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Archive for the ‘Being a Mom’ Category

Changing Times

ABI was at a bakery (which also is a cafe-cum-restaurant.)near my place the other day . This place sells fresh off-the-oven brown bread and for that alone, I ignore the ridiculous pricing. Am sure the rest of the stuff there is just as good (it sure smells good) but it seems over-priced.

Anyhow, this post isn’t about the bakery.

Right opposite to the bakery is a prestigious girl’s school. Needless to say, the bakery turned into the latest hot-spot for the kids 🙂 . While I was waiting at the counter for my turn, I saw the cafe tables occupied by girls, most of whom were not older than 15. One particular table caught my attention because the girls here were around 13 years of age, ALL of them had smartphones and they were ordering cappuccinos and death-by-chocolate as an everyday business.

That more than surprised me!

My point is, this wasn’t just a birthday celebration treat or just a “lets-splurge-today” kind of a scene. What I was seeing was a bunch of very young girls ordering expensive food like they do it everyday.

It shook me up a bit, I admit. Brought up in a lifestyle where we could have anything we wanted (at home) and where money given to us was expected to be saved and invested wisely, the blatant “throwing away” of cash seemed a little difficult to digest! The girls pulled out wallets filled with 500/- notes!

Who gives that kind of money to children?!!

It reminded me of the time when back in college, I had gone to visit a friend who was pretty well off. In the course of our conversation in her room , she walked to the wardrobe and pulled out a drawer. My jaw dropped at the sight of the drawer stuffed with bundles of cash! The fact that the drawer wasn’t even locked left me even more puzzled! But my friend, in all the time I knew her, never threw around her money. She never spent more than what was necessary and lived life just the way we did.

But here were the next generation of kids, obviously coming from well-to-do families where pockets are always filled with money 😐 . I don’t know what irked me the most! Was it because the children were spending their parent’s hard-earned money, not realizing the effort that goes behind earning that much or was it because someday, given the changing circumstances, I would see my children doing the same?!

I sure hope not 😐 !!

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A New Kind Of Fear

Warning : Long post ahead

I hate newspapers.

Gone are the days when everyone at home used to fight over the morning paper with Dad usually winning the game! None of us at home liked to read a paper in parts, it had to be the entire bunch or none at all. No sharing of pages was preferred. But then, news those days was worth reading. Was worth starting the day with.

With the papers today, it is gloom piled on gloom. The more sadder, morose, heart-wrenching the tale, the more prominently is it displayed . I really have no appetite for 4-5 rape cases reported on the front page anymore. Either the men in the country are really desperate and are on an active raping spree, or maybe the awareness created these days allows more people to come up and register complaints. Whatever the case, it’s a terrible way to start a day when all you read about is how minors are brutally assaulted. My kids are of the age that gets reported in the papers and even the whisper of the thought, of something terrible like this befalling the kids, is enough to make me bristle with fear and anger.

But this post isn’t about the newspapers. Or about depraved men breaking havoc on innocence.

This is about the other kind of fear I’m facing these days.

The twins are a riotous pair. They scream and yell at each other all day long and only when very highly provoked, do they get physical. Even then, the blows are much milder and more often than not, there is intervention by the adults and peace is restored.

Once outside the confines of home, they become different people. My kids, specially Lui, gets bullied a lot. At school, in the van, at the day care and sometimes, even with kids of relatives. Shobby gets bullied too, but I think he has some of that survival instinct that only boys have and he mostly stays away from situations which may end up with him getting bullied (that’s the diplomatic in him). Lui, on the other hand, doesn’t bow down if she feels that the other person is wrong. She points it out to other kids when they do anything wrongful and like most kids who get a lot of flak at home and at school, Lui’s unwarranted words of wisdom are nothing but an irritant. They despise her for being upright , for speaking up. Even in the school van, lots of kids start chanting mean things whenever she gets in. I try my best and be firm with the kids but it’s not them or their chants that I’m worried about.

Its my daughter.

