Friday, November 4, 2011

Chakali

  Couple of years ago, I had watched a documentary about "Old age homes", I am forgetting the name of that documentary movie, which is made in our local language,Kannada.  We speak "kannada" at home.  And some how I could not forget the characters in that movie, the faces, their expressions, it haunted me for quite some time. And even now if I think of that, I still remember the movie very clearly, if I come to remember the name of that movie, before I finish my blog, I will definitely mention it.

  So it was about the current generation of children, with their modern thoughts, their life style and entirely different thought process and out look about life,parents,Indian culture and traditions and practices. Before I move on, on this subject, I will try to throw a light on our culture and practices, so that it might give you an idea of what I am trying to express. Children are supposed to take care of their parents in their old age.  According to Indian culture, a son has to take care of their parents, since the daughter goes away after getting married.  So parents live with their son, together as a joint family.  That's how it's been from many many years.

 But from past 15-20 years, things are changing and people are getting modern,and getting influenced by other cultures, since they are getting exposed to various things, which is making them selfish,ungrateful and self centered which has gone to an extent of forgetting our duties towards our parents and elders! So the result you could see the "old age homes", coming up in our country! It's a facility where you leave your parents there, pay some money, every month, to take care of them and giving them some false hope, that one day you would take them back to their home!

 So each and every day, they would wait for their children to come and take them back, which would never happen.  And the documentary was about this, where they show 4-5 families, where the children who are married and wants some "independent" life, feels parents as burden, live their parents in a old age home and some children, don't even bother to tell their parents that they are going to leave them there, but just ask them to be there, until they come back and of course they would never come back.

 Those aged parents, used to look out of the windows every single day, expecting their children to come back........and that's how the documentary ended, showing the parents face, filled with anxious,eager,desperate,pain, looking through those windows which had bars, which sort of looks like a prison!!!!

 And some how I could not forget those faces and that movie haunted me for a long time and it was sort of faded away these days........!  But suddenly I started to remember those faces and that movie..........when I go to my younger daughter's preschool, to pick her up!

  Just to get the idea about school and get used to the routine of getting up early and get going to school next year, we thought of sending our younger daughter to preschool, from couple of months she is going to preschool only couple of days in a week and only for half day for 4 hours.  I go in the noon to pick her up and as soon as I open the door, 5-6 kids come running to me and everybody trying to say something to me and trying to catch my attention at the same time. One of them really pleads to take her home with me and keep on telling things, what all she did on that day and the teacher has to distract her, by saying, I want you to go and put all the toys away so that you can have a nap...or something like that!

 It becomes difficult to come out of that door, and I some how feel so sad and guilty turning my back on them and closing the door and walking away with my daughter........!

 Some of the kids there, are even younger to my daughter! Every time you drop off or pick up your kid, you need to sign in and out the time. So while signing I have observed that most of the kids are signed in as early in the morning at 6.45 and signed out at 6 in the evening!

 In a room from morning till evening, every single day, doing some activity, sometimes it's the same or similar activities and whether the kids is feeling sick or not in a mood or may want something else to do.......has no choice but to stay in that room every single day, because parents has to work!!!!

 Well, one thing worth to mention here is, this preschool is really awesome and take care of the kids so nicely and they try so hard to create a good healthy atmosphere for kids.

 But I keep wondering that is the job so necessary?????? Can that wait for 8-10 years when kids become totally independent physically and stable emotionally and have maturity enough to understand???? Kids need parents at every step of the way and once they are able to understand and can handle situations, then it is okay to go for work, while they are in school from morning till evening.

  When parents can afford to send to the day care, which is way too expensive, well it has to be expensive, if a day care has to provide every thing, right from feeding, putting them to nap in the noon, potty training, teaching them, and looking after them when they are sick or when they throw tantrums......! So when you have money, what is the need for you to send to the day care,leaving them alone,when they need you in every way,when it is so hard for them to adjust.

  So as I close the door of the class room and walk away with my daughter and turn back and see that the kids would be looking at us.......with tears,pain,and disappointed.......I remembered the movie about the "Old Age homes"!!!!!

 Well, it's just my thoughts about the Old Age homes and day care, which I thought of sharing with you today.

 Last week was Diwali, festival of lights, and we celebrated the festival with friends. I was remembering that, my mother used to make 5-6 kinds of sweets(desserts) and deep fried snacks and which I would eat for lunch,snack and dinner! And today I wondered that, was that really me, who ate so much of desserts and deep fried snacks??  Now I hardly eat any dessert or any snack and many of the things I have forgotten that I used to eat!

 Brr....chilly weather,cold winds,snow has started and it was Diwali and from 4-5 months there is a strict diet at home and I was remembering our old days of Diwali........so just thought to take a detour from my diet cooking and make something totally yummy,totally tasty,deep fried and for which your "heart" will say "thank you", for making me happy!

 This is my mom's recipe, which I tried for first and it came out well and kids loved it and my husband tasted and felt it was tasty and my heart sang to me "thank you.."!

 I love to share this recipe with you, hoping that you will try it, it is the most easy recipe of chakali, which is a deep fried snack. Enjoy!

Ingredients:

Rice flour  2 cups
Roasted gram dhal(Hurigadale) 1 cup
Butter 3 tbsps
Green chillies  3-4 (Optional)
Asafoetida
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Method:

 Make a fine powder of roasted gram dhal and mix it with rice flour. Add salt to taste and mix well.  Make a paste of green chillies and asafoetida, if you are adding green chillies.  I did not make a paste of green chillies since, the moment my kids find it is green chillies they do not eat.  I just added asafoetida and butter and mixed well.  Now add little water to make dough without making any lumps.  It should be little bit more softer that chapathi dough so that when you fill and press it in the chakali maker it should come out easily, without lot of effort.

  Heat the oil in a deep pan and fill the dough in the chakali maker and press it, and it should come out easily, in to the oil. Deep fry until light brown on both the sides and take out gently from the oil and place it on a tissue paper.

 You can see the chakali maker in my picture above.

  Enjoy the chakali with your family once in a way!

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