Letters from Singapore – Part 1

Dear Mother,
Hope this letter finds you in good health and spirit. I duly apologize for not writing to you often enough and promise that I will write to you regularly from henceforth.

I am doing quite well. I like this country and the people. The sights and sounds are wondrous. But it would not be an exaggeration to say that the weather is unpredictable. It is terribly humid one moment and the next moment,it starts raining cats and dogs. And within minutes, its a clear sky again. Everyone here seems to be in a terrible rush to go someplace which makes me wonder where so many people are going on such a small island. The kids are really chubby and naughty but their mothers are quite grumpy, possibly driven up the wall by the kids. As is the case anywhere else,older people are only too eager to talk and the young ones try to look as smug and aloof as possible and often end up looking dazed and lost. I would like to narrate a minor incident here if you will indulge me for a bit. I met an elderly person, a local, on the train the other day who was asking for directions.We started conversing and suddenly he asked if I was married or if I have a girlfriend. He told me about his family and that he has two daughters both of who are in their early 20’s and are married and that he has 2 grand kids(without me asking anything). He went on to advise me to marry a girl from a rich family for obvious reasons, but finally added “Love is love, lah. If you love somebody, marry her no matter who she is”. Now that I have narrated the incident, I get a feeling that it might concern you as to what mischief I am unto. Do not fret, mother. I have no plans of finding a bride in this country.

Moving on, you will be pleased to hear that the kadai(cooking vessel) you gave me is in perfect shape. Your worries about its condition are completely misplaced. ┬áThe other day,I overcooked the brinjal a little which resulted in some blackening around the center but it was nothing a diligent washing couldn’t remove. Please do not pester father on this matter. While we are onto cooking, this thing has been bothering me. I have valiantly tried to recreate your “mudde palya”(north karnataka style dal) many a times, but the wretched dish just doesn’t turn out the way you make it. Its like when you make it, all the individual ingredients understand each other and blend perfectly which when boiled together, culminate into an ethereal,rich combination of heavenly taste(combined with ghee, of course) and when I try to do the same, the ingredients don’t get along well, fight with each other and are mixed together forcibly resulting in a bland tasting concoction with a hateful aura. It positively irks me that I not able to get what seems like a simple recipe correct. I request you to include a detailed recipe of the dish in your next letter without omitting even the tiniest of details.

Do you find time to watch you favorite TV shows now? I recall your lamenting that there multiple shows going on at the same time slot and you are having trouble catching up on all the shows. The last time I visited you, I remember watching episodes of a show where the male lead and the female lead started turning towards each other to meet each other’s gaze. What a tense situation that was! They started turning on Monday and by the time I left on Friday, they had successfully pivoted 30 degrees towards each other. Have their eyes met yet? And for how many episodes did they stare into each other’s eyes later? Do let me know. I was very much hooked to all the pivoting and it was unfortunate that I had to leave it midway.

One last thing before I end this letter. Mother, I see that you have recently made your grand entry into the world of social media. I am happy and proud of you. But please be prudent while using Facebook. If you see a page saying if you comment “Om Sai Ram” 108 times,something good will happen to you today, DO NOT believe and start commenting. Also google and Facebook are not same. If you want to search for some word, go to google.com. I realized this after I saw your latest FB status updates – “Mooli paratha recipe” and “tomorrow weather”. I would also appreciate if you don’t reply to each of my status updates with an appropriately timed “Have you had your breakfast/lunch/dinner?” after which none of my friends respond to it. I will give you a phone call and update you about my meals for the day.

That is all from my side. Please take care of your health. I will write to you again shortly. Convey my regards to father.

Yours loving son,

P.S: The chatni pudi(peanut powder) you packed me is finished up already. I think you should pack me 1 kg of it next time.