I met my husband while I was in Pune . I knew he is a Malayali  but hailed from a small Tamilnadu village. Nothing much about his family was known to me before we got married. I was in for some hilarious incidents as a new bride. His Mother followed a lot of customs which was totally unknown to me and they also spoke in a language which was a mixture of colloquial Tamil and Malayalam.

The system of not touching during periods was the strictest at his home. The woman who menstruated was allowed to sit in dark corner room out of sight and food was kept near the door. She was not allowed to sleep on a cot or mattress and the old bedsheets or mats she used to sleep were supposed to be washed and dried every morning at the time of bath. I was so modern and also naïve as a young bride. My sister in laws explained these situations to me on the second day of my new home. They all hailed from the same village and managed these situations with ease. I was literally shaken at the thought of being left alone in the dark attic room. Like all new bride’s I was full of hopes and rosy dreams about the viallge home of my husband. ( I am applying some restraint here because my intention is to write a humourous story  )

So to save me from the impending periods and untouchability my sister in law gave me a bit of wise advice. She told me I can take some coins pray or make an intention to ward off my periods for a stipulated and hide the coins in the huge earthen salt urn in the kitchen. I followed her directions and promptly hid some one rupee coins in the salt pot and quite forgot about it. Soon one day I was serving lunch to my elder brother in law and the coins fell into his plate along with the ladle full of fish curry. I was startled and he was quite bemused at this situation. Needless to say we all had hearty laughs for many days with the story going from one person to another in the big family.

One day my Mother in law was taking a bath . The bathroom was near the well and not attached to the main house. She told me to get the ‘’Charam ‘’. Charam in Malayalam meant ashes . I thought this must be another quirky custom of my Mother in law and took a handful of ash from wood fire the kitchen and quietly placed on the bathroom wall. Soon there was a big commotion near the bathroom and I saw my frightened sister in law running to the bathroom with a lungi. Apparently ‘’charam’’ means lungi and I quite didn’t understand this.

An update on my weight loss tips from my previous blog. The plans of long walks are totally spoiled by rains. Also I am healing from a painful musle spasm.

I know you all are waiting for yummy Buddha bowls. This easy one is for Kritika  , Diya ji and Divya ji .

Coin in the curry! 2

The bowl contained one cup cooked Quinoa. Watermelon , cucumber and green apple slices layered on lettuce leaves. Dressing is olive oil, crushed black pepper, lime juice and salt. Mix them all and enjoy your Buddha bowl.

How to cook Quinoa:

Soak one cup of Quinoa for twenty minutes . Wash and drain. Boil two cups water. Cook Quinoa for 8 to ten minutes on medium with a pinch of salt. Once it is cooked and all water absorbed keep lid on and cook on slow for another two three minutes.

You can make smple Upma also with this. Saute one onion , a small piece of ginger and two geen chillies . Add curry leaves. Add cooked quinoa and a teaspoon of turmeric powder and salt to taste. Instant healthy quinoa Upma is ready. If ou want to add veggie like carrots , French beans and green peas , chop them finely and add it while sautéing onions.

 

Takeaways :

Marriage is not about two people, it is also about two families and two different cultures.

In ladka /ladki dekhna functions we should allow the girl to have a quite conversation with the Mother in law . This will save many lives.

Marriage is a rose garden. Full of thorns and few fragrant flowers in between.

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Surekha Chandrasekhar

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