Friday, March 15, 2013

The Generation Gap

Generation Gaps ,  are known to exist in food as well.

My blogger and FB friend from Melbourne, Shruti Nargundkar,  writes  about encouraging her daughter Amruta to make "potstckers" at home; these are savoury mixed vegetable Chinese style steamed Momos in random shapes, eaten with a dip or chutney.  (Possibly a greatly enjoyed food in the Chinese cuisine of Melbourne).

Read about a post  about that, done by her daughter, Amruta, here  ....

Age, and memories of other steamed delicacies, naturally take me back . Modaks, were, and  remain today , much loved items in my state of Maharashtra.  And I like to think, that no matter where folks go from here, a little bit of the Modak DNA goes with them ......

(Photo of Modak, courtesy Google; photo of Potstickers, by Amruta Nargundkar)

कुणा एके काळी ,
सोसासोसाने केले
तलम निर्या दाखवणारे उकडीचे मोदक ,
कौतुकाच्या अखंड ओलाव्यात
पांढरया मलमलच्या चिंब रुमालावर

तांब्याच्या लक्ख पात्रात शिजून,
विर्घळ्णार्या तुपाच्या सुवासात
अत्यंत शुभ्रपणे
तिच्या पानात यायचे…

अणि मग एके दिवशी
तिला कुठेतरी मैद्याच्या तिखट मुटकुळ्या दिस्ल्या.

अनेक भाज्यांचे बज्बज्लेले महिला मंडळ ,
एकमेकात गुंतलेल्या , "सोया"रीक जमलेल्या भाज्या ,
त्यांच्यात रंगलेल्या आंबट गोड गप्पा,
आणि मधूनच आलं-लसणा ने वटारलेले डोळे .
वर्गातल्या बाईंनी छडी आपटून ,
वर्गाला गप्प केल्यासारखे ,
अचानक कसतरी केलेलि गुंडाळी,
आणि मग त्यांना शिक्षा म्हणून
कढईच्या मध्यावर तेलात बसण्याची शिक्षा ;
आयुष्यात बसलेले चटके ,
गडबडीने टाकलेले पाणी ,
आणि पूर्वीच्या आयुष्यावर
झाकण टाकून, भविष्या बद्दल केले मनन .

ह्या सगळ्याचे सोनेरी व्रण तर रहातात.
कधी कधी कढईला लहान मुलीसारखे
चिकटून बसतात
काही चटण्या काळजीने जवळ हि येतात ।

वाफ़ाळ्लेले अमृत मंथन
अनेक प्रकारचे मुट्कुळे तयार करते,
ती आग्रह करून सर्वाना वाढते.

कुणा एके संध्याकाळि ,
ती रिकाम्या प्लेटी उचलते,
एक छानशि ताटली मांडते ,
बनवलेल्या चिकटणार्या मुट्कुळ्यान्सारखी
आपल्या आईला जाउन चिकट्ते ,
आणि म्हणते,
"डेसर्ट ला मोदक करशील ….?"
So many thousand moons ago,
spotless Modaks,
the silky pleats
held together by a top pout,
would steam delicately
on damp mul
in the aura of the copper vessel,
waiting to be escorted
by an agitated melting spoon of ghee,
before coming to rest
on her plate.

And then one day ,
she met these
savoury inquisitive potstickers.

Like a bunch of
assorted veggie ladies
who lunched,
so many chatting,
gossipping, relishing
the sweet and sour,
even the hot,
occasionally responding
to the ginger-garlic disapproving stares.

And suddenly, coming together,
like a teacher
disciplining her class,
with a stick,
they fall in together,
into little flour strips,
and wrap themselves close,
only to be consigned
to a hot oil foot bath
in an unsympathetic wok.

A few golden abrasions later,
a relenting shower of water
and a turning,
and they sit,
chastened and covered,
thinking about their Karma.

A gentle pulling out of the wok,
and the chutney rushes
in to comfort them,
the potstickers...

Like the Amrut Manthan,
churning of the Ocean,
she churns out for the family,
so many varieties....

But one day,
when it's all over,
she removes the plates,
clears the table of her mind,
and like her potstickers,
rushes to stick to her Mom,
and whispers,
"Do you think I can have some Modaks for dessert ?".....

1 comment:

  1. Suranga Tai - I have a lump in my throat reading the way in which you have unpacked my post and woven new dimensions into it with your poem! :) <3