Friday, January 30, 2015

Free at 97

The mind says:
  • When you are 6 months beyond 97 years,
  • When you are but a skeleton with a super active brain,
  • When you are dependent on others to move around,
  • When your eyesight fails you,
  • When people younger than you die, and you cannot do a thing about it - and when this includes two of your own children and one grandchild,
  • When sleep evades you inspite of medicines,
maybe its good for you if you can leave this material world.

But can the heart agree? My Granny was the centre of our lives. She was fragile, but gave us (everyone in the family) the strength to face the world with her optimism. Such was her positivity that we almost believed she would continue to support us forever. Everytime we went out or came back from somewhere, the first thing in the morning and last before we went to sleep, we would sit on her bedside, holding her hand. The conversations would be about anything she could recall - ranging from how unsafe it was to hang out after dark to rains in Calcutta. We were always left in awe, wondering who kept her abreast about global current affairs.

When we were elsewhere, she used to write letters to us, as long as she could. Later, she'd dictate, with me as her scribe. The frequency dropped as regular phone calls made communication more convenient, but less charming. 

Granny was a beautiful lady in her hay days, but her grandchildren have always seen her as a cute old lady, full of love, inspiration and support. She encouraged us in whatever we did, even if our experiments were not exactly successful. And never would she allow anyone to say a negative word about any of her grandchildren. She had a difficult life, a 65 year-widowhood, challenges flung at her over and over, but she was always the soldier who sailed across seas of joy and pain with equal ease. 

We lost her on 10th January, 2015 - a vacuum which cannot be filled. She left us with a challenge to live up to what she expected us to become. Rest in peace, my lady. 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Enliven your Kitchen

Bright colours. Convenient. So durable that it can be passed on through generations. What do you think I am referring to?

All that may come to your mind is not correct for the above descriptions refer to kitchenware from Le Creuset. I personally have always felt that the designs of utensils, accessories and likewise that we use in the kitchen haven't evolved as much as the modern consumer... until I chanced upon Le Creuset store in Ambience Mall, Gurgaon. 

The staff told me there are outlets in South Delhi too, if I wished to pick up something later. 

Attracted by the bright colours and simplistic, yet functional design, I picked up a medium sized cooking bowl just to take a better look at it. It was so heavy!

The staff smiled to tell me that most cookware was made of cast iron, a material that has been known to human beings for long, but in a revamped version. The weight would make a utensil sit right on the flame and there's no need to hold it while stirring. Plus the material would ensure uniform heating. 

Incidentally, that day there was live cookout at the store in association with Bonne Maman, a brand renowned for traditional preservatives. There were chefs with international fame who demonstrated to us how Le Creuset utensils can be used for cooking, baking and more. It was an evening very well spent.
Photos courtesy Angon Bhattacharjee