Saturday, December 2, 2017

श्रीखंडाचे मानसशास्त्र ​ ...


पुरीचा अथवा पोळीचा तुकडा श्रीखंडात बुडवून खाणे या सारखे दुसरे सुख नसावे .

पण ....

श्रीखंड बनवण्यासाठी काय काय करावं लागतं , ह्या मागे काहीतरी मानसशास्त्र आहे .  तुम्ही दही असलात तर तुम्हाला ते कळेल .  त्यात आपल्यालाही काहीतरी शिकण्यासारखं  आहे .

तुम्ही म्हणाल श्रीखंडा सारखा सुन्दर पदार्थाचा आस्वाद घेताना हे मानस शास्त्र कुठून आलं ?   काही लोकांना काही कारणास्तव मनोसक्त श्रीखंड खाण वर्ज्य असतं. 

त्यांच्या ह्या कविता लिहिण्यामागे सुद्धा एक मानसशास्त्र असतं   :-)


एका कोमट दुधात
हळूच केलेला चमचा-दोन चमचा शिरकाव ,
पटकन एकजिव होऊन झाकणाखाली लपणे ,
आणि रात्रभर आपले उपदव्याप करून
सकाळी
"मी काहीच केले नाही , मला का विचारता ?"
म्हणत घट्ट दह्याखाली मजेत बसणे .

पण नियती लक्षात ठेवते .

कधीतरी ह्या दह्याला ,
कोशिंबिरी, वडे , इत्यादींमध्ये न घालता
एका पंचात , नाहीतर उशीच्या अभ्र्यात गच्चं बांधून
चक्क टांगलं जातं ,
आणि रात्रभर , आपल्या पूर्व कर्माची फळं भोगत
दह्यातलं सर्व पाणी रागवून निघून जातं ;
कधी कधी एखादा पाटा पण ह्या बांधलेला दह्यावर ठेवला जातो,
जेणेकरून दह्याच्या अश्रूंचा लवलेशही नाहीसा व्हावा .
आणि ह्याला चक्क चक्का म्हणतात ...

प्रत्येकाचे कधीतरी चांगले दिवस येतात ,
त्या प्रमाणे चक्क्यात केशर, इलायची , साखर, पिस्ते
घालून पदार्थ बनतो
आणि खूप कौतुकाचा होतो.

एव्हडं मात्र खरं .
आपण दुसर्यावर केलेले वार, पुढे आयुष्यात आपल्यावर होतात
हे दही समजून चुकतं .

आणि तरीही हे प्रकार अखंड अविरत चालू असतात .
आपल्या आणि दह्याच्या आयुष्यात .....

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

"Survival " of whom ?


Just came across some information on how caviar is made.

As a pucca vegetarian , I had been aware of stuff like caviar being treated as some ultimate thing, but was disgusted to find out how it is made.

Caviar is nothing but the eggs of the Roe fish. It is not as if the Roe lays its eggs somewhere and someone goes for a search and harvests them.  They actually catch these fish, stun them, anesthesize them, do sonographies, and then make incisions in their bodies to extract the eggs.

These are then processed with the addition of salt et al, and packaged to folks who think nothing of paying through their nose to eat them.

This is Darwin's theory of survival of the fittest , in its worst manifestation.   On the other hand, as humans we are not otherwise blameless.  We perform the same on other female humans .

Shame. 


Darwinian excesses.

Kidnapping the Roe.

Stunning it , doing sonographies,
making incisions,
and removing the ovaries,
to process them with salt et al,
so carnivores may flaunt their
exclusive food habits.

Why blame humans.

They not only do this,
making incisions, songraphies,
but kill fertilised eggs
when they are declared female.

Again and again.

That is not Darwinian ,
but grossly patriarchal.

Somewhere , sometimes,
the feeling remains,
that
survival of the fittest
will not hold true for the future.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

आंतरराष्ट्रीय पोळपाट लाटणे ("the best PolpaT-LaatNe in the universe "-D.J Trump)


माझी फेसबुक वरील , मला कधी  न भेटलेली मैत्रीण , विशाखा पर्वते .   अमेरिकेत राहते .  आम्ही दोघी अंगत पंगत ह्या फेसबुक वरील ग्रुप च्या सभासद आहोत .

