Friday, December 30, 2011

A cake's aroma evokes a cherished December memory

Like every December, this year too  the Xmas tree, nativity scene, festive holly, be-ribboned gifts, colored lights, poinsettias, mistle toe and the reindeer driven Santa  warm up the otherwise chilly blue Hyderabadi nights and makes my mood perkier and  merrier.

It is a visual treat to watch all the lifestyle and leisure stores deck up their windows with their merchandise and other Christmas embellishments.

Not to forget the bakeries which stock X-mas goodies like marzipans, pastries, ginger bread,Rose cookies, kalkals, Yule log and ofcourse the tastiest of them all the X-mas and New year Plum cakes.

Plum cakes for me reminds me only of two things, one is the famous nilgiris plum cake and the other the one baked by my chitti(mom’s younger sis), but she baked not for X-mas or for new year but for my cousin’s birthday which falls on the last week of December.

 This beautiful memory of late 70’s which is nestled in the crevice of my heart surfed up today when the aroma of the Christmas fruit cake wafted from my microwave.

My chittappa worked with FRL(now called the Institute of wood science) and so stayed in the quarter adjoining Sankey tank. The whole area belonged to the Forest department and so it was wooded. In the late 70’s or 80’s there was no dearth of greenery and the quarter and the forest area was separated by a huge green land like a meadow with lot of flowering plants. This extended till the sankey tank which was  barricaded with a picket fence.  

I and my cousin (he was the only child and my sis was just 2 years old) along with his friends Ganga, Shyama, Vyas and Akhila  would go around doing simple things like  throwing stones into the lake and enjoy watching the ripples, chasing butterflies and holding them in our hands till the color of their wings stuck to our hands , running around the huge green lawns ducking from the buzzing bees and printing colored flowers onto our dress etc., Suddenly we would drop all those things and go around picking up the mica flakes in the nearby earthy area. We would crush those flakes to powder which would shimmer in our hands under the sun’s rays. We would then dust it on our dress.  We would loaf around flaunting our shimmering dress.

Around noon, the aroma of the plum cake would draw us like a magnet to home. We all would wait longingly for our share but we would get a mouthful of scoldings for dirtying our dress.We got our piece of cake too that was  after a game of musical chair in the evening.

 Such footloose and fancy free days(sigh!) was a regular December routine for me till they got transferred and moved to Dehradun.

When I last passed by Sankey tank, I saw the area  stripped of trees to make way for real estate development and road widening and sadly this is supposed to be the First tree court of India, meaning if anybody wants to chop  trees in public area they have to seek permission from this place.

3 decades have passed since then and with each passing year, I feel that the year is getting shorter else how do I explain that it seems like just yesterday that 2011 rang in and is  already coming to an end so early. Though I know it sounds clichéd, I just can’t stop myself from thinking how time flies and now another goes by making way for new one , nevertheless giving us time and opportunity to build bridge to our destinies.

As the year closes in,  My prayers to  God to bless this earth with  eternal peace, cheer, harmony,  love, warmth, innocence and a healthy safe world for years to come.

Looking forward to 2012 with high hope.

 May god bless you all with good health, happiness and fulfill all your dreams in the coming year.


  1. Best wishes Asha for much happiness in 2012. Hope to see you blogging often

  2. guess i shd stop going to malls..neenga nestlednu adicha nestle nu kannula paduthu..footloose na brand name thaan nyabgam varuthu..pora kuraiku nilgiris..cake..avvvvvvvv.....orama padam paathukitu irunthen..aroma nu oru bitta poattu..ipdi usupethi padichaprum cake sapdanum polaruku :) wishing u a sweetly baked new year with icings of happiness :)

  3. Memories can be so vivid, you can actually things as if they were happening right now and the smell of our favorite items seem to really make us feel so good all at once.
    Happy New Year to you and your family!
    Let the coming year bring all you desire to you!

  4. Have a great day and happy new year to you and family and everyone around you ... :)
    wishing you that you get all that you have wished for in the coming year ..

  5. Happy New Year Asha,
    Want to read abt.Dhanushkodi, have gone v.close to the place.Shall come back later.

  6. @ Ramesh - I too hope i sustain my blogging interest, thank you:)

    @Gils - arrey baba, nobody can match the way you play with words, gils aka wordsmith and a chocolatey thankyou:) for your sweet wish.

    @Rama - I'm a nostalgic person and sometimes with or without reason, I travel back to past. It gives me a high. Thank you:)

    @Bikram - thank you:)

    @chitra - read at your convenience. Thank you:)

  7. Sometimes nostalgia can make you crazy but the good memories are a joy to relive. May 2012 bring you many adventures and wonders.

  8. hi boss thanks yar..and best wishes 2 u 2