Before talking about the woman or the couple for whom I am here today..... on this special day of ours, I wish to pay a special tribute to someone who showered me with immense love and made an abrupt exit.
MY FIRST TRIBUTE .... I was born in a small township of West Bengal which had a big church, a hospital, a school run by Missionaries of Charity. I started my schooling there. Of all the loving sisters, there was one Sister Marylyn ...... a Keralite Christian .... from whom I knew there indeed can be a lot of love outside the family. She became a family friend and me possessive of her. At age six, I left for Kolkata, at age eight she lost her battle to cancer. So much loved she was that people took a round of the entire township with her so that everyone could pay their homage before the last rites. I learnt what love for mankind is and how a teacher should be. I still remember her smile and her precious gift .... a pendant with Mary n Jesus... which is still in my bank locker .
MY STRENGTH ..... Well both of my parents, but today I will talk about my mother only as it is our day. This is not space enough to write about her. My daddy had a chronic arthritic condition, he often fell sick and bedridden ... This lady took care of everything... going to the market, feeding us, taking us to school, looking after ailing daddy and taking his office files and keys to his office. A cleanliness freak that she was / is it was indeed an herculean job with a single part-time help. She is nearing 70 and is equally active and energetic in addition of taking care of anything between 50-70 floral tubs in terrace and a small garden. She inherited it from her mother who at 90 do not allow anyone to enter her prayer room, cleans it herself, a hercules of her time. I have not much to say about myself in such a scenario but to salute.
I AM THANKFUL TO..... Both of my in-laws who love our son, perhaps more than their son, but I will talk of the mother- in- law today. We are not good friends because our temperament do not match or we are not fond of each other's ways. I do not agree that a person can live a decent life only watching soaps and sleeping when I see courageous, more aged people in wheelchairs too. Yet, it is this lady who had shown undaunted love for her only grandson. Back in 2001 December someone arrived, till 2002 March, she came to our home everyday to assist her son to look after her grandson when I was bedridden with a septic on my stitch. They will be visiting next month and the weird grandson will irritate them to core, they will give an indulgent smile but gets sad, Deepro Roy needs to intervene with his wisdom. To both of you... love, responsibility and care need not be synonymous... you will always be taken care of, do not worry.
I MUST MENTION ..... My two sister-in-laws .... my brother's wife who takes good care of my parents, celebrates their birthdays and reminds me to wish them, took them to Chennai for treatment alone without any appointment, ran pillar to post to get everything done while caught in the Chennai flood with three elderly people. Big hugs dear B..... Bidisha, inspite of the differences which we can have.... though we are not 'J' for loving the same person too much, haha. Then comes my husband's sister, know her since she was six. You may not catch us kissing each other often but we had been good to each other. She never triggered her mother against me, but cooled her whenever required. In her family, she is nearer to me in nature.... Stay blessed Jhum.
MY SUPPORT SYSTEM ...... My girl friends, boy friends and some of their wives who are good friends too. I am well aware that some of these boys get 'J' when I show love to their wives... I feel happy to be loved so much. I cannot talk about so many today, but will do from time to time, in different ways.... I may not be there one day, but the blog with their names engraved in it will. Few of my lovely ladies are already up with their beautiful pictures on with lehenga choli and saree since yesterday night, I wish more by tonight.
MY WOMEN'S DAY GIFT .... Someone back from office last night said you are looking so pale.... whats wrong... go and get yourself done..... Once upon a time she said my hairs are greying fast, with such poor eyesight and insight.... are you ok with it? He said do you want me to powder my hair?.... and they held together tight without paying any attention to what others had to say about a girl of 26 marrying a boy of 25.... 'equation' is elsewhere.
Off course I am going to have some do ups on 10th March, at Bazaar to be held at Holiday Inn exhibiting creations of enterprising women .... two of them are sister like Roshni of Gahonaz and Debarathi of Shaukh.... showcasing their jewellery line and saree respectively.... You can keep an eye on their respective Facebook pages for details, they do shipping worldwide.
WHO AM I? ..... An unadulterated raw deal who gives utmost importance to a "life with / in Dignity."
Someone gifted me a nephew yesterday, who helped me a lot with my blog patiently, will talk about her later. Taking everything into account, I wish to share a quick, easy recipe of sweet using very few ingredients..... authentic of Bengal. Each day is our day, but today is special. We will off course not spend much time in the kitchen or our loving partners can even do it for us... sparing mine. Let us prepare this PATALI GURER MAKHA SANDESH together using grated date palm jaggery, homemade paneer and a bit of condensed milk.
Fresh Milk : 2 lt [ I use Meiji]
Lemon Juice : 4 tbsp
Ice cube : 1 small cup
Date Palm Jaggery : 1 small cup [grated]
Condensed Milk : 2-3 tbsp [ I use milkmaid]
Cardamom Powder : 1/2 tsp [not required if the jaggery is of good quality]
Raisin : 6-8 [to garnish]
Take the milk in a heavy bottomed vessel, put on gas and bring to boil. Add the lemon juice, as it curdles, immediately add the ice-cubes.
Once cool, strain the whey water through a white cloth. What remains is the cottage cheese or paneer. Tie the cloth to your kitchen tap and keep for about 45 minutes.
Grate the date palm jaggery block till you get a small cup full, mash it and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes.
Untie and transfer the paneer to a plate and keep mashing for 10-12 minutes. Add the jaggery and condensed milk. Mash for 2-3 minutes. Add the cardamom powder and lightly mix. Garnish with raisins and enjoy fresh.