Sociable

A Lazy Daisy Deepavali

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Monday, 31 October 2011


For the first time in as many years as I can remember, I spent the first part of the day watching TV  and I couldn't believe it myself !! It was a special Deepavali  programme on ASTRO -an hour long Oddisi performance by  the famous Ramli Ibrahim and his troupe of dancers.  That was at about  7.30am in the morning when I should have been having my traditional oil bath and preparing to go to the temple !  Mesmerising and utterly utterly  captivating..... I was so in awe of his fluidity of movement,  his nuances, his precise and exacting step work, his grace and stamina, his perfect timing .... .... Gosh, I'm  still not over him yet !   (Sigh )  If only I could dance like him and dance with him !! I couldn't take my eyes off  and  was transfixed with my eyes bulging out of my sockets..... ... By Jove!  it was that beautiful an experience for me, to put it mildly.

I was feeling guilty  of " wasting time " as there were so many things to do but yet couldn't resist the lure of Ramli Ibrahim's masterpieces of  dance ( there I go again !) And so,  against my better judgment and with 2 manipulative kids who  i ) 'advised' me to enjoy myself for once without prancing around the house bugging them  and ii ) told me that  this was a one off ASTRO special and no repeats ,   I sat through the 1 hour show  and was  thoroughly and truly in a world of my own.

Now, that was a smashing  great start for me on Deepavali


Later after fetching my  youngest sister, Poonam, from the train station, we all went to offer our prayers at the temple and had a leisurely breakfast/brunch/lunch all rolled together, sort of  a  "three-in-one" kinda of thing.  My sister had us in stitches with her tales of office happenings and I was glad of her presence.   That was a 'first' too.  Normally it would have been friends pouring in from the word GO at 9am  and me bustling  frantically making thosai after thosai after thosai  and hollering  at my kids to refill the chutney, the chicken curry, the cakes, cookies, traditional sweetmeats etc., etc.  No wonder my kids were smiling all day .  I didn't realise I had made them all stressed out all these years until my daughter told me what a difference it was this year. " For once we enjoyed ourselves" they said ! Didn't know that I was such a dragon ... dear me !

The torrential rain made its appearance in the afternoon and gave us all a respite .   Watching the rain pouring down as I sat down in the  cosy wing chair with my feet on the footstool and a  cup of ginger tea clasped in my hands, a feeling of gratefulness of the blessings I have enveloped me  -  a roof over my head,  food on the table, 2 lovely  children and a husband  who loves and provides for us.  A contented and  warm  feeling came over me.  My thoughts then  strayed  to the families in the low cost apartments/houses I had visited with my kids - those  who were struggling to make a living, whose houses leaked and  were  often flooded by the same torrential rain  that I was enjoying  watching ;  the  countless children of struggling single parents  who had nothing to celebrate about; the children stranded by bickering and abusive parents; the abandoned families which I have seen on the streets.............. and the corners of my eyes became blurred  and a small lump starting rising in my throat.  " Is this what we call 'karma ' or is this because of man's greed ? I couldn't figure it out.  I finished my tea silently and  offered a prayer of gratitude  to GOD for what I have and a prayer for the those who didn't.   



My sisters-in-law, spouses and their family members  came for dinner at our home.  Since I'm the only Hindu in the family and they are  all Catholics, I make it a point to invite them for Deepavali dinner every year. It was a warm and happy occasion with lots of food, jokes and  laughter and family/holiday discussions. For aperitifs, I served  Bailey's Irish Cream for my sisters-in-law  and the men, Scotch .  As was usual, I served  hot thosai and iddly with chicken masala, mango chutney, coriander salsa,  fried chicken,  my  " once in a year mutton varruval " ( dry and spicy mutton ) which I really  cook only once in a year ( it's too time-consuming and tedious ) and  cucumber and pineapple yohurt raita to balance the spiciness.

Desert was traditional cookies like murruku, achi murruku, pineapple tarts, a  sugee cake  and a traditional a rich " whiskeyed " fruit cake  ( there was no brandy   so I sploshed my husband's whiskey in the fruit mix  when he was not around  ).  Hmm, I'm just realising that I didn't make the frienzed variety of cookies, cakes and pies  that I usually do  when I'm on the baking spree........ Geez,  ! Now I understand ...  this was part of the stress build up with my kids !


