Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Ramzan Memories of 90s

As I sit engulfed in the aroma of eid-ul-fir/Ramzan delicacies being made by mom  (Sheer Khurma, biryani, dal cha, dry fruits mix as a topping, bhaji and chicken fry), I am trying to recollect my best Eid memory so far.

Nothing matches the joy of Ramzan spent with my naana naani (grandparents). I vividly remember early and mid-90s, those Eid days when usually our entire family clan reunites. My grandma has four daughters and one son. We lived in the same town Ongole in the closest vicinity to my naana naani and uncle, aunt ( maama maami). All the other daughters were in different cities. Usually, all the sisters and the only brother meet every Ramzan! I used to go there even before a week, to take part in preparations and have fun. My naani used to have a very old sevayya making machine...it is a machine in which you put in the wheat flour and rotate it. A sieve with very narrow holes is fixed to the bottom of the machine from which sevayya would come out....it has to be operated manually! The sevayya is collected on plates and dried in sun. It is also collected on the backside of bowls, or trays. They would look like very thin noodles. Once dried and scrapped it takes the shape of the container, the sevayya is then preserved in huge steel boxes only to be opened on Eid day!

Getting Mehndi/Henna on hands a night before Eid is a beautiful ritual

Even a morsel of sheer khurma is heavenly. The dry fruit toppings ( cashews, dates, raisins, etc) and the grated coconut are mixed together - we call it "chowba" in Andhra. Frankly eating sheer-khurma without this topping is a crime! Ramzan festival date is declared after the moon sighting and hence is celebrated on different days in different parts of the world. In the USA and UAE Eid begins one day before it does in India! Everyone distributes food and gives alms to whoever is in need during the Ramadan month!
Dum Ke sevayya with "chowba" as topping

Sheer Khurma

Once the entire family offers Eid ka namaaz and wish Eid Mubarak to each other, they gather and relish generous bowls of sheer khurma! My personal favorite variant is Dum ke sevayya laden with khoa/mawa....I don't know if it's magic in my naanis or mother's hands but my mouth waters seeing that vibrant orangish-brown colored sevayya with the khoa sprinkled all over it. Another version is Mutton Kheema sevayya for non-veg lovers. Once cooked the aroma would reach the end of the street you live in❤️πŸ˜‹πŸ˜‹ Either chicken or mutton biryanis are cooked here in Andhra Pradesh /Telangana along with raaita (curd gravy), baingan ka khatta (a yummy spicy baingan gravy) or dal cha (a dal dish)! The lavish spread of food is sinful and you can't stick to your diet just for that day! You must forget your diet regimes and attack the food! Various versions of foods are cooked in various states of India!

In my childhood as we used to have all the five families (most of the years) united at my grandma's house, it was always noisy, and filled with food, fun, and laughs! After offering namaaz and consuming loads of sheer khurma and spicy kheema sevayya as breakfast...we would wish eid Mubarak by hugging one another. The hug feels warm especially when exchanged with granny and grandpa. Then comes the ritual of "Eidi" a process where you demand gifts or money from elderly members of the family. Some give money easily and some tease you, asking you favours or reprimand you to do chores to earn Eidi. Once one of my uncles made a fun proposal..."whoever gives me 50 rupees, I will give them 100/-...and I will give only 50 Rs/-  to those who can't give me 50!" Hearing that all the kids flanked him giving away 50 and snatching 100. After all 100 means a lot in those days...an ice cream, spicy chat and maybe purchasing a fun game! My smartness kicked in and I got a very brightπŸ’‘ ideaπŸ’­. In that crowd, he couldn't recognize who was who. I joined the loud boisterous gang demanding money and took only 50/- saying I have no money. I returned in ten min saying I have 50 and gave his 50 to him and took 100/- 😁😁 He couldn't realize it was me who had already taken 50 from him! The noises and banter continued till everyone was satisfied with their rewards and gifts.

Monday, May 2, 2022

A to Z Journey - My Reflections post

I actually got busy with work and Ramzan festival is around the corner, but seeing every one doing a A to Z reflections post, it perked me up to do one too. I have already done a Thank You post which is as good as reflections...which surprisingly received lot of love! While writing it I felt may be I am rambling a lot....but then some of those points seemed useful to many bloggers which made me super glad. "My long posts and wrist pain haven't gone waste"- I felt😌. A to Z woke me up from a deep non-blogging slumber. Its like I woke up startled from a nightmare and I started penning down whatever came to my mind freely and unapologetically. Some of the posts written by me - Vision - An open letter to every Indian , Bemused, Covidiots were all highlighting the current situations and challenges. Not all may find them good because we have varying opinions among the World/Country citizens, but I am glad I could pen down my unfiltered thoughts through A to Z. When I started I was quite doubtful, shy and scared as I am blogging after a long break but everyone's comments encouraged and motivated me to continue writing! I mostly wrote about covid life and my daughter diaries during A to Z.

Following list covers all my A to Z blog posts  - now that I skim through them, I feel mystified that I could pull it through (ofcourse my friend and my mother contributed guest posts) ! πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡

This year was quite enriching because I have read a lot. When I finished challenge in past years (2013, 2014), we did it as a very small group and had no time to read from Master list. This time I had time to experience various writings, understand various walks of life,  challenges they faced, their accomplishments, failures, poetry, fiction, reviews, technology, foods, travelogues and much more. Aaah! It was like I experienced a ocean of blogs - each wave carrying its own flavor , its own authenticity. I loved the following blogs for their honesty, passion, fun quotient, emotional values, research , presentation , detailed analysis and much more. It was like I walked in to a human library.  To me interaction is the key. Whoever could interact seamlessly, I connected well with them!

Some blogs from my A to Z reading list:

Following are Top favs. They are quite interactive in their writing, be it on their own blogs or while sharing their views on others blogsπŸ‘πŸ’“!

  1. https://fictionpies.com/ (Flash fiction based on books she read . A strong story established in very less words)
  2. https://crackerberries.wordpress.com/ (Became a fan of her spontaneity, her humor, her passion and the efforts she took to share others' blogs is commendable)
  3. www.hdhstory.net/storyblog ( MY MOST FAVORITE BLOG - UNIQUE letters written which highlight all real events both current and historical)
  4. https://liveandlearn-tossandturn.blogspot.com/  (Spontaneous posts , An interactive blog for readers)
  5. http://benchsnotebook.blogspot.com/ (Day to day anecdotes. Quite a fun blog)
  6. https://kalpanawrites.com/ (Wonderful travelogues)
  7. https://matheikal.blogspot.com/ (political satires. Something I read never before. Non-chalant writing)
  8. https://soniadogra.com/ (Beautiful and soulful poetry)
  9. https://thedreamgirlwrites.wordpress.com/ (Loved her fiction and style)
  10. https://waffle-with-wendy.blogspot.com/ (Conversations of Alice and Wendy - which you should not miss)
  11. https://thethreegerbers.blogspot.com/ (An interesting Starbucks Coffee story)
  12. https://moondustwriter.wordpress.com/ (A Sci-Fi account of the Ukraine war and tragic events. Must read)
  13. https://planetpailly.com/ (Quite a favorite blog. Gave me an idea to write my X post. A space blog which would make your imaginations soar)

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