Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Fighting Karelas.....

I am not a frequent coffee drinker,  à la  sitting in CCD and imbibing the same coffee under different fancy names. . Neither am I a special spokesperson for karelas.

But I just came across this review of a certain CCD(Cafe Coffee Day, a chain ) in downtown Mumbai, , where the blogger, Karan Shah was upset with the place , and indicated his opinion and rating by posting a picture of Karelas, or bitter gourd.

In keeping with the current election season, where many with great hi-fi pretensions to power are losing it , thanks to the emergence of the Aam Aadmi (~ordinary man, no connection to the party by that name) , it was only fitting that I register my protest on behalf of the karelas.

Sometimes, truth is bitter .......   first in Hindi and then in English ......

पैसेवाले कैंडिडेट्स ,
मेकअप लगाके
कांच कि पार्टीशन के पीछेसे

झूठा हस्नेवले कैंडिडेट्स,
क्रीम लगा लगाके फेअर और लवली
दिखनेवाले कैंडिडेट्स,
और कॉफी के नाम पर
वोही वोही चीज़ कागज़ कि नाव में देनेवाले ,
आप को क्या समझेगा ,
आम भाजी
काँटेवाले करेला कैंडिडेट्स,
APMC के दाम के नीचे
खंदें झुके हुए ,
नमक के पानी में कभी कभी डुबाकर
काट काट कर ,
या कभी भर भर के
चुनाव कि गर्मी में जले हुए
लोग कैसे होते है ?

ऐ CCDवालों
हम हरे है, रंगीन है , लेकिन फिर भी जीते है। …

 Fake smiles
from inside
"protective" glass partitions,
so many candidates
dotted ,smeared
and lavished with cream
in an effort
to be Fair and Lovely,
and those that serve
the same caffeinated bilge
in different paper boats;

How will you ever understand
the Bitter Life of a Gourd
the Karela candidates,
that impresses
the Aam Aadmi
despite the uneven
poky exteriors,
bent under the
pricing of the APMC diktats,
a salty immersion,
and a stuffing
while being roundly singed
in oil,
in the heat of 2014 ?

Hey CCD types,
we are green,
and we win ! 

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Life and Times of the PuranPoli

My friend Priyadarshan Kale alias Rajabhau is the acknowledged expert on where in Mumbai one gets the best traditional festival foods. The festival of Holi is on the threshhold, and naturally PuranPoli's are on the mind.

From time to time, he sets out from his house, with the noble intention of  purchasing a large quantity of stuff like, in this case , Puranpolis.  Which is very easy for him, since he lives in the heart of Mumbai which abounds in such places. 
Sometimes, though, the visual treat of puranpolis being rolled out, roasted golden and pink on the griddle, and then allowed to rest before being packed off, is too much, and Rajabhau simply enjoys one right there  with the generous dollop of ghee. 
The lady of the house has noticed the PuranPoli deficit in the dabba.  
What to do ?
 Like our nation's fiscal deficit , it is simply growing.  

चटके बसत असून
जीव ओतून
स्वतःला शिजवणारी चण्याची डाळ,
पोटच्या कटाला आमटीच्या गावी
पाठवल्याचा विरह ,
आणि केवळ सण आहे म्हणून
स्वतःला गुळात झोकून देउन
एकरूप होणे ,

वेलची जायफळ मंडळींची टीका ऐकणे,
आणि सरते शेवटी तलम रेशमी वस्त्रात स्वतःला मढवून
सख्यान्सकट बसणे …

पण आयुष्यात काही स्वस्थताच नाही .
कुणी एक राजाभाऊ व्हिलन म्हणून येतात काय ,
एकीचे हरण करतात काय
बघता बघता ती नाहीशी होते काय …

डब्यात पोळ्यांची संख्या कमी दिसताच
काळे काकु काय ते समजतात .
आदल्या दिवशी
त्यांना भेटायला आलेल्या
पुरणपोळी बचाव समितीच्या शिष्ठ मंडळाची आठवण होते.
काय करणार,
दरवर्षी राजाभाऊ ना
पुरणपोळी संशोधन कमिटीच्या
चेअरमनपदाची पोस्ट द्यावीच लागते
Cracked chana dal
dedicated to harakiri
in the depths of boiling water,
a compulsive traumatic
weaning away
of the proteinous stock
to aid
in the
Life and Times of Katachi Amti;
then a voluntary life dedication
and mixing
in the jaggery community,
only to clothe themselves
in the finest of translucent fabric
and then
amidst hoots
from Cardamom and Nutmeg types,
posing on the ramp of the
Holi Fashion Week.

But there is
never a dull moment,
as the Rajabhau Villain appears,
captures and kidnaps
one of them,
and devours her bit by bit
"Kitni PuranPoli thi ?"

And the noble Kalekaku,
noticing the deficit in the box,
recalls the visit earlier
of the
Committee to Save the PuranPoli....

