Q for Quiet Little Village and Q for Quinoa Khichdi – A to Z Blogging Challenge 2021

Q for Quiet Little Village

The train hurtled into the darkness Saradha was tired and asleep. Little Kannan had woken up when the train had halted at an interim unscheduled station. It was in the early hours just a little after midnight. Kannan had the side-upper berth while his mother was deep asleep in the lower berth below. Kannan carried a small pocket torch a gift from his Raman uncle that he treasured a lot. It was black and white in colour and despite its small size offered a strong beam of light. He took out a diary from his bag and a ball-point pen. He wrote some lines in the notebook.

I promise to take care of Amma.

I know Appa will let us down again.

But I will always protect my Amma.

I will become a successful man.

I will make a lot of money.

I will keep Amma happy.

God – Please give me strength to always be truthful.

There was a loud whistle and the train began the journey again. Kannan put the notebook back into his bag. He looked at the lights from the window on the other side of the train. He drank some water from his water bottle and lay down again. In some time he was deep asleep as the train’s gentle swaying and the rattle of the tracks lulled him to sleep.

At around 7 A.M. he was woken up by his mother – “Kanna, get up it is 7 o’ clock. Go to the bathroom and return, then we can have some tea and biscuits.” Kannan woke up, finished his morning ablutions, and returned to his seat. A vendor was selling tea, the dip-tea variety, they already had biscuits in their food-hamper. Morning gave way to day as the intensity of the Southern Summer hit them. After a while breakfast came. The options were limited, bread and omelette and idly-vada with sambar and chutney. Saradha got two sets of idly-vada and they ate the food slowly. The sambar was dull and lifeless in colour but the vada was piping hot and the peanut chutney quite pungent, strong, and spicy. Saradha then took out a copy of the “Kalki” magazine and began reading it. Kannan had a copy of “Gokulam” both of them were lost in the worlds of their respective magazines.

A strong smell of jasmine flowers, sweat, and piss hit Kannan’s nostrils as the train made its way slowly into Madras Central Station. Kannan’s father was waiting for them on the platform. When the train stopped and the crowds got down, he boarded the train and got all the luggage out. A porter was not required as the other belongings would be shipped to their address by a packaging service. There was no hugging or crying involved. Just a family trying to pick up the pieces and move on in life – both literally and metaphorically.

Saradha made a trunk call from an STD/PCO booth and informed Sundaram that they had reached Madras safely. From the main terminal they moved to the suburban train complex and boarded a local train headed to Thiruvallur. There was an awkward silence. The local train would stop every few minutes as it stopped at different railway stations. Little Kannan was writing down the names of the stations judiciously in his notebook. After about 80 minutes the train reached their final destination and they got out of the train. Ramani beckoned an auto-rickshaw and they got into it. After about half an hour’s ride they reached a building in a village. They got out and Ramani guided them to the first floor. It was a simple no-frills accommodation. One bed-room, one kitchen and one toilet and bathroom that was away from the main enclosure. From living in the hustle and bustle of a major metropolis, life began again in a quiet little village in a house surrounded by neem and coconut trees.

Q for Quinoa Khichdi

Khichdi is a traditional Indian dish that is distinctly different in North India and South India. In North India, khichdi is made by cooking together rice, moong dal, vegetables in generous amounts of ghee and typically served to someone who is weak or feverish. Each household has its own variation bys substitutiong the vegetables or the type of lentil used. Some cook it fine enough to turn it into a porridge-like dish others make it like a pulav.

In South India, the word khichdi is typically associated with rava/sooji/semolina and is somewhat like a cross between an uppuma and a pongal and has its own fan following. Today, let us look at a healthy and protein-packed recipe for a khichdi made from quinoa. Quinoa is a South American grain and in the last decade has been gaining prominence for its health benefits. It is not a native Indian grain like millets or amaranth that are popular in India.

Ingredients:

One cup of cleaned and washed quinoa (drain out the water completely).

Two cups of cleaned and washed moong dal ( drain out the water completely).

Finely chopped carrots, beans, one tomato, some fresh coriander leaves.

