Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bhakri Tales : एका भाकरीची दुसरी गोष्ट ....

Some folks have all the luck.  My friend Shruti Nargundkar of Melbourne recently visited her maternal home in Maharashtra , in India,  and was blessed with  some amazing childhood events, happening all over again.  She recreates these for her own family in Melbourne; but there is something about a winter morning, green smells , wet earth at dawn, bath water fragrance in a traditional copper boiler, Zunka scraped on an cast iron kadhai,  and a dollop of ghee melting in a hurry on a steaming hot bhakri.....
A married daughter coming  to her maternal home on a visit , is an EVENT , like no other.  Read about it  , on Shruti's blog post  "Heart cooled in homecoming...
Some of us who  don't get impressed by the fast globalized breakfast cereals and quick foods, that need to be marketed so much , often hark back to our childhoods in  Maharashtra, where food was cooked  and served  (in present parlance) , "on-line " , so to speak, bursting with freshness,  flavour, nutrition and love. 

Nothing beats sitting along side a Mom making Jowar Bhakris, materializing and blooming on some red hot coals of a sigdi, a breaking of it into crisp fresh halves, steam emanating from the innards, as it is slid into your plate with a dollop of white butter and/or ghee; and you greedily have it with the traditional Zunka, (spiced garbanzo preparation), some amazing vegetable curry, pumpkin raita or even just plain cut onion and a chilly oozing attitude. 

There had  to be an ode in Marathi and English.....

आठवणींची रात्र लांब असते
विचार दूर दूर वरून घरी येतात
आणि आडवे होतात ...
आणि पहाटेच्या थंडीत
घट्ट झालेल्या तुपासारखे एकत्र होतात ....

सूर्यकिरणानच्या उबेत ,
आईच्या आनंदाश्रुंमध्ये चिंब भिजतात
आणि मायेने
पाठीवर फिरवलेल्या हातांच्या स्पर्षांने
हळू हळू कधी कधी गोलाकारात बसतात ....

लहानपण च्या आठवणींनचे
निखारे कसे फुलतच राहतात,
भुकेल्या तव्यावर पडलेल्या छोट्याना
एखादा मायेचा पाण्याचा हात लागतो,
आणि जुन्या स्वप्नात बुडलेल्या
एका वाढलेल्या ताटात
झुणकामाय मिरचीला आणि कांद्याला
जवळ घेते आणि म्हणते,
"इतकी सुंदर पापुद्रावली भाकरी
आणि तूप नाहीतर लोण्याचा गोळा
यांच्या बरोबर 

एका ताटात असायला नशीब लागतं !"

journeying for miles,
way into the deep night,
resting at their destination,
snuggling close and thick
like an aggregating
dollop of thickening ghee
in a cold winter dawn.....

A shower of warm sun rays,
a sprinkle of maternal tears
overflowing joy,
and they come together
in a satisfying dough,
patted into rounds
with great concern
and resting hands on back.

Roasted on hungry griddles
Old memories burning bright
and fresh again,
the grainy surface
gently wiped
by a  concerned Mater's
wet palm,
old stories bloom
into cheerful new pockets,
cut and waiting to exhale
in mirth and joy.

The avidly waiting
Dreamy Zunkabai
cossetted together
with the wayward onion
and teenage Mirchi
suddenly blinks and says,
you must have done
something good
in your past Karma;
it needs  lots and lots of luck
to be on the same page
as such an
amazing bhakri
with that melting dollop

golden butter or ghee...."


  1. Homecoming is invariably bhakri for me - and your lovely odes are the oodles of white butter and golden ghee on it for me! :)