Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ram Narayan

I never got chance to eat the thick Masaala clad vegetable made out of Potato, that the wife of the House Lord - whom we called NaniJee (grandmother) - used to make. They never asked me to have it. Retrospecting now, I cannot conclude that she or any one of her family had any intention to not to call me for the delicious food. May be they  have thought that this small child may cry after eating so spicy food. Or may be there were other issues which because of grounds of being seer conjectural in nature, I will better skip.  Whatever the case may be, the aroma of  Masaala clad Aalu (Potato) coming up via vapors still jettison in my Nose, and I feel helpless about it. I have never seen any one making that kind of pure Indian dish with spices permeating in the Potato in so absorbed manner. Along with that they used to make slightly thick Chapati, which was boost to sciences of Gastronomy. I never had it, however the fact that its aroma still engross me is something strange.
We used to call the House-Lord Nanaji(Grandfather),  and we use to respect him with very high order. Somewhat thin out of his age he lately had become very active in social life. His this social life affected me also. In those days, somehow, I picked up habit of reading Newspaper, but my parents being too disinterested in - politics, sports or local news, did not allow me to get involved in any kind of Newspaper reading habit. My father, those days, did not had much interest in reading news or watching anything related to Television. He has been more of a family person and talking about family, friends and food were the main activities. But I, getting trapped in news world, used to visit Nanaji's house and read the news in early morning. So much I got crazy about Newspaper that I wanted to be the first reader of newspaper.  So innocent were those days and so good were people those days, that Nanaji or any other in his family never scolded or said anything alarming to me. I remember except for page 3 and business pages, I used to engulf all of news. Poor me, I did not knew that my this activity or hobby will become a trap for me. Nanaji, because of his old age had suddenly developed symptoms of poor visual capability. Was operated for cataract and with green protection frame over his eyes he was not able to read  clearly. Because people in his family were elderly and use to go for work, I was requested by Naniji to read the News for him ! Initially it appeared like I have become some one of importance, but it was awkwardly boring job for a boy of age 7-8. Initially I started reading news like Manjari Joshi of Doordarshan fame, but with time I wanted to give up my this new job. So I started to skip lines in the News. Here and there. But Nanaji, being an old thoughtful person, was able to catch this, "has the leader said something about town place after that line" !.  Quite naturally, I used to have sense of being caught. But then I also started skipping stanzas while reading News. I was just 7-8 those days.

As I said, Nanaji got too involved in Social services in those days. So much involved that his family members were somewhat uneasy about his recent activities. With him being an old age and involved in too many guests never sounded too good for family.  One day we saw that there were huge noisy discussions in his family. He bought one 16-17 years old boy and has given him one room to stay. Whole family was conspicuous of this person, him being poor, village like and most importantly being a stranger were the concerns. But then no one had courage to argue with Nanaji.  "Ram Narayan" was the name of this boy.

(to be continued ...)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Holi - 2011

I always have mixed impression of Holi. Mixed because you will like the exuberance of people, you  will like the colors, at at the same time you may have to face over-excitement of people and survive notoriously acidic effect that chemicals in the colors leave on you. But "Holi", if you are from India, is not just about celebrating afestival - it is one of the timestamps that quote your life. For people say, this "Holi" it was cold, that "Holi" we all in family assembled. Basically you remember many an events of your life based on near which Holi, it happened.
This year my Holi was rather very silent, just me and my Mother. Father at home place while brother and sisters are at there workplace. And then we two - me and my Mother - decided to have enough rest, for we had some fever and some unrest out of long travel.  Last year I was out of country so we did not had Holi. But before last year, - because of presence of my brother and sister, we had some of it.
The best Holi, as is the prevalent case, I had were during and before my entrance to Engineering college. that is when my Hostel life started. Either in colony, or at maternal or paternal village we used to have the festival. Mother and aunts used to make different kind of dishes, mutton enrich with deep masala (spices), then we children along with grandparents cut dry fruits,  and we used to have taste of  many food items in houses in vicinity. It was a culture to reach houses of people in surrounding to get blessings of elders. Simple. However once you are out of home, residing somewhere in big cities, and you do not have habit to become open to people very soon, - it appears quite artificial to do the same in vicinity. First, you cannot do it as you are stranger to people, second customs and culture undergo fabrication at these places and most importantly, third, a bachelor working good enough time in offices, having too mechanical life, does not get much welcome (or rather cannot be welcomed). Though I quoted that this problem is there in big cities, I believe this can happen anywhere.

Happy Holi