Saturday, October 7, 2017

Mouthpiece #60

Say 'yes'
During any single day, the kind of activities we indulge in, has a big component of our own interests, preferences and likings. This is because, our inclinations comprise our basic innate nature and we tend to drift towards what feeds them. However, there are times when it feels that the demands of people around us (usually our dear ones) are expecting some adjustment in the way we want to spend our time or energy. I call it a classic stage setting for a mental conflict. 
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Hide and Seek
There is something very strange about grief. With time you feel you have overpowered it, you notice that perhaps grief has left your side after what seemed like just a big blob of time barely resembling days or nights. A daybreak starts getting noticeable again and so does a nightfall. It doesn’t go unnoticed that your mouth has not lost its ability to stretch itself into a smile after all. Once again you naturally start participating in the conversations that happen around you without the same getting phased out completely.
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What's cooking? Dahi-bhalle
Story behind dahi bhalle? Yes, in fact there is one, though a very small one. As I have mentioned earlier, there are some foods which get associated with certain places and certain occasions. Dahi-bhalle fall in this category as they were strongly associated with astami-puja at our home. Ashtami kanya pujan is done with traditional poori-chana-halwa combination and I remember how the same were prepared with highest degree of cleanliness and purity. Mummy was very particular about a few things. The kitchen should be sparkling clean before this puja, not even a single unwashed dish should be anywhere in the kitchen. The cooking used to begin pretty early in the morning so that puja is done well before school/office time. Along with the regular combination of poori-chana-halwa, dahi-bhalle were a part of the meal too. I did not much care about dahi-bhalle on any other days but they somehow held a great importance on these days which fall twice in a year.
Though this was not the tradition in my marital home but dahi-bhalle as chaat (with tamarind chutney) has been a regular feature on any special meals. The perfection of the bhalle is in their softness while retaining the shape intact.

recipe here...

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