विशाखाने नुकतेच  एका  पोळपाट लाटण्याचा फोटो पोस्ट केला .   तुम्ही म्हणाल, "त्यात काय मोठं ?"  मोठं हे, की कॅलिफोर्नियातील रेडवूड  लाकडापासून हे पोळपाट ,  अमेरिकन  ,  IT मध्ये काम करणाऱ्या त्यांच्या मित्राने स्वतःच्या हाताने बनवले, आणि त्यांना भेट दिले.

तुम्ही म्हणाल , लाटण्याचे काय ? तर लाटणे , हे तर विशाखाच्या  कोकणातल्या पणजोबानी  फणसाच्या लाकडापासून आपल्या सौभाग्यवतींसाठी बनवले.  पिढीजात लाटणे.

असे हे पोळपाट-लाटणे वापरून पोळ्या /फुलके इत्यादी करणे म्हणजे आंतरराष्ट्रीय सहकाराचे चालते -बोलते-लाटते उदाहरण .  शतकापूर्वीच्या लाकडाचे पोळपाट , आणि शतकापूर्वीचे लाटणे .

मी फेसबुकवर आल्यापासून माझे DP , म्हणजे "उडणारी लाटणेवाली बाई"  कधीही बदलले नाही. आता मी ह्यावर कविता नाही करायची तर कोणी ?


फोटो सौजन्य : विशाखा पर्वते
  उत्तुंग रेडवूडचे रान,
अनेक शतके वसुंधरेने सांभाळलेले वृक्ष,
आणि वय झाल्यामुळे कधीतरी

एखाद्या वृक्षाची मालवलेली प्राणज्योत.

वसुंधरेंच्याच कुशीवरचे ते अचेतन लाकूड ,
कुणा एका आयटीवाल्याने
आपल्या कुशलतेने
मशीनवर ,रांधून, घासून, टोके मारून ,
गोल कापून , आणि कडा
गुळगुळीत करून
​बनवलेला पोळपाट,
आपल्या न दिसणार्या जखमा सहन करत
स्वयंपाकघरात ओट्यावर विचाराधीन आणि काळजीत .

ओट्याच्या खाली कप्य्यात अचानक ऐकू आलेली खडखड ,
विशाखाताईंनी कप्पा उघडून शोधलेले
गडबडीने कारण ,
आणि
एका ​अदृश्य प्रेरणेने बाहेर आलेले
एक लाटणं .

शतक लोटले ,
तरी एक लाकूडच दुसर्या लाकडाचे मन
समजू शकतं .
कोकणातली वाडी ,
तिथल्या आमराई , सुपारी आणि फणसाच्या बागा
आणि खूप पूर्वी अश्याच एका फणसाने
स्वतःची रजोनिवृत्ती समजताच
कामासाठी दिलेलं आपलं लाकूड .
कुणा एका हौशी पणजोबांनी
कौतुकाने पणजीबाईंसाठी बनवलेले
सुंदर लाटणे.

पोळपाट आणि लाटणे भेटणे ,
लाटण्यानें हळुवार पोळपाटावर फिरणे ,
जणू काही अदृश्य जखमांवर
सहानुभूतीचे मलम लावणे.

पोळपाट नव्या उमेदीने तयार ,
आणि एक दिवशी
फुलका लाटता लाटता
कुठंतरी विशाखाला कोणीतरी
पाठीवर कौतुकाची थाप मारल्याचा भास होणे.

फुलका लाटला ,
तव्यावर पडला , आत्मविश्वासाने फुलला .

दूर कुठेतरी एक कोकणातले पणजोबा ,
रेडवूड रानातील एका रेडवूडजोबांच्या
खांद्यावर अदृश्य हात ठेऊन म्हणाले ,
"Wonderful, isn't it !"
आणि रेडवूड आणखीनच ताठ मानेने उभा राहिला,
आणि म्हणाला ,
"आपल्यासारखं , न भांडता , एकत्र काम करायला
सर्व शिकले ,
तर हे जग किती सुंदर होईल , ना ?".....