Slowly and steadily, she’s turning into a victim. Somewhere along the line, I have myself to blame. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always told the twins that it’s a crime to fight with other children or to hit them. I’ve always preached about talking politely and never saying anything derogatory to anyone. Now that Lui is at the receiving end of those very derogatory things, she is unable to lash back with a few choice words of her own.  Heartbroken, she usually breaks down. This is the cue for everyone else to taunt her as a cry-baby. I wouldn’t have taken it seriously if I hadn’t seen the terrible changes coming over her recently. If you go by my previous posts, Lui was always the confident one, the only one who used to mix with all the students in her class, the only one who chatted up with and helped other kids who were ignored by the rest of the class. Recently though, she is apprehensive of going to school or going to the day-care and surprisingly, of even meeting relatives 😐

It is rather worrying. She isn’t as free as before. There is hesitation in what she says and does and recently, even the smallest rebuke from us sends her into a volley of silent tears. Its heart-wrenching, because this is not how my child used to be. I was always proud of my daughter being the boisterous one. Nowadays, kids younger than her taunt her everyday in her school van. I’ve been begging the drivers to let me know why this is happening. But like most drivers who are more worried about just getting to the schools on time, even this one doesn’t have the time to analyze what the kids are doing behind him. The other attendant only intervenes when the little boys get physical. Verbal abuse by the kids is largely ignored. When children chant “Lui is a monkey” or repeatedly call her “ugly”, the attendant doesn’t intervene. For him, its just harmless fun.

But the effect it has on Lui is terrible. Many times, when I ask her why she cries (and further allows the bullies to rag her) when others are making fun of her, she says that she feels “very bad” and somewhere inside her, “it hurts”. 😦

Ragging and bullying starts at a very young age. It’s usually one against many, as mob mentality begins from a very young age. Children learn very early that they can’t be accused of any wrong-doing if they do it in a large group. No one person will be held accountable and usually, the punishments meted out to a group are not as severe as the ones doled out to individuals. News items like the ones where a 10-year-old died of severe trauma after being locked in a school bathroom or a 12-year-old committing suicide after her ‘friends’ posted hate messages on her Facebook page are unnerving.   I’m terrified of news reports that mention mental trauma in kids. Isn’t childhood the time when one is careless and free? Since when did little kids start going into depression and the abyss of self-loathing? All because of a few words/actions of other kids?

Peer pressure is a terrible thing. I don’t think Lui ever reacted in the same manner when anyone at home scolded her or made fun of her. But when kids of her age do it, she is unable to ignore it .

For a long time, I kept wondering if there was something wrong with my daughter. She is a little sensitive, I agree, but since when did being sensitive become a crime?! She is always considerate of other kids, always willing to help, always the generous one, giving out everything dear to her if someone only asks for it. Sharing comes naturally to her. I must have scolded her a zillion times for losing her pencils and her crayons at school every other day. But later I found out that she used to hand over her pencils and crayons to other kids who forgot to get theirs. It’s a different matter that the other kids never bothered to return her stuff. Not that she would ever mind!

It seriously worries me then when my kid gets ragged and bullied. Whenever she is in a good mood, I bring up the topic and I do my best to let he know that just because other kids call her ugly does not mean that she indeed is ugly.  That she doesn’t have to take the words of other children as the law. That in spite of all that the others say, she is still our beautiful child and we all love her deeply.  Sometimes, Shobby chips in and claims loudly that Lui is the prettiest girl in his class. He says it in a matter-of-fact way which usually brings a smile to our faces, but Lui’s brow remains furrowed.  When I’m really upset at her being upset and threaten to come to her school and complain to her teacher about the other kids, Lui does a turnabout and says, “Mumma, aisa mat karo. Teacher will scold them. Phir unke mummy bhi scold karenge. Phir woh bachche royenge. Woh log chhote hain na, issliye unhein samajh nahin aata ki aisa karna galat hai”(Mumma, please don’t do that. Teacher will scold them. Their their mummies will also scold them. Then those kids will cry. They are small kids. They don’t understand that it is wrong to do such things).

