September 27, 2007

Kaka worked at Aru’s day care.  He suffered a heart-attack yesterday afternoon, on the day-care premises, which he could not survive. 

Officially, I think, Kaka was the gate-keeper at the day-care.  But, he played innumerable roles, all at once.  For the day-care management, he was the quintessential helper they could turn to if they needed anything done.  For the kids – he was their ‘Kaka’.  Their companion who put on the swings, slides and doll-house for them, who was the first one to greet them with a ‘Good Morning’ when they entered their school, who made it a point to say ‘Good Bye’ to every single kid, who kept track of their school buses and informed the Aunties if the bus did not arrive on time.  If Aru did not see Kaka in his seat in the morning or while leaving, her eyes would invariably search for him.  They did yesterday and today morning.  I told her he was probably busy with some work.  Not knowing that we were not going to say  ‘Good Morning’ or ‘Good Bye’ to him, ever.

Kaka was one of those people who touch your lives subtly.  They just become part of your life, even without your realising, as if they’ve always been around.  Standing quietly, without even making their presence felt.  And you realise they were around all this while, only after they leave.  And they leave behind them, this void. 

How do I explain this to the little one.  How do I answer her – “Mamma, Kaka kahaan gaye?”

Kaka, may your soul rest in peace.


The toddler at home is forever coming home with a cold, that invariably means a cranky child. I was getting uneasy feeding her one cough-syrup after another – its a different story that she just loves medicines! (Looks like the child has taken to her father’s family in these matters.) So, I decided to give my mother’s home remedies a chance. I started off by taking them myself, and they did seem to work!! So, Ma was actually right! I wouldn’t say they cure cold, but they do provide much needed relief and a significant cut down on doses of Dilosyn, Tixylix etc.

So, here goes a list of some –

1) Adrak (ginger), Tulsi (basil) and Honey mix – Take half-inch adrak (ginger), 2-3 tulsi (basil) leaves. Wash them. You may have to scrape the adrak if it is particularly muddy. Crush them together in a small khalbatta (Mortar and Pestle). Take the crushed adrak and tulsi and squeeze the juice in a small bowl. You can put the crushed adrak and tulsi in a strainer and then squeeze it to avoid pieces of adrak falling into the juice. Let this juice stand for 2-3 minutes. Some sediments will settle in the bowl; discard the sediments and put the juice in another bowl or tablespoon. Mix this juice with little (1/ 2 teaspoon) honey and drink it. (The honey is used to sweeten the otherwise bitter juice.)

This is effective if you have minor cough. You can take it 2-3 times in a day.

2) Dalchini (Cinnamon), kali-mirch (Pepper) and Lavang/laung (Clove) kaadha (decoction) – Take half-inch dalchini, 2-3 kali-mirch, 2-3 lavang and crush them in a small khalbatta (Mortar and Pestle). Take one-and-half cups of water in a container and add the crushed material to it. Boil the water till only one cup kaadha remains. Add 1/1 1/2 teaspoon sugar and drink it while it is warm.

If you have a cold coming, this will surely take care of that and you will get up no signs of cold. If you already have a cold, this does provide a lot of relief. Once before bed or twice a day should suffice.