What to do ?

Every year,
Rajabhau insists
on being appointed
The Chair,
of the
Search Committee on PuranPolis.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Stirrings and Movings

Some of my friends are excellent cooks themselves and keep posting food clicks via Instagram.

But there are some like my friend Deepak Amembal alias Magiceye whose better half keeps cooking yummy stuff, and he religiously clicks and posts the clicks, before mobilizing to devour it all.

And then there are folks like me, who virtually taste, chew, and swallow, and see a reflection here of current happenings in the country.

Very clearly a statement on our esteemed MPs and their "movements"...

(photograph by Deepak Amembal)
A motley crowd,
some amorphous,
some in smart cuts,

with passions stirred
over the high heat.

Some hold their places
in the middle,
some simply defect
to other places,
some try to stick around
with the
united sauce,
and some even get singed
for going to close
to the centre of power.

Who said anything about veggies ?
I thought this was a set of our MP's .....

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bozoical Reflections

It is an undeniable fact,  canine brains today show amazing development thanks to the immense visual triggers from so much media; television, books, computers, banners, posters. 

Mumbai's perceptive blogging Dog, Bozo, has been keeping his eyes and ears open, not to mention smelling suspicious things; all very understandable, as Election Season is upon us.

Magic Eye caught this amazing look recently.  And called it "Light of my eye" .  What he must have meant was "apple of my eye ".......   !

They say
we fellows
see , smell and hear
more things
than the clever bipeds.

And now
that the election season
is upon us,
I do smell plots,
hear stuff,
and see things
(that I should not)

So they passed an ordinance
(before the code of conduct kicked in)
and said
we fellows should get
our eyes checked.

So here I am,
at the ophthalmologist's,
sitting in front
of this big contraption
shining lights into my eyes.

Maybe I'll get subsidized glasses,
I might even wear glares
in the summer heat,
look like Hrithik Roshan
and have all
Bandra Carter Road Lassie types
running after me.

I guess I see through them too.

At the end of the day,
I am just your
Aam Dog,
keeping my senses sharp,
following rules,
eating yummy stuff,
leaping and exercising,
and practicing
distinguishing between real and fake.

I guess there is
no chance of a ticket in this election .....

Unless of course,
they form the Bozoical Sena ?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Oh, what an earthly Ghol !

There is only one person I know, who can write brilliantly on things like "ghol" known in the western world as purslane.

Known to us  proletarian folks as an edible green, that grows at will, and that brings seven stars to an ordinary dal preparation, my friend Shruti Nargundkar of Melbourne writes about Gholachi Bhaaji /Varan  and the nostalgia that it flowers , regardless of where in the world she resides. 

Read her very outstanding post here,  and tell me if you believe in what I call the Earth Gene.

I wrote about it once  in my blog Gappa,  "The Earth Gene" way back in 2009.

The Ghol and Purslane  brought it all back again .......

So many genes and markers
coursing biologically

a haemoglobal life,
as an ancient one
the Earth Gene
quietly methylates
in the Mind.

Warmed by
the hot dusty summer,
shaded by balconies
and sidewalks
frequented by kids
homing in for a meal,
by a maternal Dal,
the Earth Gene
travels undeterred
by lands,
oceans or rules.

Memories overflow,
and seep into
new lands,
blending peacefully
with the local greens,
a sidewalk here,
a garden corner there,
and they watch
as you
exclaim in delight,
and bend down
eyes full,
to gather them to your heart.

for a meetup
with a nostalgic dal,
a rice puffed in anticipation,
red chillies burning in excitement
rubbing their hands
with the methis in glee
and a
bhakri biding it turn.

The Earth Gene
nurtured by the Mother Gene,
the only one
that is never hidden,
but joyfully methylates
in your mind,
only to bring
a smile on your face
and a lump in your throat.

Bozoical Premier League

Clearly, Bozo , Mumbai's blogging Dog, has been watching television. And all the shameful revelations  about the IPL cricket. 

Naturally,  when he was invited to participate in the Bozoical Premier League ( they don't buy and sell players, they invite  chaps with honor),  he checked out everything beforehand.

Currently, one of the top scorers , Bozo was asked the secret of his success.  No Boost, No Fair and Lovely,  just Upma and Dosas, and most important, no colored uniforms with names of moneyed people printed on them.

Like Bozo said, "Our sponsors in the stands,  don't leap with joy, but we do !"

Bozoical Premier League

Special Chhota ball,

Kicking and fielding
by the same dog,
growling at team members,
no cheer leaders,
and unlimited leaping allowed.

No goalposts,
just fun,
upma and dosa breaks,
shaking under sprinklers,
in case of grounds,
and pacing in balconies

No auctions,
no buying,
no selling,
no crores,
no fixing,
no towels,
no srini,
no BCCI,
just a post match snuggle
near the sofa.....

Playing in Bandra !