Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Reflections on Life, and Brinjals.

I remember holding my breath for a moment when I discovered there had been a bomb blast in Varanasi. I also remember cursing my father silently for gallivanting off to the city to watch the Dev Deepavali celebrations without foreseeing a possible terrorist attack by a bunch of lunatics, even if it was miles away from the ghats. What I do not remember, however, is asking him to bring back vegetables from Benaras, which is a city famous for things more exotic and intoxicating than, well, vegetables. And not just any vegetables, oh no. Brinjals.

And not just any brinjal, this brinjal.



This brinjal, as you have no doubt concluded, has weight issues. It probably has a varied and intriguing genealogy that I am not aware of, claiming kinship to a family of very superior Benarasi eggplants. It’s the size of a small baby, only cleaner and a lot less wrinkled. It also has personality - I feel this uncontrollable urge to carve a funny face onto it, but my mother won't let me. Since I have concluded that it is a waste of time and blogspace to try and analyse the reasons as to why I should not attack a vegetable with a knife creatively when in all likeliness it will be hacked to pieces anyway and cooked on a flame slowly and mercilessly whether I carve it or not, I will not elaborate on the cheerless lives that brinjals lead. I will leave it where it is, sitting plump and self-assured on our dining table, and throw it awed glances from time to time.

Never, ever ask fathers to bring back gifts from trips. This is what you’ll get stuck with. It doesn’t help that I am a worthless lump that finds brinjals fascinating. And I have a Hindi exam the day after. Sometimes I wish I could go back to being a toddler, when life was a lot simpler and I didn’t have to give exams and my parents loved me because they realized that the things I did weren’t exactly my fault. Like when I pulled down all the sarees from the shelf of my mother’s wardrobe and, excited because of all the colour, started rolling around in a labyrinth of long, colourful, tangled-up sarees, eventually succeeding in semi-strangulating myself. I was rescued and pacified and pampered for a while after, I’m told. But if I tried that as a teenager I doubt they’d buy it. Not that I have tried it, I’m just trying to point out the difference. And no, I do not have a twisted mind. I just do not see why I was lauded for cheating death at a time when I would've said “Goo” if you threw a word like “existentialist” at me.

But I’m rambling now. Back to Hindi. I have a whole chapter with extracts from the Ram Charit Manas, which is written in Awadhi. I’m sure it is a beautiful language, but everytime I read it out loud I find myself sniggering at how flatulent it sounds. And no, I am not cultureless. I just fail to see why Tulsidas never realized the poetic quality that brinjals exude.

17 kindred spirits have swallowed my rambling:

new age scheherazade said...

my dad brought me a pair of trousers that would only fit bappida, or maybe your brinjal if it mutated.
I said, "dad, i'm happy you've realised i've grown up, but seriously, NOT that much!"
(i didn't really, i just smiled and gave it to my horrified cousin twin.)

ad libber said...

If this had been Halloween, this brinjal would probably have added a new note to the celebrations. Brinjal mutilation sounds like such an exciting hobby :)

This post is hila...Gave me all the warm, nice and happy feeling I would require for a night of Mathematics.

They are still teaching all that bull in Hindi? They never learn...:(

Doubletake, Doublethink. said...

@ newage: that's it! that's what i'll call it. the bappi begun. you're a genius.

@ ad libber: hehe, i like being called hila. it helps me get through tulsidas. and no, they never learn. all the good hindi poetry is outside the syllabus.

heh? ok said...

brinjals are kindred. cut them, barbecue them, fry them, do whatever. they'll be ready to go in an instant, and they'll always atleast taste normal. best friends for someone living on her own and testing her culinary skills within stringent deadlines everyday. and this one's so purty :)

Doubletake, Doublethink. said...

@ heh? ok: i agree. a very underrated vegetable. and this one lasted three and a half days.

Fishy! said...

I don't like brinjals. I prefer mushrooms, somehow. :P

Doubletake, Doublethink. said...

@ fishy: aaaaah. mushrooms. my favourite vegetable, except it isn't really a vegetable.

i'm telling you, we must be gauls.

Safdar -- veil-unmasked. said...

ohkay!
and a well taken picture, i must say.

but was hilarious. brinjals somehow always remind me of humpty dumpty. i don't know why. maybe it has something to do with the shape. anyway, really nice, as it always is!

Vikrant said...

brinjals?

brinjals.

brinjals!?


why is it sounding like I'm saying that for the first time?

Doubletake, Doublethink. said...

@ safdar: i think that is the nice thing about brinjals. they fit into a lot of age brackets, from humpty dumpty to bappi lahiri.

@ vikrant: welcome, then. to The Brinjal.

raghu said...

can u belive it.. it happends to me!
im easily the thinnest thing ud have seen :P
hahha

Anonymous said...

the red thing in the delaunay painting is the eiffel tower..he was known to include that in mosta his drawings..why is it red?dunno..chromatically disabled or else some passionate stroke of genius..wazza rest?pure BS!

Doubletake, Doublethink. said...

@ raghu: i wouldn't know, but then it sure seems like it.

@ anonymous: ah, yes, i found that out after much squinting. thank you. i suppose you do have to be part genius and part full of BS to be an artist. oh well.

The Ancient Mariner said...

Never really kneww someone can make such a fuss out of a brinjal!!(in a good sense though)

ITs a joy read... My pleasure to visit here!

Doubletake, Doublethink. said...

@ the ancient mariner: thank you kindly, saar.

Soumya said...

Brinjals are not kindred,theyre pure evil.Brinjals,as a race, treat me with a cold,undisguised ferocity.I just have to look at brinjals(espscially the well endowed ones) and i come down with allergy bordering on anaphylaxis!!!So remember kids,eat your vegetables(espscially those egg plants)..or they might eat me!!

Doubletake, Doublethink. said...

@ soumya: ah, anti-brinjal, is it? never mind, there are always other vegetables to delight in. tindas, for instance.

*runs for cover*

i know, i know. bloody tindas.