Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Kanna and Sree go Apple picking!!!

I was waiting with Sree my toddler, for my elder son Kanna's school bus to arrive. I couldn't help wonder at the tapestry of nature , as my eyes fell on the swaying colorful trees as they performed their autumn dance. All the colors were compressed in the costumes these trees wore , creating a divine aura of joy and bliss.
" Anna bus , Anna bus" , yelled Sree as he heard the approaching yellow school bus.
" Amma, Anna come in magic school bus. Sree also go in magic school bus with Anna" he added.

Kanna came running , his face beaming with pride , his out stretched arms eagerly waiting for a warm squeeze and a loving hug. He started elaborating the days events at school... trying not to miss every opportunity at arousing jealousy in his little brother.

"I have something special to give you " said Kanna as he opened his school bag and pulled out a few papers. On it were given detailed recipies of apple sauce , apple sauce cake and apple muffins.
" Amma, I am going to help you make these!" he declared.

There was home work to for me .. it said " write why is your child the apple of your eye?"

" Amma, my teacher lives near an apple orchard!
Amma, you know what , my friend Zac brought apple sauce to school today!
Amma , you know there are red , yellow and green apples.......if we slit open an apple we can see a star...........

He went on and on ....and apples were the main topic of discussion through out the day!

We finally decided to go apple picking at "Erwin Apple orchard", which was a 20 minute drive from our place.

On Saturday morning , off we went to the apple orchard. We first took a ride around the farm on the farm wagon.. trying to figure out which variety of apples we would fill in our plastic bag , that we bought at the counter.We passed the corn maze , the pumpkin patch and finally arrived the apple orchard.

Red and golden balls were dangling from small healthy looking trees , which was a real treat to the eyes. Some trees were covered with these from top to bottom , that even my two year old could easily pluck them with out any one's help. The golden delicious were so tempting and inviting that it reminded me of Adam and Eve's first temptation. Our hands involuntarily held the golden fruit , and it came off its branch with a slight twist. Before long all of us were busy munching the juicy treats as we roamed through the rows of apple trees trying to research on the juiciest ones.

Adjacent to the apple orchard was the orange pumpkin patch with huge pumpkins....Kanna went in search of the perfect pumpkin which he could carry ...the long search finally came to an end after trying to lift each pumpkin we saw ....finally we discovered kanna's perfect pumpkin.

After a long day of apple diet .... we once again succumbed to the freshly made apple donut and apple cider before heading for the games that were organized for kids.

Our apple cake

apple pickle

Back at home , we made apple pickle, apple sauce and apple cake .....while Kanna stirred the dry ingredients , Sree and Appa blended the wet ones .....we all anxiously waited for the cake to bake ....its aroma arousing our taste buds....As the kids savored the apple cake ...I could catch a twinkle in their eyes , a glow on their faces !!!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Life is Relationships....................................

In this journey called life we come across umpteen number of people. We pause to exchange a "hi" with many.....with some we manage a shake hand.....with a few we sit down to chat and with a few others we hold a bond. Life is relationships......

The few countries I visited in the past seven years have enriched my life with beautiful bonds.....
when I tread back my memory lane , its these beautiful moments created by some wonderful friends that I am reminded of than the places I visited.

I would like to dedicate this post to four loving couple who made my days memorable in the four foreign countries I visited. There were many more lovely relationships which I still treasure today ....but these couples have surely etched their names with their infallible love and untainted friendship.

Kajiyoshi San and Sadami San of Japan

They were the most polite people I have ever come across. Sadami San was kind enough to prepare a full vegetarian course meal , when she invited me to her well decorated traditional Japanese home. Kajiyoshi San was one of the librarians in the library which was opposite to our apartment. How can I forget the knock at our apartment door at 4.30 in the morning....on our last day in Japan. We would have missed our flight , if he was not at our door step to bid a final good bye to us. He was in his seventies , but still helped us with all our luggage and dropped us at the railway station .

Mrs and Mr Jaison Shang of Taiwan

Our first day in Taiwan. My husband PP had already left for office and I was feeling homesick and far away from home. Just then the phone bell rang , and a female voice introduced herself as Mrs Jason , wife of Customer site Manager of PP's project.She was already waiting for me in the downstairs lobby , to show me around . She helped me purchase necessary groceries and fresh fruits and vegetables from the local market and I was already feeling very comfortable . The warmth and the kindness , we receive when we are far from home is so precious.

Mr Naas Ferriera and Mrs Wickie of South Africa

They were the most jovial and energetic couple I have come across. There enthusiasm and energy is so contagious , that they skillfully trap us in their magical web of love and friendship. My baby had started calling Mr Naas " abu"( meaning grandpa in our mother tongue.) Once they invited us home for dinner , which was an unique experience. Naas was cooking hot and fresh buns for us in his open hearth oven in his back yard. Each one had to prepare his or her own dinner.We were each provided with pans and small portable stoves. They had cut a variety of vegetables and cooked a huge casserole of rice and lined up a row of various spices. We could make a meal from the ingredients they had provided and eat from the pan. Each one came up with a different variety of rice which all savored in the warm embrace of friendship.

Mr George Chacko and Mrs Anuja Chacko of USA

I am glad to have met these wonderful people , who have made me and my family feel so much at home. Anuja 's support in exploring my artistic talents and also establishing a personal bond has made my life here more fruitful and enjoyable.

I feel fortunate to have been exposed to various cultures through my travels. If not for these experiences , I would have been like a frog in a pond.....leading a cloistered existence ....the nomad in me is thirsty for more travels and more experiences.....