The Final Cry ....


My cousin Dr Madhuri Gore recently posted this photograph of  what she called the "ultimate remains of a tree"  spotted by her on the Elephant Beach, Havelock Island, The Andamans.

So many of the islands that make up the Andaman Islands,  are full of old ruins of the various activities,  punitive and otherwise , carried out by the British, against Indians fighting for Independence;  like an island (Neil?),  where so called "enemies of state were hung" ,  and the famous Cellular Jail in  Port Blair , where one may still see the torture methods used on prisoners.

It must have been interesting being a tree on one of these islands.  A life longevity akin to those who have lived a simple, disciplined life in consonance with Nature, and then a message to those of us left behind. 


What a life.

Witness to war,
Swarming British, perhaps a few
Japanese across the islands,
punishing Indians
fighting for Independence,
then seeing jails built.

What a life.

The presence since then
of the Indian Navy
and tons of mainland folks
crowding to enjoy the beaches
and history.

And again,
what a Life 

and 
what a Death.

Like the Jarawas*
decimated in their own land,
now only 423,
she lies on the beach,
one more tree ,
greenless, motionless,
shaken to her roots
by not just the earthquake
and tsunamis,
holding out her hands to the Sky,
asking
"what have we become? ,
a insensitive, violent, thoughtless people?"
before destructing to pieces
and flowing into the Deep...

What a Death.




*Jarawas : Native adivasis / indegenous people from the Andamans,  who have inhabited these islands before anyone from the modern  colonising world  landed up there. Excessive thoughtless interference and interaction by the outside world threatens the health of these tribes.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Mackerel Moksh!


My young friend Swapneel Prabhu,  belongs to a community which excels in cooking seafood in many traditional ways.    He recently experimented with smoked mackerel , using some traditionl utensils actually meant for other stuff, and described the meal ; in his words ,

"Smoked Mackerel (Bangda), Pomelo (Papanas), Boiled Red Rice (Ukda Tandul), Ambehalad - Tirphal/Teppal Vinaigrette and Sugarcane-Kand Crisps. I flaked the smoked mackerel and mixed in the fish petals with shredded Pomelo segments. The bright, fruity acidity of the Pomelo helped counter and balance the intense, smoky mackerel.
Toasting the plump boiled red rice with a little coconut oil accentuated the nuttiness.
The light Ambehalad (MangoTurmeric) Vinaigrette tied the dish together. The Tirphal/Teppal mellows down the deep earthy flavour of the dark meat in oily fish like Mackerel which can sometimes be bitter and dominating. Kand and Sugarcane Juice crisps completed the plate with their texture and sweetness
."

I am a vegetarian, and have tried and rejected fish in my younger days, because I thought it was grosse to cut up something lying there with eyes open.  However, I can appreciate someone's creative seafood meal efforts.

Swapneel's photo of the smoked Mackerel actually looked like a wry smile, and the imagination went into overdrive.   The title has been copied from Swapneel's comment on the poem.




They say a Mackerelian soul
hovers around
for a while,
convincing itself.

An early world departure
through a fishing net.
A hot smoking with
other dear departeds
in a copper smoker
aided by the tirphalian assists.

Then a final giving of oneself,
through a scrape,
to an asking pomelo
and a beautiful mix,
admired by a plump red rice
enjoying a coconut oil stir.
A mango ginger celebration
to wish the soul
on its onward journey.

A giving of itself
selflessly,
even after being no more.
The satiated human
playing around with sugarcane chips.

The Mackerelian Soul
smiles.

Peace.

It leaves to become one
with the Big Sea.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Life and Times : Khichadi


Never thought that the humble delicious Khichdi would have its day in the sun.  Around 800 kilos of it is being cooked in Delhi today, by India's celebrity chefs and 500 kilos more in Nagpur by some other celebrity chefs. The humble household khichadi , with its unique quality of empathy  for those eating it (and making it)  has something to say about politics, awards , and herself.

