Unfinished Portrait

The unfinished portrait

Left incomplete, kept aside for another time

Who would finish those strokes

Who would add hue to the empty pallet

Would it be the sparkle in her eyes or sorrow in her

Would it be her radiant glow or a frowning face

Awaiting the day when the render stands completed

Could It be spicier?

On a regular visit to my bestie’s home, while returning his mom gives a jar full of “Kanthari mulak” (A very spicy green chilly), looks smaller in size but the flavor is 1000 times bigger.

There is no such reason for me to explore a dish, yet we get to host a dinner the very next day. On average out of the 20 meals I cook, 18 will be chicken, A flit from the regular dishes, I thought of making something with fish. Ha! Can I make the very famous “Red meen curry”, the recipe which got transferred from my granny to amma to and all my aunts….. mmmm maybe not this time!!

Oh yeah, there is a jar in the corner winking at me! Now things are at a faster pace, relishing the taste from our own pride “The Paragon”, I decide to go for it ” Kanthari Fish Fry”… The spicy, tangy, green green green, juicy, tender fish. Dip in the mint chutney, take a bite and it feels heaven!


Is this the only day to give thanks? No, everyday is a gratitude to the Lord for making me stronger in him, giving chances to say louder that its his mercy that I could overcome any circumstance.

Still, not to break the thanksgiving trail… Here is to all my lovely days a wide smile, here is to all my people who shared their food/fun/love/happiness/experiences with me a big warm hug.

Wishing all a blessed year!!


The glittering tears wrapped in the bright smile,

Queries unanswered, growing over the years

Summer paved ways for the winter yet wandering in the midst of queries

A wait longer than the ends of sea

The brighter smile widens as the worries are carried by him and his GRACE strengthens her day by day.


Asha’s Moms Chutney

I have tasted many chutney’s with Dosa, but this one has a magic spell in it. Tasted it first on a Saturday evening when Asha’s mom visited us at Trivandrum. Asha is my best friend and we were working together at TVM. The day aunty visited, she prepared this lovely chutney, that very moment I fell in love with the taste. From then any time she visited us or I visited their house at Thrissur, a bowl for sure is kept aside for me. Later when I moved to Bangalore, I started to miss out on the yumminess of this rich chutney. More than thrice Asha shared with me the recipe over phone, I kept forgetting. Finally she had to mail it to me with a header “Dear coach raani, If you ask for this recipe one more time I will go mad”. Now I don’t miss the chutney, but I do miss the smile at aunty’s face each time she serves it. For that reason I call this special chutney ” Asha’s Moms Chutney”.

Thank you for the recipe!!!

The Box

In a box gazing out

More boxes stacked

With flickering lights

The blurred silhouette of unknown folks

The stars winked

Weeks unknown months unknown

wired to a corner

Gazing at yet another box


Unfinished lines

When the primary ingredient decided to reach late…


The most tried or cooked dish in my kitchen would be different forms of rice chicken combo. The attempt to try Kabsa came over a phone conversation. My sister over the telephonic conversation described the Kabsa she had for dinner, not a even a minute I could wait, decided searched for the best recipe possible, gathered the ingredients. Well, I cannot cook a dish in parts, the entire ingredients should get a tick to proceed. 1 tick, 2 tick, 3 tick……………..oopsss!!! there is no rice !!! what do i do? Searching in big basket, but the delivery will be next day, swiggy said a no even though a green signal was shown. Sigh!! The dish was postponed to the next day.

Day 2: Ingredients on the platform. 30 minutes of preparation. The air filled with the aroma of spices, chicken and masala. Ready for the Lunch.

Hariyali Chicken Tikka

Realized an ordinary gas stove will be enough for the grilled/smoked flavor. The Hariyali tikka is one among my favorite dishes. The best taste I could experience was from Fab Café at Trivandrum.

A tiring day at work, my friend Asha and I used to stop by the café and have a grand dine in at Fab. For 15 or 20 minutes, I stare at the menu card (which is already by heart), Asha as usual goes with a new dish, I pretend to choose a new one and that last second of uttering the order, it all changes and lands on to “The Hariyali Tikka”. From then I wanted to try it in my kitchen, and the time was yet another Christmas Dinner.

Re learn: When you really learn

                                                                 Elsa Anna Simon

8 years back, with bare minimum understanding, I joined the course of my dream “Architecture”. Today in the same institution, where I walked my baby steps, I support a bunch of newbies as their faculty.

What made me write this is when I started thinking about learning.

There is no limit to learning. Back when I was a student I laid a base to the process called learning. Let us assume this process to be like baking a cake. A perfect cake requires a set of ingredients in specific quantities. Let these ingredients be all the subjects that a student undertakes during the course of their five years at college. The next procedure is to mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients. This I consider as applying the knowledge of my theory subjects to the subject of Architecture Design. Obviously, the right amount of ingredients blended well gives a tasty mixture. Once the batter is ready, the master pours it into a cake tray. Before placing it for baking, the batter is leveled and checked well to ensure there are no air bubbles. Likewise, even students are put through various tests and training and bring out the best in him/her. Finally, the cake is baked. The master pricks the cake with a toothpick to see if it’s cooked to the right doneness. An overcooked cake is no good as it becomes dry. If undercooked, it needs to be put back in the oven to bake it through completely. Similarly, upon graduating from college, some feel like they are on top of the world, while others feel they haven’t achieved anything. Whatever the case may be, if the cake is baked by the right hands, it will always taste good; like a good tree bears a good fruit.

Now, you might be wondering, why I went on describing the process of baking. Well, in my case, I was in the right hands. My initial days of architecture made me ponder if I was in the right place. Like a crutch to support the disabled, I had a huge support that pushed me to always work hard and put my best foot forward. Despite all the flak that I received from the others, there was one teacher who would often reassure me, saying “you are doing your best!” The teacher whose door was always open, the one who listened to even the smallest story in my design and gave me encouragement. Never did I have to wonder if I was in the right place.

The same man after two years, gave me a call to join the institution as a faculty. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be a teacher, but I knew it would be a good start for my career. I asked him, “What makes me a teacher? Am I fit for it? How will I teach?”. As always, the reply came with a smile, “nobody has learned anything fully, what you could bring is a behavioral change in your student”.

The conversation ended, but my mind still wandered with thoughts. As my days as a teacher began, those words kept resonating in my ears with each passing day. The first batch of students that I got to teach was the new admission of 2019. I found myself back in the same old classrooms which used to be my classrooms as a student. The same old teachers who once taught me are now my colleagues. During one such day, one of my colleagues, who was also my teacher asked, “What have you learned? I replied to her “the whole experience is re-learning for me”.

What is re-learning?

Let me get back to the statement my professor made about ‘behavioral change’. I thought about it and rewound my student days. How was I influenced? How did I learn? What motivated me? What took away my fear? I could find answers for all these bemusing questions. Then when I looked at each one of them I could see their eyes glistening with the same bewilderment and curiosity that I had as a student. At that instant, I realized the reason for my being there.  It dawned upon me that I had started learning with them. I then knew how to be myself and immersed myself completely in guiding them. This is what I really learned – my re-learning.