Everybody cooks at home……. But some, turn every dish they cook into magic. They have the Kaipakkuvam to turn almost everything they cook delicious. My mom is an exceptionally good cook. I guess,she adds a lot of love to the dishes she makes. The best part is being an active career woman, she never compromised on cooking. We lived in a small industrial town called MetturDam, where there weren’t many fancy restaurants. So my mom had to cook almost everyday of the year. I am amazed at her time management skills. She can cook an elaborate meal within an hour.
People say it’s really difficult to do traditional indian sweets. My mom is too sweet!. She can do Baadhusha, Mysorepak, BadamCake, Cashew Cake with great ease. My daughter ananya is a big fan of her Cashew Cake. Ananya calls it “Square sweet”. When she is on the phone with grandma, she always asks when is she gonna make her the square sweet.
She doesn’t just cook tasty. She cooks healthy too. Every sunday my dad would go to “Sandhai” -bazaar and buy loads of veggies and fruits. His shoulders would ache sometimes. We always had 2 or 3 vegetables and a salad in every meal. The salad cutting would be done by my dad. He helps my mom cutting vegetables for avial and helps her with sevai making etc. She had excellent friends who would motivate and help her if she is doing bakshanams in huge proportions. And Of course Me and my brother Hari would help her in eating all the dishes she makes. When she makes vadams in the summer time, we would offer to help her watch them, so that the crows dont take them away. In the process of watching them, we would have eaten, most of them. I remember waking up on sunday mornings from the aroma of the vegetable biriyani she makes…. Awesome Days!
N. Jayalashmi(My mom), is one among 8 siblings. She was born and brought up near Pudukottai. Educated in Chennai (formely Madras). Moved to MetturDam with my dad ( V. Subramanian) after she got married.
She is very talented and skilled. She is good at doing handicrafts-dolls with beads which we use for Navrathri golu,wall hangings and images of God with beads, wire baskets and does a lot of Knitting and crochet. She has made hats, mufflers,baby blankets, sweaters & booties for my lil one. She does excellent Kolam-Rangoli. There is nobody that would not stop to admire her Yezha kolam with kaavi-which is a traditional rangoli of south indian brahmins. I would call her my official dress designer. She is always brimming with new ideas and creative ways to stich a dress material. She has kool color choices and a flair for elegant cotton sarees. I have officially stolen a lot of her lovely cotton sarees. She also does part time clothing business.
I still remember, how i felt When her Visa to the US got rejected. I couldn’t possibly imagine my delivery without her by my side. Thank God, she got her Visa , the second time. She did 1008 kozhakatttais for Pillayar(Lord Ganesha) for being able to be by my side when I most needed her in my life. After I became a mom, I even more realize how sacrificing mother’s are. On those rainy “Kunuku days”, she would give us even the single piece she had saved for her. She shaped us into good individuals. She used to dress me and my brother in different costumes. Ready made costumes were not available then. So she would make everything on her own. My dad would make the Flute, kireedam-Crown and Vel and my mom would take care of making a small panchakacham,garlands, make up etc.
She has M.Sc,M.Ed, M.Phil. She is a teacher by profession. She taught in Ethiraj college before she got married. She taught Higher Secondary Chemistry in Malco Vidyalaya Matriculation Higher Secondary School. I was in her class. I have never seen her while away her time. She is either doing paper evaluation, question paper setting, taking tuition classes,preparing question banks, going on supervision(when students give their examinations) or running to take morning special classes for 12th students. Even in the weekends she would go to school for taking entrance preparation classes. She has published her own question banks and guide booklets. She is such an efficient and Hard working individual.
After being in a Rewarding career as a teacher for almost 35 years, As she gives her Voluntary Retirement , I salute her for all her hard work and devotion.
To speak of her in one sentence-A very good Wife, a great Mom , a devoted Teacher and a super adorable grandmom( To ananya)
Amma-I love you!