Sunday, December 18, 2016

The Contemplations of Bozo ...

Mumbai's first Blogger Dog, Bozo Amembal, is back , after a longish layover.  Old age does that to you sometimes. It is not that he was unwell, but he was just enjoying himself in peace, doing nothing important.

He is aware of the happenings in the country. He listens to people talk at home. He even reads the paper , by leaning over someone, putting his front feet on the sofa back. He watches TV, and sometimes he simply turns away his head, because what he is seeing is nothing new.

He tends to be a thinker in his old age; and sometimes he disapproves of what he sees, day-in and day out, currently, on TV.

His mentor and chronicler of his Life and Times, Deepak , caught him in one of his contemplative moods.....

So much to think and mull over.

I too love my treats,
I love to hide
and hoard them,
and enjoy them openly over a
period of time;
Occasionally someone in the house
will find them,
and notice
that much of the stuff has been chewed away
that they are now useless,
and throw them away.

I always think about it.

I should be hiding anything at all.

I certainly don't shout
and bark about it,
and go complaining endlessly
in the living room.

I also don't bark and
drown Deepak's words
when he tries explaining to me.

I suppose
Lassie of Carter Road
and my younger friends
don't think that way
and keep fighting
just to win.

In my old age,
I observe things around me
a lot,
including television;
and I certainly
learn a lot
about what NOT to be and do..

As these bipeds say.
"I am like that only...."

Friday, December 2, 2016

बहुगुणी आलें In praise of Ginger

It is perhaps a sign of advancing years , that one starts appreciating the foundations (as it were)  of Indian cuisine, studded with "blue chip" members like Amla (Indian gooseberry) and Ginger, to name just a few.  The post previous to this was in praise of Amla , which lends itself physically to numerous avatars. Not to be outdone, this one is about Ginger.

My friend Preeti Deo, who lives in London, and has all the traditional Indian tools-of-the-trade operational in her kitchen, also has a food blogs  called  ISingCakes and More   and  Ruchira Videshini  posted this very simple and yummy recipe of ginger chutney, with ginger, cumin, salt and sugar,  personally ground by her on a traditional chutney stone (yes, in London) , which transforms into a sensational red on adding lemon juice.

This is a paen to Lady Ginger, who has been bestowed with such amazing properties.  The earlier paen was dedicated to Amla .

 First in the King's (Shivaji's) language, and then in the Queens's ....! 

(photographed by Preeti Deo)

कुलवृत्तांतात बघितलं,
तर झिंगीबेराची हे त्यांचे मूळपुरुष ,
भारतात उगम ,
आणि त्यानंतर ,
हळद, वेलची आणि गलंगल हे नातेवाईक .

हजारो वर्षांपासून (खरंच),
पचन सुधारायला,
शरीरातील सूज कमी करायला ,
पोटूशीच्या , बोट "लागणाऱयांच्या",
शस्त्रक्रियेनंतर होणाऱ्या , आणि
कर्करोगाच्या औषधाच्या सेवनाने होणारया
ओकार्या थोपवायला ,
स्नायू दुखणे कमी करायला ,
संधीवातातलया वेदना कमी करायला,
मधुमेहात सकाळची रक्तशर्करा कमी करायला,
अपचनाने ग्रासलेल्यांना वेदनांचे शमन करायला,
पाळीच्या वेळच्या ओटीपोटातल्या वेदनांपासून
मुक्ती द्यायला,
झालच तर,
रक्तातले मेद कमी करायला,
आणि म्हातारपणाच्या स्मृतीभ्रंशा सारखे प्रकार
दूर ठेवायला
हे कंद अविऱत कार्यरत आहे.

कोठल्याही वेळी बोलावल्यास
जणू "आले" म्हणत
न चुकता कोणाच्याही मदतीस येते
म्हणून "आले" हे नाव पडले असं म्हणतात....

स्वयंपाकात एक अविभाज्य घटक,
मिरच्या, कोथिंबीर, लसूण , लिंबू मंडळींची
अगदी बालपणीची पट्ट मैत्रीण ,
चहाच्या चहात्यांची पहिली पसंत ,
आणि थंडीच्या दिवसात सकाळी सकाळी
वडी मध्ये बसून,
सर्वांच्या तोंडाला आणलेली सुंदर चव .

अशीच एकदा पाट्यावर तिचा टाईमपास चालू ,
आणि अचानक शेजारी जिर्याची कुजबुज ;
मीठ साखरेने ऐकायला जवळ येणे
आणि कुणा एका राणीच्या देशातील प्रीतीने
वरवंट्याने सर्व एकजीव करणे,
आणि एका सुंदरश्या सटात बसवणे ...

हे सर्व आल्याला नवीनच होतं ,
आणि ती साभिवताली बघत हुरळून गेली.
एवढ्यात जणू तथास्तु म्हणत तिच्या डोक्यावर
लिंबाचा रसाचा अभिषेक,
आणि मग त्याच्याशी एकरूप होणे .

सगळे इतके पटापटा होत होते ,
कि तिला समजलेच नाही,
पण ती चक्क लाजली ,
आणि ती लाली सटात झळकली !

कल्पकंदा सारखे तिचे नेहमीचे जीवन ,
एका नवीनच उंचीवर पोचलं .... ओट्यावर !
Lady Ginger

The Family Tree
lists Zingyberaceae as the Root,
India as her land of birth,
and Turmeric, Cardamom and Galagal
as close relatives..

Working unflaggingly
since time immemorial towards,
clearing indigestion,
reducing internal inflamation,
stopping morning sickness,
and nausea post surgery and chemotherapy,
soothing muscle pain,
reducing athritic pain,
lowering fasting blood sugars,
relieving menstrual pain,
fighting blood cholesterol
and memory issues as in Alzheimers,
she gives of herself,
non-stop in healing mode.

She is so popular in the Life kitchens,
a childhood bosom pal
of the Chillies-coriander-garlic-lemon gang,
finding her comfort zone in teas,
and in her candy avatar
on cold winter mornings
clutching warm tea cups.

As is her wont,
a social gallivanting
on a traditional Chutney stone,
a sudden awareness that Cumin has arrived,
And salt and sugar itching to join.
A comprehensive grinding
romancing the Chutney Stone
by Lady Preeti in the Queen's Land,
followed by a residence in delicate bone China.

Excited, she looks around,
and suddenly gets as if annointed,
by drops of lemon juice,
as she opens her heart to it.
She doesnt realize,
but she is blushing a warm bright red,
at the lovely gesture.

A wish fufilling divine root,
a life, now having reached new heights......
on the kitchen counter ...