Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Sasambara Sacrifice .....

The proletarian leaves of the "ovaa" or ajwain plant, take on a very exciting hue when called by exotic names like Sasambara or Coleus Aromatica.  This plant proliferates even if you stick a small branch into the soil, and very often, house balconies in  Mumbai,  are adorned with these plants, with abundant leaves.

Traditionally, the leaves are plucked, washed and coated with spiced Besan batter and fried in hot oil to make very tasty Bhajiyas.  Every one has their own recipe, and my friend Amit Amembal,  posted this visual of  some,  made with a replacement of besan by maida and cornflour.

Kind of felt like the modern generation of owaa bhajiyas had taken over.   Ignoring the old traditional besan types and all.

And then I wondered how it must feel to be an Owaa/ajwain leaf.  

The sasambara ladies,
laden in soft green,
and slightly heavy sarees

and used to a
fragrant crowded house
with so many of their friends.

Modern life means
you go out into the world
and hob nob
and move up.

But their life
is all about
an abhyanga snaan ,
followed by
meeting Conservative Besan types
and Modern Maidas,
all wearing Spicy deos,
and running off
with them,
into what can only be called hot oil.

Some show a bit
of their original green spirit,
some allow a complete
overshadowing of themselves.

A short fragrant life,
never about
hobnobbing and going up ,
but about bringing smiles,
after ensuring
that the generations after them
continue to follow
a life of harakiri
for the benefit of greedy bipeds.