How does one come to terms with grief and the loss of a loved one?
Kannan tried to come to terms with the absence of his mother. Immersing himself in work, or books, or music, or cinema; things that he loved before; no longer gave him peace or happiness. A sense of fulfillment always seemed to evade him in anything that he did.
His experience in the hospital when he got operated was life-changing of sorts. The duration when he was in sedated sleep; there were lots of vivid dreams. Snow-capped mountains, flowing streams, green meadows, sandy shores by the blue seas; these were some images that played in his mind. Then there was a dark tunnel through which he was travelling and he could hear the voices of his mother, his grandmother, and several others whose deaths he had witnessed. At one point the tunnel ended and there was a bright flash of light. When he opened his eyes he was in the room assigned to him and no longer in the operation theatre. After the discharge, it took a fairly long time for him to recover and during this time he thought a lot about the vivid dreams or visions in the operation theatre. He could not define them or interpret them.
Was he expected to travel to the mountains? Or to seashore? What did the voices of the departed souls signify? He could not get any answers. What he understood was that once again; Life had given him another chance to live; and now it was up to him to figure out how to lead it. He could either wallow in grief and self-pity and make life miserable for himself? Or, he could lead life with a purpose and try to help others in any way that he could.
Kannan decided something. He knew that he had no control over what hand destiny would deal him? He thought as long as he was alive he would lead life with zest. Happiness or Joy was not something that could be purchased for a price in a shop or an online shopping portal. It was a quality or emotion that would come from within. Happiness is what he would seek and happiness is what he would make the purpose of his life. If the book of Kannan’s life was filled with pain and struggles so far; from now on; he would attempt to fill those pages with happiness and a zest for life. If someone was destined to join him in this journey; so be it. If he was destined to travel alone; then so be it. Kannan smiled at his mother’s photograph. The red rose that he kept atop the photo fell down. It was a sign, a blessing; that he was on the right track.
Z for Zucchini and Sweet Corn Fritters
Zucchini is quite fascinating. Though it resembles the cucumber it does not belong to the same family of fruits/vegetables. The local vegetable vendors used to call it as “organic cucumber” and price it at roughly double the cost of regular cucumbers. Amma used to love zucchinis a lot and when in season, I used to regularly buy it from Mambalam vegetable market. Amma loved to eat it as a fresh salad with onions and tomatoes and also used to pickle it in brine along with carrots, beetroots, ginger, pepper, and green chilies. To culminate this series, I would like to share with you a recipe of zucchini and sweet corn fritters.
Four medium sized zucchinis.
100 grams of boiled sweet corn kernels.
A mixture of all-purpose flour (maida), rice flour, and besan or chickpea flour in equal proportions.
Spice-mix powder – turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder, and chat masala.
Cooking oil of your choice. We will use olive oil for this recipe.
Peel the zucchinis and use a grater to grate them finely. Now take the finely grated zucchinis in a white muslin cloth and squeeze the cloth to drain out the water content in the zucchinis.
Now in a mixing bowl, mix the zucchinis, sweet corn kernel, the three-flour mix, spice-mix, and salt add a small quantity of water and ensure that you have a batter mix that is not heavily diluted. Shape tikkis out of the batter and cook on a tava with olive oil. Turn the tikkis/fritters over with a spatula and ensure that it is properly cooked.
Serve with a chutney/sauce/dip of your choice. Note you can also add mashed potatoes to add additional flavour to tikkis. You can also experiment with the flours and use millet flours for the batter-mix.
To everyone who read the posts in this series, left a comment, liked the posts; thank you for your valuable time. I wish you a pleasant day ahead and I hope that we all find the happiness that we seek.
Thank you and God bless us all.