Turmeric powder, salt, ghee.

Process:

Take a pressure cooker and fill it with water to the appropriate level.

In an inner vessel, layer the quinoa, moong dal, and chopped vegetables, and add two full spoons of ghee. Half a spoon of turmeric powder and salt as per taste. Fill in the inner vessel with water as well. Close the cooker, light the stove and place the pressure-weight on top of the cooker lid. As the mixture cooks within and the fragrance of ghee, vegetables, and dal permeates in the kitchen, the whistles will start blowing. Usually four the five whistles are sufficient for the quinoa to be cooked well. Adjust the water levels accordingly, sometimes a specific brand of quinoa needs more water and cooking time (seven or eight whistles).

Let the heat subside, open the cooker and garnish the khichdi with fresh coriander leaves. If you love tadka, a tadka of ghee, mustard seeds, and green chilies can be added before you serve the khichdi. Goes really well with a raitha of curd, onion, and cucumber. Or eat along with potato chips or roasted masala pappad.

Have you tried quinoa khichdi before? Do try it out and let me know.

P for Platform Stories and P for Pineapple Rasam

P for Platform Stories

The arrival of Thangam and Lakshmanan completely changed the dynamics of the family. Old arguments re-surfaced, ego clashes resumed; in short life became exceedingly difficult for all people in the house at Behala. At this juncture, a letter came from Ramani from a remote village in Tamil Nadu. He wanted one more chance to be a good husband and a father. He had sent train tickets for Saradha and Kannan to join him in Tamil Nadu and begin a new life. It was decided that Sundaram and his wife and son would move to Kerala. Saradha and Kannan were to join Ramani. Thus multiple problems would be solved and everyone would be happy.

The Howrah Railway Station was again witness to a journey that Saradha and Kannan would embark upon. Sundaram and Raman accompanied Saradha and Kannan to the station. The train was to depart in the afternoon. It was a normal sleeper coach and peak summer. A vendor was selling sliced pineapples smeared with a bit of rock salt and red chilly powder. Raman got some slices and everyone ate them silently. No one wanted to cry. Everyone wanted a happy and comfortable life for the other. Sundaram handed some money in an envelope to Kannan; so did Raman. Both of them had one message for him – “Be strong, take care of your mother”. It would be a long life ahead and for another 21 years Kannan and Amma would look out for each other. The guard blew a whistle, the signal turned from red to green. Kannan waved goodbye to his uncles as the train gently moved out of the station. Another chapter, another journey, another departure. Life would go on.

P for Pineapple Rasam

Ingredients:

Pineapple slices chopped fine.

Water

Turmeric powder

Ghee

Red chillies

Salt

Mustard

A spoon of gram dal or kadalai paruppu

Pinch of hing (asafotedia)

Fresh coriander leaves

Process:

This rasam avoids the use of tamarind or tomatoes and retains the sweet and sour taste of the pineapple.

Light the stove and place a deep bottomed pan on it. Add the pineapple slices and a cup of water. Allow the pineapple to cook and the juice from the chunks to mix with the water. Add salt and turmeric powder to the mixture and keep stirring the liquid. You will observe the change in colour as the chunks dissolve and cook in the boiling water.

In another small pan prepare a tempering / tadka of mustard seeds, red chillies and kadalai paruppu in ghee. Once the mixture sputters add it to the liquid mixture cooking in the larger pan and stir well. End by adding a bit of hing and freshly chopped coriander to the rasam. Delicious pineapple rasam is ready to be eaten with hot white rice. While serving along with the rice add a spoon of ghee to the hot rice. Pour the rasam on top of the rice, mix well, and eat.

