Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Kaki, my aunt, talked of stocks stored for the year-tall red-stoppered glass jars filled with cummin, ajwain, mustard, bought at the right price, in the right season, fragrant from the harvest. She talked of dals and wheat and she’s all set, the best wheat, all fifteen kilos cleaned, sieved, coated with castor oil and packed in large bins. This once I’m tempted, perhaps its in your genes, this peculiar mix of satisfaction-joy at doing things right, that sense of continuity, the way its always been done generation after generation. And money-sound too. Maybe later.

She wafts in and out of “here time”, that gleam in her eyes short lived, head upright-now lolling, as the disease continues to extract all that was good, instant and alert, corrodes, inches towards the inevitable. Sobering.

8 comments:

AmitL said...

Hi,Austy-u brought back memories-of my Grandmom and the huge jars we used to have in the store-room...jars of achaars of all types,besides the usual cummin,ajwain,et al....But,I think that trend is ending,now..with everything being ready-packed and easily available..ever had the pleasure of making potato chips at home?Boiled potatoes,put through the chip making wood thing,putting them out in the sun on thin muslin sheets to dry,and,checking them out by tasting them now and then?:)

Anz said...

I still remember the way we used to huddle near the pile of raw mangoes and see the pickle making process.

mago said...

Ja. And all one can do is watch. And wait. Without feeling guilty, hopefully.

austere said...

mago- watch and wait, and being with the family brings cheer, lights up her face.

Anz- lovely. There is a certain something in the air when all the spices are being prepared prior to the pickles, isn't there?

Amit- the differences in cost! Moong dal costs double what it did a few months ago. Chips that we call Katri - that's the process, you've got it perfectly right. :)

Mumbai 58 said...

Yeah whats with jars and spices and memories? You just flooded me with some happy thoughts when I was in need of it:) Great place to be in as usual after a long time..

Portia said...

I'm sorry, Austere. You share beautiful memories, as if nobody ever had to tell you to savor the moments.

quin browne said...

i watched this with my father.

i know your pain.

austere said...

quin- she was the liveliest of aunts, a bit bossy perhaps, and now this...

portia, mumbai 58 Such is life. :)