Grandma, a soul who bridges all relations into one and strives to tie them together . I and my cousin thought of posting a tribute for her loss at the same time telling about some special things we admired about her.And like every grandchildren , our grandma is special for us in every way. I remember my grandma from my father side very well since I never have seen the grandma from my mother side but wish I could have. I still cherish the memories of both of my grandmas ever.
My paternal grandma was a hard working women. She was always on the walk to and fro either to buy goods for households or to help my awaiting cousins for her arrival everyday.And she even has played a major role when we all five , my siblings and cousins had made holes digging for treasure in the garden sand and played games ruining the mats that has been laid to dry under the sun.For her, no work is big and all the time she lands up doing something or the other.
I have already written about her husband Chevalier Varadha Veerapan which she says is always proud of . And today, I am sharing few of things that I admired and learnt from her
Grandma's kitchen -
She likes thuvaiyals and garlic paruppu thuvaiyal (made with dry chillies, toor dal,garlic , little tamarind, lots of coconut , little ginger and a pinch of salt) was her special which is used to eat along with rice.She likes to make kadappa for chapatti's and adhai esp. thavala adhai and keerai adhai.Also, we had drumstick plant in our house and always she asks my mom to make drumstick leaves for cooking which she says is the healthiest food ever.
Grandma's special -
She knows the trick of drying different papads (vattal) , pickles and chilli powder for kitchen use in a systematic way every year .And these will be delivered to her sons, daughters, grandchildren ( me incl) whenever we need even if located outside India.
Grandma's recycling -
Making brooms from coconut sticks( after removing the leaves on both sides ) is one of her way of recycling the dried up stems/leaves from the coconut tree we had . And the left overs are used for boiling water used for bathing. The left over newspaper too had its way with some moving to the paper mart and some is made paste with water for to coat the murams ( a device made with dried sheets of coconut leaves/bamboo leaves and coated with paper paste which is used in the kitchen for sieving as well storing essentials ).
Long before, I even can recollect how cow dung was collected and dried purposefully for serving as as fire to cooking purposes.It is said that it is best fire igniter and even its smoke will ward off any insects in the house . Margayi (as we call December) has a special cow dung cleaning in front of the house where we put kolams mainly to protect the home from winter diseases and also to provide positive effect . Well, I always admired her variety works .
Grandma's talk -
She talks about everything she knows.She can collect information very fast and had lots of old friends whom she talks to on every day basis by just sitting on the verandah or by meeting some on the way.I learned how information is been a source of knowledge by just few conversation and even how to make friends easily.
I once took a photo telling her that I am going to write a blog post about her when she was making paper paste for the murams ( a traditional sieve for separating dry seeds, insects if any,stones, grains from rice) and here it is below
|Recycling Newspaper (Paper paste)|
First, paper paste is made from soaking the left over newspaper in some water .After some time, the consistency is made as in the above image .
|The original handmade koodai with holes|
You can see the above picture of a uncoated koodai ( as we say in tamil ) .The purpose of coating the murams and koodai is to fill in the holes as tightly as possible.This is done by taking some paper paste and coating each part of the muram or koodai slowly and steadily by hand. About three coatings is applied to secure everything in place.
|Final display drying under the Sun|
Finally, the coated murams and koodai are left to dry under the Sun. After completely dried up they can be used for multiple kitchen purposes like sieving , storing and even to carry kitchen items to and fro for grinding or buying purposes . A great alternative to today's plastic drums and kitchen items.