Thursday, January 10, 2013

Holding it all together....

"Holdalls" as they were called in our childhood, were the precursors to the modern sleeping bag.  They were a kind of roll up contraption, in which you could organize a bedroll, complete with a light pillow and blanket, with places to stuff extra footwear and other sundry items. You would roll this up, fasten it usually with the built in leather belt type fasteners with buckles and stuff.  Mothers were notorious for stuffing in things which they thought were indispensable, and you found out only when you left on the trip.  These holdalls were always olive green , brown or a dark khaki color.

Times have changed. My friend Shruti Nargundkar of Melbourne, makes these little eggplant holdalls, stuffed with spices, capsicums of various colors and warm melting cheese. An offspring of the family, leaving on a solo trip, doesn't have the "benefit" of holdalls we used, but then these are better !  Stick a memory rod through them, and enjoy lugging them, hiking style.

Read Shruti's excellent post here , to see the recipe as well. Photograph by Shruti.

(Nostalgia often makes you think in your mother tongue.  An English version happened alongside ....)

कोणी देईल का मला
एक वांग्याचा होल्डॉल ......

ढब्बू मिर्चीसारख्या काही फुरंगटून
बसलेल्या आठवणी ,
काही त्यातल्या सूर्याच्या रंगासारखे
सोनेरी क्षण ,
आणि अगोबाई म्हणून हळूच
हिरव्याच्या मागे लपणार्या
लाल चुटूक आठवणी ;

झटकून पुसून, सर्वत्र शिंपडलेले
चविष्ठ शुभेच्छान्चे दाणे ,
आणि कवटाळून गुंडाळून झोपता येईल
असे चीजचे पांघरूण ....

आणि छोटी लेक बांधाबांध करते,
थोडी होल्डॉलशी झटापट ,
आणि तिची आई
डोळ्यात पाणि आणणार्या कांद्याची पात
पट्कन घेते आणि
सगळ्या आठवणी , शुभेच्छा आणि प्रार्थना एकत्र करते ....

तिची लेक ,
एक काठी घेते,
हसत हसत त्यात अडकवते ,
आणि म्हणते ,
" अगदी हिच्हैकींग वाली शिदोरीच दिलीस कि ग मला !"

Wanted ! Wanted !
An eggplant "Holdall" .....

 Childhood vignettes
of stubborn puffed capsicum faces,
some sunny memories
steeped in nostalgic golden syrup,
and some peekaboo reds,
shyly peeking through it all...

A shower
of some spicy ,
tangy thoughts of bygone days,
and a lovely blanket
of some warm cheese to wrap around.

The young one
tries to roll it up,
tangles ,
and her Mom,
glares at the lachrymal green onion,
and uses its green
to tie it all up,
the memories, the wishes, and the prayers.

The young one smiles,
amused by an idea.
She grabs a rod,
sticks it through it all,
holds it on her shoulder,
and grins ,
"Mom ! I am all set ! For hitch-hiking .....!!!!"