Note: This post is belated by about 3 months. After writing it, I got busy with so many new activities that I forgot to post it!
Abi seems to have learnt the first lesson on 'adjustment'. Slowly things are falling in their place and all of us are getting used to our new environment. Due to the on going chaos in the house and preparing to go 'home', I forgot about making Abi's favourite 'murukku'. After keeping his appointments with his new friends - the rabbits and various birds out in the garden -, Abi came to me and said, "Naani Abikku murukku kudukkave illai"(meaning, naani you didn't give murukku to Abi). I was taken aback with his sudden demand of asking something to eat (except the chocolates). So I had to make it.
This 'murukku' has a special place in our life.These snacks are not only very tasty, they also have some emotional value attached to them. It goes back to some 20 or 25 years. Those days not many ready made snacks were available in the market. Mostly they were made at home. Whenever we went home to my parents' house (once in a year) 'murukku' was made for us to eat and also to carry back with us. The making of these snacks were an event in itself as it involved a lot of work (grinding was done manually) and was made in bulk. As we would be busy with our packing, last minute visits to people and visitors at home, we hardly helped my mom in the preparation.
We had a lady who was working for my mother. She was there ever since my mother got newly married.It was not like a master-servant relationship.It was something so different that we do not get to experience these days. She was like a mother to all three of us (me and my siblings), very dedicated and loyal.The task of sending off me and my hubby with 'goodies' was entrusted with her. It became a ritual that every time I went back from our holiday, these snacks and other items were made without fail. Even when she became old she would insist on making them. She was a specialist at hand-made murukku.
As they say all good thing come to an end, she left us one day about 3 years back. After that we stopped the ritual of making them on my return from home - after a long run of over 30 years.. Though I started making them myself now, I miss what our dear 'Arukkani amma' used to make. Some time back my brother had come to my daughter's place for the first time to Bundi. I packed some murukku for him for the train journey back home and for my parents. It was the first time these snacks were made at my place and sent to my parents. I felt so nice and proud. Life has come full circle. I wish dear 'Arukkani 'was here to taste the murukkus made by me. By making them myself, I want to say "thank you" to her. I know she's very proud of me.