( Just to digress and  elaborate a little, the hallmark of a good fruit cake is to have the chopped  fruit mix - raisins, sultanas, cherries, apricots, dried figs, nuts,)  soaked/macerated in a cup or so of   brandy for a minimum of 2 weeks and up to a month before it is added to the cake mixture.  The aroma of the fruit mix will fill the whole house and everyone will  know that the festive season has started . The slowly  baked cake is then covered in greaseproof paper and foil and kept in an airtight container to mature for a minimum of a month  and up to 3 or 4 months.   This brings out the  taste and rich  flavour of the cake and you only need a small slice of it to enjoy with a good cup of coffee/tea .  This is how a traditional fruit cake is done.

Those who are prohibited from using alcohol can substitute with fresh orange juice but it cannot keep well and has to be consumed  within a week. )


Everything went well, I guess because they left only at about midnight with containers of my special mutton dish.  ( They had already informed me a week earlier to cook extra and 'ta pau ' { pack } for them )   After clearing all the dishes, wine glasses, plates, cutlery and  what not and putting away the leftovers in tupperwares for consumption the next day (!) ,  I slumped into bed around 1 am.

Not dead tired as I was used to but pleasantly tired this time.  I think I'll do the same next year !



Happy reading and painting


Lakshmi

The Festival of Lights - DEEPAVALI is here again

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Tuesday, 25 October 2011


My blog was temporarily removed due to someone trying to hack into my blog and my email...... God knows what was so important or top secrets were hidden in my articles !  Google  had  to do what was necessary and so readers might have had some problem having access to my blog lately.  Oh well, it's back to normal now and so I can ramble on............


It is already Deepavali eve and I have taken a laid back attitude in my celebrations this year.  For the first time, I'm celebrating Deepavali with only my family members.  It's a new  kind of feeling when I don't have to slave over the stove making ' thosai ' and chicken curry, etc ....  for my never ending guests streaming in all day..... This year  I'm visiting my sister so I can put up my legs a wee bit.

  In the morning, after offering my prayers at the temple, I'm  going to visit some of the children in the low cost flats located in Shah Alam and give them goodie bags .    My kids and I went there last week and gave away soft toys, mugs, cookies , etc to the  small kids playing in the car park .  One twiggy like child of 5  wore  an adult size flip flop and  climbed down 8 flights of stairs .......    One single parent of a child asked me why I was doing it .   I was quite taken aback and  I  really didn't know how  or what to answer her .  Another mum asked if I was from some welfare dept and had  to register her name with me.  Most of them were curious and I guess a wee bit suspicious  of my motive !     Well, the secret is out ! I did it because I wanted to .  That's it. The cookies, I had  baked myself... the soft toys of Winne the Pooh, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse,  tigers, teddy bears, etc .,  belonged to my kids during their childhood days which I had lovingly packed them away to keep as keepsakes and for memories  ( they had quite a large collection )  and the  mugs, plates,  and souvenirs were collected from travels and family members  ) .  

 In retrospect, I think I wanted to see for myself the surprise and happy feeling on their faces, hear them hollering out their friends name with  their squeals of laughter and see them  prancing around with delight with their new found toys/gifts.  I am quite tired of just giving money to homeless  organisations and welfare homes.  I have found it more meaningful to go down to meet them face to face  and do/give whatever I can .  Not everyone is registered with welfare homes or NGOs... most of the lower income families just go about their lives doing their  work and try to cope with the pressure of work to make ends meet.  They would hardly have time to play with their children and it is  these category of people/ their small ones  who need  a bit of cheer.  

If truth be told, it was  the children who made me happy that day with their toothy grins and shrieks of laughter and delight .   And  I'm grateful they gave me an opportunity to experience it.


On another note, I was browsing through the SeniorsAlound.blogspot.com and viewed this touching video.  It's a short film of 12 mins which I have uploaded here after watching it. You'll understand it when I say you don't need subtitles  .........








Wishing all Hindus ' A VERY HAPPY DEEPAVALI ' and GOD BLESS

Happy reading and painting


Lakshmi

An Interview with GOD

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Tuesday,  11 October 2011



You simply have to watch this movie.  I did it a few times and it humbled and  touched me profoundly... and then I smiled  knowingly as I read the ending.


http://www.theinterviewwithgod.com/popup-frame.html






Happy reading and painting


Lakshmi

Paintings, Paintings, Paintings ! 2

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Saturday 8 October 2011


The nine days of ' Navarathri ' ( Sanskrit for 9 days and nights )  prayers observed by Hindus all over the world are now over and  I have found time to upload the other paintings of Tengku Norashikin.

