Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Mouthpiece #62

Happy Birthday to you...
Dear Mummy,

It is your 76th birthday today, of which 72 summers you spent in this mortal world. Though you have concluded your worldly journey already, but for us, this day is significant and will remain so till we breathe our last. This message is to update you on what all occurred and happened in our lives since the time you bade us goodbye. Yes, it still feels like a scripted goodbye when we all got just enough time to be together for that one last time - the five of us, who held the fort together when we found ourselves at the receiving end of a visit of death God in our house. It took away with it our big umbrella who was supposed to be protecting and guiding us through all ups and downs of life which had just started to unfold for us. The path was never hurdle free post that but borrowing from your seemingly inexhaustible reservoir of fortitude, we managed to walk continuously - sometimes sprinting while at others just barely dragging our feet. We became your identity and you ours although our individual paths took us all in different directions and to different destinations. We were rather unware of this strong coupling and reliance, nor perhaps was there any reason to register it consciously. Sometimes the absence of something makes one realise the indispensability of the same much more clearly. It is almost like air, we don’t see it but it nurtures us with its life giving nature. Your going away felt like a huge jolt to all of us, so much so that we were almost stunned into complete silence for many months that followed. Disbelief that this could happen to us, extreme grief of the ultimate separation, sad sinking in of the new reality of losing both the parents and unappealing future of walking without you - all of this was too overwhelming, much beyond our capacity to handle. During that unprecedented difficult time, what eventually gave us direction and some semblance of normalcy was your way of handling things - seek refuge from none other than the supreme power and continue dispensing the duties that are expected of us.

God’s benevolent grace was at play once again, as we started experiencing peace in the state of immersing ourselves in more and more work in whichever capacity we could do. This was the period when we all practically got detached from the outer world as a big churning was happening in our insides. I being the youngest can confidently say this on behalf of all my elder siblings because I know and to tell you the truth, I feel, this is an outcome of what all you worked for all your life. Our four different hearts still beat to the same rhythm that you had so lovingly composed and compiled.

We have moved on. We have moved on from the time when we cried our hearts out for losing the unconditional love, care and support to the current times when we are trying to be the one for someone in our lives. If not for many, at least for a few. You have made even this goal seemingly achievable for us because we have seen a live example in our lives in you. You truly epitomised the meaning of unequivocal devotion in your life.

With each passing day, month and year, we admire you even more, for - your divine grace in equally unmatched simplicity, your strength of character in front of formidable hurdles, your wisdom in weeding out complexity from the thoughts, your immense ability to forgive, forget and smile, your poise in choosing to be insignificant while working as a fulcrum, and your unflinching faith that we all are always well taken care of by the divine hand.

You went away with a deep sense of satisfaction that you did what all you could in every phase of life and in every role that you were entrusted with. We wish and hope that we all achieve that state when it is time for us to conclude our journeys. Deep in our hearts we know we have your benign hand on our heads always.

So long.

Hostel Evenings and Break Pakora...
Often some foods get associated with places and people and just the mention of one reminds the other. For me, bread pakora is one classic example which brings back the memories of hostel days. After attending long day of lectures and after having endured non-palatable lunch, evening tea and the accompanying snack were the most sought after and the most delicious offerings of the hostel mess. The snack was either two small cutlets, a bread roll or a bread pakora with potato stuffing. If one was lucky enough to reach there on time, one could even have it right out of the frying pan. By default each person got one helping of the snack but the bonus used to be the extra one which landed up amongst us thanks to those who could not have ‘such an oily’ food. I think bread pakora rose to being one of my favourites only during that time and since then it has retained its position among the most loved snacks.

These days I purposely prepare a little extra aloo parantha filling and save some for the evening bread pakoras.
Here is how to prepare the filling:

Potatoes : 2 (boiled and peeled)
Onions : ½ medium size (finely chopped)
Green chillies : 1 (finely chopped)
Coriander leaves : 2 tbsp (finely chopped)
Ajwain : ¼ tsp
Anardana powder : ¼ tsp (optional)
Garam Masala : ¼ tsp
Red chilli powder : a pinch
Salt : to taste
Mash the potatoes in a big bowl and add all the ingredients to it . Mix the whole thing really nicely so that it forms a smooth and consistent lump of mixture.
Ingredients for the batter
Besan : 1 cup
Water :
MDH chana masala : ½ tsp
Cumin seeds : ½ tsp
Baking soda : a pinch
Salt : to taste
Mustard oil : 4 cups (for deep frying)

Mix all the ingredients really well and keep it aside for 10-15 minutes so that there are no lumps left. The batter should be as thick/thin as idli batter. It should not be runny as it will spread when put in the oil. Now once the batter and the filling are ready, cut the bread slices in half (preferably diagonally because bread pakoras look good in that shape). Spread potato mixture on one slice, cover it with another, press it gently, dip it in the batter and drop it in hot oil. Fry it from both the sides and serve it hot with tamarind and mint chutneys. 

1 comment:

  1. Great article, Thanks for your great information, the content is quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.


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