Today is Krishna Janmasthami. It is an annual celebration of the birth of the Hindu deity “Krishna”. It is typically celebrated by fasting, worshipping Krishna and staying up until midnight to offer prayers, sweets , flowers and fruits at a special time when he is believed to have been born. Growing up in India, I looked forward to this festival because mom would make various mouth-watering delicacies all day. We’d be forbidden to eat any of it until all the prayers were offered at night. Then we would gorge to our heart’s content.
Last year I was in Bangalore for this festival. I remember dressing up these boys of mine in their little Krishna outfits. They gladly wore them and even allowed for some pictures to be taken.
That was last year. See this year these boys have turned into extremely strong-willed toddlers, whose first response to anything I suggest is a resounding and final “NO”. None of my skills in persuasion, blackmailing with chocolate, or threatening them with adverse consequences seemed to have helped. The older boy even said it was OK if he doesn’t get chocolate today…..So I guess I gave up. I made peace with them running around in some super-hero t-shirt of their choice instead. 😊
On this day, it’s hard not to think of my Zoey’s undying love and devotion for her little Krishna. So this year, I decided to prepare a few delicacies that I made in the Zoey-era of my life. I made the traditional aval-payasam (made with milk, clarified butter, rice, sugar and nuts) , idli (steamed rice pancakes), and some chakuli (fried savory snack made with rice, lentils and butter). No I didn’t do this alone. I couldn’t especially with these two toddlers around. My kid’s nanny helped me immensely. (And yes I feel blessed to have that kind of support in my life).
Making chakuli, instantly took me back to 2012. That was the last time it was prepared in my residence. It has taken me four years to get out of my grief and make this particular snack for these boys. It used to be Zoey’s favorite. I remember so clearly making it with Zoey and Zoey’s Domi (grandma) in August 2012. We were so oblivious of the storm that was going to come and turn our lives upside down. (She got diagnosed on 1st September 2012). My baby girl loved festivals. She loved the fuss of making mouth-watering savouries and sweets , the dressing up in traditional Indian clothes, the dancing to festival music etc. Ah…. How I miss that girl and that life.
So coming back to this new life of mine, yes I cooked a lot of food today. I feel thankful that my kids didn’t refuse immediately and seemed to enjoy them just like my Zoey did. I’m grateful that we were able to celebrate this festival in the sanctity of our new home. Yes I miss her. I miss her immensely, but I choose to be thankful for the remaining blessings in my life.
And Zoey, my beautiful little baby girl, Happy Krishna Janmasthami to you as well. I know, I don’t need to wish you as you are with HIM enjoying this day and having a blast. Love you to moon and back as always.