It is a delight to watch them everyday and especially when it rains. ( I recently shared a video on Instagram of them bathing in a sudden shower. )
The sun has just come up from behind the little hillock in the east and I can see the brightness all around on the trees and their shining leaves ... but not the sun, not yet, as I am on my balcony in the west.
It is a gorgeous morning and still cold. And breezy too.
The rains are nowhere in sight but there are clouds, lazily passing by ... large puffs of white. An occasional dark one does pass by too, but it is too small to dim the brightness all around.
I take a sip of my Darjeeling tea. The breeze is strong and lulls the swing a little. Good ... since I did not want to move an inch.
Reclining on the swing, my feet to not reach the ground.
So I am grateful for the strong breeze.
A bulbul darts in and sits on the terracotta water bowl. I stay still.
Ever alert, it jumps up and down a little, looks this way and that quickly and jumps into the water.
Splashes around, gives a few quick dips and jumps up on to the rim again, shakes all over to throw away the excess water and is gone. Just like that ... in the blink of an eye.
I finally relax and move to wipe the water droplets on my arm.
I take another sip ... the steam is still coming out of the cup and curls upwards.
I am tempted to go back inside and get my half read book. I have just got my hands on Amish's Sita, finally, and am hooked to it ... just like I am to the rest of his books.
But I don't.
I love my time with myself and nature in the mornings and decide not to let anything else come in between. I can read later.
After all, the rains will start eventually. And I won't get to sit outside this way for sometime.
I will be away, at home.
Where it rains like all hell has broken loose. With thunder and lightening. With huge storm winds.
Where you see the sky turn ominously red, in the nights and know that it is going to pour soon. Pour incessantly; ceaselessly.
Where I will have to go back again and again, at this time of the year, when I rather would not.
When I would rather hide, burrow myself deep somewhere, or get lost somewhere where painful memories cannot reach me.
When I will have to relive those moments of agonising helplessness, relentless yet futile hope and the pain of seeing my father sink slowly into oblivion.
Where I will be reminded and mocked by life about the amount of time that has gone by, without him around me. And I can do nothing about it.
Where I will have to stay in those rooms and see him in every nook and corner of his beloved house.
Where I can see all his things around but not him.
Where my heart will burst with pain every single moment and yet I will be alive, with his memories and his absence.
The rains, that I had loved so much once upon a time, bring only pain to me now.
And to cap it all perfectly, we are having guests, relatives we cannot ignore.
So even a minute of a breather is welcome right now, but a far dream.
I will leave you with this thepla that makes for a filling breakfast as well as a dinner too.
I have made this mooli / radish, you can use any vegetable of your choice too.
A thepla is different from a stuffed paratha ... it has the vegetables kneaded in with the flours.
I say flours because I often add different kind of flours ... jowar, makka/maize, rice or a little besan. While the nutritional value does go up, the mutigrain flours add some extra flavours too.
Whole wheat flour - 8tbsp
Jowar / sorgum flour - 2 tbsp
Makka / maize flour - 1tbsp
Besan / Bengal gram flour - 1 tbsp
( If you do not have these flours, you can make with plain whole wheat flour too. )
Grated mooli / radish - 1½ cups
Ajwain / carrom seeds - ½ tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Chopped coriander leaves - 2 tsp
Amchur / dry mango powder - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - to fry , 1 tbsp to add to the dough while kneading
Water - to knead dough
How to :
Knead everything together to make a firm, not tough, pliable dough.
Cut out small balls and roll them into round parathas.
Heat a well seasoned tawa and fry them one at a time, smearing a little oil on both side to brown them.
Serve hot with raita and achar / pickle.
The achar in the picture is my home made Amla ka achar.
And have a happy monsoon filled with fun and food!