Saturday, September 03, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love (in the literal sense here!)

Festivals have always meant a good feast. Last week was all that I madly love under one roof - family, home, Madikeri, rains, cold weather and lots and lots of love. It started with Ganesha festival with fantastic food. I slogged over decorating the tray, the ‘naivaidhya’ that is offered to God and later struggled after over eating, as is the norn during festivals! Was super proud of the tray!

The next day was braving the rains and setting off on a picnic with the three people I most love in the world. After posing before the Soorlabbi waterfalls, it was looking-for-the-leeches time, a mandatory exercise after even the shortest walk in the rain. Those crawlies have the knack for reaching up to unspeakable places! Ugh! Though I love the way they crawl about.

This is not a leech!

Next up was Honnammana Kere, a place near Somwarpet that is at the centre of a very famous Kannada folk song. Honnamma had sacrificed her life to ensure that the lake that is named after her always remains full. It is a beautiful story called ‘Kerege Haara’, one that I will edit and write here when I know the names of all the characters. Most of us in Karnataka would have learnt it in school.

There was this colourful painting of Goddess Lakshmi. I love the colour and near-kitschy look of our Gods.

Along the way, at a tea-shop owned by a Kargil war hero. My interest was piqued at the fancy name of Down Town Bakery.

This house! Going here was a dream of many, many years. It belongs to a part of my family and its story is one that is begging to be told. There is intrigue, history, drama, betrayal, all the classic ingredients. This was where the Kannada writer Shivarama Karanth used to come and write a lot of his novels. There is a picture of Mahatma Gandhi standing on the terrace. I am still saying ‘this house!’ Ok, now before I say any more…

The first day when I tried baking a chocolate cake, I had to throw away the rest of the batter. I made ma and my friend of some 25 years eat it. Ma being ma ate it. So did my friend, and he was too good a friend to laugh at the disaster of the day! The next day, a determined me made it again and whoopee! The chocolate cake was exactly the way a chocolate cake is supposed to taste like, moist and gooey and chocolaty. Ok, so I couldn't cut it in exact square pieces but hey, it tasted great. I was/still am maha super thrilled and served it with cinnamon, just because I could like cinnamon with everything. I can’t wait to bake more!

(How on earth did I get to be this happy about cooking, I cannot help ask myself all the time.)

A lovely week it was and I am miserable at the moment to be sitting in a house no much bigger than a big hole in the wall. I miss home and I miss the love. Monday onward is the Varanasi trip, ten plus days without a computer screen and typing. I am telling myself the excitement is more than my homesickness. But then, on Facebook, my status is a quote from George Washington, “I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world.

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