Wilsonian Hari Chakyar says there’s nothing Maharastrians can’t make bhajiyas of!
Following friendly chides from my intellectual sparring partner and a discouraging but optimistic rejection to print my piece by a well-known daily, I have decided to keep my grossly gross articulate articles to a specific and prolific niche crowd that understands the craving that I have for things that disgust people and forces them to wince their faces away into a cringe.
For the present, it is me and my tummy, no, my tummy and me, for it is supposed to be good manners to keep the donkey last always. And please be a little less frugal with this piece of news because my system can get a little possessive about what is being said about it in the society.
The first knowledge about a sensitive digestive system came after a trip to Amarkanthak in the then Madhya Pradesh, now, Chattisgarh. This place deep inside the dark forests houses the sweet origin of river Narmada. On the way there and on the way back from there too, the menu was only bhajiya – blobs of gram flour (or was it maida?) deep-fried in oil (which I presume, was being used over a couple of weeks) until oil oozed out of it, with no trace of what-so-ever bhajiya it was supposed to be. I compute, it must be a known grub for people there, unlike the variety we have here, ranging from onion to potato and chillies. Seriously, I think there’s nothing that we (now Maharashtrians) cannot make bhajiyas of!
That compulsory feeding on the ‘bhajiyas’, caused a complex situation inside my stomach, which can be tough to describe and equally arduous to understand. I suddenly remember a Marathi proverb, “Jyaachi Jalte, tyaalaach kalte.” The evil concoction lay inside my small intestines for exactly two days before it started moving on its path of self realized freedom. I could feel the mutiny brewing inside me. Unaware of their whole modus operandi I carried on, pasting my face with a forceful (far from plastic) smile, not letting many know of what lay inside. How could I tell the world that I had weapons of mass destruction? How could people not know of the sudden infusion of inflammable substance in the air that was till a second ago, heaven for people and had now became Hitler’s gas chamber?
This reminds me of an embarrassing moment in my coaching classes in the 9th std. It was our English class that day and there erupted a resounding one and all eyes turned to me and then, the teacher says, “Don’t worry, it was no natural disaster.” That instead was the calamity, for between the uproar of laughter and giggles, they heard only “natural disaster.”
Now with sweets and home-made specialties making numerous rounds during Diwali revelry, it is a tough job indeed to censor what goes in and what is to be kept at a distance, because you never know, what might produce the enormous amount of RDX you aren’t prepared for!