Of hoarders and chuckers-away and how the twain shall always meet!

Some people are born squirrels and some are born chuckers-away – old jungle saying… haha, which jungle, you ask? Why, the one in which I was born, of course! 😉

Members of each will always end up marrying each other – another old jungle saying.

And then, for the rest of their natural lives, they will finish each other’s sentences… which go something like this: why didn’t clear up after lunch? You were the last to eat! The correct response this being : oh, was I? with an air of injured innocence as though to say if you had only told me that I was the last one to finish lunch, as though I wouldn’t have… he wouldn’t have!

And then : but where have you put all my shirts? I can’t find even one – while staring at a pile of ironed shirts right at eye level!

Other conversations will go like this: when you are clearing up cupboards together – a rookie mistake which occurs during the early years of marriage when you are yet to recognize the species – squirrel or chucker-away that each of you belongs to… once you learn, you learn never to clean up cupboards together. Till then, conversations go like this:

You chucked away that banian (vest) of mine? That was my favourite banian and I wore it at our wedding reception!”  Said banian is fuller of holes than a Swiss cheese, btw, but the last bit drowns you in guilt… till you realize that the wedding reception line applies to every holy banian, every yellowed-with-age handkerchief, every suit that is five sizes too small! And suddenly you wonder, hey – isn’t that the fifth suit you claim to have worn at our wedding reception!

Retribution come sin the form of “how many crockery sets do you need? Yet another? Didn’t you just buy one last year?!!” Yes, I did, but that was last year and this is this year! And thank God you don’t know about the two spare Magic Bullets in the top left hand shelf that I bought at an exhibition! ”Hey, a girl can’t have too many Magic Bullets!” (They’re a brand of mixers with innumerably fascinating attachments!)

My husband often complains that if he were ever prescribed bed rest for any reason, he’d probably given away to the raddiwallah (the guy who buys old newspapers and stuff that you no longer need/want) while having a nap!

In the same fashion, I find it difficult not to share food with family/neighbours/friends every time I make it – particularly pickles and podis which are always made in LARGE quantities!

Like this cucumber pickle…


  • Round, yellow cucumber called ‘dosakai’ in Telugu (see pic)
  • Mustard powder – 2 heaped tbsp.
  • Red chili powder – 2 heaped tbsp.
  • Salt – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric – 1 tsp
  • Methi seeds – ½ tsp
  • Sesame oil – preferably organic – 1/2 cup 

Wash and dry the cucumber. Cut into half. If there are too many seeds, clean them out. If there are just a few, doesn’t matter – let ‘em be.

Cut into 1.5 cm cubes.

Mix all the dry ingredients together. Add to the cucumber pieces and mix well. Add half the oil and mix. Bottle into a sterile jar. Add more oil to coat all the pieces.

Set aside for two days. It’s ready to eat on the third day.

Traditionally, in Andhra weddings, if the wedding date is fixed suddenly, and there is not enough aavakai to serve for the many uests who are expected, this is the pickle that is made – a sort of dhideer (quick) pickle!

And you can fight over who cleans up after making the pickle!