H for Howrah Station and Hope and H for Horse Gram Rasam – A to Z Blogging Challenge 2021

H for Howrah Station and Hope

When Saradha had boarded the train from Pune with little Kannan in tow she had wondered how the lives of the women in the family had turned into shambles. A couple of years ago her younger sister Jaya had died due to complications of her pregnancy and her husband had abandoned her based on the evil manipulations of her mother-in-law. Jaya had been the youngest child among the four siblings who had grown into adulthood. With her passing away, Saradha had been deeply affected. Now with her own married life in shambles she was worried. Thankfully, Chitra her first-born had been admitted to Kendriya Vidyalaya at Fort William. She was taking care of her mother and father who were living with Sundaram. Sundaram’s own marriage had been a failure and his wife and son were now in Kerala. It was as if someone had cursed the family. By God’s grace Raman and his wife were well and they had been blessed with a baby girl. They were living in an apartment closer to Raman’s office.

The Howrah Station is one of the largest railway stations in India and serves as the gateway to the east and northeast of India. Always buzzing with activity, passengers, porters, hawkers, several stray dogs, beggars, and crafty pick-pockets and thieves; they all seemed to be a part of a large breathing and living entity called the Howrah station. When Sundaram received Saradha and Kannan at the railway station; it was difficult for her to resist the urge to cry. Sundaram comforted her and they boarded the popular yellow Ambassador taxi to the home in Behala. On the way, Sundaram said to his sister, “Don’t worry, we will figure a way out, do not lose hope.” Saradha just nodded her head. Little Kannan was looking at the sights and sounds of the city. The long Howrah Bridge that seemed like a metal monster fascinated him. Sundaram pointed at some of the prominent landmarks and little Kannan was fascinated with this city. Little would he know that he would spend his formative childhood years here.

H for Horse Gram Rasam

Horse gram or kollu is a legume that is rich in protein and iron. It is used as an active ingredient in many Ayurvedic preparations. It functions as a diuretic and aids in weight loss. Today, we will look at a traditional rasam made out of kollu that has a powerful flavour and tastes really well with steamed white rice.

Ingredients:

About 150 to 200 grams of Horse Gram or Kollu.

5 to 7 Garlic cloves.

Half a spoon of whole pepper corns

6 dried red chillies.

A spoon of cumin seeds / jeeragam

500 to 750 ml of water.

Couple of ripe tomatoes.

A small round ball of seedless tamarind.

Fresh coriander and curry leaves.

Salt to taste.

A spoon of ghee

Hing – asafotedia.

Process:

Soak the kollu for a couple of hours in water after you clean it properly.

Once this is done take the kollu out and dry it on a cloth to remove the moisture.

Now dry roast kollu, jeeragam, garlic, peppercorns, and red chillies.

Grind the ingredients to a fine paste and keep aside.

Please soak the tamarind ball in water and allow the water absorb its sourness and flavour.

Dice the tomatoes and cook them with the pre-ground paste in a spoon of ghee.

In a deep-bottomed pan, boil the water. Now add the boiled water to the mixture of the tomatoes and the paste. Let it cook for some more time so that the water absorbs the ingredients, remember to add the tamarind water as well. Add salt as per taste and top-off with fresh coriander and curry leaves.

The aroma of the kollu and other spices will create a magical atmosphere in the kitchen when it merges with the ghee that you have added. Before switching off the flame add a but of hing and stir once so that the hing dissolves completely.

Try it out and let me know. Variations of the rasam exist; with people choosing to add freshly grated coconut and jaggery to make it slightly sweet. Rasam is a fascinating dish that works as a palate cleanser as well as an appetizer. Drink it with roasted paapad on the side. Or mix it with hot steamed rice, a dollop of ghee, and a vegetable curry of your choice.

In the Name of My Father

It is apparently a day that the world celebrates fathers, along with music, and yoga. Friends and acquaintances on social media are putting up posters and photographs celebrating the lovable bond that they share with their fathers. Men and women smiling and posing with their respective dads. There is a deep void that I have when I see these photographs and messages. I have spent very little time with my father. Growing up, there is a big gap in my life, where I did not even know where he was, as a small boy, I was under the impression that he was working abroad. He made an appearance for my sister’s wedding and after a few days again he was gone. When fathers used to accompany their children for events at school and in the locality, there was a bit of pain, which always remained. As I grew up and I understood the complex dynamics of an extended broken family trying to pick up its pieces, I realized that this is how things are meant to be.

