On his routine phone call, our younger son (handsome and charming) mentioned the fast approaching Halloween festival and how the whole neighborhood was getting ready for the festival. This brought back memories of our US visit during Halloween years ago. The whole place was filled with varieties of pumpkins and pumpkin festivals were being held all over the place. We had been to a few such festivals to see the pumpkin carvings.
This also brought to my mind that it was around this time that I started this blog in October 2005. I cannot just believe that this blog has been going on for the past 5 years. What started as just a pastime has become a demanding obsession now. Our son casually told me one day,"Why don't you start a blog, Ma?". I actually was not very conversant with the term blog, then. Although I had been using the Internet since the later 90s when our son went to the US for his higher studies to send him emails, chat with him and later to browse topics of my interest (read knitting, embroidery, hobby ideas etc), I had not been browsing any blogs till then. Our son explained to me what a blog was and I was still not sure what I would write there time and again. He said,"write whatever you want to write." After much deliberations and prompting by hubby dear, I said that I would try to write about all things happening around us today and how different they are from what they were when I was growing up. Or to put it in other words, how my astute and blessed mother-in-law would have commented on current affairs had she been around. That's how we decided on the name of the blog "Ammupatti's thoughts."
Ammu was the name of my beloved, alas late, mother-in-law in whose honor I have named my blog. Originally I intended to write my observation of everything around through her eyes (what she would have said were she to be around) for she was a keen observer and a lateral thinker. I learnt a lot about people's body language and the actual meaning of their words from her. She had this wonderful ability to make friends with everyone, and engage in long conversations with them, be they little kids, teenagers, older people, college goers, anybody. She did not think any one was unreachable. And she had this "never say die" attitude, which I am still learning. There was never a dull moment when she was around. She could go on talking to people of all ages and cultures. She would even talk to my friend Veena, who spoke no other language other than Kannada and my mother-in-law did not speak any Kannada. "What are you saying to Veena, Amma?" I would ask her, "She doesnt know our language." "She can perfectly follow what I say," she would reply.
And what started as just thoughts, soon metamorphosed into a food blog, owing to the continuous requests from my readers. I never knew today's youngsters would be so interested in learning cooking the traditional style. So I keep writing, though not as much as I would like to, due to my various other preoccupations.
Initially, not many people knew about my blog except close family members. Soon, other relatives around the world started noticing someone named Ammupatti writing about Puthucode and also observed some family photographs. They could not recognise who the author was, as there was no Ammupatti in my family. One asked the other and the chain continued until it reached one of my siblings who explained who the author was. Other Puthucodians also started noticing this blog about Puthucode. Soon enough I had many readers from all over the globe, some of whom have become very close friends and even visited me at my home in Bangalore and it is a nice feeling.
My brother told me this interesting incident that happened during this past Navarathri, which as I have said many times, is a very big festival in Puthucode. One lady who was visiting Puthucode along with some friends asked my mother (taking her to be just another Puthucodian), which village she belonged to. My mother said she belonged to South village. (We have four main streets in our village which run due south, east, north and west). This lady then asked my mother, if she knew one Ammupatti from South village. My mother said that there was no Ammupatti in south village. The lady insisted that there was one. Then my mother asked her what her connection with Ammupatti was and the lady said that she just wanted to meet this grand old lady from South village who keeps a blog by the name of Ammupatti's thoughts. My mother had a hearty laugh and said, "Oh that is my daughter." My brother insists this lady was pretty disappointed. "She was expecting to meet an octogenarian," he says.
This journey would not have been possible at all without the continuous support from my hubby dear and our beloved, handsome and charming sons, who patiently read all my drafts and gave me suggestions to improve and also helped me with the photographs. And of course, all of you readers, without whose inspiring comments, I would not have continued writing. Thanks to all of you.
I miss my dear mother-in-law and beloved appa, who would have been very happy to see that I was maintaining a blog with such good readership. These two were the people who were most proud of whatever I did. I actually may have inherited this writing bug from my appa, whose letters and diaries were always very interesting to read. My mother-in-law also used to write exhaustive letters, which give us a lot of merry moments even today.
Thank you my readers, once again and best wishes