Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Frozen in Time

The hand that toiled long, day and night
O` How I yearn to touch that immortal hand
To feel the warmth, love, pain and might
It`s owner had, while, he walked this blessed land.

The chariot remains, for all eyes to see,
Carved in stone, it does not roll.
Frozen in time, it remains golden history
Sculptor friend, is your name today on a scroll ?

The wheels, so round, so strong
The pillars so smooth, so elegant
Such a piece of marvel, nowhere wrong
Heavy it must be, the poor elephant.!

Had the chariot moved, it would have been lost
Lost; we would have, all beauty
All Myth, history, all dreams of your ghost.
No.! You stayed, my friend, did your duty.

Among rocks and boulders, your city stands
With silent magic, serene, all peace to thee
At night, I wander around, spellbound among the sands
Frozen in time, in magic, your work, our Hampi.!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Indian Meal

First of all, I`m sorry my friends, that I have been such a bad, bad blogger, not updating, and perhaps doing too much work. But recently there has been too little time, and even in whatever time, I could save to sit and write, there came new demands to satisfy, and my constant battle with time, has been meeting with constant failure. But excuses apart, i`ve returned, with the definite will to keep posting once in a week. Let`s see how far it goes... Jac, hope I don`t upset you.. Thanks for prodding me.! Mathew, thanks for tagging me. Will do it soon.

I`ve not been able to think much, read much, but life still throws you challenges, you experience things, about which you want to pour your frustration.! , and so here I am.!

Recently at my workplace, in the cafeteria, the following conversation happened,
Mr X : Hi Srijith.!
Me : Hi.!
Mr X : So how`re things going..? blah blah...
Me : Blah Blah...

... and then suddenly...

Mr. X : Hey..! you`re eating with your hands..? You get spoons here..!
Me ( dumbstruck, angry and confused ) : WHAT..?!!

We`ve heard and talked about westernization, about corporate culture, but this was the limit.! Eating food with our hands has always been something so intimately Indian.! Why is it that we forget to acknowledge this.? In the book, the international bestseller, "The City of Joy", by Dominique Lapierre, the protagonist, a polish priest, visiting India, tries eating with his hands, and then observes, that he, for the first time, looked upon food as something full of life, as a gift of life, and not just something dead.!

We touch food, with respect and love, we eat with our hands accepting food as a gift, we get everyday. Would we wear gloves, before accepting a gift on our birthday.? There is a spiritual and emotional relationship which we need to build with food, and above all how can one simply ignore the heavenly pleasure in eating thus.!

It`s Onam season, which reminds me of how, as children, we used to sit on the floor and eat to our heart content, mixing all the curries, breaking the pappadams and at the end of it all, pouring the hot milk payasam on the plantain leaf and wiping it clean with our fingers..! I wonder whether that experience would have even been a fraction as memorable, if I had eaten with a spoon.!

Most Indian dishes are made to be eaten by the hand, to touch, pinch and tease those naughty white idlis, to tickle and deflate those bloated puris, to twist those rotis and dip in paneer butter masala, all require expert usage of the hands and fingers. How would a mere spoon suffice in ever providing that experience.!

I must, however tell you I am no glutton, I just try to make every meal an experience. Eating with our hands, washing our hands before and after a meal has all been something so integral to our culture, that i am truly finding it hard to digest, that eating with a spoon is becoming a "trend of sorts". Either due to this IT boom, or BPO wave, whatever we call it, we must still remain Indian.! Perhaps even show the world why this Indian gourmet experience is so heavenly because we use our fingers, and promptly lick them too at times.!