Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Summer 2013 India Trip- Herur, Kolar, Savan Durga

I spent a good month with my folks in India. It was lovely, as usual. My idea of a vacation is do nothing, absolutely nothing, and that is exactly what I did! Visited a few people, went to a few places around town, and rest of the time, just relaxed at home. And this might seem strange, coming from someone who claims to be a foodie, I was on a complete break from the kitchen!! Forget cooking food, I did not even have to make a cup of coffee or tea! I was not allowed in the kitchen, period. Well, I figured, might as well enjoy while I could!

I dunno if I told you this- my grandma, who I fondly called, "Avva," passed away earlier this year. I was pretty attached to her, and the funny thing is that I still think that she is right there, in that same old house, in the same old kitchen, in front of the gas stove, cooking away..... she was a big time foodie herself. Anyway, so my mom brought back a few of Avva's things, and guess where a few of those things are now?

1. Her mirror, that she bought in 1951- my mom got it re-touched, and now it sits, nice and pretty, on my wall in the family room.

Oh, and do you see that bell right on top of the drawer? That's hers as well! Cute, don't you think?

2. A little stainless steel pot. She used to make rasam (lentil tomato soup) in this pot, if I remember correctly.

I also got back two of her shawls, that are tucked away in my closet. And check this out- I brought back her pickle jar, and it now serves as a planter, which I think is brilliant!

My Avva's pickle jar- now a planter! 

One of the main highlights from this trip was the day trip to my husband's family's ancestral village, Herur. It is so green out there, so quiet, and just beautiful. There are lots of areca nut/betel nut trees, betel leaves, coconut palms, plantain, teak plantations, etc. My son was having a blast, until he started getting attacked by a gazillion bugs! Poor guy got bitten pretty bad, and his arms and legs were all bright red, and swollen the next day. But other than that, it was real nice!

Areca Nut/Betel Nut in the front yard

Betel Leaves plantation
I saw this real old stone pestle and mortar in the home we were visiting. They still use it to grind chutneys, etc. So cool!

And we had fresh-off-the-tree tender coconut water- a thousand times better than Vita Coco for sure! And this is me, enjoying some cool, sweet, refreshing tender coconut water:

Another highlight from this trip was my visit to Savan Durga. Right from childhood, every time we visited the place, my dad and I would climb up the hill- which is in fact one of the largest monoliths in the whole of Asia! The last time I climbed up was when I was in high school. This time I realized that it is actually a pretty tough one to hike up. Hard to imagine that I used to hike all the way up, in my sandals, and sometimes, without shoes! No snazzy gear involved whatsoever! I really wanted to go up this time, but my first thought was, uh-oh, I don't have my hiking boots! Gosh, I have become so spoiled! Well, I hope to go up Savan Durga the next time- with or without my hiking boots!

Couldn't take any pictures at Savan Durga, as my camera ran out of charge..... bummer! Well, it is all in the head, though!

One more major highlight from this trip was our visit to the town of Kolar, to my aunt's place. She and her husband are avid plant lovers- they have grown a very impressive collection of plants all around their house. My aunt has grown an avocado tree, yes, an AVOCADO TREE! Those avocados were unbelievably tasty-- ohhh, I can taste them even now--- buttery delicious!

And once again, major major bummer that happened- while transferring those pictures from my camera to my computer, the Kolar pictures somehow totally vanished!!!! I am SO disappointed! Therefore, sadly, I cannot show you that beautiful avocado tree. :'(

Oh, I mustn't forget to mention the very neat Zojirushi bento box that my husband used back in school. His mom gave it to me this time, to bring back. And I now use it to pack up his lunch! Perfect portions, and super neat! In addition to 3 little boxes, it comes with a tiny little water bottle as well, and one of these days, I just might fill it up with some whisky, and surprise, rather, startle him! Haha! ;)

Zojirushi Bento Box

So there, that's my little summer report for you. After that nice, long vacation, it is back to business, and back to cooking, and cleaning, and setting up appointments, and shopping for school supplies...... uhh, the same old stuff! I know, I know, there's the whole withdrawal symptom thingy goin' on...... but I'll get over it, I know!

Enjoy the last few days of Summer 2013, you all! Cheers!


Gaurav said...

What a nice article, Aparna. I like your writing style very unpretentious, but nevertheless entertaining. I really feel like travelling to your hubbys place sounds like a nice place to go to.

Aparna Heroor said...

Thanks, Gaurav! Yeah, if you happen to visit Blore, do make a trip to Herur- let me know, & I'll connect you with our relative there. I bet he'll be happy to show you around.... :)

Aparna Heroor said...

Thanks, Gaurav! Yeah, if you happen to visit Blore, do make a trip to Herur- let me know, & I'll connect you with our relative there. I bet he'll be happy to show you around.... :)