Thursday, May 14, 2015

Culinary Democracy

It is now time to introduce Chitra Vahini  Amembal , the  creator of all those yummy dishes that my friend Deepak Amembal clicks, posts on FB,  and then proceeds to devour, almost everyday.

Food and cooking methods and recipes , traditional to Saraswats, Konkan and Mangalore,  this visual journey for me, has been one of great learning and a great pleasure.

Here is her  preparation of Capsicums (green peppers)  , cooked with traditional freshly roasted and powdered spices.  A fine mixture of mustard , fenugreek, sesame seeds and the fiery mirchies, quietly blessing a capsicum which has just learned a lesson in living in a democratic world.

Very clearly, a tutorial on living.

देशासाठी झटायचं ,
तर नुसतंच भारदस्त
आणि "प्रकृती"ने चांगले असून ,
स्वतःच्याच लाल पिवळ्या नातेवैकात
असून चालत नाही .

काही अस्वस्थ गरम
पिवळ्या फुलांच्या शेतातले
लालसर काळे नागरिक,
शहरातील एव्ह्ड्या तेवढ्या कारणाने
उष्ण प्रकृतीने तिळपापड होणारी
फ़ेअर मंडळी ,
जगात जे कडु असतं
त्याला कस सामोरं जायचं
ते दाखवणारे ,
त्यातल्या त्यात
सौम्य मातीच्या रंगाचे ज्येष्ठ नागरिक .

ह्या सर्वांची गरम वादावादी,
मग हळद-हिंग नेत्यांनी समजाउन
डोकी थंड करणं ,
एव्हड्यात लाल ब्याडगी युनियन चा
रागवून प्रवेश .
आणि अचानक नेत्यांना
सिमला मिरची कराराची

देशाची सेवा
तसराळ्यात अथवा फ्रीज मध्ये बसून
ओलिव तेलाचे फवारे मारून
होत नस्ते.

स्वतःचे तुकडे तुकडे करून,
सर्व प्रकारच्या नागरिकांबरोबर
मिळून मिसळून,
तथास्तु म्हणणार्या लिंबाच्या रसात
समाधान मानण्यातच
खरी देश सेवा अस्ते….
 Serving the nation
has nothing to do
claiming to be green,
with shiny blooming health,
and hobnobbing
with similarly inclined
folks of red and yellow parties.

It is about
acknowledging the hurts
of those dark numerous citizens
from sunshine fields
now bursting in anger;
some more ,
albeit presumed upper class
fair sesame types ,
flying off the handle in
all that heat,
older wizened senior citizen
fenugreek types,
trying to broker some peace,
with their practical real
bitter wisdom.

Uncontrolled wild arguments,
then a cooling down
due to
the efforts
of the usual
Hing-Haldi Select Committee,
and the sudden defiant
of the Byaadgi Mirchi Union members,
demanding a place.

Good sense prevails
in our spicy democracy
as someone recalls
the Simla Mirchi Agreement.

Service to the Nation
cannot be
about sitting
in Parliamentary Refrigerators,
spraying one's self with
with the benefits
of imported Olive Oil.

It is all about
distributing yourself
in pieces
all types of folks
in your constituency,
working tirelessly
and looking up
and gratefully acknowledging
the squeezing thanks
poured by an
appreciative citizen lemon....


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