Really now!! How can I help my daughter when she suffers from the Stockholm Syndrome?

There’s  a huge learning curve ahead of us. I have to learn to teach her how NOT to accept bullying and she needs to learn how not to react to bullying. She can take a tip or two from Shobby. He plays the safety card well. He himself never bullies anyone (he just cannot!! He’s too tiny to do that!). Unfortunately, he isn’t able to defend Lui either. This is something that she alone will have to learn to face and fight.

So many things to protect a child from! Seriously, our parents had it much easier. I don’t think we ever heard of words like ‘depression’ or ‘peer-pressure’ or even ‘trauma’. When parents used to send us to school, they were confident of wisely investing those 6 hours in us. When I now send my kids to school, there are a hundred different worries running in my mind. Will the driver drive safely? Will Lui be spared the ragging today? Will she have a good day in class? Will she come home without tears? Will someone tease her inappropriately?

Once again, parenting isn’t easy. Its tough, demanding and mind/heart-wrenching! Its has its benefits though and that alone are enough to help us get through each day.

Anyhow, if anyone has faced similar situations where their children have been ragged or are the centre of attraction to bullies, please chip in with your comments on how you’ve handled it. I’ll be much obliged !

 Thanks 🙂

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If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times. Its highly UNFAIR that we women design our entire lives around the kids, run around them, do their bidding, take care of all their frivolous needs, get up a hundred times in the night to fetch water, educate them, do their projects, iron their clothes, entertain them with stories and then, if the kids are satisfied, we earn their love.

Men, do nothing. Or rather, they hardly do a fraction of all that a woman does. Yet, the kids ADORE him. They wait for him eagerly, cuddle up to him without him ever needing to stretch out his arms, snuggle next to him each morning and literally worship the ground he walks on. They never ask him for chocolates or ice-creams, they never pout or get irritated when he’s feeding them, he never has to tell any bed-time tales and they never ever asked him to wash their bums.

Its really unfair 😦

Since the BF came back, I’m having trouble having some exclusive time with him. The twins have claimed him for themselves. This morning, I was urging Shobby to get out of bed and get into the bathroom. The brat, snuggling under the blanket with his father, gave me a quiet look, took a deep breath and as if explaining to an imbecile, says, “Dekho Mumma, maine aapko kitne saare din pyaar kiya hai. Ab Abbu ki baari hai” (See Mumma, I have loved you for so many days. Now its Abbu’s turn).

😐

Just when I was wallowing in misery at those words, the kid pips up, “Jab Abbu nahi hai, tab mai aapko phir se pyaar karunga” (When Abbu isn’t here, I’ll love you again).

Ohh the generosity, I tell you!!

I’m blessed with the hope that my baby will get back to loving me soon. Till then, Mumma is best forgotten 😦

Aren’t I ?!

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For Lui and Shobbs, a game of “Hide-n-Seek” goes something like this :-

1) Whisper loudly about their plans to play HnS right behind Momma’s back. Obviously, she’s deaf as a whale and wouldn’t hear a word.

2) One of them hops onto the bed and snuggles under the blankets. The other comes up to Momma and innocently claims that the other twin is ‘Lost’, so will Momma please find him/her??

Where was Momma all this time? Right next to the bed, ironing their uniform. Obviously she’s blind as a dingbat too and didn’t see the kid hiding.

3) The said Momma wrings her hands with worry and goes around the house, searching for the ‘Lost’ kid with one giggling kid tagging along.

4) The tag-along-kid finally gets bored and asks Momma to search the bedroom, particularly the bed. Momma is led safely back to the room.

5) The hiding kid pops out from under the blankets with a big “BOO”!

6) Momma faints with shock and relief. The “Boo” scared the pants off her and she was relieved because , whew! her baby was safe! The kids giggle and clap their hands wildly.

