Ask Amma

On Not Paying Attention to What “They Said”

In Art, Poems on 11 April 2016 at 4:30 pm

At the 4th annual conference of Swashikshan, the India Homescholers Association, children got the opportunity to work with the Space Theatre Ensemble from Goa, and all of us were treated to a show by the children, followed by performances by the teachers: Andrea Pereira, Heidi Pereira and Katheeja Talha, and the director, Hartmann D’Souza.  They were not so much drama as dramatic performance of poetry.   They vividly brought the poems to life.   One of the poems was “They Said” written by Uma Narayan who is a Philosophy Professor at Vassar College.  The Hindi version is called “Aisa Kaha Unhone.”

I tried to upload this earlier but with the internet speed in India it would have taken all day and slowed down all other internet activity till done, so I never got around to uploading it.  Now having at last uploaded it, I came across this article about a young girl named Hilde who perfectly embodies the spirit of the poem.  She writes and edits her own newspaper and recently faced criticism, very much along the lines of “They Said.”

More about Hilde later.  First, listen to the poem:  “Aisa Kaha Unhone.

10-grain idlis

In Recipes on 19 March 2016 at 9:34 am

We’ve made idlis and dosas with little millet, kodo millet, proso millet, pearl millet, foxtail millet, finger millet and even made them with teff, which it turns out, is also a kind of millet. Oh, and of course we have made them with paddy rice.  (Our millet-farming friends insist on calling what generally goes by the name of rice, “paddy rice” to distinguish it from some of the millets which in the local language are actually called varieties of rice, e.g. సామ బీయ్యము or वरी चावल (little millet rice),  కొర్ర బీయ్యము (foxtail millet rice), सामक चावल (barnyard millet rice).  In this case the term “rice” is used not as a name for the grain but for the whole form of the grain, as opposed to cracked grain (ravva), flattened grain (poha) or flour (atta).

I made idlis using all 11 of these ingredients - 10 grains plus 1 legume.

I decided to make idlis using all 11 of these ingredients – 10 grains plus 1 legume.

Sari Sling in a Jiffy

In Field Notes, How on 14 March 2016 at 6:29 am

Arpitha Shankar, Amma to two daughters, aged 4 and 2, in Bangalore, shares her family’s experience trying out baby wearing using a sari wrapped around baby’s Appa!

Our daughter loves to be carried everywhere… although we used to enjoy it when she was a baby, as she became heavier, carrying her for long periods left us exhausted quickly especially when we used to go for short hikes. Thats when we came across baby wearing. The DIY youtube videos are so simple to follow and a cotton saree is enough to make a comfortable sling to carry her around. The first time around we didnt get her to sit in a deep seated position so that her legs are in M position, but nevertheless, both my daughter and husband were ecstatstic. The best thing was being handsfree and doing the other chores freely with the baby happily in the sling.

Arpitha Shankar sling

Vel and his 4 year-old daughter are ready for a hike!


 

Ask Amma thanks Arpitha, Vel and their daughters for sharing these lovely photos.

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