आपल्या नेहमीच्या साध्या सुध्या खिचडीला अचानक प्रसिद्धीच्या झोतात पाहून थक्क व्हायला होतं . युगे युगे बनवली गेलेली खिचडी , दिल्लीच्या दृष्टीक्षेपात आली , तरी तिच्यावर फारसा परिणाम होणार नाही . दिल्लीत ८०० किलो आणि नागपूर मद्ये ५०० किलो खिचडी  बनवली जात्ये आज .  पण राजकारण  हा खिचडीचा नावडता विषय . साधी , गरम, चविष्ट खिचडी , तिच्यात चवी पलीकडेही काहीतरी असतं . घरातल्या लोकांसाठी , मोठा आधार .  तिला राजकारणाबद्दल काय वाटतं , ते वाचा ..

(The original happened in Marathi.  The English version happened to commemorate the fact that the British stole our khichadee, and now call it something else. ....)

Graphic Courtesy CNN-News18

भाताचं आणि डाळीचं एक समीकरण असतं .
शक्यतो भातानी कुठेही एकटं नाही जायचं .
कधी एखादी श्रीमंत लोण्यात गुंग अशी डाळ,
कधी मेथी, पालक लोकांशी
विचारपूर्वक युती केलेली डाळ ;
कधी कधी तर भांडून भांडून
दोन डाळी एकत्र येऊन
अद्रक लसूण टोमॅटोमध्ये रमलेली डाळ;
आणि कधी कधी सात्त्विकतेचा परमोच्च अविष्कार
असलेले साधं वरण .



त्यामुळे जेव्हा काही बाळबोध डाळी ,
शिजतानाच भातात पडू लागल्या ,
आणि बरोबर फोडण्या, कढीपत्ते , जिरेपूड
घेऊन मिसळू लागल्या ,
तेव्हा भात अगदी हुरळून गेला .
अति मसालेदार खाणे,
दमून भागून कुठून तरी येणे ,
पटकन काहीतरी बनवणे भाग पडणे
इत्यादी कारणाने
ह्या "खिचडी " चे उद्घाटन झाले ,
आणि आज तागायत विवध वेळी,
विविध प्रकारात ती देशभर उजळून निघाली .


आपल्याकडे जरा कुठे प्रसिद्धी मिळाली ,
कि राजकारणी लोक कान टवकारतात,
त्यात आपला स्वतःचा फायदा काय होत आहे ते बघतात
आणि आपल्यात त्याला सामील करून घेतात.

तशी खिचडी हुशार . नव्हे, शहाणीच.

तिला भारतीय खास पदार्थ म्हणून संबोधलं जाणार
हे कळताच ,
तिने पापड, कढी , चटणी, लोणचं ,
बटाट्याच्या काचर्या , वगैरे मंडळींना बरोबर घेतले,
आणि सरकारला सुनावले.
"मी एकटीच खास नाही.
माझ्या बरोबरची मंडळी माझे कार्य
अधिकच सुंदर करतात,
आणि मला एकटीला भारताचा खास पदार्थ संबोधून,
कितीतरी रोटी, नान ,पराठा, परोटा , फुलका, इडली , डोसा,
उथप्पा , कोरी रोटी, मंडळींवर अन्याय होईल .
कितीतरी दुग्धजन्य , व इतर गोड पदार्थ डावलले जातील,
आणि भारताच्या खाद्य संस्कृतीत
विभाजकता माजेल.

देशातील राजकारण्यांची हि प्रथा असेल,
माझी नाही .

एखाद्या लहान मुलाने, कामावरून दमून आलेल्या गृहिणीने
अथवा फार भूक नसलेल्या आजी-आजोबांने
मला पुरस्कार दिला,
तर मी तो खाद्यसंस्कृतीचा खरा सन्मान समजीन.
आणि आयुष्यभर आनंदानं जपीन ..


आपल्या देशात , राजकीय पुरस्कार
आज काल जरा काही मनाविरुद्ध झालं
कि परत करतात .
मी त्यातली नाही . मला अवॉर्डवापसी जमत नाही .

प्लीज. मला माझ्या सहकाऱयांबरोबर एकट सोडा .
मी आयुष्यभर करत आले, ते करू दे.
साध्या माणसांना तृप्त करणे, आणि त्यांचे पोटभरणे .
जेणे करून त्यांना विश्रांतीत एक सुंदर
डुलकी लागेल ,
आणि सुखाची स्वप्न दिसतील.

