Sunday, April 12, 2015

Ambadi in the time of Rice and Bhakri

One of the things that has happened since cable television , is that many stories that we heard from our grandmothers in our childhood, are now being shown as daily mythological soaps, where personalities are greatly emphasized.  In one such that i occasionally watch,  it has confirmed my opinion of Narad Muni, a sage, who specializes in triggering crises by disastrous information flow, and mindless information management ,  to say the least.

When Shruti Nargundkar, my friend from Melbourne, did  this recipe post about Gongura/Ambadi Pachadi,  Narad Muni suddenly came to mind.    With great respect to his learning and position as the guru of the gods, it occurs to me, that there is a bit of a proletarian touch  to Narad Muni, given his widely ranging travels, activities and participation,  much like the Gongura/Ambadi/Red Veined Sorrel leaves , which have great popularity across the country and elsewhere as comfort food for the ordinary man....   

स्वर्गात जर कधी अंबाडीची भाजी झाली
तर त्याला वेगळेच नाव देतील …
अंबाडी नाही,
गोंगुरा नाही ,
पण नारद भाजी ….

देशभर अनावरोधित वावर ,
कधी पठारावर,
कधी डोंगरावर
कधी सनातनी दाक्षिणात्य
रागीट लाल बुंद देठे ,
कधी महालक्ष्मीच्या सानिध्यात
शांतताप्रिय हिरवीगार देठे ,
सुरवातीला सुरवातीला निष्पाप अक्खी पाने,
आणि अचानक किशोरवयात
वेगवेगळे मेपल वाले आकार …।

वरून दिसायला निरुपद्रवी,
सर्वांना धरून, एकत्र
गठ्या गठ्यात राहणारे ,
साधे वाटणारे ,
पण आतून आंबट लबाड ,
जरुरी प्रमाणे प्रसंग बघून रंग बदलणारे,
कधी लस्णाला वाटत आपल्याशी बोलतायत,
तेव्हा ज्वलंत लाल मिरच्याना कळ लावत असतात,
तेलात वावर,
काळ वेळ बघून विविध डाळीन्शी युती.

कान्देरावना वाटत,
त्यांच आपल्याशिवाय अडलंय ,
तेव्हा मोहरी मेथी अप्सराङ्कडे
बघून तेलात पडतं घेणारे नारद ,
वातावरण यथेच्च गरम आणि एकजीव झाल्यावर
सर्वांमध्ये ढवळा ढवळ करणारे
नारद ,
स्वर्गीय भाताकडे ,
आणि वाट पाहणार्या भाकरीकडे ,
अतयंत निष्पापपणे नझर टाकतात
आणि म्हणतात ,
"अरे संसार संसार ,
अंबाडी भाजी चुलीवर ,
नारायण, नारायण म्हणे,
आता छान लागे भाकर…. "
 If greens could be
named after
celestial personages,
poshly known as
red veined Sorrel ,
would qualify as Narad Muni.

Unrestricted access across
plains, plateaus
and mountains,
raging red stems
in the orthodox South,
a bit more accommodating
green stems,
intimidated by the power
of Goddess Mahalakshmi
in her lands,
an innocent misleading roundness
to life leafs,
transforming into
shapely maple like attitudes
at puberty..

It's about safety in numbers,
with an innocent face,
a scheming,
mischievous plan souring inside,
an appearance
changing to suit the heat.

A smitten Garlic
thinks its about her,
while He is actually
instigating the fiery red mirchis;
He pretends to mix
with the elderly daals,
as the onions think
he is lost without them.

And the all pervading,
instigating Narad,
finally succumbs to the
of the cracklingly smart
Mustardy Fenugreeky Apsaras,
and falls straight into the oil.

The tense stirring finale,
the coming together,
a unity of sorts,
for a celestial Naradiya Green
and when
the excitement has died down,
he takes
a deep steamy breath,
climbs onto the ladle,
glances at the
heavenly rice
and bhakri
hot in anticipation
and says ,
"Narayan, Narayan ,
Life is all about
the charms of Ambadi
in the time of Rice and Bhakri ...."

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