Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Power Mirchis

My friend  Shruti Nargundkar of Melbourne,received some fresh homegrown  hot red birds eye chillies from a neighbor, and she decided to "lynch " them.  The chillies, that is.

No, she has no secret enimity with the chillies. But she simply remembered the "Lal Mirchica Thecha" (literally translated as lynched chillies)  from her childhood, and wove a recipe and a post around it.

Adding in some capsaicin-restraining balance in the form of an orange capsicum, and crushed and roasted peanuts.  Something much required in these violent times, when we seek out folks who might temper down things a bit.  

(I can clearly see bhakris, thalipiths and dahibhaats standing around this in admiration ....)

कधी काळी मिर्चीकन्या
आपल्या हिरवाईत आरामात असत ,
कधी पाना आड लपून,
कधी लोम्ब्काळणार्या टोमटोना वाकुल्या दाखवत ,
कधी जमिनीखालच्या आल्याबद्दल
कोथिम्बिरीन्ना चहाड्या सांगत …

आणि मग एक दिवस
त्यांच्यावर भीषण आघात ,
काही गळून पडल्या , काही वाचल्या,
पण रागाने लाल होउन
निकाराने पेटून उठल्या …

सर्वानच्या मनाला आणि हाताला
जणु ज्वलंत चटके …

केशरी सिम्लाबाई धाउन आल्या,
बरोबर लसूण अधिकारी ,
मिठाने हिंसेविरुद्ध सत्याग्रह पुकारला
आणि सर्वांनी एकत्र खलबतं करून
एक "गुण्ड्ठेचा" योजना बनवली …
तेल संसदेतील तप्त वत्तवरण ,
रागाने तडतडणार्या मोहरी सदस्या ,
काही मेथ्यांचा बिनशर्त पूर्ण आधार ,
हिंग सभापतीनी दिलेली एक नवी दिशा ,
ह्या गुण्डाठेच योजनेला
लिंबाच्या रसाचा वाहता पाठिम्बा ,
आणि काही अनुभवी ,
आयुष्यात भाजून निघालेल्या दाण्याच्या
बाहेरून समर्थन करता करता
झालेले तेलातले परिवर्तन ….

अन मिर्चिकन्याञ्च्या आयुष्यात
सुरक्षित दिवस आले,
थोडा गारवा वाटू लागला ,
पहिल्यासारख्या त्या सर्व जणी
थालीपीठ, दहीभात, व भाकरी पेठांमध्ये
आनंदात वावरू लागल्या

आजकाल ह्याला
"मिरचीचा ठेचा" योजनाच म्हणतात
Slender Mirchi ladies
relaxed in the green,
peek-a-boo amidst the leaves,
as they indulged
in teasing tomatoes on the vine,
and cribbing about
subterranean gingers
to the light hearted corianders...

And then one day,
a dastardly attack,
as some fell ,
some hung on,
but remained wordlesss
in a red burning rage,
that singed the
mind and body....

Kesar Capsicum,
orange in outrage,
rushed in with Commissioner Garlic
as the Salt Satygraha happened,
this time against Violence.
A deep confabulation
and the emergence
of a  Gunda Thechaa ,
the former meaning "rogues"
the latter meaning
"smash to pieces".

Then an uproar
in a agitated Oil Parliament,
Mustard ladies erupting in rage,
with unconditional support
from Fenugreek types,
The Hing Speaker
giving direction,
as the Lemon juices fell in,
not to mention
sympathetic  peanuts
who offered help
after being roasted
and crushed themselves ...

Thanks to the passing
of the Gunda Thechaa Bill
the Mirchi ladies
feel safe again;
things are cool and relaxed,
and once again,
they've resumed socializing
with the Thalipeeths
and Bhakris
and even the Dahi bhaats.

Except, today
the Bill is known as the
Mirchi Thechaa....

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