Finally in 1998, I had a chance to start life afresh with my father and mother. Moving from a bustling metropolis to a small town in Tamil Nadu brought several challenges. Realizing that here too I will be an outsider after being an ‘outsider’ in Calcutta, I continued to grapple with life. Within a few months I understood why my father had remained away from us. His addiction to alcohol ruined my mother’s life as well as mine. Quite early in life, I realized that I had to support my mother in any way possible to make this chance at a ‘family’ work. When others of my age used to enjoy the evenings after school and holidays, I would sell murukku and thattai (rice-flour based snacks). We got some orders to supply regular meals to a family and this helped us a lot. They were an elderly couple near our rented house and I would supply food in a tiffin carrier to them. There used to be ugly arguments at home and I tried my best to zone out all the ‘noise’ and focus on my studies. I have never been an exceptional student, just above-average. Engineering and medicine were ruled out for two reasons, lack of money and my lacklustre scores in Maths and Science.

Somehow got into college, got a taste of the big city, participated in competitions of oratory, writing, quizzing, and drama won lots of prizes and handed over the cash rewards to Amma. Biggest joy was when I got placed on campus, that one day, when I received the offer-letter was my happiest. As I entered corporate life and salary started coming in regularly, helped realize small dreams of my Amma. Starting with a refrigerator, a washing machine, a microwave oven, small things that made her life easier. As father’s dependence on alcohol increased, I tried admitting him to rehab to help him overcome his addiction, but of no avail, he ran away from there. One fine day, after a long argument, he just walked out of our rented house. It has been more than ten years now. My mother is also dead now. I don’t have any bit of affection or love for my father. Just bitterness and anger. I am alone. Sitting in the comfort of another rented house. As the world celebrates fathers and fatherhood, I wonder where did I go wrong, what was my crime to have not experienced the paternal affection that every child deserves. I do not have answers. There are times when I have nightmares where I see funeral pyres burning and I wonder who is it that is on the final journey? Wherever you are – I hope you have found the happiness that you wanted. Happy Father’s Day to you.

Mukti Bhavan – In Search of Salvation

Mukti Bhavan and Masaan – now make companion pieces of sorts – Varanasi and the River Ganga playing a major role in both movies.

Mukti Bhavan titled Hotel Salvation for international releases is a powerful, poignant and bitter-sweet tale of the patriarch of a middle-class family and his relationship with his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter in his quest for salvation.

In Varanasi/Benares/Kashi – remains a hotel called Mukti Bhavan where those who seek their final journey find an abode. Our lead character Daya played by Lalit Behl is a 77-year old man who has lived a life, well-spent, he sees a dream that foretells his death and he decides to leave for Varanasi to spend his last days. His son Rajiv played brilliantly by Adil Hussain seems to work in some kind of bank or investment firm and is seen chasing sales targets. Rajiv’s wife Lata played by Gitanjali Kulkarni and daughter Sunitha played by the elegant Palomi Ghosh also add to the perfect portrayal of the slightly upper middle-class family structure. They own a car as well as a Bajaj scooter.

Rajiv manages to secure a fortnight’s leave and accompanies Daya to Varanasi and they check-in to Mukti Bhavan. The caretaker Mishra ji is  played by Anil K. Rastogi who has some brilliant lines – “Death is a process.” “The souls here reside within the body. Once the body dies what purpose does the soul serve here.”

At one juncture, Daya falls sick and everyone feels he will die. An elderly lady at Mukti Bhavan played by Navinidra Behl adds grace and charm to the tale, she quips – ‘I have been waiting all my life here to die.” Daya apologises to his son for scuttling his son’s talents and dreams of being a poet. Some real good father-son scenes and I am sure a lot of us guys will relate to these scenes. Daya survives, Latha and Sunitha also make a surprise visit. The 15 day period comes to an end and the caretaker says – ‘Register in a new name and continue to wait for salvation.’

Daya finds a friend and companion in Vimala, then Vimala dies and Daya narrates a moving obituary that he has written for her. Daya advises Rajiv to return to his regular life.

Do watch this movie to figure out what happens to Daya.

