Friday, December 27, 2013

Brains and Bird Brains

My young friend Akshay Dandekar clicked this in the greens at Badlapur, on the outskirts of Mumbai, closer to the mountains.

Never has the difference between the generations been so clear.  And so emulated by the birds.....  


She sits
to one side,
harried and dishevelled,
drying the perspiration,
taking a breather
from all that
flying around,
checking the neighborhood,
planning the day,
figuring out the meals,
worrying about the kids.

When will they learn
life isn't just about
the feathers remaining just so,
the red neck ring
shining bright,
and posing
on the wires
discussing the latest styles,
the birds go by ?

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Tea for two....

My blogger friend Sangeeta Khanna has green fingers combined with an encyclopedic knowledge of  foods,  food traditions, food science, and  food values . She is also a talented food photographer, whose photos inspire words.

Like sometimes, tea is a concoction boiling with endorphinic elaichi and ginger; sometimes it is a languorous seeping of a crushed lemongrass leaf along with some others in a quiet pot.

And sometimes, it is just a quiet grandma teapot, sitting on a roughhewn wooden table in the shade of some big trees , absorbing in,  all the flavours of the leaves, and then , on seeing some folks, rushing in to pour its heart out into the cuppas, watched by a midmorning sun.

It isnt
about shining
in a chak chak world.

But about
quietly sitting
in the shadows,
and ruminating
on the greens and leaves
within and without
that so generously
give of
their own treasures
and flavors,
and then
learning to give
on your own steam,
so that
for two simple
hard working souls
it becomes
a golden Sunday morning
adorned by the Sun.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Pink and Perfect

My friend Bhagyashree Moghe of Pune has green fingers, and lives surrounded by amazing blossoms. She recently posted this photo on FB, and very clearly, there was a message in the visual.

A message about how each one has their own day in the sun.   And how no one is worried about tanning and turning dark.  In fact you get lighter in the sun.  And how the younger darker sibling remains sensibly enveloped in the caring family greens, growing up, awaiting its own day in the Sun.

No nonsense of fair, dark. No complexes.  Just all beautiful , wherever they are.

(photo by Bhagyashree Moghe)
A protected bringing up
amidst expansive green concerns
redolent with

cool waters,
good nutritious food,
and great supporting
and straight folks
helping you face
daily grind.

And to each one
a day in the Sun.

Unlike us,
those in the Sun
get lighter,
while the darker one
sits enveloped safely
amidst the trusted greens
in the shade
confident in its own skin,
mobilizing to face life.

We of the Fair and Lovely hangup,
are simply blind.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Chivda Kejriwal

It is clearly not a coincidence, that my blogfriend Shruti Nargundkar of Melbourne, posts a recipe and a biographical post  on her blog, on the proletarian Chivda, made during Divali, which stays on, loyally, to cater to nibbling pangs, sometimes in association with even onions and tomatoes, long after the Divali excesses are over and done with.

And what a fitting post at a time, when the Aam Aadmi Party (~Ordinary peoples' party)  has valiantly fought the Delhi elections,  and has performed well enough to trouble the  folks at India's two biggest parties , drunk on their own might.

They sit,
cheek by jowl,
some in tatters,

some quietly listening
Watching it all
unfolding on the stage

Some Peanut Bhaus,
desperate to fall
hot into the fray,
when they see
some green Mirchiakkas
flirting with some
stiff Kadhipatta types.

And then
some spoilsport Red Chilly netas,
feeling all ignored,
thoughtlessly joining the fray
causing some jealous fumes.

The opportunistic
Cashew and Chana offspring,
falling in
to acquire
their share of a golden future,
and all the while,
the volunteering Mustards,
Sesames, Khuskhuses
keep crackling and nudging
complaining to
the Coconut slices,
getting angry,
egged on by the
waiting Turmeric
and short tempered Hing.

The Pohas
cannot sit by.
For sixty years,
they have been thrown
into the hot inflated oils,
and emerged,
burnt, scathed,
but unbowed,
and they have learned.

The time has come to take the plunge.