तुम्हा राजकीय लोकांना हे आजपर्यंत जमलं का ?
 Dal and Rice have an Relationship.
Facebook would say , "It's complicated".

The Rice
is not expected to wander around
unaccompanied and unattended.
Sometimes by a Dal,infatuated by butter;
Sometimes , an intelligent coalition
with feungreek and spinach types;
Sometimes, a fighting union
with another dal,
coming to terms in ginger,garlic,
and tomato types;
and most of all,
in a display of Satwikness
of a high order,
A "Sadha Varan" preening in simplicity.

What really had the rice excited
was when the dals
started diving in as it was cooking,
accompanied
by similar actions by kadhipattas, cumin,
turmeric , agitated in ghee.

An overeaten spicy meal,
returning hungry andd tired from someplace,
and even suddenly having to make
a quick meal,
and Khichadi came into its own
Acche Din
across the country.

However, she suddenly got co-opted
as a country brand food
by the politicians,
who had their ears glued
to the potholed ground.

But Khichadi was smart.

She gathered together her team
of Papads, Kadhi, Chatni, Pickle,
GHee, and Batatyaachyaa Kachrya,
and actually told the government
what she thought.

"I am not special by myself.
All these folks here,
make my life beautiful,
and by branding me,
you are being unjust to my colleagues
Roti, Naan, Paratha, Parota , Fulkas,
Idlis, Dosas, Uthappas, Koro Roti,
and several dairy based special foods.
This will cause grevious division
in the Federation of Indian Foods.

This may be acceptable in politics,
but not by me.

IF I am honored with a prize
by a small child,
or a woman,
tired and back from work,
or grandparents ,
just wanting a one pot simple meal
I will be honored
and will guard the honor
all my life.

In this country,
if something does not agree
with someone,
they return the award.

That is not me.
I do not do award wapasi.

Just leave me alone
with my associates,
to do what I have always done.
To make ordinary folks happy
and satisfied with a meal;
perhaps satiated enough
to take a small nap
and see dreams of a happy future.

Have you politicians even managed
to succeed at that ?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

पदर पदर परि शेवटी ......


फेसबुक वरील  महाराष्ट्रीय खाद्य संस्कृतीशी निगडीत  , "अंगत पंगत " असा ग्रुप आहे .  दिवाळी निमित्त अनेकांनी फराळाशी संबंधित पोस्ट्स लिहिल्या आणि फोटो टाकले .

उमा कुलकर्णी नाईक यांनी  विवध पदर वाल्या कारंज्यांचा एक सुंदर फोटो टाकला , आणि  शिवाय , खुसखुशीत आणि चविष्ट  करंज्यांबद्दल, आजींच्या कडून ऊसफूर्त शाबासकी मिळवली.

उमाताईंचे खूप अभिनंदन .

 असे पदर बघितले कि मग कविता सुचतात .   अशीच एक ....




दीपावलीच्या सागरातले
असंख्य पदरवाले शिंपले जणू
पदर पदर घट्ट धरून

आतल्या बच्चा मोत्याला सांभाळत.

हे ऑईस्टर शिंपले

नवीन मोत्यासारख्या तेजपुंज जीवाला
जगातील
भांडणं , दुःख , हेवेदावे , खुन्नस ,
आणि एकटेपणाच्या त्रासापासून
दूर ठेवणारे पदर;
जागतिक तापमानवाढ,
आणि त्याच्या वाढीला उत्तेजन देणार्या
ट्रंम्पासुरा पासून दूर ठेवणारे पदर;
स्वार्थी , नद्यानचे गटार करणाऱ्या मानवापासून
दूर ठेणारे पदर ,
आणि
जनावरांना छळणाऱ्या मानवापासून दूर ठेवणारे पदर .

आणि मग ह्या दिवाळीत ,
नाजूकपणे पदरामागून डोकावणारे
सारण बाळ ,
सर्वांना शुभेच्छा देऊन आनंदित करणारे
सारणबाळ ,
आणि एका आईने कौतुकमिश्रित प्रेमाने
एक तुकडा मोडून आपल्या मुलीला देणे ,
आपण स्वतः घेणे ,
आणि सुंदर खुसखुशीत आस्वाद घेणे .