                       

These 3  cooking utensils were done quite some time ago but they still look good for hanging on the kitchen wall.

A lovely basket of roses filled with cookies
Ooooo! so so cute and cudly - perfect for the nursery room
A beautiful ' kampung' scene complete with chickens.....

Although work still has to be completed, I clicked away anyway !

                              
The 4 paintings shown was done on the 4 sides of the caddy. Great work and creativity
Hmmmm so appetising.....................................



Mama mia, the tin of biscuits look scrumptious enough to eat

If I were in Hogwarts School of Magic , I'd  wave my wand and make the mouth-watering cake appear before me this instant.

' Langadium Laviosa ' ......... hmmmm my magic wand is not working and my stomach is growling. Must try again !


Texture paste work done on two different bread boxes with subtle variations ..... both look absolutely delicious


Well,  what are you waiting for ? Pick up that brush and get a move on, people, start painting now !



Happy reading and painting



Lakshmi

What All Malaysians Know N Should Know !

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Thursday 5 October 2011

Something we should all ponder about  .  The quoted words are very familiar to all Malaysians  that  they roll off our tongues so  easily and have  become, sort of standard operating  answers .       Although it is written in a satirical tongue-in-cheek way, we Malaysians are really " guilty  as charged  ", aren't we ?



NATIONAL EXCUSE FOR HAIR LOSS:
Ajinomoto  





NATIONAL INSTANT FOOD :
Maggi Mee  

 

NATIONAL BREAKFAST :
Nasi Lemak  

 

NATIONAL LUNCH :
Nasi Ayam  

 

NATIONAL SUPPER :
Roti Canai & Teh Tarik    

 

NATIONAL EXCUSE FOR BEING LATE:
Traffic Jam  

 

NATIONAL FRUIT FOR INDUCING MENSTRUATION :
Pineapple            



 
NATIONAL APHRODISIAC DRINK:
Stout. Many Malaysian men swear by it. But then after a few pints they start swearing at everything.. .

NATIONAL FAKE ILLNESS FOR GETTING MC (MEN):
Food Poisoning

 

NATIONAL FAKE ILLNESS FOR GETTING MC (WOMEN):
Menstrual Pain       

 

NATIONAL CURE FOR DIARRHOEA :
Cap Kaki Tiga.  

 

NATIONAL CURE FOR HEADACHES:
Panadol.  

 

NATIONAL CURE FOR DIZZINESS:
Minyak Angin Cap Kapak.


 
NATIONAL CAUSE OF DIZZINESS (FOR YUPPIES):
Happy Hours.  

 

NATIONAL INSTANT CURE FOR DIZZINESS (FOR YUPPIES):
The sight of a police road block.  

 

NATIONAL RICE COOKER :
NATIONAL Rice Cooker




NATIONAL RUBBISH DUMP:
Anywhere, as long as it is not your house.  

 

NATIONAL MOST MIS-PRONOUNCED NAME:
Carrefour.  

 

NATIONAL ANSWER FOR 'WHERE ARE YOU?'
on the way.    



 
NATIONAL OFFICIAL TIME FOR BEING LATE
-10 minutes  

 

NATIONAL REASON FOR PRICE INCREASE
Petrol naik  

 

NATIONAL REASON FOR PETROL INCREASE
Still cheaper than other country  

 

NATIONAL EXCUSE FOR CAUSING TRAFFIC JAM:
There was accident on the other side of the road  

 

NATIONAL REASON WHEN REJECTING INVITATION  :
'I got some work to do..u all go first'  

 

NATIONAL REASON FOR COLLAPSED BUILDINGS & LEAKY PARLIAMENT ROOFS:
An act of God.  

 

NATIONAL EXCUSE FOR IRRESPONSIBLE POLITICAL STATEMENTS:
None. We were misquoted.  

 

NATIONAL MINISTERIAL REASON FOR INCREASING TOLL RATES:
Lu ingat ini jalan saya punya bapak punya kah?

 (you think this is my father's road ah ?)  
 


NATIONAL EXCUSE FOR JUMPING QUEUE:
everybody jumping what!



NATIONAL EXCUSE NOT PAYING SAMAN ACCORDING TO DUE DATE:
government will give discount one of these days  

 

NATIONAL EXCUSE TO BRIBE:
minum kopi                                                                                             









( Thanks, Gouri , for sharing this with me )




Happy reading and painting






Lakshmi