very cute and funny...children struggling to eat in a huge banana leaf trying to hold the watery rasam in place by holding the leaf with their left hand...while the mom wants to chat on with her neighbor but has to keep an eye on the little toddler next to her...some poor soul in one of the corner tables needing a little extra of something waiting around amidst the buzz of chatter amongst everyone there hoping the server will notice him/her on the return route...and finally when the bride and groom and their immediate relatives all come to the dining area to have their meal there is a sense of urgency and there is always one tall male relative who ushers the men who are serving to hurry and bring this or that and serve more and more...and if the bride or someone in that group mutters "Idli", then there will be a loud call across the hall to the server who himself now gets christened as "Idli" - "Hallo Idli, come here, come here, serve some more idli's for the bride"....Indian weddings in spite of the chaos and loudness have their own charm...this is the dining area charm. What happens upstairs in the main wedding hall is yet another story...with its own special charm.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Unconditional love

It's funny that the first blog I am ever writing is about this heavy topic "unconditional love". A few masochistic friends/relatives of mine have asked me to post stuff...and today happens to be the grand opening day of my blog store!
I wrote to an old friend today about how for the first time I felt like I felt unconditional love...and hence I thought that would be my opening topic...
She wrote to me that she doesn't plan on having children and may be some biological instinct is missing in her...I can understand her not wanting to have kids - it is a personal choice...and she may adopt later and am sure she will be just as happy with it as she would having her own child.
I wrote back to her about my baby who is now 10m old and how for the first time I feel like I know or can feel unconditional love...And I feel like *this* really is unconditional love - even more than what a parent can give a child or a spouse can give his/her partner. I can let my baby cry it out for a few minutes just so he will fall asleep or just so he doesn't get hurt by some sharp object that he wants but the next instant when he is calm it is totally forgotten - no judgements, no hurt feelings lingering - he can hug or come at my face like a little bear with pure untainted affection. Ofcourse the cynic in me wants to add that this too is only for the first two or three years....once grown up - it's not unconditional....
I have always felt it is selfish to have your own baby when there are so many in need of a home. But something in us all compels us to have our own...may be the desire to see us in our child/children. In different ways we are all selfish to some extent - just the fact we are able to live in reasonable comfort while we know there are children going hungry elsehwere, while we walk past a homeless man to Starbucks to have a frappucino we can well live without...different limits for different people...people like Medha Patkar or activists like her probably give a lot more of them than most other people...but experiencing this sort of unconditional love from a child, somehow one tends to forget the selfishness in having your own...it is definitely possible to experience all of this though with an adopted child I am sure...