7) Steps 2 to 6 are repeated for the other kid, with plans made right under Mumma’s nose. And yes, Mumma does go around the house a second time,  hunting for the newly ‘lost’ kid 😀

The twins suck a Hide-n-Seek 😀 . I mean, they haven’t really figured out the essence of the game yet. They know they have to hide, but they have no clue that the hiding part should be a secret. Mostly, they suffer from a fit of giggles which gives away their hideout. But the best is when they do the Ostrich act, you know, the one where they stuff their heads under the pillow and have their bums sticking out and seriously believe that their Mumma has NO CLUE about their hiding place :|.

Yes, those are the best times 🙂

And Oh, it’s not just HnS that they are terrible at, try playing treasure hunt with them. They’ll hide stuff in the most obvious places and then ‘lead’ you to it just when you finish counting! Its been a frustrating time trying to explain that I need to search for that darn thing! When I hide it, I make them search, giving out only simple clues. But when they hide it, I know right at the onset where it is 😦

hns

You know, the best part about having twins is that they always have each other to play with or against. Hardly ever do the twins pester me to join in or to entertain them. I can leave them alone and they will keep each other busy throughout the day. Thats one of the reasons why its easy for us to prevent them from watching television. I mean, they are okay with not watching cartoons, because they have each other to play with. I’m really lucky that way (Alhamdulillah!)

Even as I type this, the kids are discussing their next hideout. They’re doing it right in front of me 😐

Now, seriously, they do think I’m deaf and blind, don’t they 😀

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Some time back, I’d read a wonderful post on OM’s blog about her daughter’s love for Krishna. The little girl loves her idol of Krishna and even lines up her barbies as his devotees 😀 . It was a very cute post and I confess I felt a bit teary towards the end. A child’s love is so pure!! Do check out that post.

Reading the blog, I was reminded of an innocent question a colleague asked me at lunch one day. We were talking about goodnight prayers and I was narrating the twin’s prayers to Allah to keep their Big-Dadi (The BF’s grandmother) trouble free in heaven. I also mentioned that whenever the kids get hurt or fall ill, I ask them to ask Allah for relief. They do this without question. At this, the friend quipped, “Do your kids understand the concept of God?”

I was a trifle startled at this question but realized that the answer was Yes, indeed they did. They did believe in a God up there. I’m not really sure when exactly they started believing, but the truth is that they understand the concept of God, of a power much higher and greater than us, a power that is invisible, no form, no image, without representation.

I realized early in life that being a Muslim was purely about believing in Allah. That there was a power up there which wrote our destinies, who gave us a choice in everything we did and decided our fate based on the choices we make. As a kid, we didn’t realize the depth of believing in that power with our eyes closed, with no visual aids, no images, no pictures, no idols. How exactly could we believe in something that we knew nothing about? I personally believe that most muslims don’t become muslims by birth. We become muslims the day we realize that the power exists, that our prayers do get answered (and I’m not talking about the wishes for extra helpings of ice-cream or a lifetime supply of chocolates 🙂 )

We become muslims the day we understand that there is someone out there looking out for us. That one day, we have to go back and meet our maker and on that day we will have to answer for all the good or bad that we did in our lifetime. I’m sure my children aren’t there yet. The only thing I’ve instructed them to do is to believe in their hearts that even when it appears that no one is watching over them, there is someone up there who is doing so. For now, they do understand that Allah is watching over them, so they have to be good 🙂 .

The kid’s day-care lady is a Jain. She adores the twins and sometimes, she takes them along to her Society’s Mandir for a puja. I don’t mind it. The kids enjoy the visits and tell me in the evening that they went to see ‘Bhagwan’. Its only when  I accidentally kick a book which is lying on the floor and a kid says, “Mummy, say sorry to the book. Issmein Bhagwan hai“, that I feel the need to correct them. I know that there are other religions that equate many things with God. Islam doesn’t. For us, the Lord above is too mighty and too sacred to be compared or even represented by anything on this mortal planet. This is just our belief and not meant to offend anyone else’s sensibilities. But yes, a book is a book, it helps one get education, so respecting it is fine. Keeping them in its place, is what I teach them to do. But I draw the line when they start referring to it as God.

