Friday, January 8, 2016

The Taming of the Ginger.... आले लिंबू मिलन

Winter mornings in Pune, decades ago , and a memory from childhood of a small bowl of ginger lemon concentrate , with very little water , sitting on the table, as one got ready for school. We loved taking spoonfuls of the stuff, with gentle reminders that too much of anything was bad, and we rushed off to school with the tingling taste on our tongues.

No mixers and blenders then, lemon juicers were just coming into their own , folks had strong fingers, and ginger grated and crushed on a chutney stone was cloistered with freshly hand squeezed lemon juice, with sugar to sweeten the proceedings.

It isn't about whether the recipe is easy or difficult. It is all about how it would magically be there for us , everyday, on the dining table, long before we got up.

The taste lingers.....

एक रागावलेले आले ,
परिस्थितीचा कीस काढून
हताश होउन एका वाटीत
आपल्या नशिबाचा विचार करत बसलेले;

"उगी उगी , मी आहे न ?"
म्हणत साखराइने काढलेली समजूत ,
हळूच खुणावता धावत येउन
त्यांच्यात मिळालेला
आणि आल्याचा राग
होत्याचा न्हव्ता करणारा
मोठ्या भावासारखा लिम्बाचा रस.

आम लोण पार्टीचे शेंदेलोण पादेलोण,
सगळ्यात पडायची त्यांची अतीव हौस ,
आणि मग
अनुभवी सैन्धावाने घेतलेले काही
स्वतःच त्यात पडण्याचे कठीण निर्णय .

आल्यात झालेला थरारक बदल,
गुलाबी लाजणे ,
लिंबाच्या रसात एक्जीव होणे ,
आणि काही लोक
चमचा चमचा ते पितात ,
लिम्बाला बघून डोळे बारीक करून मिच्काव्तात,
आणि म्हणतात ,
"स्वछ्च घसा पोट अभियान ….
एका चम्च्यावर २ चमचे रस फ्री ….!"
 An angry young Ginger
gone to shreds
and wondering
about her future
as she sits,
in a katori.

And then
a concerned clucking
by the Sugar ma,
as she hovers around her
gesturing for help.

Some lemons,
squeezing their all
into a responsible juice,
and rushing over
like a big brother
to calm down
the Angry Young Ginger.

A slight skirmish
on the side
as the Black Salt Hero
defeats the odorous Lone** Rangers
and appears
on a stunned Ginger's horizon.

A thrilling transformation
as she blushes pink,
and hides in the lemon juice
and dissolves in joy.

Some folks
take sips,
narrow their eyes
and reveal the catch :
"Its the Swachch throat stomach Abhiyan!
Sip a spoon full of the stuff,
and get 2 spoonfuls free !"

**"Lone:  ShendeLone, PadeLone, two odorous salts often added, which we did not. I have no clue about their English names.

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