I’m getting ahead of events and of myself with this post but it is my mother’s birthday today and that gives me a topic!
I heard her cough in the morning and went in to give her some water to drink. I told her it is her birthday and my mother asked me, how do you know it is my birthday?
The day had started with the usual routine of measuring the oats out, cooking them, adding bananas and milk and sugar. She is OK with fruit, and bananas are her favourite.
I baked a sweet potato cake last night. It is easy to make, in the style of recipes I get from Pinterest, where a lot of cake ingredients are oil, yogurt and carrot, or sweet potato or banana. They all usually turn out well and I seem to remember the process too by now. Usually I would have been unable to control my outright greed for freshly made cake and would have cut into it with a passion, but not this time. Mummy when given a slice, or a morsel really, said no, and closed her mouth firmly.
In the photo it looks like a piece of parched earth in a bad drought but is, in fact, soft and moist inside. I have yet to cook anything that turned out useless from the Pinterest recipes I save. I only have a Microwave oven that turns convection but is rather small and what happens is that the cakes brown and harden a bit on the edges and stay raw for longer in the centre. I don’t mind as this is the part I love to eat – crisp and crunchy and full of the flavour of ground spice.
Lakshmi arrived in the morning with a colourful bouquet of flowers, roses and gerberas and gladioli. Later, she and Suvarna made some goodies to eat, they were something called Puran Poli and Bhajjis made with onions and potato slices, none of which Mummy ate – in one photo I clicked of her cake and other eatables can clearly be seen her glass of pureed vegetables and lentils and broken wheat, this time made a bit more tasty with the addition of coriander leaves and ginger and garlic paste. Uday came home with some icecream and that she was willing to have after lunch. Suvarna loves icecream too and chose chocolate when I asked her.
Sharada will come by 7:30 and I must remember to give her some of the good things we ate today. She will be sorry to have missed all the festivities specially since the kitchen is one of her favourite hangouts.
I’m not crazy about baking, or being in the kitchen at all but these recipes are so simple and nutritious too I feel, and most interestingly, Mummy gets a bit of an appetite by the early evening and with her Complan will have a slice of cake, so I didn’t pursue it when she refused at lunchtime because she will relish a big slice at teatime.
Mummy’s birthdays here in Pune are quiet affairs with just us. Of course my sisters (just like the rest of us at other times) have forgotten all about it and I haven’t heard a peep from them. Oh, for heaven’s sake, this family! How awful of us!
No presents though for my non-acquisitive mother. She was, and is, the most unmaterialistic person. In her wardrobe are clothes we have bought her for years. Shoes are put on her feet for form’s sake and for discipline though it’s only to go to the dining room so she has about three pairs – but when she is not interested she will draw her foot back and not give any help at all in pushing her foot into a shoe. But this no present situation is reversed when my children and her niece come from the US. They bring all sorts of gifts for her. I think she likes the chocolates the most.
In the morning it seemed to be so pleasant, for a change. There was some cooler air stirring in the rain tree, full of its pink flowers and the orchid we’ve been nurturing is looking rather gorgeously perky. I like leaning on the balcony ledge and looking at the trees, they give me such a refreshing feeling. The sun was in the trees though and I could not get a good, clear photo of the rain tree flowers. The Gulmohur is just budding and will be a blaze of red in May. It was a present for me alright.
So that’s another birthday already almost over.
I am off to Hyderabad with my sister Deborah to stay with Jeanne. On the 6th is Denis’ death anniversary and so we are visiting Brahmanpalli. I’m not sure that I will be able to create another post while there but I do hope to take some photos of the city. I have not been back to Brahmanpalli since 2011 so am keen to see the changes made by the Nuns, the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy.