Aai tuzi athavan yete~~
When I had watched this drama, Duritanche Timir Jaho with both my parents by my side as a kid at Sahitya Sangh Mandir, little did I know that this song, sung by Bhalchandra Pendharkar would make me cry in adulthood.
The song has aartata, an emotion that cannot be expressed by the word loss.
Today, I do feel the loss. I don't know how it would have been if Mom would have been around. I lost her suddenly. After that I just pulled myself together and decided never to cry.
My Mom, my Aai was a vivacious person. She was the one who held our joint family together. She was always caring and loving with everyone around. As it happens in joint families I was treated equally with the other children in the family, no special treatment for being her child! Duty as Karti (head) came before every thing else.
There was a time when she lived in Thal, she would write to me, letters advising on how to conduct myself. She never failed to mention that my education should be my priority at anytime.
I miss the tinkle of her green glass bangles that told me she was around. The singing near the gas stove where she spent most of her time. The softness of her cotton saree, she wore at home and I wiped my face on. The hug around her waist and that secure feeling. The connection that a child gets from the cool touch of a mother's skin.
Yet whenever she asked whose daughter I was, the answer was Baba's, my Dad's!
She never expected anything from me yet when I was by her side when she needed me. She announced to me that she had never thought I had this other side of my personality and was happy about it.
I had to coax her to eat in the final days and it flooded me with memories of days when she had nursed me whenever I had little health complaints.
I had a severe acidity problem when in my teens and the recipe I am sharing here is of the Kokum Saar and Khimti she would make for me on such days.
The alkaline properties of Kokum Saar neutrlizes the pH and helps restore balance. The Khimti makes you feel warm and is easy to digest.
KhimtiTo make Khimti put half cup of rice in a small pressure cooker, wash and add 3-4 cups of water. Allow to cook for 20 mins or 3 long whistles. Let is cool and after opening the cooker mix well to get soft mushy rice.
1 radish, sliced thinly into rounds
1 Onion sliced thick
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon oil
1-2 green chili chopped
1/2 cup concentrated Kokum juice (Agal in marathi)
1/2 cup jaggery
600 ml water
salt to taste
chopped cilantro to garnish
fresh grated coconut for garnish (optional)
In a pot heat oil. Make the seasoning with mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Fry the onions till translucent. To it add the raddish slices and green chilies. At this point add the concentrated Kokum juice that is known as Agal in Marathi. The jaggery goes in at this point and salt to follow. Boil it for 10 mins.
This Khimti and Kokum Saar combo is good for reviving a lost appetite. I made it on the weekend as I was missing my Mom.
This day this time my Aai went on to another journey, it has been 14 years since.