Why do we celebrate: Mekhal ?

Step 1: They took his hair away My baby cousin ( he was born in ’92 the year otherwise famous for the Cricket world cup) has been a lovely boy. Obsessed with his hair generally (especially when he was in his precious teens). I’m not heavy into gifts but the one thing I did get…

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the window with a sill

As a young girl, I was fiercely protective of my parents’ rooms and the admission of random people in it, possible as we lived in a joint Indian family open to public access being on the ground floor. I also used to be very interested in keeping things in place, exactly where they were from…

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From Papa’s

Traditionally, and these days depending on time, the whole family gets together in the night, every night, for a week at the least, to sing, considering it is, the shaadi waala  ghar [the wedding house] and such activities are meant to be fruch [auspicious]. The next day of wedding, Srinagar Kashmiri songs are accompanied by…

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Grandmother. On Love.

Once in summer holidays, grandmother was in great mood. With her bahus and in general. Grandmother likes being the mother hen and having the whole family around, I have noticed. They started talking about children, love, cute things children shouldn’t know yet. And everyone started hush-hushing. When blatantly, she shot off: what’s the hush-hushing about….

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I’ll be watching you.

Grandfather was called Tathya (the dear one), or Tathya ji (for respect). I called him Tathu Maharaj ( I can’t recall how I knew I had to attach royalty to his name, anyhow). Our ritual was that either we would come home with him (after school ended at 4pm, matching with end of office for…

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Lal vakh-ing annoyance …

I have the *most* gentle parents. One of their neighbours used to call them Ram-Sita. Sometimes I’d think this was all too naive. Or perhaps, they are just above the nonsense most people struggle with. Sometimes I see people taking them for granted and being mean with them. But their attitude towards those people never…

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Herath-esque lotus eaters…

Shivratri is a particularly long festival at home, for all self-respecting Kashmir hindus, I assume. We are what they call Gurits (a sect that’s just infinitely more strict about ‘rules’. Grandfather spent a lot of time in his childhood at his mother’s (maika) and once he was back to his ‘own’ home, he decided to…

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The green saree…

I am scared mother will slap me for writing it. But I can’t not share it. Sister’s come home with a lot of gifts, and we were all very thrilled- I got my new camera already! I love it (some birthday gifts do reach me!) 🙂 So then, ma and I started talking about gifts…

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Pashmina memories…

Grandmother once told me, as kids, they would buy Pashmina wool, and use the Yendr (Spinning wheel) and sell back very fine yarn to shopkeepers, for twenty rupees worth of financial independence and pocket money. It seemed quite common with girls in the valley at that time. She got married in the winter, in ’42,…

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