Brass & Buddha!
"Sattu Parantha, tamatar ki meethi waali chutney, kaddu ki sabzi & chokha....Here you go my beautiful Zafran, enjoy the feast! " Peehu giggled. What joy it gave her, to cook for her. Maybe she realised that Zafran has lost something which she couldn't mention in front of her, but this journey which she has started to live will for sure compensate some part of it.
" What is sattu? And why is the chutney so pulpy? Chokha? What is that? " Zafran flooded Peehu with a lot of questions.
"Sattu is a kind of a flour made from roasted gram. It is our staple for protein. Chutney here is pulpy & tangy because it is made with love by slowly crushing it on the silwatta ( a flat stone bed over which the masala is rubbed by a pestle.) Chokha being the way the boiled potatoes were prepared. It is mashed with love, flavoured with the temper of mustard oil, cumin seeds, garlic, dried red chilli. Then chopped raw onions and green chilli were added. Though every bihari home has their way of making the aloo chokha. " Peehu knew zafran will note every word down, she loved her diary.
But, she never let her hold her diary. Weird. Peehu always wondered what did she pen down on it everyday, even after a year.
She ate everything that was there on her plate, while peehu just sat and looked at her eat." How do you remember so much about every recipe in detail baba? Kisne btaaya itna kuch! So much of love put in every plate, everyday." Said Zafran licking the chutney off her fingers. "My mother." sighed peehu. "She has been my guide since forever. The food reminds me of her every single day."
Zafran was looking around the house. A simple and sober house. With paintings on either of the walls, and the corner table had a vaguely shining metal statue of Buddha.
" Does this belong to someone? I see someone's name engraved down below." asked Zafran. "Oh! That belongs to my grandfather. It's a sign of wisdom, peace & knowledge. His students felicitated him." Said Peehu. " A Buddha? How beautiful. Is it made up of brass? " asked Zafran. "No. It's made by amalgamating eight different metals, brass being one of them. It soothes me down every time I see it. Especially Buddha's eyes." replied Peehu.
Why didn't they tease the girl with Buddha with curly hair instead of lalu that day, are people ignorant or funny. Bihar has so much. Why only lalu........
.. Zafran was murmuring all this.
"What? Kya hua? " asked peehu
" Huh? Kuch nhi. I am tired now. I want to sleep. Please take me to our room." said Zafran.