Wednesday, January 8, 2014

In praise of the Aam Sabji Bhaji

My friend Shruti Nargundkar of Melbourne is not only an innovative and excellent cook,, but she writes brilliantly about memories associated with that food, on her blog   You might want to have a look,  here.

It isn't always about festival food. In keeping with what is happening in our country, Shruti also recognizes an Aam Aadmi food when she thinks up one.

Like this amazing sabji  of carrots and fenugreek leaves, locally described as gajar methi .  It's winter time, and I can see the establishment  gajar halwa ladies going "Hmmmpf!..".

But what to do .  Its time to celebrate the emergence of the Aam Aadmi Party. And this gajar methi sabji plays its part .....

A subterranean orangy warmth,
cosseted by
the cool soil mothers,

he peered
slowly outside,
green limbs
exploring the blue.

Coming of age,
and venturing out
in groups
in baskets,
sometimes in trucks,
and sometimes
in some one's indulgent hands,
he would notice
others around him.

And then ,
amidst all the
rounded, polished,
fake blushing folks,
he noticed her,
confidently green,
with her bunch of friends,
sitting en masse,
yet curiously bending here and there
observing stuff next to her.

A no nonsense hardy childhood
spent along the Mumbai railway lines,
small gardens,
and rural patches,
nodding in the wind
as a train whooshed by,
glaring at little boys
with kites
who rushed close to her
mothers chasing behind.

A match made in heaven
as the orange collar chap
looked on
in admiration
at the bindass
confident green,
and she had no complexes
where she came from
and where she was going.

A meeting of opposites,
presided over
by the picky
Oil grandmas,
in law mustards, cumins,
with an approving final
asoefitaedic opinion
ratified by a blessing
from Pa Lemon.

Don't know
if it made Page 3,
it certainly made Page 1.

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