Being a muslim is not easy. Specially when it comes to teaching the kids about Allah. We have no aids, only books written in a foreign language that the children will understand only much later. Till then, they are on their own. I can just let them know what I’m doing, I cannot make them do what I do. I can teach them prayers, but the only ones which are answered are the ones which are offered from the heart. They may not offer namaz, but whenever one gets hurt, the other quickly asks Allah to heal the hurt. Though this is not a formal prayer, it is true in its expression and I’m sure Allah understands 🙂 .

I send my daughter to school with a headscarf. She is free to remove it if she wants. This is just my way of introducing her to the beauty of this most misunderstood concept of Islam. As she grows older, she will make her own choices, but till then, I do my bit and introduce her to it. Alhamdulillah, she has taken quite a fancy to it, though she does remove it after school and goes to the day-care. One day, in office, as I was showing the snaps of my kids in their uniform to my colleagues, one was offended to see Lui with a headscarf.

“Why is she wearing a scarf?” she asked me.

“Because I like her to”, I replied.

“Doesn’t the school object?” she asked further.

“No. They don’t object”, I replied.

“But why not?” she asked vehemently,  ” They should ban it . It is against National Integration”.

At this point, I was too stumped and stupefied to reply.

Our country’s National Integration was at the mercy of my daughter’s headscarf! That was quite a burden she was carrying on her head, I say!!!

Over the years, I’ve met many people who have zero knowledge about Islam but consider themselves an authority on anything Islamic. Like, for instance, believing that the huge population of muslims in India exists only because the Mughals forcefully converted the Hindus.  By that logic, the Christian population should be almost neck-to-neck with the muslims, right?

Anyhow, that is an argument for a different time. For now, as I see my kids grow older and learn new things, I need to show them that there is lot of beauty around them. That though some people may doubt their loyalties (Heck! My Dad served in the Indian Army and yet there were certain people who made snide remarks about his loyalty. Imagine! A man who gets war medals for his country, was looked upon with suspicion. What chances do my kids have? ), there will be others who will give their undying love and friendship. That there will be hurdles in their lives, surprisingly the kind which never appear for their friends, but for them alone, but still, the One above will sail them over it.

Faith is all about believing. I believe that though there is a lot of hatred in this world, my children will find their share of love and kindness, of friendships and happiness. Of loyalty and togetherness. Not just with each other but with most of the people they come across in their life.

I pray that my children will not be stigmatized as adults, if they chose to wear a headscarf or a cap. That no one will question their loyalty towards their country. That they will be accepted for who they are and how they chose to live. InshaAllah, those days will come.

Because Allah is watching over them 🙂 .

Note : The contents of this post are my opinions alone. I apologize if any sentiments are hurt and want to assure everyone that such was not my intention.

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Twinspeak

The twins, I regret to say, are no longer the wee innocents I took them to be. I think they crossed over to the smart-ass category right after they started school. For sure, in the last two years I have seen dramatic changes in the way they talk and express themselves. No longer do they simper or coo. Nopes. Its all over. The current trend is to yell, holler, scream, taunt, question, or just plain ignore. I believe it is the latest communication style in pre-schooler world. Or maybe, its just my two 😐

Anyhow, since they have a mouth, they will speak. Opinions have to be expressed. Questions have to be thrown at us, repeatedly. Disagreements have to be made loud and clear. Some recent conversations went like this :-

Lui is after me to open a small pack of Kelloggs Chocos.

Lui : (Simpering up to me) Mumma, please open this. Khul nahin raha. Please open it sweetie-pie.

I take the packet from her and rip it open.

Me : See pumpkin, thats how you tear it open. Else use a scissor.

Lui : (Haughtily)Haan, haan. Mujhe sab pata hai. Don’t teach me!

Me : 😐

————————————————————————–

I’m at a wedding dinner with the MIL and kids. We are seated at a round table which has 8 other people around it. I try my best to make the kids interested in the dinner, but they refuse to eat anything other than the rumali roti. I give up and dig into my plate, most of which had already cooled down considerably. Since most of us at the table didn’t really know each other, conversations were muted. You can say we were the most silent table in the hall. Midway through my meal, breaking the silence, chirps a voice full of derision.

