Yes, I admit — like I’ve admitted in this space many times in the past — I’m a true blue Malayali, and happily so. I love the yummy “Mallu food” as it is popularly called, I love Malayalam movies and songs, I love going to Kerala, and I love hearing someone talk in Malayalam around me when I’m out of Kerala. I love my Onams and my Vishus and my Thrissur Poorams and my Sree Padmanbha’s Arattu and my Pongalas (well, that one, not so much).
So, it should be no surprise to any of you that I had no idea about Karwa Chauth whatsoever. Well, that’s not entirely true. I’ve seen it in Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Ishq Vishk and DDLJ (in that order), and never thought much of it. Those days, I was a happy, single girl and I dismissed it as something only married ‘aunties’ do (besides love-struck girls in Hindi movies). Plus, it was a North Indian ‘thing’ I had no clue about. Not to mention the fact that where Hindi is concerned, I’m like “bhaiyon aur behno…chor machaaye shor. chorine pidikal hamara kaam hey…hoom…hai”! All I knew was that Karwa Chauth had something to do with going hungry all day, cribbing about irresponsible husbands/husbands-to-be and staying up on the terrace all night, looking at the full moon like it is a blue-moon night Why, in fact, it was quite recently that I realised the word is actually Karwa Chauth and not Karwa Chatth — what with everyone doing something on the terrace and all that.
So well, when a friend said she was looking for a young married girl to share her views on Karwa Chauth and identified me as a prospect, I almost gagged. Had she not heard her sister’s favourite phrase “Know your audience, honey!” enough times already!? That’s when she rephrased the request and made it sound like it could also be a “fresher’s view” on Karwa Chauth. Had nothing to counter that one!
So here I am. Writing an authentic piece on ‘My first ever Karwa Chauth’. Discovering this tradition and the romance associated with it. Using technology to walk me through the rituals and some amazing mehendi designs. And likely to actually celebrate it on a 136.6 x 69.8 x 7.9 mm screen, where I will be able to stalk the moon to the hour, minute and second of its rising, look at it through a 13MP camera that magically transforms into a “chalni“, and snoop around on the Moon for a shiny gift that is ‘Pure Jewellery. Pure Joy’. However, one must hope the husband volunteers to be the next Neil Armstrong because he will need to first find a spot on the Moon to dig one tiny hole to bury the gift along with a love note — written or spoken!
Right. Before you think I’ve moved from fluent Malayalam to broken Hindi to absolute Greek and Latin, let me clarify what I’m talking about.
Imagine Karwa Chauth. Reminisce on the family get-togethers. Go daft about the glittery attires and the mehendi-laden hands. Smack your lips at the thought of some awesome food at the end of a long hungry day! Agonise over how today’s busy schedules leave you with no time to follow rituals. Pity the daughters who will perhaps never know the joy that Karwa Chauth was in your younger days. Lean on the pile of nostalgia, and let out a long, deep sigh. Then, pull out your mobile phone.
Relive tradition through an app. Celebrate it on an Android. Gaze at the Moon, and then at your husband, through a megapixel sieve! Imagine that the Moon holds a treasure in one of its many craters, and your husband has the secret key to the treasure chest. Enjoy treasure hunts where he sends you hints through SMS. Romance him till he can no longer hold it from you. Walk with him, hand in hand, excavating the Moon till you find your special gift.
Thank Tanishq. For giving you the joy of having Karwa Chauth in the palms of your hands through this app!
Thought I was just a ‘sample’ to review an app, I enjoyed the experience. I learnt that the sieve is called a chalni. I am enlightened to the fact that the Sasumaa is this amazing person who will send you an elaborate pre-dawn Karwa Chauth meal, and top it with gifts! I realise that fasting from the break of dawn, without eating anything till dusk falls, has some advantages — like not having to do any household work That ‘baya’ is a gift given to your mother-in-law or sister-in-law by you or your mother, and that it’s perhaps the ONLY day when the wives (at least by this country’s tradition) get to eat before their husbands, and that too, by being fed by them! However, the best part for most would be the Tanishq gallery the app gives access to, if you’re a jewellery lover!
This post is JUSTLY for all those people who melt into puddles when it is to do with dogs, and Pumbaa in general. Oh, or it that the other way around?
Yes, clearly, I have no time to blog, but I don’t want you to abandon this page Just because I’m not here. Pfffft!
Oh, and while i’m here, let me also say that this blog has successfully crossed 101,805 hits since…naah! No ‘since’. That doesn’t matter now, does it No, wait! Don’t try to find… Fine! Be that way.
