(Artwork by Ashwin Pandya)
One of the difficulties Monal of three faced was her lack of ability to convey to her Mamma some of the things that she wanted to eat.
One, in her words, “Egg, with big yellow round in the middle with white on all sides.” Turned out to be “sunny side up”. The other one posed a slightly bigger challenge. In Monal’s words, “Fish preparation with black spots.”
Monal’s mother thought that to be simple and made Rui maachh ( Rohu) in the traditional runny (jhol) way tempered with onion seed or kalonji or in Bangla, kaalo jeera. Monal was disappointed.
She again tried further to explain to her mother, ” Many small small black spots!” It turned out to be a typical Bengali delicacy made with freshly wet ground mustard, semi dry preparation called “shorshay baata.” This time Monal smiled. Funnily, Monal much older continued to favour both of these. Some impressions we carry from our past lives and some others from childhood.
Short Stories by Sushmita Gupta