Best Buys

Monday, April 27, 2020

Is it the Simple food, simpler times or the simplest love?

So I was craving this simple Curd Rice meal one of these days (quarantine life) and as I was making it, I was very happy from within. Curd Rice a most simple and humble preparation; an amalgamation of chilled Yoghurt/curd and soft boiled rice. Changing its avatars throughout the country according to region and taste with a bit of variation. 
Dahi Bhaat a local favorite in a Maharashtrian house hold, also goes by the name of Thayir Saddam in Tamil Nadu  - a must in every meal, to Doi Bhaat in Bengal, khatti kanki in Gujarat, Dahi pakhala in Odisha, Komal Saul in Assam and many more versions and names of curd rice throughout the country. 
What makes it special is the simplicity of chilled Dahi with soft rice and a few other ingredient which are easily found and give it a local taste and flavours which are unique and simplest to find, eat and digest. It’s healthy too, with it’s good bacteria, probiotic property and it’s also good for the immunity. 
No wonder this is a most comforting meal found all over India especially in Summers or hot places. 
But this Marathi mulgis heart belongs to the one cooked in Maharashtra in her mother’s kitchen. 
Dahi Bhaat always takes me back to the more simpler times literally. I am talking about the 90’s when life was a lot simpler less hassled, technology was just setting in and hadn’t taken over lives, social media was newspapers and Doordarshan if anything. Especially for a kid in Kg (as in kindergarten not kilograms)the simplest times you can say without a shred of worry and an ounce of stress ; one only being practising your alphabets in the cutest sing song manner there was. 
So well, in my kg we were allowed only sabzi chapati (bhaji poli ) i.e staple healthy food and one day was reserved for snacks in our tiffin. 
So apart from sabzi chapati we were also allowed curd rice once in a while. I wasn’t a big fan but call it peer pressure, change or just a kg tantrum; I wanted that in my tiffin. So after pestering my mom  for the same, now you may be wondering - what’s their to pester in that. Well I was an asthmatic child and Eating curd got me bouts of cough. So yes, you can imagine my mother’s state but being the sweetheart she always is with me and trying to make me happy (don’t be fooled, she is very strict when she has to) as always. She gave in. So next day I go to school all excited expecting my first ever curd rice in my tiffin. A small kindergartener who couldn’t contain her excitement for eating the most humble meal ever curd rice cos she never had one. So finally when I opened my tiffin and stared at it with the utmost love and began eating the lovely lemon coloured curd rice with so much enthusiasm. Well let’s decrease the enthusiasm over here not in quality but in quantity. You see I am a very slow eater now too so imagine me in kg. I had just barely taken two bites and was enjoying my very own creamy curd rice for the first time when the teacher took away my golden lemony creamy soft rice filled tiffin and gave me a packet of Parle G biscuits to eat. She distributed my golden treasure meal fit for a king amongst my classmates whereas I looked on with fury and confusion and misery and tears. To scared to ask why she did it, I grumpily hardly even touched the biscuits. As if that wasn’t enough she called my mother next day for a meeting. 
After going home and throwing a tiny tantrum and being pacified by mother with the utmost love, loads of play time and yummiest fare, I totally forgot the episode apart from the happy fact that the next day mumma would be picking me up from school after meeting my teacher. 
Decade or two later I find out. The reason behind the creamy lemony colour Dahi Bhaat in my tiffin in kg, the meeting and even decades later I find out the true depth of love in it all. 
Well you see, my mother stuck in dilemma of having an asthmatic child who wanted to eat Dahi Bhaat for the very first time and feel one with the class, peers and not being left out; she made Dahi Bhaat but with a concerned mother’s heart ; with a little Dahi and some varan (dal) to cut down on the potency of Dahi giving me a bout of cough. Rendering that creamy lemon colour to it. You see Dahi Bhaat is like Snow White, no wonder the teacher peeped in my tiffin all right. Well let me tell you it was a yummiest one at it, my classmates finished it in the fastest bit. 
So my mother was called for a meeting and a bit of scolding because dal was not allowed (weird no sometimes). 
So she took a scolding, took double tantrums from me, took all the trouble and in return she only gave me loads of love -isn’t it the simplest of love, all for me, all for my love. 
Yes my heart still yearns and will always yearn for that most comforting best creamy Lemon coloured Dahi Bhaat in the world with my mother’s love. So in this quarantine I don’t know whether I am craving for that simple yum comforting bowl of Dahi Bhaat which makes my heart sing or I am craving for my mother who’s heart sings for me and then I realise they both are one and the same thing. 
So today I sit and relish this simple food thinking about the simpler times and missing and basking at the same time in the simplest love. 


No comments:

Post a Comment

you might also like