At times, amidst all the drivel and leave your ‘mind at home’ cinema that all the woods bombard us with – small little gems like these arrive and make us fall in love with cinema and real characters. By the time the movie ended, I was quite emotional, been some time since I cried after watching a movie; Mukti Bhavan makes me think a lot. My obsession with death, salvation and redemption continue. There are no answers, neither are there any new questions. Celebrate death, embrace it, that which needs to happen will happen.

Full marks to director – Subhashish Bhutiani for an assured, confident and meaningful debut.

 

Anger Management

 

My mother does not realize,

That pleasing 1001 gods,

Is not going to help,

Her BP or sugar,

Every single time there is a festive occasion,

Fat-laden foods in the name of prasadam,

I am not a big fan of all this,

On top of that fasting,

Rituals, decorations, and what not??

Which God demanded all this?

So many years of doing these rituals,

To what effect? To what joy??

Falling ill, making me worry to no end.

Not heeding to my warnings,

And all to what end,

Like one idiot I have to rush,

Hunting for medicines, looking for a specialist.

I am tired, I am sick and tired,

Of this repeated loop,

That I am stuck in.

How easy it would be,

To run away from all this.

A cross and a burden,

That is testing my patience,

Where is this God?

Who plays joke after joke after joke on me!

Where is He/She/Power/Energy/Light??

What blasted adjective should I use,

To describe this all powerful,

Omni-potent, all-knowing energy,

That seems to forever laugh at my antics,

As I falter again and again,

In trying to create some semblance,

Of sanity in this great gift called ‘Life’!

How long does one keep travelling,

In this tunnel, hoping to get,

One glimpse of light,

That seems to be at the next bend?

How long should I continue??

To be weighed down,

Morally, physically and mentally,

Because of decisions taken by others,

Which have ruined my dreams beyond repair!

 Depression, anger, blindness,

What word does one use,

What phrase does one create,

To represent this massive lie,

That I am being forced to lead??

I shall never find redemption.

This is the truth,

Till the end arrives,

Like a welcome release,

Continue to mock me,

Continue to blackmail me,

Continue to destroy my life.

Thank you dear family, relatives and well-wishers.

Thank you!!!

 

Come September

It is about five minutes past four in the afternoon or early evening, as I sit down to type this. A lot has happened in the last two months. Equations have changed, daggers drawn, daggers sheathed back, trust broken, trust regained, friends lost, friends gained, friends lost forever. It has been a strange two months, in more ways than one. I have shifted jobs after nearly six years of service in one organisation. At the new place of work, there is a lot to learn and implement, gain the trust and respect of colleagues, plan things, get work done, a lot of trust has been placed upon me and every single time from day one, the biggest fear has been that I will let down the ones who trust me the most. For all that I remember, the fear of failure and ridicule has driven me a lot in everything that I have done for the longest time that I can remember. I have been pushed to the corner literally and figuratively many a time and I have overcome challenges to focus on life.

This year so far has drained me out tremendously, I started the year with hope that I would set things right on the personal front, but everything that I do has returned to torment me like an evil nightmare that never stops. I thought I made peace with my past, but by some weird coincidence a bit of my past comes back and again I have to run, speak to people, calm things down. Friends have always appreciated my phenomenal memory power, but I seem to be forgetting a lot. The day I saw “Thanmatra” I was sure that I would go down Rameshan Nair’s way and like a weird premonition the memory lapses are recurring, a favourite book, a movie or a song, or an answer to a question or an important phone number, things are fading. The mirror does not lie, I try to run a bit the knees hurt, gradual exercise, patient breathing, controlled diet, nothing works, the waist expands like India’s economic debt.

For over 20 years, I have believed that I will write a novel of consequence, something that will be a treasured piece, but all I have managed to do is create a pseudo-aura of a pontificating puritan who just finds errors in what others write. When others come to me for advice, I wonder – “What do you see in me; that ensures you that you have come to the right person?” – I keep these thoughts to myself and help others.

No point in harping about Amma as she keeps vacillating between ill, very ill and forever bossing me around to get things done at home! One fine day, I am just going to stop, point at the sky, say “God told me to stop listening to you”, look at her and say, “I have a life as well”. As you know very well, all this is imagination and will never turn to reality.

