I won’t have another eightieth birthday.- who said? I will have one more, the third and the last one this year, on December 8th, as it was on that date I was born, according to my horoscope. In fact that should be the correct date of birth, irrespective of what was written on my official records or on what star I was born.
I can’t tell you what my parents did on my first birthday. It could have been a subtle affair within the four walls of their house or of the village temple. The real ‘celebration’, if I may use that word was on my sixtieth birthday, and never in between. Even my latest birthday was not a ‘celebration’, but a purely family affair within the four falls of my relative’s house. Not a single outsider was there, not even my closest friends or neighbors or even some relatives. Only while in USA with my children, they used to make a big show with get -together, gift distribution etc. ‘oh, Anna, theriyalaiyea- I didn’t know ‘, said my cousin sister’s hubby whom I met the very next day morning in the Ayyappa temple.

How to start the day one after completing my landmark year?
Special prayers, specific vows to do or not to do something? No fears. I can’t chain my self with ‘dos and don’t dos’.

Maghar, kutchbhi karnaheina? Jaroor. Something has to be done and I did a great job. Applauses in advance, please!

While returning from the temple yesterday, I bought two kilos of Nellikay, Amla from a wayside vendor, attracted by the heap of fresh, yellowish green, fresh vegetable balls packed with Vit C and other nutrients, in the lush cart. I made today, pickles under the able guidance of Nandur uncle, who was monitoring the progress of the great task I was involved in, through telephone contact. My maiden attempt in making pickle was a wonderful success and no promises or vows would have been given me as much satisfaction as this one has provided. If not at 80 plus when do I do what I want to do? Hope my daughters in law and their hubbies in America are hearing!

I strongly recommend all my male friends to start learning cooking, if they haven’t already. As I mentioned earlier, the joy of feeding others with the food made by you, is unique.
And unparalleled will be your aanantham, if the recipient happens to be your sweet heart!

The first guest to taste my food after I started this job some three months ago, was Bhaskar, my youngest daughter in law Hamsadwani’s dad yesterday and he liked immensely my dosa, upma, chutneys and fresh decoction kappy. The message of my expertise would have already reached yesterday Boston from him to my daughter in law and in a few minutes it would have spread to other States of USA as well. In fact, another daughter in law Madhavi who left for USA, on Friday night, would have already done it after tasting my sample sambar and my name and fame as a master chef will already be floating in the chill American aakaasam or sky.

I offered a beautiful maize bulb to my Lord during my daily morning worship as neivedyam , attracted by its appearance. It is a pleasure to slowly remove the thin silky layers of maize skin and observe the emerging yellow pearl like kernels. On the other hand we shed tears while doing the same operation on onion. So, ‘no onion as food’, said my seniors.

Maize , yes.

‘—–kooyavaas cha may,
Annam cha may,  akshu cha may,  vreehayas cha may,  yavaas cha may, bhashaas cha may,
Thilaas cha may,  mudhgas cha may,  kkhalvas cha may, godhumas cha may,
Masooras cha may, priyangavas cha may, anavas cha may, sayaamaakas cha may’

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