Vantage point

Sunday, June 03, 2007


Suneetha asks by mail - this post is extremely surprising coming from a pucca maharastrian like you where amrakhand is one of the delicacies.... How do you explain it considering that its major ingredients as i know are mango, yogurt and sugar!!

My response -

Interesting you should mention another satanic concoction - amrakhand. Actually I am not a fan of shrikhand either. Never liked it. And your question brought back the repressed memories of the troubled childhood I had as a Maharashtrian kid who hated srikhand and amrakhand. Though I am not one to feel bashful about stuffing my face even if I don't know the host's name, whenever I turned down any of those khands, the host would assume I am feeling shy. And then they would literally force me to have it, thinking they were helping a kid overcome his shyness.

I particularly remember this one function my grandma took me to as a kid. I was 9 or 10. Grandma was meeting all her bhajan group friends, who had also gotten their grandkids along. They started cooking a bit late, and even at 1 pm or so, the only items ready were puris and the dessert which was.... groan... shrikhand. All the other sabjis, pulao, etc, would take some more time.

Now one of the grannies had a bright idea. She said, well, puris are ready and shrikhand is ready. Let us get the kids' lunches done with. So all us kids were sitting there with plates in front of us. The grannies came and served srikhand and puris. Everyone else happily started digging in. I sat there, looking at the kitchen, hoping for some "real" food, throwing disdainful looks at the other kids who actually thought sreekhand-puri was a meal.

When no real food turned up, I enquired of a granny, "where is the rest of the food?". She asked me why I needed anything else. I could get as much srikhand as I want. I refused to eat it. Soon the news spread amongst the granny-folk that Mrs. Sabnis' grandson is asking for sabjis and does not want to eat sreekhand-puri. One by one, each granny came out and confirmed if that was the case, staring at me as if I were a recently discovered prehistoric man.

Finally my own granny came and commanded me to be a good boy and eat what all other kids were eating. I, probably inspired by the overdose of Gandhi in history textbooks, defiantly refused. Then she said I would have to wait for another couple of hours to eat. Though I was intensely hungry, I prefered to stay hungry for 2 hours and eating "real food" than eat what was in the plate in front of me.

If I dislike sreekhand so much, you can imagine how much I hate amrakhanda.

So as pucca a Maharashtrian as I am, here I part ways with my clanfolk.