Externally everything seems fine, but internally there is a deep-rooted melancholy at the inevitable tragedy that the visions foretell.

Come September,

Come embrace me,

In your comfort,

Far away in a world,

Where light and cheer spreads,

Flowers bloom and brooks babble,

Away from the madness,

Of the mundane chores,

Of an existential crisis,

And a battle for survival,

I hope to find peace.

Here’s wishing you a positive, fun-filled, productive and awesome September!

Hope and a Little Sugar

Well we are into the seventh month of 2016. A phenomenal year in many ways. More final farewells, more of marriages of friends, making new friends, separation from a lot of friends and life goes on. Cheated death again, and kept wondering, one moment was all to have ended everything! Reality of life – don’t chase a dream – a person or an ideal – that is never meant to be yours! Or rather – chase a dream – a person or an ideal – if you are sure you know them properly!

samarpanam.jpg

Nothing has changed,
I look back at,
Scribbles in my diary,
From a decade back,
The pain, the doubt,
The anger and the loneliness,
Is as deep as it always was.

Illness is taking a huge toll,
My mother’s psychological trauma,
Is manifesting into too many,
Physical worries and health problems,
The doctor says she has to stop worrying.
She says she does not worry.
She just exists!

I am at a loss for words,
Going about in circles,
From one doctor to the other,
Setting a pattern in medicines,
To offer some relief,
Nothing has changed,
Other than the fact that we are now alone.

It’s been about five years now I guess,
Dad’s in his own world,
Happy with his bottle of rum,
Wearing a cloak of divinity,
And going about on yatras!

Everyone is happy,
In their own little worlds,
Am I happy?
I don’t know.
Am I sad?
I don’t know.

When someone asks me –
How are you?
I have started to say-
“I am alive!”
It cuts down other queries.

Prayers, rituals, ceremonies,
Visiting temples, searching for tranquility,
Churches, mosques and monasteries,
Nothing offers clarity,
If there was a God,
Would there be pain?
Would innocent children die?

Rambling away and away,
Like a drunken,
Old monk – I write aimlessly,
She lies in front of me asleep,
I wonder – where did I go wrong?

Breathe in and breathe out,
And returning to reality,
All these questions are pointless,
Life has to go on.
The bills have to be paid,
The EMIs have to be paid.

No travel, no merry-making,
Point A to Point B,
Life like a pendulum,
Goes back and forth.

After so many stanzas,
You dear reader,
If you are still reading,
Thank you,
May God bless you!

Probably the annual report,
May offer a glimmer of light,
Some happiness and joy,
Instead of this boring,
Dull, dry and sad verse.
Hope….that’s all that remains!

F for Father, Where art thou?

As many of my readers know, I share a deep, unexplained feeling of hatred for my father. I have written enough on how he ruined our lives (my mother’s, my sister’s and mine). I am not going to write again about all those troubled years. This post is a reflection on what drove him to what he turned into.

A young boy in a distant village in Kerala, the first child in a family of five siblings, finishes his Class X and lands in a slightly larger village and joins a restaurant as a server. He sends money the money that he earns to his parents and then he sees an advert in the newspaper and goes to a naval recruitment fair. He clears all exams and starts his journey. Even today, when at times, I am messed up in my head and yearn for that bit of paternal affection, I take out an album, it has my father in his naval uniform with his medals. How smart and dashing he looked, I am sure many a maiden’s heart would have fluttered. He had the looks of a dashing Errol Flynn. By a weird twist of fate, his scheming parents marry him away to a young girl who studied just till Class VIII. A marriage which the  old man (my paternal granddad) thought would help his other children. Life all those eons ago would have been strange, a young couple, a cramped house, scheming in-laws, jealousy, anger, madness! It was a match made in hell.