इतक्या सर्व पदरातून बाहेर पडणं सोपं नसतं .
आणि सारणबाळाला समजतं , की
आपल्यासाठी श्रम घेणारे खूप आहेत .
त्यांच्या चिरोटे मंडळींचे विशेष कौतुक.
दोन्ही चिवड्यांवर विशेष जबाबदारी.
ज्येष्ठतेमुळे लाडूंवर उत्तरदायित्व,
आणि मग सर्व फराळ मंडळी
खास दिवाळी निमित्त प्लेटींमध्ये विराजमान होतात.

खास मोत्यासारख्या बाळाचे
सोनेरी दिवस ,
आणि दिवाळीनिमित्त एका वेगळ्या जगाची ओळख .


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

On being an icecream in Budapest.....


 My friend Vidya Vartak Joshi recently posted fotos of icecreams she enjoyed in Budapest, Hungary.

What was special about these icecreams was that , unlike cones which are generally burdened under several random scoops of icecream, these were sculpted like roses.   These edible works of art clearly needed to be highlighted. Beautiful, delicious, in several colors and in various shades of the same primary color.

What had not changed, was the fact that they , like all ice creams around the world,  melted.

Never mind. They deserved, what else, a poem !



Born of a great churning,
sometimes in a pot,
and sometimes,
internally in a
refrigerated mind,
she abhored it,
when she was presented to
greedy folks
in scoops ,
loaded on top of each other,
and she pined and hungered
for a Beautiful Life.

It is in the fitness of
fragrant things
that she should be
presented
at the Ice-Cream Debutante Ball
in a flared rose tinted outfit,
with ice cold whorls
emanating from a
very ordinary cone.

She understands
that though
this is the Beautiful Life,
it is more important
to have a Beautiful Mind,
that learns to rationalise
how momentary life is,
and that it is OK
to melt and cry.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Yum and Powerful


My friend Deepak Amembal, always enjoys his food. More so if it is a dessert designed to make his sugar and calorie-counting  friends drool.

He recently visited a place called  Millenium Harbour in London,  (It says it is a Gym), and  posted this decadent picture of blackberries and blueberries , under a canopy of custard, with a brownie kind of victoriously perched on top.

Those who are permitted by fate to eat this, do. Others, make poems.

  It's the victory of white sugar
and cocoa
over natural fructose

of the black and blue berries.

Some say its the ability
of the berries to stand up to
slathers of custard
victorious in repose.

Scholars of current history,
Presidents, and utterances,
might mention
the rise of the brown
over the black and creamy white.

History and interpretations be damned.
The only winner are the taste buds.
Dig in .

Saturday, August 26, 2017

And the Lord watches ....


My friend Deepak Amembal posts interesting pictures from around the city, and this one was posted during the ongoing Ganesh festival.

A contrast on the streets of Mumbai.

Hordes of youth, in some kind of representative tshirts, jeans and shoes , who sit idly on walls,  having spent an entire morning dancing wildly ,  with contortions  to some disgusting filmy electronic loud music which has nothing to do with the Lord; the group sponsored by some big political person.

And a lady worker, busy lugging her voluminous load around, carrying all of societies dirt and left overs  to some dump, so that the Lord may be welcomed somewhere in a cleaner environment.  Beast of burden, she recycles the plastic and paper waste from trash, by lugging it someplace to sell it.  Her work is her worship of the Lord. And she does her work impervious to the crass celebrations around her.

Both get paid.  That is the strangest thing.


Some,
think they serve the Lord,
in Tshirts bearing HIS name ,
jeans and shoes,
whiling away time on walls
when they are
not twisting their bodies
in tune
to some disgusting song;
perhaps they get paid.

And some,
regardless of the Day,
always serve the Lord,
by being dedicated to
their daily work,
transporting the trash
of society to dumps.
The Lord must be made welcome
in a clean place.
And perhaps, she gets paid too.

It is clear who the Lord prefers.