Of Donald Duck’s bathtime!

“Please, Kanch, hurry up with your bath… we’ll be late for school, please Kanch… ”

Sounds of humming punctuated with chatter in a squeaky little voice emanate from the bathroom – I’ve never met anyone so able to drown out other people’s voices as my younger daughter – my “only” younger daughter as she refers to herself when she’s trying to wheedle something out of me!

With two bathrooms and five people to get ready, our home, like most homes with schoolgoing children, was a mad rush till 8.30 a.m. Rush of bathrooms, breakfasts being hurriedly shovelled down throats, leftover breakfast (I am VERY nutritionally-conscious!) being packed quickly into small dabbas to be eaten on the way to school, other dabbas for lunch, instructions on which were which – all this flurry took place about two feet above Kanchu’s head – while she remained oblivious to the whole scene and proceeded with her leisurely bath, talking to the pictures of Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse on her bathroom walls!

These Disney tiles were a bit of a novelty in the ’90s, when we built our first home and Kanch was completely fascinated by them – not being quite sure whether they were alive or not! And so, just to be on the safe side (sounds a bit like the way most people pray to various deities – just to be on the safe side!!), she’d talk to them, tell them stories and proceed to carefully wash them with soap and hot water along with her own bath and shampoo them on Sundays!

We may have been late for school on occasion, but we definitely had the cleanest tiles ever!

It broke her heart when we moved away – to leave her beloved Mickey and Donald behind (particularly Donald, i think!) and we shifted into a home where we had a floral dado on the bathroom walls instead – imagine talking to flowers!

One of the very few kids I’ve seen who loved soft toys, Kanch was never without her favourite toy – a fluffy blue dog – which took turns to being a baby, a girl and a dog – named Just Born, Suhasini (Suva for short!) and Just Born again – no Betties and Dollies for her – they had to have Indian names!

True to her nature, Kanch loves slow cooked food – the slow roasted vegetables, Amritsari chana cooked overnight… AND her four square meals a day – we do NOT snack, tyvm! Snacking is for the birds and the parents!

Here’s one of her favourites and ours too…


(Slow roasted arbi/colocasia/chepankizhangu)

  • Arbi – wash well – 1/2 kg
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida – 1 pinch
  • Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp or more
  • Tamarind paste – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – 3/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves – a handful – wash well – crisp for two minutes in the microwave

Boil the arbi till a skewer inserted in the centre goes through easily. Or pressure cook for one whistle and switch off immediately.

Cool, peel and slice into thin chips – 2-3 mm thick. Spread out on a plate and dry overnight, open, in the frig or leave to dry in the open air for a couple of hours.

Heat oil in a pan, add the tumeric and asafoetida. Immediately drop in the arbi pieces and tamarind paste and stir well to coat.

Roast, without a lid, for about 20 minutes. Add the chili powder and salt and roast for a further 15 minutes till very crisp. Crush the curry leaves over. Switch off and serve with rice and a dal or rasam for a really comforting dinner!

You could always offer some to Donald too – provided you are willing to shampoo him off later 🙂