Athithi devo bhavo !?

I am at home[Mumbai, India] since last 4 days. Before taking connecting flight from london heathrow I called my mom and told her that I am skipping all meals[except coffee] in last 7 hours of my London-Mumbai flight and will have food only after reaching home. She kept bhakri and shaak ready. [shaak is what we call any vegetable-cooked-curry in Gujarati]. I have loved bhakri cooked by mom ever since I was born.

Reched Home, sat down to have food, it was full of oil and spices. I did let go my calorie filtration for a day and had everything. It felt like I was eating some good meal after 18 long months.

Its been 4 days i am in Mumbai and most amazing thing about this trip so far has been food. I have been out with friends, had fish. My mom has tried cooking almost everything[vegetarian] I wished for. My aunty made vada pav, she knows my style, that even if i love vada-pav, i am going to have max 2 or 3, hence very nicely I get 3 vadas and optional pav and green chatni in a tiffin box, delivered at my place.

Another aunty calls me for morning tea and then she surprises me with Kadak-pav.[In india bread is often called Pav and kadak in hindi means hard]. I was regular customer of irani restaurants around bombay, while i was in Mumbai. If you have not tried, do it now, goto Irani restaurant, early morning. [my favourite one is off sv road near shivaji park]. Ask for maska-pav and tea. Pav should be kadak-pav. There are few things which are unique to bombay lifestyle, I believe this item is one of them.

After living in california at a strecth for 18 months, I have got into habit of watching for calories. Any food item I see now first thing i try calculate is calories. I dont talk abt it, here in mumbai to anyone, because they will laugh over it, calling me typical desi trying to act like NRI. but anyways, calorie watch is all in my mind.

Last evening i understood some intersting point about Indian culture and felt that why its not applicable anymore. In India we have a phrase "Athithi Devo Bhavo", I love this phrase and practise it everytime with best capacity.

Here in India this phrase needs some repair work. I visit some relative and they make me eat lot of food. I love what they do and I love food they bring in front of me. But everyone here in mumbai beleives that love is expressed only through food, if they make you eat one additional thing, they have passed more love and respect. During olden days, people use to walk 5-6 kilometers or more before they reached someone's house. And these people were hardworking people and they use to be hungry. "Athithi devo bhavo" was perfectly applicable here. You were suppose to provide lot of good and rich food to your guest. However this practice is not correct anymore. Nowdays people are already stuffed with food, and then they take cab or auto-rickshaw and get down right in front of your apartment gate :) They come to your house, and there is no need of lot of food. Overeating kills!.

I am not complaining about anything here, but just expressing something i came across. I love everyone in mumbai. They have no idea, how a cooked delicious dish feels like million dollars to a bachelor who lives in USA. I cook, its healthy but not very delicious. Having those ready made rotis from bharat bazaar store feels like nightmare after you have tasted hot fresh rotis at home in India.[Ahh..I dont want to have those rotis again :( ]
Life is easy for now. By the time i will get completely reed of my calorie watch game, my 4 weeks holidays will be all over and I will be back to california.

posted by Nitin @ 5:43 PM,


At 12:04 AM, Blogger AaaDee said...

interesting :)


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