The Aam Pohas
rise as one,
wait for things to cool,
and before you can say C_H_I_V_D_A
they have thrown themselves,
heart and soul
into the fray,
actively mixing around ,
observing folks,
communicating intelligently,
well aided by
salt and sugar advice
and support from
local Corianders and Cumins
all given with
such stirring eloquence.

For the ordinary
normally ignored Aam Pohas,
a great united debut
into a public Chivda life.

Way up on the shelves,
the Motichoor Laddoo High Command,
and Chakli General Secretaries,
with the tearful Karanjees,
and desperate Anarsaas
can only watch
the successful debut
of the
Aam Poha Chivda Party.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Kakdi Ballad

There are some blogger friends like Dhiren Shah , who love to tell stories through their food photographs.
Like this breakfast, of butterless grilled cucumber tomato sandwiches (with chilly sauce) , and the designer almonds, clearly clicked before he devoured it all.
And then again, its all about the message of the traumatised cucumber , Kakdi Ben, as she relentlessly wages war, al a Kejriwal, on behalf of the Aam junta veggies. 
ककड़ी बेन का आक्रोश।

कभी तो

हम मक्खन के फेशल करते थे,
टमाटरबी के साथ लड़कीवाली गपशप करते थे। ।

काश , ये कैसे दिन आये ,
एक धीरेन हमें
बिना फेशल या मेकअप
ऐसेही मिर्चीगुंडों के साथ
ब्रेड कि जैल में बंद करता है ,
फिर ज्यादा गपशप ना करे
इस लिए अलग अलग काटता है ,
और ऐसेही
कुछ भाव खानेवाले
उपरतक हाँथ पहुंचनेवाले बादामके साथ
बिठाता है.

ओय कोंग्रेसी बादाम ,
अब आम ककड़ी टोमेटो जाग उठे है ,
हमें मख्हन कि मेहेंगाई नहीं चलेगी ,
बादाम वाले , अभी सुन लो,
खुद कुछ न करके,
पोज़ में खड़े रहने में कुछ होशियरी नहीं है।
यह देश के रंग सॅंडविच में रहते है
 There was a time
when we did
soft butter facials,
gossiping simultaneously
with Tomato Bi.

What has the world come to,
when any Dhiren
can stuff us,
without any makeup
into a breaded jail
along with some Jalapeno crooks,
and even cut us up,
to stop us
from talking with each other;
and all the while,
the so called hi-fi almonds
strike poses and smirk
right next to us .....

Hear Ye!
Oye ruling Almonds,
the tomato cucumber masses
have awakened ,
and the Aam veggie party
will agitate
and vegitate against
the butter inflation.

posing and gesturing
a la Almonds,
will take you nowhere;
the sandwich proudly bears
the colors of the flag .....

Monday, December 2, 2013

Bozoical Bandra Farewell

Bozo , Mumbai's blogger dog, is bereft. As a senior, he has learned to be controlled in his emotions, but sometimes, he feels compelled to tell the world what he feels.

His family is going to be away on a trip to a holy place , and he is to stay at what everyone calls a holiday home. The people there are nice, but Bozo still doesnt like staying away from his folks.

And so, he has taken inspiration from the great Harry Belafonte's Jamaican Farewell,  and has sung his own Bandra Farewell.

Down the way, where the lights are gay
And the waves crash daily on the rocks;
I took a ride on an I10 seat
and when I reached Bandra I made a stop.

I am so sad to say, they are on their way,
To Vittal and they stay for many a day,
A lump in my throat, and tears in my eyes,
I dont like to say goodbye to these guys...

There will be sounds of chantings everywhere,
And the aarti lamps moving to and  fro,
Delicious Prasaad will be making the rounds,
And I'll be pining for it, in Bandra you know...

I am so sad to say, they are on their way,
To Vittal and they stay for many a day,
A lump in my throat, and tears in my eyes,
I dont like to say goodbye to these guys...

On the roadside, I see from my Bandra window,
Families taking their Bozos for a walk,
"Take me to Vittal, I promise to be good ",
And I'd say this to Deepak, if I could only talk....

I am so sad to say, they are on their way,
To Vittal and they stay for many a day,
A lump in my throat, and tears in my eyes,
I dont like to say goodbye to these guys...