To anyone who has a coin collection…
To anyone who knows about coins, the eras they were traded in and their history…
To anyone who knows someone who knows about coins, the eras they were traded in and their history…
To anyone who knows someone who knows anyone who knows about coins, the eras they were traded in and their history…
You get the drift, right? Any coin collectors out there who can identify this set?
…we anticipated much circus — jealousy, aggression, mad barking, general crazy behaviour. Only, nothing happened.
…has not changed. He is still scared of other dogs. That Khloe is only half his size did not seem to give him any
false sense of superiority! He walked in, did not seem to register who I was (irrespective that I was overjoyed and screeching with love :D), was in search of refuge from this new doggy person and quickly hid behind my brother! Khloe came around to him, and they sniffed at each other. No barking, no aggression, no pangs of jealousy — nothing. We were surprised, and pleased. One less thing to take care of
…was not scared at all, of course not. She calmly went around to him, sniffed at him, and was generally curious at the presence of another 4-legged companion. That he is almost twice her size did not seem to affect her in the least. Having lived all her life with a group of/in the presence of other dogs (all Beagles, in her case), we knew she would not be scared of him — but the size difference, at least, was expected to have some bearing on her. None at all.
It is really endearing to see how they both are very curious about the other one’s presence. I am pretty sure Khloe would like to have his companionship. Pumbaa, I’m sure, will take his sweet time to break the ice and be pally with her. I remember how things were when Spike, a friend’s Cocker Spaniel, spent a week here with us long back. The first two days, Pumbaa pretended Spike did not exist. Even when we sat them opposite each other, Pumbaa would slowly either look away, or look at the ceiling, or look over Spike’s head (again, Spike was tiny when compared to Pumbaa). Like “If I cannot see him, I’m sure he doesn’t exist”. The third day, the ice began melting, and Pumbaa started trailing Spike everywhere. On the fourth day, he was seen actually playing with Spike, having mock-fights with him, and even falling all over him By the time the friendship was formed, it was time for Spike to return home Secretly, though, I think Spike was glad to go After the initial days, Pumbaa did not let him have one moment to himself
Pumbaa and Khloe
…have not become friends yet. She is very interested in him, and is probably baffled by his behaviour. I can almost see a thought bubble constantly hovering over her head with the words “Just when I thought I had some good company…why is this guy so weird? Pffft!” I can almost see a thought bubble constantly hovering over his head as well, that says “Oh my God! This woman. Just does NOT let me be. Can’t she see I have no interest in her? Well, almost no interest…“
Pumbaa is pretty miffed that the house (and people) he owned all these years have to now be shared with this puny little thing who keeps harassing him all the time. “Stop following me around, can’t she? Duh! Do not take my submissiveness as lack of courage. Grrrrrrrrrrowl” says his thought bubble.
As Pumbaa continues to play hard to get, Khloe is slowly realising that someone can actually be scared of her! “Scared of me, tiny lil’ me! Yay!” says her thought bubble now And another one says, “Just because you can bark loudly and occasionally growl at me, I am not going anywhere. This house (and these people) are as much mine as they are yours.” Khloe is clearly not very impressed by Pumbaa’s strange behaviour
Aside: Today, Khloe had her first taste of rice and beef. And boy, did she love it! All these days, she totally refused to eat anything else apart from bread and boiled eggs, and milk. We tried giving her everything, she would take none of it. After Pumbaa arrived, Khloe seems to appreciate variety in food
- He dropped a few tiny pieces of dog biscuit, and she gobbled them up. This, after I had tried my best and failed to make her even lick a piece of it all these days!
- The moment he puts down the bone he is chewing on and goes off for water or a loo break, she quietly claims it as her own!
- And today, after making her taste a tiny spoonful of Pumbaa’s “beef biriyani” as we call it, she could NOT wait for it to cool down. So we made her a share, gave it to her, which she wolfed down! And then she made a move to his share as well! He “grrrrrrr”ed at her, but of course, did nothing; pouted and went under the table. The husband and I had to then form a human barricade and block the hungry girl on one side while I fed the distraught boy on the other side!
Sooooo much fun I think the circus we had anticipated is just waiting to kick off
Pumbaa, sooooooooo happy to have you back (even if for a while)! You are such a sweetheart
Our 6-year old beagle, a sweetheart we adopted a week ago.
The whole idea was formed when my ex-manager and dear friend, Neeta, forwarded a mail that took me to a blog that said “20 beagles from a lab need homes”. Of course, having a Labrador at home made me first think the mail meant these were pups of a lab-beagle parents. And then, I noticed a comment that said something about beagles being extremely gentle beings, which is why they are “used” in labs. Which is what made me research more on beagles in labs. That took me to the Beagle Freedom Project. I read about the horrors these lovely creatures are put through in animal “testing” laboratories. I was aghast. I came across this video, and was reminded of having seen it a couple of years ago.
