Thursday, May 30, 2013

Princess Sundrella and the Disney effect

So the summer holidays are here. We are not headed to either naani's house and we have time to spill. After a couple of days in this spilling I realised that Netra should now be introduced to the princesses. Who else is good at bringing those countless princesses to life than Mr Disney. So I downloaded all the princess movies that have been made under the Disney banner. Starting with Cinderella to the current rebel and if I may say, my fav, Brave's Princess Merida.

There were some after effects that I knew of and expected to occur after so much royalty being doled out to my 5 year old. But there were some more, which nothing could have prepared me for. Her Highness had been insisting on being called Princess for some time now but after seeing Cinderella, she responds only when addressed as Princess Cinderella. When I told her that Cinderella was not even a princess to begin with, I was told "Ban gayi na wo, jaise main ban gayi" (She turned in to one, like I did). She likes being called Princess Sundrella- I told her Cinder means something partially burnt-  so she re-christened herself and may be in the process Cinderella as well.

So now our Princess Sundrella wants birds to help her chores that have been assigned to her. If she can have her way, she might even summon a deer or a tortoise. She can not understand that birds do not fetch her clothes or help her tie her hair, after all they do help everyone else from Cinderella to Aurora. Only Merida, she says did not get help from birds in getting dressed but then she has a white fluffy horse and a bow and arrows. So now the father has been instructed to get a white fluffy horse, which I dread might just be walked into our house one of these days.

One of the personal blows that I suffered due to all this exposure to Disney princesses, was the talk about mothers and step-mothers. My daughter extracted that to be a princess a mandatory pre-requisite was either a dead mother or presence of a witch in one's life. Snow White and Cinderella had dead mother's, Jasmine too; Aurora had to leave home because of the curse cast by a witch, Merida's life turns haywire because of a witch's spell. I tried to point out that these were created situations to test the character strength of these girls but I think I did not strike a chord with her 5 year old brain that was in awe of the palace, the dresses and the high heels that a princess got to wear.

I overheard her asking a friend, do you want to be a princess. The friend replied in affirmative. Then Netra sighed and said, "Phir to tumhari Mummy ko marna padega"(Then your mother will have to die). I could not supress my smile at the sigh.

Another momentous impact of the fairy tales is the fairy herself. A problem was posed that if she was a princess in the making, a mother who-should-soon-be-dead was there al right, but who is this fairy who makes everything alright, turning pumpkins into lovely coaches and mice in to handsome horses. Knowing that my sister has been the precursor of this entire phenomenon gifting her a precious bag with the pictures of these princesses and buying her magic wands and dressy, well, dresses, I suggested that 'Maasis' are the fairy godmothers to whom the dying mothers leave the daunting task of setting things right for their lovely daughters. The point was received well.

I thought that we had almost had everything under control till we caught Tangled on TV. Now the current upheaval in our lives is growing her hair long enough for it to fall down the window of our first floor flat and touch the ground beneath. And there is still Ariel and Belle's world to be explored.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Dawn of realisation

writing is a strange thing.
it gives you wings. 
it lets you soar or lie flat on your back all day long
it lets you lose the structure
it allows you to dream
it allows you to give meaning of your own to events, situations

This post was supposed to be many posts that should have been written over a period of time when I did not even open my blog. Horrible ain't I? 

But as is usual, I made plans as well as in some corner of my mind made lists of tasks that I would finish and then get down to writing the blog entry on the topic that has been bothering me for a while or that interesting episode with my daughter. Alas! that time never came and I realise that it will also not ever come, waiting as I do.

I also read, early in the morning, an article by a successful journalist-turned-momee-cum-domestic goddess (yes! it seems that even amongst journalists a species extraordinaire does exist. There goes my excuse for doing everything wrong or not indulging in THAT stuff at all!!!) going back to a posh job after giving her son four devoted years of baked goodies, play dates and everything else that I wanted to do. I am feeling jealous (why wouldn't I? Do you know how much I think about those things?) I am feeling depressed. Okay make that I was feeling depressed till the time the house woke up, and I realised something that has been knocking for a long while.

*Drum Roll and Thunderclaps Please*

As life beckons from the kitchen, I jot down the two things (did I say something meant only one thing, ever? huh??) that I have realised again (yesssirr yet again, if you please)

1. You have to put yourself out there.
2. It is okay to be scared and frightened but even then you have to put yourself out there.

After imparting this infinite wisdom, I proceed to make tiffin with my halo lingering around the laptop till the time I am hit by next wave of you-know-what!

Friday, May 17, 2013

The Feast- In celebration of being alive

A party is on cards. The date has been finialised. A theme has been set. The guest have been invited. 

So what are we celebrating, you may ask. Well, what better than the occasion of life! And hence the theme of the party 'The joy of being alive'. The party is going to take place in a huge colonial house in the Dagshai cantonment. The gathering is cosy and comprising of about 12 people. 

Let me tell you more about my party. 

Winters are on the verge and the mountain wind is enveloped in the sweet fragrance of the greenest grass and loveliest songs. 

Invites were sent written on parchment with a quill, informing the guests about the venue, theme, date and time, setting the mood for the occasion. In accordance with my theme, celebrating life, a lunch instead of a dinner was planned as the intent was to let the guests savour the food and surroundings to the maximum. 

The beautiful house has a blooming garden. A table is set in a corner. It has been stocked well with lemonade and other refreshing drinks as well as a large pitcher of cool water of the mountains, in its purest form, has been put for the guests to help themselves to. 

Jute mats and durries have been placed at various places in the garden and cushions with gay covers are scattered for comfortable seating. The blooming garden has lent the breeze a heady fragrance of a pot-pourri and there is a distinct freshness that the guests are greeted with as soon as they come in. The mood is chirpy thanks to the sunny afternoon which is deliciously warm.

After everyone has arrived and caught up with what is keeping them busy, it is time for the feast that has been prepared for relishing and celebrating life in its every possible hue. I firmly believe in the adage 'Live life king size'. So all the guests are ushered in to the dining space that has a low seating arrangement around a rectangular table.  

As they sit the lids are taken off the dishes.There is the family favourite Dal Bukhara as well as Paneer Darbari. The contrasting colours and the appetising fragrances enamour the senses alike. Next to come off is the lid of the huge haandi holding the aromatic Vegetable Biryani. On the other side of this is Kolhapuri Mutton. The mutton preparation is accompanied by the huge favourite Butter Chicken as well as the delicate Murg Methi

No Indian meal is complete without a large dollop of the traditional  achaars and chutneys. So is our table graced with the presence of a delightful Mango  and Jeera Chutney, Tomato Chilli Chutney and a Tamarind and Date Chutney. For the picky eaters aka the small children who everywhere will invariably complain about high spice quotient in the dishes, there is a popular and delicious Strawberry and Mint Conserve is being kept handy.

Hot rotis made from the Multi grain Aashirvaad Atta are also served as they go very well with the dishes that have been prepared courtesy Kitchen of India from ITC. 

After the guests have feasted using all their senses on this exploration of being alive and celebrating life, it is again time to shift the party to the huge living room where after a while hot Jodhpuri Moong Dal Halwa is served in silver bowls with delicate spoons.

Later on as the guests get ready to leave they are gifted the lovely Gourmet Halwa Gift packs bearing the  regal delights of our country.