Rhyme Of An E-rickshaw Driver

 

A few days ago, in October 2019, on my way home from work, I heard an e-rickshaw driver calling out in Hindi,

“Chahiye ek savari,
Halki ho ya bhari,
Nar ho ya nari!”

His co-passengers were giggling. I also chuckled as I mentally translated this into English. The translated version too sounded very good.

Here it is.

“Need just one more passenger.
Of whatever gender.
Lighter or heavier.”

Like plants, even poems sometimes spring up in the most unlikely places, don’t they?

Well, I stretched the poem a little bit more. It was so much fun! Here you go.

Together,
Fellow Traveller,
We will move further,
Ahead, past the boulder.
Whether
You are sadder or happier
Today, it doesn’t matter.

See if you can add some more lines to it. I would love to know.

Diwali (A Poem)

After months of planning,
Washing, cleaning,
Dusting, polishing,
We welcome Diwali
Into our homes.

Like a swaggering bridegroom
He enters our homes
With unruly, drunken friends
With their dazzling,
Noisy, earth shattering crackers.

For a brief period of time
We forget our sorrows
And we celebrate
Like we’re crazy,
Like the world is ending.

But before we realize it,
Diwali is gone.
Left behind are the staring deities.
With sore throats, congested chests,
We steel ourselves for the harsh winter ahead.

Post Diwali Hangover – A Poem

IMG_20191029_092415

For a Delhiite,
A post Diwali hangover means
Smudged rangolis,
Dried up flower petals,
Dewy mornings,
Cloudy skies,
Sore throats,
Congested chests,
While Lord Ganesha looks on,
Nonchalantly,
As we prepare for another harsh winter ahead…

Diwali 2019

Photo and Rangoli courtesy: Suroshri Chatterjee

Tick, tock, tick, tock, tick, tock…

Just three hours, twenty minutes left…

And Diwali 2019 will be history…the bright lights, crackers, laughter, good wishes will all be gone…

I don’t know if you will agree with me, but I feel Diwali 2019 has been quite unlike any of the previous ones.

A strange kind of uneasy calm prevails over the whole country. Though everybody is following the traditions, praying, fasting, feasting, giving, donating, celebrating, deep inside, our nerves are on edge.

With RBI and various government institutions turning into puppets, our money is no longer safe in our banks. Live frugally and save, save, save, that’s what I was taught since childhood. But with banks behaving like robbers and constantly imposing new levies and taxes to eat into savings of ordinary people, parking money in banks no longer makes sense. Common people have no idea what the central government will do next.

Who knows what the hatemongers will come up with and where the next terrorist attack will happen.

Anyway, enough of negative thoughts. Something to do with my sore throat and cough, I think. It’s lasted longer than usual this time and we Delhiites are in for worse days ahead…pollution, even-odd, etc, etc…

Well, Happy Diwali…

Shadow

A Shadow has nothing of its own.
Its shape, clothes,
All come from its owner.
But look at it long and hard,
And you will feel its presence…
Elegant, dignified in its silence,
A character of its own;
A black beauty…

In life too,
You needn’t be
Rich, famous.
You may be
A beggar;
But you can still look
Strikingly elegant, dignified;
Your character, morality intact,
A human, a black beauty.

Deeply Honored

On 6 October 2019 (Ashtami), Aridip Chatterjee, a young 12th class student, got up to recite a poem in the Poetry Recitation Competition during Timarpur’s 106th Durga Puja festival.

As soon as he began, I got the biggest surprise of my life. He announced that the poem he was going to recite, ‘Staying Afloat,’ was written by “Our Very Own Mrs. Jasbir Chatterjee!”

I felt deeply honoured, humbled, and privileged because rarely ever do poets get their due appreciation while they are still alive…

Click here and see the video…https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IB6pKM7qAWk

Thanks Aridip, Our Very Own Goltu (that’s his pet name).

The Vicious Circle, A Poem

In ones, twos, threes,
Little groups,
They fell,
Into the lap of their Maker;
Still looking gorgeous…
Grieved, missed
By their loved ones
Still left on the tree…

Who knows;
Certainly not those
Innocent flowers,
Where their Maker
Will throw them into next;
what permutation,
which combination.

Inside a book,
Or around a temple idol’s neck,
In a woman’s hair,
Or in a flower seller’s basket,
In a brothel or a home
A tulip, orchid, or a rose,
A dog, cat, bird, reptile, or a human.

Green Chutney With Roasted Gram & Tulsi Leaves

Here are the step-by-step pics. They are self-explanatory. Next time, I will experiment with palak (spinach) leaves.

1. First assemble the ingredients, one onion, a small bunch each of leaves of mint (pudina), dhania (corriander), 3-4 green chillies, some curry leaves, Tulsi leaves, and half cup of roasted, de-skinned gram.

2. Wash all the leaves properly and grind them in a mixie with some salt as per taste.

3. Garnish.

Poha Cutlets, A 1-2-3-4 Recipe

As I mentioned in an earlier recipe too, what I enjoy most in cooking is ulilising leftover items to create a new food item that is tasty, nutritious, and gets consumed fast.

Apart from being environment friendly, there is always a sense of adventure and excitement associated with this exercise because you can’t be sure how the end product would be like. There is always the risk of ending up with another leftover item that no one wants to eat, that too, after an expenditure of precious time and other resources. But when it turns out well, you get a wonderful sense of achievement that stays with you for a long time.

On 29 September 2019, a Sunday, my weekly off, while rummaging through our fridge, I found some green chutney in a little katori, some cut paneer pieces, chopped carrots, and a 2-day old alu-baingan sabji which wasn’t such a big hit.

I had made the green chutney this time with roasted chana (whole gram) and Tulsi leaves, apart from green chillies, amchur, mint, coriander, and curry leaves. See here for recipe. https://jasbirchatterjeephotoblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/03/green-chutney-with-roasted-gram-tulsi-leaves/?preview=true

I took them all out and put them in a kneading bowl. I added a cupful of soaked poha (flattened rice), chopped onion, 2 tablespoons of besan (black gram powder) and salt. I didn’t need to add any spices as the chutney-Sabji combo was spicy enough by itself. I kneaded them all into a dough. Then I took out small balls from it and turned them into egg shaped rolls with my hands. After deep-frying them in batches tilll they were brown all over and placing them in tissue paper to drain out excess oil, I had a plateful of poha cutlets that disappeared quickly during our family breakfast!

Do try this out as a regular recipe and tell me how it works out. Here are the 4 pics. Because it is so easy to follow, I call it a 1-2-3-4 recipe.

Being a working woman, time is always a scarce resource and 1-2-3-4 recipes are the ones that suit me the most.

photo-blog with non-fiction content

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