Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Home Truths ....

My friend Preeti Deo potsed a lovely video of their tenant lady making a bhakri in the backyard  of their  house,  at Jalna , in India.  Preeti  maintains a lovely page at Ruchira Videshini  on FB , and has her own wonderful blog at ISing Cakes.
        Technology has now pervaded the domestic world of Fulkas and Bhakries  with high tech machines that spew out chapaties, mix doughs  , ring bells,  but have no eyes that sense how hungry you are or how much you are enjoying the meal.  

Manufactured by a company called Zimplistic, founded by Pranoti Magarkar and Rishi Israni  6 years ago, this 40 cc  Roti Machine machne weighing 39 pounds, generates 1 roti a minute . You don't have to make a dough yourself, but simply add ingredients in enclosures.   

But clearly, there is something amiss .....

Video courtesy Preeti Deo on her FB page Ruchira Videshini on Oct 19, 2015.

फुल्काबाई चपाते , ज्वारीदेवी भाकरे ,
ठिपक्या ठिपक्यानचे बिल्ले लेउन ,

तूप लोण्याच्या स्वागतात
बृहन महाराष्ट्र पोळपाट संमेलनात
कौतुकाची हजेरी .

अनेक यंत्र अथिरथि महारथींची भाषणे ,
बटणासरशी चमकणारे न चिकट्णारे तवे ,
हात न बरबटता
आपली आपण मळ्णाऱ्या कणिका
चंद्रासारख्या गोल पोळ्या भाकर्या ,
आणि तंत्रज्ञानाच्या ढुशीने घसरून
ताटात पडणारी पोळी .

आणि भाकरी बाई आपला पदर नीट करते,
चेहर्यावर चकाकून उठणारे लोणी
जर पुसते,
आणि फुल्काबाई ला म्हणते,
"हे सगळं ठीक आहे ग ,
पण कुठेही प्रेमाने तीन दगड जमवून
सरपण जमवून
मनातले आगत्य बोटात उत्रवत ,
मळ्लेल पीठ ,
आणि कौतुकाने शाबास्क्या देत
थापलेली भाकरी,
तोंडावर फिरवलेला पाण्याचा हात ,
ज्वालांच्या पाठिम्ब्याने
आत्मविश्वासाने फुगलेली भाकरी ,
एका ताटातल्या पिठ्ल्याने , चटणीने ,
आणि पिघळ्णार्या लोण्याने केलेलं
अपूर्व स्वागत ,
आणि कुणा एका आईने
"सावकाश जेव हो,"
म्हणत वाढलेले ताक ….
ह्याला एक वेगळीच गती असते ,
कधी संथ, कधी जरासा वेग .
कधी बोटाला चटका ,
कधी पदराला पुसलेले हात .

तंत्रज्ञानांला मन असतं ?
बटणा ला जाणीव असते ?

मी जर ह्या सगळ्या यंत्रांपासून दूरच राहते .
आपण बरे आणि आपल्या काकू बर्या

आणि चपात्यांची फुल्का ,
आपले फुललेले ,
बिन यंत्रांनी झुलायचे
दिवस आठवते,
आणि विचारते,
"मला सांग,
डिझाईनर साडीला ,
सासुबाईनच्या बुट्ट्याञ्च्या
रेशमी पैठणीची सर कशी येणार ग ?"
Fulkabai Chapate and Jwaridevi Bhakre,
adorned with dotted id tags,
being welcomed
by the powerful
Butters and Ghees
at the
Brihan Maharashtra Polpat Sammelan.

Speeches by Tech Geniuses,
Non stick instant griddles,
and lumps of dough
happening without
Touch of Hand!
Perfectly round Chapaties and Bhakries ,
being shoved
by a mischievous technology
on to a waiting plate.

And a stunned Bhakribai,
adjusts her layered palloo,
wipes her buttery shining face,
and tells Fulkabai,
"Ha !
All this is fine.
But what about someone
puts three stones together,
collects some burning fuel
and pours
her hospitality unreservedly
into her fingers
messing it all up
into a wonderful dough ?

Then  encouragingly
pats it all up into
a great Bhakri,
puts her to roast all over
and then proceeds to
wipe her with a wet palm
cooling her troubles

so she can roast again.

The Bhakri,
now on the flames,
blooming with new confidence,
as she emerges
away from it all,
into a plate
to the joy of a waiting
Pithla and Chatni,
as someone
pours some Taak
into a cool steel glass
and says
"Enjoy your meal !" ...

There is a rhythm
in it all,
sometimes slow,
sometimes a bit fast,
perhaps a burn on a finger tip.
and then a quiet wiping
it all on the palloo.

Does technology have a mind ?
And do buttons have feelings ?

I stay away from them,
happy with myself and my kaku.

And Fulka ,
rememebers her
swinging days
of being
hot and blooming,
shakes her head
and says,
"Tell me,
can any designer saree
even come close
to your
antique, silk
Jari Butta Paithanee ?...."


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