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Sundar Narayanan's Travelog

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How to eat.. பேகல் சாப்பிடுவது எப்படி

My wife would call me current state of mind and body in one single word.




Have been sleeping for the most part of the day and night and sucking up oxygen over the weekend.. the exceptions being the trips to Pep Boys and then to Toyota service..

Woke up to an empty house.. and in the process of waking myself a little more, decided to share with you how I eat a bagel, the authentic Madrasi way.. with Ghee and Dosai Milagaipodi (aka gun powder).  

Usually make cuts on the bottom side of the bagel to make grooves like they do for "pal manga" on the beach.. so the ghee and milagaipodi will be in the grooves.. but that required a videographer.. doing that one handed would have been risky.  When already going through a bad time, why invite more trouble?!

Definitely feeling better after all that resting. 


A place to be at peace

On our recent India trip, we went to visit our friend Swatantra (which incidentally means Freedom and she happens to be born on India's Independence day). She found her calling three years ago and moved to Chennai from Gurgaon to work on Srishti, a wellness retreat 90 minutes from Chennai city. 

It was an interesting drive and the kids slept on my shoulder while I held the camera for a time lapse video!

We had a hectic schedule but we were not going to miss meeting her. So off we went to her place and from there she decided to take us to the wellness retreat. I always thought this was still under construction. Turns out the place is ready for the public and we were one of the early ones to get a sneak peak. 

Srishti is set in a village. There is no noise pollution from the bustle of Chennai here. There is no light pollution either! You can see the stars even before the sun has fully set. There are cows and goats grazing around and there is an all engulfing silence in the place that is broken by the occasional sound of birds, goats or someone from the village or a helper at the Wellness retreat calling out to another person.

As soon as you walk in, you feel a sense of calm. Every little stone is set in its place with such meticulousness that there is an order that calms you down. You can see the love that has gone into every wall, every corner of this place. 

We were welcomed with garlands, and got cold water poured into the back of our necks.

That wakes you up instantly! You forget that you were in a car for the last 90 minutes navigating through OMR traffic! Then we got to see the rooms, meet the team of people who make this place work, see the lawns and got to walk around. 

You just keep going "wait.. how..it is like a secret garden!"

Given it was late evening, we got a small snack. Swantantra told us they only serve natural foods there like fruits, fresh vegetables, seeds, dates and grains. Their idea is to let the body recover itself by providing a peaceful atmosphere, natural foods, fresh air, yoga and other exercises and lots of love and care from people around you. Can totally see how that would work! Having done yoga for the last 6 plus years, have finally figured out the body is capable of repairing itself if you give it the right time, circulation and environment. You have to give it a fighting chance to recover! Srishti definitely does that!

After the snack we got to take a short nap and do a shavasana and relax. Then we went for a walk to the lawns and enjoyed the birds, butterflies (lots of them) and the cattle and monkeys in the village. After walking a mile we were back and it was time to say bye and go visit more friends. 

If you are in Chennai and want to take a break from the hustle and bustle and be transported to a place that can restore your sanity, strongly recommend a visit to Srishti! 

and if you have little girls, you can definitely get some fresh Jasmine from the plants for your hair. San was wearing Jasmine flowers. When little Reet saw it, she immediately went and found Jasmine for her hair to match. Watching her so happy with the matching flowers made my day.

did I mention tons of butterflies?!

they sat and posed for me...

If you are trying to walk towards wellness, this is a great choice! 

Here is a link, if you are interested in a visit.

I for one am glad that my friend found her calling. Someday, someday, I will also have the will power and mental strength to make such radical life changes and follow my thoughts.. Until then, like my brother reminds me, have to finish what I started! 



Total cost of stuff to make all the crunchies you see here? 10 $

Total cost of medicines and followup dental treatments ? 100 $

Dreaming of going back to your crunchy diet and drooling while the anesthetic wears off ? Priceless !!!



Missing the golus

This year the wife, MIL and kids made it to all the golus over the last 2 1/2 days while I slept at home after taking painkillers.

We did manage some photographs of the kids in their new Paavaadais before they stepped out of the house. When I get back to regular typing speed or proficient mouse use will upload those photos.

Did not get a chance to eat all the lovely sundal or take photos of the golus. So here is a request to those relatives and friends who have let me photoblog their golus over the last 5 or 6 years. Please email me or Sangeetha a Photo of your golu, even if it is taken with your grainy cell phone and we post it all here next weekend.

Next year there is hope that daddy Narayanan will get to visit all the golus in good health and cheer and blog about it!

Thanks to all for your wishes. The hand is making nice progress.

Brush teeth - check
Take a bath on your own - check
Wear your own clothes and zip up pants - check
Eat with spoon - check
Write with pen - check
Type slowly with both hands - check

Driving and lifting heavier objects with right hand to be checked off tomorrow. Yoga plan from thursday. Then we will be back to the old normal routine.

Plan to go to work tomorrow and test out a few things as well!



Nice progress for two days

Making good progress after surgery in last two days. Mostly slept through the first 48 hours.

Switching to Ibuprofen from Vocodin is more difficult than I thought. Planning to pull through the weekend with a lot more sleep.

One handed typing is time consuming as well and it looks like the Dragon Nuance files from old laptop did not get copied to new laptop. No motivation to reteach the voice recognition software from scratch!

Thanks to all for your wishes..

Pics from Jr. and little one, both of them initially grossed out but have now come to accept the hand as some kind of science experiment that needs periodic observation..

(skip if you are easily grossed out)

On a side note, the plucked chicken shaved feel on the right hand feels good. Used to wonder if all those men in yoga class with that copper looking muscle tone lost all hair because of yoga? Maybe they just shaved?!