This is a story of a big, fat bottle gourd

From the remaining portion of the bottle gourd, Pinky made dudhi no halwo (a sweet dish made by grated bottle gourd, milk, sugar and condensed milk or khoya.) She also saved the peels and seeds, and mashed them up along with a tomato, a stub of ginger and green chillies and gave the mixture a nice tadka (tempering) of mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and salt. And voila, she had a rather delicious chutney too!

Envy and friendships

I was grappling with what a very close friend said about me to another friend, when this piece of writing came to me. It is a piece by Jean Garnett, titled There I almost am. On envy and twinship. The article which is published in The Yale Review, is a searingly honest piece of writing by Garnett in which she introspects and confronts her own sense of envy - most of which is directed towards her twin (sister). In a detailed manner, she writes about her own experiences and quotes Aristotle among many other philosophers - all of whom, had something to say on why people experience envy. When I read the piece, I wondered to myself - did my two decade-long friend said what she said or deeper still, thinks what she thinks about me and my spouse, from a place of envy?

Days of beauty and joy

Even if many such plans are cancelled with the new restrictions, it will be a small price to pay for the safety and health of everyone. Personally, the fact that I had a few absolutely beautiful days gives me the strength that if the coming months have more of social isolation, I will be okay. There's just so much loss and suffering around us because of Covid-19 that whatever problems the new restrictions might pose seem inconsequential in the larger scheme of things.

Of packages in the post and handwritten letters in the letterbox

I cannot remember when was the last time I had this magical little hour of tearing through a package, of letting my eyes feast on the multi-coloured wrapping paper, of opening each gift, heart throbbing with anticipation and excitement and curiosity, of discovering and revelling in all the gifts that my friend and her husband had chosen for me and my husband, of reading the letters, of eyes feasting on the familiar curve of the cursive writing of a dear one.