Touche 4

It’s been a while since I wrote my last post in the “Touche” series. So, if you are wondering why I am randomly starting with Touche 4 (like Star Wars), please go back and check out my Touche, Touche 2 and Touche 3 posts for context.

So. With that out of the way – do you remember that I come up with a “word for the year”?  Well. The word for 2018 suddenly came to me a couple of days back, totally out of the blue.  I shared my word with N and the munchkins (will share with you later), and asked them to come up with their words for the year.  N (surprisingly) cooperated immediately, and came up with “optimistic” for his word.  “I am going to be more positive and optimistic in the coming year”, N remarked.

Before I could congratulate him on a well-chosen word, little A (who always just happens, in such instances, to be sitting nearby) said (pointing to N’s cup of green tea), “so, Daddy, is the cup half-full or half-empty?” N laughed and said “It doesn’t work like that, babes.”  But before he could go any further, little A continued nonchalantly, “Actually, whether the cup is half-full or half-empty depends on what is in the cup.”

Step aside, Jack Handey. Your Deep Thoughts successor has arrived!! 🙂



My gentle readers (if you are still out there),

Here are some earth-shattering questions for you to consider.

First of all, do you keep a to-do list? If not, you are done here. You can go home now.

If you are still here – when you have 20 things on your to-do list, which ones do you tackle first?

Do you hunker down and get through the most important task first (like all the good books say you should)?

Or do you start with the easiest possible tasks and cross them off your list happily, until you get to a point when only the most ugh! tasks remain?

At which point, do you then start polling your gentle readers on how they manage their priorities? 😉

Che, done with all my yummy tasks for the day. Afternoon tasks are looking mildly bleak. Tea time is at least 3 hours away. Best get on with it, I guess.

Hope you did better than me with your priorities this morning! 🙂


Can you tell that I am in a hash tag mood? 😉

Well. I am soooo super thrilled this morning!!

You know that I am a foodie.  However, my love of food only sometimes translates to cooking, especially if it involves cooking well. I don’t have a sweet tooth (and N and little N don’t have a strong preference for sweets either), so I have very little inclination to make sugary stuff (sorry, little A). People are very surprised to hear this (likely because my age is that multiple of 11 between 40 and 50), but I have never ventured into sweet territory beyond making payasam, kheer, or chakkarai pongal. No simple baking even (hmmm… maybe that’s why my munchkins started baking for themselves when they were not quite eight yet).

Still. With Deepavali looming, decided to bite the bullet and make something sweet for the family. Wanted to make something savory too (but that was too much mental overload), so picked up some (Grand Sweets) masala peanuts and kara sev instead (you get everything in desi stores these days, don’t you?).

So. Polled several friends and whatsapp groups that I am on, and finally decided on a kaju katli recipe suggested by my friend P. What really sold me on this recipe? P offering to demonstrate if I had 15 minutes to spare when I visited her house.  That really gave me courage. I mean, sure, I had 15 minutes (and a bucket of kajus and sugar) to spare.

So, first thing this morning (Happy Deepavali, my dears!!), plunged into kaju-land, and emerged a half hour later with this.


Just unbelievable, how super duper my kaju katlis look and taste (if I say so myself)! Cannot wait for N and the chickis to return from work and school and try my fabulosities. Cannot stop smiling either!!

So sorry to invoke President Obama in vain, but #YesWeCan, #YesWeDid. 🙂

Today’s Smiles

Things that made me smile today:

  • Picking up little N from school at 5 pm and driving her straight to an activity that will go on for another couple of hours (oh, my hard-working munchkin!), getting there early, and sitting for a few minutes in the car with her catching up while she snacked on pasta and masala chai;
  • Calling to check on little A, who had been left alone at home to continue with her homework, and hearing, “Mommy, don’t worry, the robbers are not here yet”;
  • Making pongal and onion vadais for dinner (looks v. promising!); and
  • Listening to little A belt out K-pop music (“Wedding Dress”) on the piano with such aplomb as is rarely seen during regular piano practice.

Happy Wednesday! 🙂


I am working from home today. Somehow, these WFH days end up being way busier than you think they would be (they should really be called WTF days, I say!). Spent most of the morning hidden upstairs working away and yammering on the phone. Did pause to congratulate self that our cook, R, was coming over today, so didn’t have to ponder the one question that I find absolutely nerve-wracking – “Mommy, what’s for lunch?”.

Dropped R home at 2:00 pm after she made some delicious lunch (aloo parathas, paneer capsicum sabji, and sabudana kichdi – super yum!!). As I drove her home, we were commiserating with each other on our busy mornings. R mentioned that she had been out cooking since 6:30 am, and that as soon as I dropped her at home she was going to make dinner for her family, since she still had another cooking job this evening which would go on from 4 pm till at least 7 pm.

Man, felt like a total a$$hole for whining to her about my busy morning. And told her that I hoped that the rest of her week is easier, and that I felt like sitting down and having a cup of tea after just hearing about her busy day. Which, come to think of it, was also a dumb thing to say. I mean, if someone is overwhelmed, I don’t know if it’s reassuring to hear “oh no, you are so overwhelmed”. Anyway, that’s what I said.

I was blown away by her response.

“Do you want to come in to my house? I can quickly make you a cup of masala chai”, she offered – 8 hours into a 12 hour, entirely on-her-feet, work day.

That, my friend, is what they call Grace.

Not a Prayer

Amma and I were at the temple to do vadai malai for Anjaneyar today.  Where were the others, you ask?  Well.  The last vadai malai was just a couple of weeks ago.  Decided (correctly) that there will be a minor rebellion from the other three if the temple outings got too frequent, so didn’t even invite them to come along.  For which they were infinitely grateful.

The temple parking lot was quite empty when we got there, which was promising.  I absolutely love having our little local temple to myself – sitting there in that serene environment alone with my thoughts and prayers soothes me like nothing else.

You know where this is going, don’t you?

We entered the temple and it was largely empty, except for a group of about 20 people, deeply engaged in chanting/singing Sundarakandam in front of Anjaneyar.  Which could have been quite fine, really.  Except, they were each singing to their own tune, loudly and confidently.  Which the (dormant) singer in me found mildly amusing and (with the passage of time) a tad annoying.  The priest quickly decorated Anjaneyar with our malai and disappeared off to a remote corner of the temple (no prizes for guessing why).

Amma and I sat for a half hour but there was no sign of Sundarakandam ending.  I looked at the prayer books that the people were singing from, and it seemed like they were not even half way through.  I had spent all my morning making the vadais, so there was still the small matter of getting back home and organizing lunch for our party of 5.  It was noon by then, the clock was a-ticking and my stomach was rumbling.  Plus, the singing was totally starting to get to me.  The accompanying tabla had a beat going that was like the beginning of “inji iduppazhagi”.  Leave alone sitting in serene environment with my prayers, there was no getting through even one little slokam in the middle of all the chaos.  Made an executive decision to leave the vadai malai with Anjaneyar (let the singers enjoy the prasadam), and made a speedy exit.

Oh, one coherent thought did cross my mind while sitting there listening to the singing.

Yennamma, ippdi pannreengale maa” 😉

Multitasking Mania

Surely something’s wrong when I am standing fully dressed in work clothes and:

  • Making dosais for my breakfast
  • Eating aforementioned dosais while hovering between the stove and the nearby countertop
  • Making mini-trips between dosai bites to the fridge and microwave to plan and pack my lunch
  • Brewing my coffee on the side to take with me on my ride to work

And still giving sidelong glances at my laptop sitting on the kitchen table, with a nagging feeling that I should be more productive and get a head start on my work rather than waste time on inessentials like food.

It’s going to be a busy work day, but really, my first meeting is not for another three hours.  So what’s up with the constant drive to be productive?  Che!

Are you this crazy too?  Please tell me you are. 🙂