With many years of service in the Navy and a fair bit that’s classified, somewhere my father lost it and took to the bottle. It was a life-long struggle that eventually ruined him to not even a shadow of his strengths. My father would work in many leading firms across India and even in the Middle East. A fair bit of his life in Mumbai and in Sharjah is shrouded in mystery. He would never tell us anything. Gifts, once in a while, some money wired through, a greeting card with a message would land up. When we made one final attempt at reconciliation, we knew it was doomed, but we still tried. It did not work!

I have gone on and on about him failing in his duties, as one grows up, I wonder, have I failed him too? Deep reflections within are not going to give me answers. I have forgiven him a bit for all that he has done to us. It is my destiny to remain like this and his to remain the way he is! At some point this circle will end and then I can set him free once and for all. Till then, there is no peace for any of us! That inkling of dread, that bit of fear, that phone call confirming my worst fears may come in any time. Then I would have to claim him and cremate him. The same holds true for my mother as well. With the dreaded curse, which I have of visions into the future that I can’t control, I know both their times are nearing and I have to mentally prepare myself for setting them free.

Perhaps, at least in another dimension of time; let them stay happy!

The Festival of Lights

Diwali or Deepavali,
Crackers or lamps,
New clothes or sweets,
Cashew-bites or Almond drops,
Savoury mixtures or round murukkus.
First day first show,
Or TV premieres?

Partha Periappa or Kabali Mama?*
Too many questions,
Too many answers.
Get set for the festival of lights.
Set alight lamps,
Wear your new dresses,
Burst a few crackers,
But don’t make a nuisance.

Spare a thought,
For the ill and the old,
Our four-legged friends,
And our feathered friends,
Exercise caution, have fun.
Help the less fortunate.
Spread love, spread smiles!

HAPPY DIWALI

* – Reference to Triplicane Parthasarathy Temple and Mylapore Kabaleeshwarar Temple. Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva 🙂

Post is part of the #GharWaliDiwali Contest

See this video as well 🙂

Fall Like a Rose Petal – Book Review

Title of the Book – Fall Like a Rose Petal : A Father’s Lessons on How to be Happy and Content While Living without Money
Author – AVIS Viswanathan
ISBN – 9789384030445
Genre – Self-Help/Motivation
Publisher – Westland
Pages – 322

href=”https://teerthadanam.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/flrp.jpg”>FLRP
Description on the Amazon India website:<a
In early 2008, the author AVIS Viswanathan and Vaani his soul-mate, friend, wife and business partner were staring at a bankruptcy of their Firm. A series of business decisions had literally brought them to the brink of penury. This book is their story. It captures learnings from this excruciatingly painful, Life-changing, phase that they are still going through. It also explores the nature and continuum of Life. There is no beginning to the story. There is no end either. There are simply experiences. Of hopelessness. Of fear. Of insolvency. Of pennilessness. And also of faith, patience, love, companionship, abundance and soul. Of integrity and of leading a principled Life, despite temptations to take the easy way out of painful or messy situations. This book has been written to share how AVIS and his family have learned to be happy despite their circumstances. You too can benefit from their learning, and experience, and discover the right way of thinking, living, working and winning in Life for yourself!

About Avis:
AVIS Viswanathan (47) is a happiness curator, Life Coach, inspired speaker, author and organizational transformation consultant who leads change management, culture and leadership development mandates in the corporate sector globally.

I had the good fortune of attending the launch of this gem of a book and I finished reading the book the next day. On an average I finish reading at least two or three pieces of fiction (novels) a week. Non-fiction and self-help are genres that I read rarely. Books on spirituality and self-enquiry are a completely different box of chocolates and I do indulge myself in these treats once in a while.

This particular book – ‘Fall Like a Rose Petal’ – chronicles the incredible journey of a family; a husband, wife and their son and daughter. From being one of the top-notch entrepreneurs in a niche business area and finding success in every stream, to staring at abject penury and bankruptcy and being chased by 179 creditors. The book is an incredible true-life tale of survival, courage, faith and self-respect.

All good things come in small packages, the book has a minimalist yet powerful cover image of a single rose petal and the title of the book in black lettering on a white background. The book will definitely stand out in any store.

Sounds interesting right???? I am transferring you to my website now which has the full in-depth review. Do read the full review and please do buy the book!