Well, I did not need any more persuasion or convincing to take a decision. We wrote to CUPA who was organising this adoption drive, and was told we would get to adopt one on 19 Feb. I really really wanted to get two — so that they’d have each other for company always — but the husband refused to agree. Well, there would be more such adoption drives, I told myself
On 19 Feb, we went to the CUPA centre at Ulsoor, to find that there were 40,a nd not 20 beagles up for adoption! We registered, and had to wait for our turn to make the selection. There was one I had almost decided on; till then Khloe was not in my line of sight. It was when a car had to be reversed out from amidst the cages that the guy moved Khloe’s cage to another side. That’s when I saw her. And when it was my turn to choose, I opened the cage of the one i had almost set my mind on, and called her out. She was responsive, but did not budge. I opened Khloe’s cage, and she came out, slowly but with much affection. I gently pushed her back in and tried two others. Well, in the end, Khloe it was!
I guess it suffices to say that Khloe chose us She came to us happily, stood patiently while we put on her a new collar and clipped it to her new leash. She was curious, but anxious. She was friendly, but extremely docile. Every time we bent down to pet her, she would cower and almost set herself flat on the ground It ached to see her do that.
That was 5 days ago, and at the adoption center. The moment we reached home, she surveyed all of the first floor. She was hesitant to climb the stairs to the second. Since CUPA had to sterilise her, they operated her and there was a cut on her belly which was stitched and bandaged. We did not want to force her to climb, for fear of her wound causing her pain. She settled down extremely quickly.
The first day at home is the ONLY time she slept on the floor. I guess she was not sure what the sofas were for; plus, I was sitting on the floor, so she must’ve assumed that’s where we all sit/sleep.
That evening, Neeta and the Queen of Subtlety came home to visit Khloe. They spent quite a while cuddling her, taking pictures, and generally giving her love therapy Close to 8, they were hungry, and decided to leave. I decided to join them for dinner. While I was gone, Khloe watched TV.
Khloe is now a happy girl. Because she has figured out the comforts of the various soft sofas, beds and settees in this house. Needless to say, she now owns them. The moment one of us sits down (mostly me, because the husband prefers the single seater), she considers it her right to climb up right up near me, shifts about till she gets into a position that lets her be squished between me and the backrest, and promptly dozes off. Ina day or two, she has come to the conclusion that she can doze off even without waiting for me to sit. As long as one of us is in the room, all is well.
Khloe is in love with Suraj; and, the feeling is mutual She just cannot bear to have him out of her sight. If he walks out of the room, she whines. If he goes to the bathroom, she whines. If he goes upstairs for a second, she whines. In fact, it was during one such moment of missing him that she climbed alllll the way up to the second floor, in search of him. We were shocked! We had tried two whole days to see if she will climb up, but she had always refused. Anyways, they are inseparable. Today morning, when he went out to buy some veggies, she waited for him at the stairs till he was back.
Yes, it is not just her; looks like he can’t stay away from her for too long either. Two days ago, I asked him to come pick me up from work late evening, and had to make him wait for 20 minutes as I was finishing up some last-minute stuff. He was so mad at me, and came back and complained to Khloe that he “wanted to come back immediately, but she made me late!” So yes, they love each other. See how they spend time ‘together’
Khloe is a happy girl We took her to the vet today, and he said she’s healthy, and seems happy and quite well adjusted in comparison to how normally other adopted dogs seem in a week of getting a home. She refuses to eat anything at all, but that is just because it’s a new environment. We took her on her first ever walkie-walkie today evening, and she was a good, co-operative girl! I’m proud of her.
Khloe Nayar Thomas, welcome home Here’s to a delightful new life, baby!
Such an awesome read Thanks Calvy, for this post!
Originally posted on Dog with the blog!:
A cursory glance on facebook and it’s easy to delve in the wave of wedding updates. The delirious setting gets still creepier when the question gets popped out to you of unassuming corners. At office cubicle, over a cafeteria conversation or an impromptu conversation, there is always someone who wishes to inquire ‘when’ as if the gyrations of the planet depend on a matrimonial.
Fernfly has never asked me on these lines. So it did came as a surprise when she chose to skirt around the same as an answer to my post on penning a hand written letter. Advising me to keep my eyes open for Susie Derkins, she painstakingly scribbled down Rosemarie Urquico’s essay on why one should date a girl who reads. Adding in post script with a different ink, “Must love dogs remain the primary clause. And why only date, you should marry her.”