Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Who is Radha ?-Food Fiction

Sita knew she had made some mistakes; her first mistake was choosing a career which she never loved; her second mistake was loving someone who never returned her love and she regretted leaving her house for good but then she didn't had any choice. Her parents’ recent death in the accident, a tethering marriage and her recent tiff with her boss had just triggered this. Sita had resigned from her job and planned a solo vacation for a few days. Bali was on her wish list since a long time especially for its’ magnificent temples and serene beaches

 and it took her just a couple of days to plan trip for Denpasar which included getting her ticket done, buying books on Bali, making notes on what to see and where to stay and she didn’t forget to buy her favourite artists coffee book on Bali. Within few hours she would be at a perfect spot on the resort beach to relax on the lounge chair with her favorite book until dinner time.
The next morning, as Sita was caressed by the morning breeze she stirred to realize that she was not in her own room where her maid would wake her up with morning tea and news paper. Awed by this new found liberation from her daily chores, she rushed herself to get ready. After a hearty meal of her favorite breakfast consisting mainly of of croissants and black coffee she planned her day to be as slow as possible. Instead of taking a guided tour of the town, she opted for a drop to her favorite place - Ubud which is an artists paradise. She stuffed her sketch pad, pencil, books, phone and other basic things in her duffel bag and booked a taxi. It took only minutes for Sita to reach a serene spot where she could sit and sketch in peace. She was so engrossed in painting the seanic view that she didn’t realize that time just flew by and it was already dark by the time she looked up to see the the first traces of the gray night creeping on. She reached for the granola bars while still sketching when she realized that the weather had turned for the worse when the slow drizzle took on a somewhat more powerful tone. “Its time to pack up”, she thought and went to look for a taxi but the roads were empty except for the long shadows. Her cell battery was discharged so had no idea about the time. She was hungry, thirsty, wet from the rain and very tired and was just contemplating spending the night there itself she saw some lights flickering ahead.

 Hungry and harassed Sita didn't had any other option but to go ahead but she was amazed to see some tiny diyas and a flower rangoli at the entrance.

Heaving a sigh of relief at the Indian decoration, Sita reads the name board has – Travellers’ Inn for Women. She used the antique brass bell at the entrance to make her presence felt and soon heard the tinkle of anklets coming towards the door, which was soon opened by an Indian woman in her mid-30s. The woman was attired in sari and she had a smile on her face when she greeted Sita.
Radha-" namaste I am Radha, how can I help you?"
Sita-" huh namaste I am Sita. I have come here for vacation but I am hopelessly lost right now."
Radha -"don't worry you can stay here for the night. Would you like some tea?"
Sita -"yeah I am hungry too don't worry I will pay I have money."
Radha -"I will prepare some poha for you. The guest room is upstairs ,you can go and change there ,take this sarong ."
Sita-" thanks I will be back."
Sita could see that though the place was small it was done very aesthetically. There was small divan at one corner and some floor cushions ,kitchen was open with a door which led to kitchen garden,small study area near the stairs where some books and iPad was kept on which some Hindi old no was being played. she was  awed by beautiful paintings of Ganesha which adorned the staircase wall

 She passed through attic too which had numerous paintings of all sizes. The guest room had a single bed ,dresser and a washroom .fresh flowers adorned the room and some books too were kept on a side table, while rushing down Sita could smell the aroma of mustard seeds and curry leaves spluttering in oil Radha was busy chopping onion and green chilies,tea was brewing on the other side and Sita could smell tulsi leaves in it.
Sita –" you are preparaing tulsi tea ,its my favourite but I don’t how to prepare ,I never got opportunity to cook in kitchen ,everytime some one was there to take care of cooking,and you know what Poha is my favourite specially when it rains ,reminds me of my mom cooking,please teach me how to prepare poha ."
Radha-" Poha is the easiet ,how come you are from india and you don’t know how to prepare Poha ?"
Sita -"I never showed any interest ,now that I want to learn theres no one to teach."
Radha -"first step is to soak  a cup of beaten rice and drain the water,you can see that bowl its wet beaten rice ."
Sita-" it wont be soggy once I tried it was soggy ."
Radha- " just add few drops of water make it wet ,u need not pour water on it."
Sita-" then I know we have to heat oil in non stick pan.,half cup of oil right ?"
Radha - "no not half cup half tbsp is enough  but before that do all the preparation like I have done chop onion green chili ,potato,and then for tempering you need curry leaves and dried red chili and ya pinch of mustard too,once oil is hot add the tempering ingrdeint,like I have done and add onion and green chili which you can see in the kadhai now."
Sita could see oniong being caramalised with green and red chili,once onions were done ,Radha asks Sita to add pinch of turmeric and salt and give a good stir.Radha was enjoying cooking ,it had been so long since she entered kitchen,her maid Reena was there for her 24 hrs,ad when she was not there she would go for take away options,,
Radha -"Sita you can add potato now as onions are done."
Sita-" why have you kept chopped potatoes in water ?"
Radha -"so that they dont turn brown,you never helped your mother in kitchen?"
Sita -"no there were two helpers there at home and then i stayed at boarding "
Radha -"oh ,ya now you can add rice flakes,give it a good stir add lemon juice and remove from flame after two minutes."
Sita -"thats it ,its so easy ,is tea ready i am so hungry ?"
Radha-" its already there in tea pot"
Once the breakfast nook was set with two bowls of poha and  warm mugs of steaming tulsi tea