Shobby : Mumma, zyada mat khao. Nahin to aap pehle se bhi zyada fat ho jaoge. Mai aapke achche ke liye bol raha hoon.

I choked on my food, fervently praying that no one else heard it. But the faint titter that eventually broke into a full-fledged guffaw by all the others around the table, indicated otherwise 😦 .

Needless to say, I didn’t touch the biryani thereafter 😐

—————————————————————————–

We were coming back from the wedding in an auto. The MIL was mildly rebuking Shobby for his gaffe. The tyke, instead of being repentant, was petulant and kept claiming that he did nothing wrong. I couldn’t help giggling at his attempts to contradict the MIL. Finally, when he couldn’t take the rants anymore, he blurts out ,” Arre, ab bas karo!!! Nahin toh main aapki shikayat dada ke paas karoonga“.

Hearing this, Lui chips in with her pearls of wisdom.

Lui : Arre Shobby, koi fayada nahin. Jo log shaadi karte hai, woh log ek doosre ki complain nahin karte. Sirf tareef karte hain.

Shobby contemplated this wisdom seriously and did shut up after that 😐 !!

—————————————————————————–

One day, I got something in my eye and was looking for the culprit in front of the mirror. I was rather engrossed, not to mention I was standing rather close to the mirror. Shobby entered the room and seeing me in that pose arched an eyebrow, ” Mumma, kya hua? Face par dark-spots dhoondh rahe ho kya?”

Okay! Looks like TV time needs to be cut down further 😐 !!

——————————–

The BF had bought a few gorgeous frocks for Lui in his last visit. One day, Lui was trying them out and I mentioned that she looked like a fairy. Obviously, she was pleased at the compliment and preened in front of the mirror. Suddenly, something came over her and she came to me to return the compliment.

Lui : Mumma, dont feel bad. Aap yeh frock pehnoge toh aap bhi fairy jaise dikhoge. (Pause). Actually, bahut fat fairy nahin, sirf thode se fat. (Pause). (Spreading her arms wide) Aap itne fat nahin dikhoge, (bringing her hands a tad closer) sirf itne fat dikhoge. I’ll tell Abu to buy new, big frock for you.

Yeah right! Exactly what I need after that battering to my self-esteem 😦

——————————

One day, I bought some new clothes for the kids. They were pretty overjoyed, rather, I should use the word overwhelmed, because frankly, very rarely are the two left speechless. After a few seconds of mute admiration for the new clothes, Lui turned to me and said, “Mumma, aap duniya ki sabse achchi mumma ho. Maine aapke jaise mummykahin nahin dekhi”. At this, Shobby chips in with input, ” Lui, Mumma itne achche issliye hain, because hum dono zyada, zyaada, zyaaaada achche bachhe hain“.

Right 😛

———————————

Well, here are the two imps, full of sibling love 🙂

Sharing an umbrella

Sharing an umbrella

Hum dono

Hum dono

 

 

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I broke the jinx.

For a long while now, I’ve been trying my hand at trying out new dishes at home. I’m not a great cook, just a decent one who can feed people. But there are times, specially around the time Masterchef is aired, that I have this tingling inside me. Though nowhere close to the contestants in terms of skill or knowledge (There was a round where two contestants had to identify certain edible items. I got just 2 right 😦 . I had no clue that stuff like “peepli” or “Thai Dragon fruit” existed 😦 ). Anyhow, back to the topic.

So there I was, trying out pastas and  chicken noodles and rasam, with limited success. Either I ended up eating the whole stuff myself or giving it away to the maid. I suspect she took pity on me and dumped it in the trash bin of her house, knowing well that I was reluctant to throw it in mine 😦 . As for the twins, they usually turned up their noses as soon as the first whiff hit them. Eating my experiments was out of question. They aren’t very aware of the mother-child bond right now, I guess. Probably in another couple or more decades they might understand my plight!!

