Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Nimbu and the Seven Mirchis

A typical scene in the belly of the Mumbai city, technology and superstition, sitting , fender to ground, as clicked by my FB and blogger friend Priyadarshan Kale, on his random trips in search of native tongue tickling festival food .

An enterprising, but helpless mother, doing her bit with the available raw material,  preparing contraptions, that are supposed to ward off the evil eye .

  The Evil Eye Warder also known as “NAZAR BATTU”  is used to keep home and businesses safe from all the evil spirits and let all the happiness be yours for always. This Battu or the “Nimbu-Mirchi Totka” as it is called, traditionally has “seven mirchis” (chilies) and “one nimbu” (lemon) to protect your home from all the bad and evil spirits.

A tough call in today's expensive times,  Just be grateful they dont use onions and ginger ....


मिरच्या आहेत, पण खोब्र कोथिम्बिर नाही,
लिंब मिळाली , पण नळाला पाणी नाही
आणि साखर किती महाग,
आणि पाणि आलच,
तर पाठोपाठ खड्डे;

सात हझार सातशे नौव्याण्णो
तितक्याच पेव्हर दगडांवर
वाढवलेली भाडी शोधत उभ्या ,
कुणा बेकार वाया गेलेल्या
वाईट संगतीच्या मुलाची
म्हातारी आई ,
जीव टांगणीला लाउन ,
टांगाय्च्या लिंबू मिरच्या
तिच्या आयुष्याच्या कच्च्या दोर्यात बान्ध्ते.
आणि कुणाला नझर लागू नये
म्हणून विकते .
आणि आम्ही किल्ली फिरवतो ,
आमच्या आयुष्याची चाके फिरवतो,
मागे न बघता
रेस जिंकायला झर्रकन निघून जातो
आमचा महाराष्ट्र (MH 01 NA ) नम्बर वन ,ना ?
So many hot chillies,
but no coconut coriander,
numerous lemons,
but no lemonade,
thanks to expensive sugar,
and water,
that if it comes at all,
only brings potholes in its wake.

7799 taxis,
searching for takers,
sitting back
on same number of paver blocks,
and she sits,
the desolate mother
of a good-for-nothing
vagabond son,
desperate to earn,
stringing the chillies and lemons
on the weak threads of her life,
selling them
so we can ward off
the evil eye on us.

While we,
turn on the ignition,
swirl the wheels,
accelerate and zoom off,
without looking back.

It really is,
about being MH-01 NA;
a selfish number one
all the time,
in the state of Maharashtra, Na ?

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