Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Dates juice and some of my memories

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Nani quietly told me that the pot of juice will be taken down from the tree tomorrow morning

I was very young. Every year during the Eid holidays, the village was visited. One of the special attractions of going to Dada’s house was…the simple people of the village and their rituals. Among them was a very attractive personality…my grandmother. She was my aunt’s mother. We used to call her Nani. Nani’s house was across the street. The first thing I did when I got to the village was to meet my grandmother, no matter how late it was. I think I used to go to the village with my grandmother. He was an incredible man. How do you understand what I want? What would I like? I remember one day. It was winter time. Nani quietly told me that the pot of juice will be taken down from the tree tomorrow morning. I should go there early in the morning. Because the quality of the juice goes down as time goes on. It was a challenge for me to eat the juice freshly squeezed from the tree in a brass jam bowl in the early morning. He felt cold immediately after eating. It was a very normal thing for the village people. They used to drink a few glasses together. The colder it is, the more fun it is to drink juice.

As instructed by Nani, I was shown cutting a relatively small date palm tree. I used to watch palm trees being cut very carefully. How the juice pot hangs on the tree, how the juice comes to the pot and accumulates at its own pace. After that, preparations were made to make various pithas by boiling the juices. Ross pies were also very tasty. When the juice thickened a little in the earthen pot, Nani would add rice directly to the juice. After burning for a long time, pies were made. Then the pies were cooled and fed to me with great care.

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Sometimes the whole night would go on making pitha with date juice, jamai-puli, seiyai pitha, dudh-chiti etc. I used to feel sleepy in my eyes, but I didn’t want to leave the pitha making session. My grandmother is surrounded by those memories. The touch of that sweet man’s love is still there. I went to that house a few days ago. I found my grandmother’s memory. Nani doesn’t have that house. There is now a two storied house. Many things in the village are no longer the same. Color TV, fridge, dining table… these have now become normal for the village people. People in the village are less needy now, thanks to the money of people working abroad. Various types of facilities are available now. Human suffering also reduced with the advent of urban civilization. Only lost is the memory of the man I owed my birth to.

Early in the morning, the hawkers used to go around with pots of juice to sell juice. They used to get customers that winter morning. And on the other hand, the preparations for making molasses from the juice were going on. The juice was burnt in the open in a large rectangular tin pot. After burning for a long time, the juice thickened. When it was time to make jaggery, the thick juice was poured into small and large containers of different shapes to make jaggery of a certain size and shape. Then the jaggery went to the market in the towns and villages. The molasses we find sitting in the city requires a lot of care and labor from the farmers. Instead of a small profit, they give up their hard-earned wealth.

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