One fine day, I planned to make brown-bread at home. Checked out a recipe from the internet, God Bless, and set out to do the needful. After 45 minutes of preparation, just as I was ready to dunk myself into the batter of misery (The batter turned out far thinner than expected), I had a “Whoa” moment!! Why the hell hadn’t I tried this out yet?? I was obviously talking about fermented wheat dough, which, instead of being unsuccessfully baked, was ready for another makeover. The Tandoori-Roti!!

So what if I didn’t have a tandoor or coals. I had the tools of 21st century to bail me out, namely, a gas stove and an iron tawa 🙂 (Please ignore the insinuation that the ‘tawa’ belongs to the 21st century!!) . Things looked cheery and bright, except for the batter which was very limp. A big dollop of dry flour quickly sorted that out. Whew 🙄 !!

Anyhow, here’s my recipe for the perfect home-made tandoori roti. Try it at your own risk.

Soak half a teaspoon of dry yeast in warm milk . Add a spoon of sugar . Yeast luuurrrvvve sugar. You miss the sugar, then Mr.Y refuses to rise to the occasion.

Take some wheat flour. Add salt as per taste. Add the warm-milk-infused-with-yeast-and-sugar solution. Add water. Mix. Add more water. Mix. Add dry flour to balance the extra water. Add water to soften the now-toughened dough. Add more flour to get the stickiness out of the way. There, you are either ready with  the dough for the rotis or you are ready to fling the soddy mass at this post. If its the former, read on.

Keep the dough covered for an hour or longer depending on the weather. The end result is that the dough should look twice its original size. Pick up that sticky mass and bash it back into the dish. Repeat a few times to get the dough back to its original size (pretty barmy, if you ask me….whats the point of getting the yeast to blow bubbles inside the dough when you eventually plan to bang them out!  But hey, I didn’t make them rules 😐 ) . Make small balls of the dough.

Heat the tawa on a high flame till its HOT!!. Roll out a small ball of dough using dry flour, in the regular way one does for chapatis. Dip your fingers in a bowl of water and lightly smear the water across the top of the rolled out dough. It will look like this :-

06062013430

Pick up the flattened dough carefully and invert it in such a way that the damp side hits the tawa. The dampness will make the roti cling on to the tawa for its dear life. The yeast will make the dough bubble up like this :-

06062013432

Your roti will look creepy at this stage. More like it caught a pox or something. Ignore. Turn a blind eye to its faults. You will see its true beauty soon enough. Once the bubbling up and subsided, you flex your wrist, check for the carpal-tunnel and when not found, use the tongs to firmly grasp the tawa and flip it upside down over the burner flame. It should look something like this :-

Flipped out

Flipped out

Now this looks easy, but if you do find that carpal-tunnel, its best you leave this activity as a bad joke right now! Don’t tell me that I didn’t warn you 😐

Anyhow, move the tawa around a bit so that the heat cooks the roti in the right places. Ideally, with some good quality iron tawa, the roti would fall off the tawa and into the flame when its done. But since my roti is still stuck up there, it is evident that I compromised on quality when I bought that thing 😦 . I set the tawa right again and used a knife to pry the roti away. The finished good looked like this :-

Ready to eat

Ready to eat

Put a dollop of butter or ghee on the roti and serve hot. Since me and the kids were half dead with hunger by the time I completed the rotis, no snaps are available of the said butter-and-ghee-doused-rotis. We devoured them. The twins LOVED it. We made tandoori rotis for lunch, dinner, the next day’s lunch AND the next day’s dinner. We are kind of sick of it right now…..but at least my children willingly ate something and even asked for seconds. That was reason enough for celebration 🙂 .

So the next day I made honey and spicy baked chicken marinated in curd and ginger-garlic paste.

The maid agreed to take it all away. I wonder why she went about clucking her tongue each time she saw me 😐

*Sigh*

Frankly speaking, it was easier than I thought and tastier than I’d assumed. Do try it out. Everyone who’s had it has liked it. So far 😀
Do let me know how your’s turned out 🙂

Ciao for now !

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