Food, memories

Games played in school

Games played in school have a great nostalgic value.

First game – kitti kitti. I am sure no one from this generation has even heard about it, let alone played it. It was played with full abandon and enthusiasm by the current boyish middle-ageddenizens.

A boy stood bent against the wall and the other boys would then come running one by one and jump upon the first boy followed by the next who jumped upon the following boy.

For some time this pile would be very unstable and all types of screeching and laughter would be heard. I don’t remember clearly but I think the dreaded question was asked to the first boy, “kitti kitti” and the boy guessed the number of people in the pile.

Immediately on guessing the pile disintegrated into peals of laughter and that denoted the start of next round. Everyone was sweaty and happy.
Another game involved one boy carrying another on his back and lot of such teams pushing and shoving the others so that the opposing team should fall. This too was enjoyed with much enthusiasm.
And who can forget cricket played with paper balls and notebooks converted into bats.

This was played with the same seriousness as a ODI between India and Pakistan, and the sledging was much more intense.

The paper ball hitting the opposite wall of the classroom was a six which was enjoyed with high five’s and lot of cuss words and many times the paper ball had to be retrieved from the maze of benches in the room.

And the batsman strutted around like a Virat Kohli on hitting those 4’s and 6’s.
And last but not the least was the kabbadi matches played out in the classroom corridors. In that restricted place there was lot of pushing and pulling to overcome the raiders. A real game of adrenaline spike.
I am sure you all enjoyed those games and am sure that this small piece has put a smile on your faces.

Yatindra Tawde

Food, memories, Uncategorized

Delicacies without borders

 

Bengal has been granted the GI (Geographical Indication) for Rasgulla, by the Indian Government and the mercurial Chief Minister is ecstatic. Bengal’s gain is Orissa’s loss.

It all started in 2015 when Orissa celebrated the “Rasgulla divas” with huge fanfare but all hell broke lose in Bengal. It was as if a calamity had fallen on Bengali Bhadralok. After all it was their culinary symbol.

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And like it happens for all things Indian, a committee was appointed to look into each state’s claim. And contrary to any other such committee, a decision was arrived at, within a short span of 2 years.

 

What about its equally mouth watering cousin, the Gulab Jamun. If Rasgulla is the fair and demure bride, then the Gulab Jamun is the dusky seductress. You eat one, you feel like eating all. Which state, you ask? Whichever it is, eat first, debate later.

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And where Indian sweets are concerned, how can one forget the Jalebi. Known to originate in Persia, where it was known as Zolbia, Indians just love this exquisitely sweet delicacy.

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Poha or Pohe, flattened and dried rice flakes, is another such delicacy, which is eaten across most Indian states. But it enjoys a pride of place on a Maharashtrian or Malwa breakfast plate. How can you grant it a GI status and to which state?

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Same is the case with idli, Wada and dosa. Though popular as a South Indian breakfast, they became famous across India due to proliferation of Udupi restaurants everywhere. In North India, idli became famous as idli chaat and idli fry. Then somebody added ginger and garlic to the fried idli, and Lo and behold! A Chinese idli was born.

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Next comes Batata wada and Misal, I already see a few readers making a rush towards the nearest eatery serving these. Both have the ability to make your mouth water and your stomach run. If South India had the breakfast food, Maharashtra had these fast food. GI is not required to stress their Maharashtrian origins. It can be safely said, the common man survives on this staple diet in all cities of Maharashtra.

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Indians love the samosa too. Again, it originated in the Middle East. Known as samusaj in Arabia and Sanbosag in Persia, it is a fried dish with filling of meat, onion, ghee, lentils but its vegetarian avatar was what enticed the Indian populace.

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The kachori is a similar stuffed delicacy, and many local varieties are enjoyed in the North Indian states, especially Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and the western state of Gujarat. In Maharashtra, the Shegaon Kachori is ISO Certified!

Then there are so many chaats like sev puri, sev batata puri, ragda patis, et al; why bother about the origin when the destination is the human stomach, via the taste buds of the tongue.

Yatindra Tawde