Wednesday, April 17, 2019



To the above photo, I add my short story 'Curd Lassi -1983 ' ..Subtle Humour.

                                                        ( CURD LASSI --  1983  )

That day Sarvanand got up very early. He finished his bath, Tarpan and Pranayaam by 7AM  . He cleaned his Hookah ,filled it with fresh water and went to Sham Lal baker's shop to get some burning coal for his Kangri and Tsot (Kashmiri bread ) for the family. Thereafter, he filled his chillum with tobacco ,  put some burning charcoal over it and started smoking the Hookah .  Sarvanand was waiting for his morning tea. It was 8AM now and polling was scheduled to start at 8.30 AM.His daughter in law was busy in the kitchen. Today,  wanted to leave early to cast his vote after many years.

He had witnessed how some hooligans had made obscene gestures in front of the dais from which Mrs. Indira Gandhi had addressed her election rally at Hazoori Bagh in Srinagar city  . It had pained him.  He had read in Newspapers that these hooligans belonged to the ruling  party .
 Finding Nirmala ,his daughter in law busy with some other work in the kitchen, he left the house and moved fast towards Hari Singh High School Polling booth.

‘Pandit Ji ... Why have you troubled yourself by coming all the way to this place  for casting your vote?’

‘ I felt like casting my vote this time. It is a real pleasure to exercise this right granted by Constitution.’  

’Which party you feel like voting?’

Sarvanand looked around and saw that everybody in the gathering belonged to  the  National Conference cadre. He saw  Ghulam  Nabi (  tailor) ,  Ismail Gujri ( milk seller ), Rahim Naavid (barber) and Habib  Ganai  (butcher )  looking expectantly for his reply. Everybody knew that Pandits in Kashmir would vote for Congress party in that particular election. Sarvanand had also come with that purpose. But then looking at the situation, Sarvanand had to say something different.
‘ We have one mission here. Alla-Baen or plough election symbol must win.  Who can forget  the role of the National Conference and its leader  Sheikh Mohammed Abdullah?  Sher I Kashmir ka kya Irshaad, Hindu - Muslim - Sikh  Ittehaad or  ‘Nothing other than Hindu, Muslim and Sikh unity has been Sheikh Mohd Abdullah's  Slogan. ‘ said Sarvanand.
‘Pandit Ji that is good. Don't worry. We have done the same. Your vote has been cast. Please tell your neighbour Dina Nath Ji not to trouble himself by coming to this polling booth. His vote has also been cast. O Ismaala (Ismail ),  Give curd Lassi to Pandit Ji. He looks exhausted.’
And Ismail Gujri brought a glass freshly made  curd Lassi for Sarvanad.

Gulping the curd Lassi, Sarvanad felt relieved. Such a good Lassi he had always wanted to have at his son's house. In his heart, he cursed   Nirmala,  his daughter in law who always offered him sheer water. And at night, she would tactfully  avoid serving him curd  with one line :
‘ Doctors say curd is not good for health if consumed at night.’

Before returning from the polling station, Sarvanand shook hands with everybody and said:

‘ May God bless you all. When are the Lok Sabha elections? Shall polling be held at this place only at that time ? ’

At that point of time, turning to Ismail Gujri, Ghulam  Nabi  said:

' O Ismaala! churn more curd for the Lassi, we expect about 50 to 60 Pandit Jis like Sarvanand. "
(Avtar Mota)

Lassi is churned curd or yoghurt. It is always diluted with water. It is a popular household drink in India. You may add sugar or salt depending on what suits your taste.
In Kashmir, Lassi is believed to remove " fires" ( Naar ) that Kashmiris believe to be raging within once they consume spicy dishes in a feast. Quite often, one would see a curd seller churning a glass of Lassi for a customer who wanted to douse the" Fires " within.
“ I have fires raging within or something is rubbing my digestive tract in the wrong way. Just give me curd Lassi “.
This was a common dialogue heard after a Kashmiri ( both Pandit or Muslim ) enjoyed a heavy spicy feast

CHINAR SHADE by Autarmota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.
Based on a work at http:\\\.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.