and Sita was busy eating
 Radha asked her - "so what brings you here to this  small village this place is for artists like me,?
Sita -"ya I know I just wanted to live free and do what I luv ,I luv to paint and sketch but never learnt it professionally or you can say never got a chance,I just wanted to explore this place."
Radha-" then you have come to right place,this place is artists heaven :)"
Sita -"I saw your work ,it's awesome ,it adorns your house everywhere"
Radha - "I am self learned person ,I luv it here ,this place is like heaven for me,."
Sita - "you stay here alone you are not scared..?"
Radha -"no my parents visit me every week ,they stay in Denpasar,I like it here,and this inn is for wanderers like you who get lost and for artists who like to paint in the wee hour of morning,sometime they just come for tea or some snacks."
Sita-" you are so lucky u have everything you like,u have a perfect place which you can your own,you do something which you luv and your family is around too,.it's just opposite with me,."
Radha-" just because your marriage is broken that's not the end of the world,you can start again,what's your age?"
Sita-" i just turned 30."
Radha-" I started painting when I was 30 before that I was managing my fathers business,so it's the same for you,.:)"
 It had been so long since Sita shared so much about her life with anyone and here she was sitting in a a small inn and sharing everything about her life,Radha could see that Sita was lost somewhere.
Radha -"what are you thinking ?"
Sita-" i was thinking if I could stay with you for few days ,instead of going back to the resort,I like it here,this place is so serene,I promise I won't bother you much."
Radha-" thats oky dear,you can stay as long as you like till your visa is there."
Sita -"thanks see ya in the morning :) good nite."
Morning when Sita got up ,she was shocked to see herself in hospital, her husband was sitting by her side ,holding her hand ,there was a nurse who was busy monitoring her vital stats.
Sita -"I was in Bali how come I am in hospital.'
Raj -"what are you speaking ,you took sleeping pills two days back I don't know,why I know your parents are no more,but that's not the end of the world and I spoke to your boss too ,he told me about the resignation ,he told he was upset about something else and thats why shouted at you why did you do this ,dont you love me ,you never thought about me ,how i will live."
Sita - "sleeping pills,i just dont remember anything except that i met a wonderful artist named Radha in Bali, and that i was at her place in a inn,i went for nap ,i dont know what happened ."
Raj-"  I got call from Radha your friend that you are sick so I came back rushing,thank god i still have the other key ,i tried your cell too but it was off and Reena told me that you had given her off for few days ,since past two days i have been sitting here crying and praying asking for your forgiveness,i know its my behaviour which must have forced you to take this step."
Sita-" have you lost it ,I don't have any friend whose name is Radha and why will i commit suicide."
Raj-" i dont know who she is ,but i am indebted to her  here’s a letter from her and some flowers as she had to leave for a business meeting .
Sita couldn't understand anything ,who was Radha ?
Sita read the note
 Dear Sita ,
hope you are doing good now, I know you don't want to see your husband’s face, but he loves you,sometimes we just see what we want to see but thats not always right ,it's not late now start new life and forgive your husband ,have enclosed few brochures for art centres in your city  do enroll there and start doing what you have always wanted to do,and ya learn cooking too :-)
Sita couldn't control herself ,she cried and cried and then seeing the love in her husband’s eyes, she hugged him.
Radha saw them hugging through the glass door  and smiled.
Special thanks to my sis for helping me edit the post.
Linking this post to
Of Chalk and Chopsticks -september hosted by Aqua of Served with Love.
The Weekly Story 51 hosted by Colours Dekor .
Thats all friends,take care and happy blogging.

Festive thali - Sattu Paratha Kaddu Sabzi with Kachumber and Aate ka Ladoo

Prepared this simple meal of Sattu paratha,kaddu sabzi and onion tomato kachumbar last weekend
Aate ka Ladoo is prepared by my mother when she was here
someday i gonna try this on my own as it hubbies favourite

for the recipes
sattu paratha blogged here
kaddu sabzi/spiced pumpkin blogged here
aate ka ladoo blogged here
for onion tomato kachumber/onion tomato relish
onion one chopped finely
tomato one chopped finely
green chili one chopped finely
coriander leaves one tbsp chopped finely
salt as per taste
lemon juice one tbsp
In a mixing bowl ,mix all the ingredients
serve with paratha and sabzi.

wish you all happy festival
do check navratri rangoli here
Linking this post to
The Weekly Story 51 hosted by Colours Dekor.
take care and happy bloggin