Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Fruits of her labour.....

Summer is all about raw mangoes (kairi) , and various chutneys and relishes made in households across India.   This typical quick and fast raw mango-onion relish, designed to cool you down after a hot session in the unforgiving sun, is a childhood favourite.

A friend on FB, on an extended  visit to her maternal home, saw my post and visual, and pined for this.  Her mother, promptly made it and posted her version of it.

Naturally, a poem resulted, and I had to post my version of it .

 In words.   In Marathi, and then again, in English...... 

मोहरून यौवनात या ,
आमवृक्षावरचे मंतरलेले दिवस,
उंच फांद्यांवर लोम्ब्काळत लोम्ब्काळत

घेतलेले झोके ,
मधूनच कोणी मारलेले कौतुकाचे दगड ,
आणि मग एक दिवस कधीतरी
सख्यान बरोबर
एका मोठ्या पिशवी नाहीतर टोपलीत उतरणं ।

राग नाही, वाद नाही,
"पण पण" नाही ,
फक्त एका माहेर्वाशिणीच्या हट्टा खातर
कांद्याबरोबर केलेले स्वतःचे तुकडे,
मीठ, तिखट हिंगाचे शेले पांघरत
गरम तेलाचे चटके ,
आणि उगीचच आयुष्यात
थोडे गोड वाटावे , म्हणून पेरलेली साखर ….

कुणा एका गीतेची शिकवण पाळणार्या कैरीबाई ची गोष्ट ….
आपण आपले कर्म करत राहायचे,
आणि स्वतः फळ असूनही,
फलाची अपेक्षा ठेवायची नाही ……

A fragrant pubertal blossoming
A magical debut
clustering amidst the mango greens,
a swinging teenage
hanging out with indulgent stems,
An occasional glare
at those trying to reach her
with a throw of luck,
and then an obedient descent
into baskets and bags 
with her friends....

All for a girl,
visiting her maternal home,
and pining
for a special chutney day.

No cribs, no arguments,
No listen-to-me ,
Just an indulgent going to pieces
along with like-minded onions;
comforted by a dupatta
dotted with crushed cayenne, 
hing and salt,
as if to protect
from a lashing 
of hot tadka oil;
and then,
a quiet pinch of sugar,
just like that,
in honor of the sweet days of youth....

The quiet Kairi Lady,
living the lessons 
of the Bhagwad Gita....
Hers is to do her duty
The best she can,
And despite being a fruit herself,
not to worry
about the fruits
of her  matchless labour....

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