Love, lau, and luck

We had a few glorious days of rain and clouds and beautiful cool breeze, for a change, last weekend. But then it has been dry and hot, again, ever since. Summer is a really sad season for vegetables. When you are otherwise sad as well, it just makes you sadder. I love summer in itself. I’m a sun person. I thrive in light, and bright days, and late long evenings, and light skies. I feel healthier, happier, more energetic (or less lethargic). Usually. But this summer’s not all happy. It’s still sad in some ways. The most important being that I don’t get to have a love-ly summer. I know, it sounds silly. But I yam a morantic fool. (This has already been established.) What to do? I want to hold hands and walk in the Deer Park again. I want to still drink beer together on a Sunday afternoon. I want to have silly arguments about the best way to dry clothes while taking full advantage of the sunshine but not letting it fade the clothes out completely. I want everything we had back, and everything we didn’t. I want a holiday together in the hills. Or anywhere at all, actually. I want a nice weekend, a superb summer, a spectacular one.With you only, LML, for once. Sigh. The heart wants what the heart wants. Again – what to do?

Some part of my family is from East Bengal, and we like to put fish in everything – especially shrimp – in dal, in subji, you name it, we put shrimp in it. And frankly, some sad summer vegetables, like lau (lauki/bottle gourd) really really need it. I don’t like lau, but I loooouwww lau chingri. Just like I love summer, and LML. I’ll be honest, I use the recipe from one of my favouritest blogs – Bong Mom’s Cookbook. The only differences are: (a) I fry all the masalas at first, (b)add the sugar at the end of the lauki getting cooked, (c) sometimes substitute ginger with ginger-garlic paste, and (d) use both slit green chillies and red chilly powder – because me and my best friend J like our food really hot. But then, we are weird that way – a couple of years ago we managed to spend the entire Delhi summer without a working fan in the living room. Maybe it’s because we know that eating spicy food helps beat the heat. As long as it has a cool base, like lau 🙂

Any excuse, I tell you 🙂 LML also loves lau chingri. Here’s a picture:

But you know what summer is really great for? Fruit! I louwwww – muskmelon, watermelon, grapes, litchi, mango (although this year they haven’t been any good), peaches, plum, apricot, figs, cherries, everything!

But melon is the most value-for-money at present. Yes, I know – watermelon should be avoided now. Evereyone is, after the recent sad happenings. But what all will we stop eating because of people ruining food and this world for money? It’s not just about being at the mercy of market forces, even those of us who don’t want to be. I really can’t do anything about it until I can grow my own food entirely. And I can’t do that until I have land. Nor can anyone else. And how will we, given that we’ll never be able to earn enough to do that anyway? No real opportunity, no real freedom, no real choice. Only debt and slaving through summers. Forget about me. This is it for millions. Try and imagine. If you can’t, go visit Kalahandi in Orissa, NOW. This very summer.

Has anyone discoursed about land reform – redistribution in particular – for sustainability? And not just the political-economic kind? I’m sure they must’ve. Please tell me if you know. I’m interested in reading who has said what and all so far.

Meanwhile, I will continue to live my relatively charmed life – which is still of greater luck than most others, and hence in itself, even more unfair. Since I can afford to, is why I even have the notion of ‘avoidance’. So, I will try to avoid watermelon, and continue to try to jazz up the commercially-cultivated fruit I have to buy, a bit further. Earlier this week we had watermelon, cut into chunks and refrigerated with a couple of cinnamon sticks, some mint leaves and some marjoram from my garden. With muskmelon, I sprinkle lemon juice, some cinammon (powdered preferably) and mint leaves, and chill it all in the fridge (I learnt this from my friend in B’lore, thanks Aps!). It is thanda and nice. See:

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