Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hello in there...

It was a day in March. The winter was slowly ready to give way to the wonderful Spring. I got ready for office as usual and was on my way around 9am.Surprisingly, I was the only person that day waiting for the bus on the stop. I was sitting on one of the chairs on the stop and facing the direction of the bus, lost in my own thoughts.

After a few minutes, an elderly lady, about 70 years of age, came to the stop and slowly took the seat near me. In an automatic reflex, I turned a little in my seat, so that I don't show my back to her. She touched me and said with a smile, "I'm moved by your act. I like it very much that you've done this. It makes me happy." For a second, I was confused what she meant. Then she explained, "As I came to sit near you, you turned to face me. I meant that. It doesn't happen always in life. It was so kind of you to do so." I was left with no words and so just smiled back at her.

She continued, "Do you understand what I mean?" She wanted to make sure I understood the German she spoke. I replied, "Yes madam, I understand what you mean. I just don't know what to say. Thank you". She reiterated, "No no, it is me who must thank you! You made me feel respected. You made me happy.You just made my day.". Then, our bus came and we talked a little along the way. She got down at the same stop as I did. She must go in the other direction. We wished each other a happy day and parted. I walked to my office, pondering over this incident. It was amazing to me, how a very small act of kindness can bring such happiness in someone's life. I felt a kind of contentment and peace. I don't know how her day was, but her compliments definitely made my day!! :-)

Where I wait for the bus...
It is almost three months now. I met her again today. She came and sat near me, like the same way she did on that day. I immediately recognized her and was very happy. But, she didn't look like she identified me. I spoke to her, "Good morning madam. Do you remember me?"
She replied, "A very good morning. I.... I'm sorry. Have we met each other?"
I said, "Yes madam."
She asked me, "Are you one of my neighbours?"
I said, "No madam. I fear not. We met once at this same place. Once, when we were waiting for the bus."
She said, "Oh! Is it? I'm sorry, I don't recollect. Yes, when I travel, I meet quite a few people. Nowadays, it is getting hard for me to remember everyone."
I replied, "It is ok madam. No problem. I understand. Since I saw you again, just wanted to talk." and smiled.
After a few seconds, she asked me, "When we met, was that a good memory or a bad one?" I replied, "Of course, it was a good memory madam!" She laughed and said, "Thank God!"

Then our bus came and we got in. On the way, she asked me where I lived, if I travel the same way every day and things like that. When it was a few minutes before our destination, she said, "I must confess you one thing. It could happen that, when we meet another time, I forget you again. Please remember, it is not my intention to do so." I smiled and said again, "I understand madam. Please do not worry. Even if you forget me again, I would come and talk to you!!". She said with a smile,"Oh! That is very sweet of you."

We had an apartment in the city,
Me and Loretta liked living there.
Well, it'd been years since the kids had grown,
A life of their own left us alone.
John and Linda live in Omaha,
And Joe is somewhere on the road.
We lost Davy in the Korean war,
And I still don't know what for, don't matter anymore.

Ya' know that old trees just grow stronger,
And old rivers grow wilder ev'ry day.
Old people just grow lonesome
Waiting for someone to say, "Hello in there, hello."

Me and Loretta, we don't talk much more,
She sits and stares through the back door screen.
And all the news just repeats itself
Like some forgotten dream that we've both seen.
Someday I'll go and call up Rudy,
We worked together at the factory.
But what could I say if asks "What's new?"
"Nothing, what's with you? Nothing much to do."

Repeat Chorus:

So if you're walking down the street sometime
And spot some hollow ancient eyes,
Please don't just pass 'em by and stare
As if you didn't care, say, "Hello in there, hello."
[Source: A song by John Prine, lyrics from here]

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Kohlrabi Dhal Curry

Spring is in full bloom here!!! The days are sunny, yet a slight bit cold... Flowers smiling with different colours in every corner... The first time I landed in Germany was in April 2008 (three years back!!). It was a beautiful Spring and I immediately fell in love with the place. Those initial days are sweet memories. My husband used to take me around to places nearby. I enjoyed every bit of it. With nothing to do(I mean, with no job), relaxing my days at home, trying my hands on cooking and experimenting with my husband... :D Just Nostalgia!!

I've been out of Bloggers world for more than a month now. I had a little setback in health. So I had to take rest and hence the break. I'm fine now. I felt really happy when I saw some comments from my blogger friends who took notice of my absence. Thank you very much dears. It is touching to know that I have been missed :-) To be honest, I really missed blogging and the pleasure of it. My dashboard is full of new exciting recipes, which I'm yet to check out one by one.

Now, I would like to share with you, something I tried out this weekend. It is a simple Daal curry, yet with a vegetable, which is quite new for me - Kohlrabi. I never knew it until I saw this veggie in Germany. Usually, I'm not yet brave enough to give a try to an unknown vegetable. So, Kohlrabi had never been in my shopping list. Once when we visited Umm Mymoonah's home, she introduced me to this vegetable. So, I tried this simple Dhal curry and it came out really well.

Preparation Time: 30 mins
Serves: 4
Mysore Dhal - 1/2 cup
Moong Dhal - 1/2 cup
Kohlrabi - 1 or 2
Onion - 1
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Sambar Powder - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 2
Garlic - 3-4 pods
Hing - a pinch
Flat Parsley leaves - a handful, finely chopped
To saute:
Red chillies - 2
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

Wash the dhals and take them in a small pressure cooker. Cut onion into slightly big pieces. Remove the stalks, leaves and skin of the Kohlrabi and then cut it into one inch cubes. Add the spice powders, green chillies, garlic, hing and parsley leaves along with the cut onions and Kohlrabi into the cooker. Add required amount of water. Close the cooker and let them cook for about 2-3 whistles.

Heat oil in a small sauté pan. Add mustard seeds and when they splutter, add the other items and sauté. When the steam has been released, open the cooker lid, add the sautéd items and give a sitr. Enjoy this Dal with hot steamed white rice or chapathis.

  • Depending upon the type of Dhal you use and the size of the Kohlrabi you have taken, the amount of water needs to be adjusted.
  • If you do not have parsley leaves, you can add curry leaves while sautéing too.