I sometimes am so protective about my appa that I get paranoid at the slightest of things. Being so far away, I always feel he wouldn't say things out explicitly and keep it within himself. Now that is something about my mother I worry the least; she cannot hide even the least important of things from me.
I look up to my father with a lot of admiration. He is strong, honest, hardworking and never gives up. He is so well read and most importantly so modest about it. Not once have I seen him miss a target.
I wish I got an iota of strength and courage that is in him. From being a first class SMETO (Senior Meteorology Officer. He left Air Force to give me a good education by not letting me hop schools every 2 years); then a Director in large scale construction and administration and then moving on to being a Principal. My father has produced more than a dozen technical papers in satellite and radar communication systems for defense weather studies (he was invited by the University of Wisconsin to do his PhD, but he couldn't pursue that one). He also did his labor law and fights court cases (he loves doing it!). I sometimes think if can I even do 1/4th of the wide gamut of work that he is done until now.
Sometimes I feel I have let my father down in so many ways by just being average in my endeavors. But I cheer up thinking I still have another 20 years to make him proud and shouldn't give up. I think he will be disappointed only if I give up.
Appa: to your right without cap!
My father has always been penchant for adventure sports. He loved trekking in the Himalayan belt during his posting in Udhampur. As I was a few months old then, I have no vivid memory of those times. Nevertheless, I love flipping the photo albums to see the lovely photos taken in J & K and relating them to the numerous incidents cited by my mother in her conversations. To re-live those moments, my parents took me to a trip just before my wedding to Udhampur to show me where we used to live. I used to always complain to him that we never have a family holiday as both my parents were busy with their careers. He satiated my desire (as he is done to all of my desires). Both my parents resigned their jobs and he took me to Udhampur and Jammu to re-live those moments again together before my wedding. I have nothing to complain further. This was a dream come true.
Appa and myself
I really want to thank my father for giving me important gift in life; he set a right example for me to follow. There is nothing more pure and straight to me than my father himself. He is an embodiment of honesty and truth for me. I hope I can do the same for my progeny: to set a good example.
This is a simple kashmiri dish remembering the lovely times at J and K. There are a million ways to make this dish. Some use tamarind and some tomato sauce. This is how our Kashmiri neighbour made it (she even added some potatoes to get her son eating the eggplants) and we really liked this variation.
1 cup of chopped eggplants (medium sizes chunks)
1 cup of chopped potato in small sizes pieces (optional)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp of red chilli powder
1/4 tsp of fennel powder
1/2 tsp of jeera powder
1/4 tsp of coriander powder
1/2 asian pear grated (gives the sweet and Sour taste)
1 tb spn of oil
salt to taste
Heat oil in pan. Add the ginger paste, potatoes, eggplant, salt and pear.
Cook in medium heat until they are cooked. Keep stirring so that the curry doesn't burn.
Add the masalas/spice powders and cook for another one minute in low heat.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.