"Madhu Malati Daake Aay
Fulo-faguner e Khelay...
Juthi Kamini Koto Katha
Gopone Boley Moloyai
Modhu Malati Dake Aay..."..... Sandhya Mukhopadhyay [Bengali Singer]
Ever since I discovered an ear phone from daddy's room and learnt he was listening to this particular singer a lot, I am wondering which song of her he might be listening the most. This number is one of her best, my favourite and in all probability his too. Would you mind if I do not translate word to word for you? It is definitely a soft romantic using names of various flowers, cool breeze. Rest dive into you-tube for the melodious song or Google for its lyrics.... its worth it if you have interest in varied music.
He was otherwise not so romantic. According to my mother he was the most unromantic person in the world and her daughter echoes the same for her man. Both of my mom's and my man are "halooms".... tiger. So I never get surprised when mine threatens to throw me out of the window a couple of times a day. The only difference in the two households is that the daughter is too much of a romantic unlike the mother who is cool, practical and has unlimited patience. It was in the wake of dawn that daddy went into comatose in his sleep. My very early rising mom checked with him, saw that the whole body is stiff and he excreted on bed. The brother and his wife was not at home just for that night. She did not panic, called neighbours, doctors, ambulance, cleaned him and accompanied him to the nearest best nursing home from where my very responsible brother and his wife took him to the Institute of Neurosciences, Kolkata where he was treated under doctor Venugopal... one of the best in this area in India.
Why I am saying all these?... to assert few things... keeping our cool in grave situations is very important. We also must keep some kind of faith in the system we live within, criticism always does not help. Pointing fingers at the entire fraternity of doctors is not a wise thing to do knowing in what circumstances they work in a country like ours without even proper infrastructure. Doctor Venugopal was so honest to explain us patiently ... you see I get a good amount of fees doing a surgery, try to understand why I am refusing to go for it. He remained so cool even knowing that we requested our loving buddy Dr. Saubhik Sengupta who is associated with another renowned hospital of Kolkata named Medica to get a second opinion either from there or from Cleveland Clinic, Ohio he had worked for earlier. Saubhik echoed the same that no surgery is possible. We knew from day one that we cannot take our dad back home, but we did our utmost so that our mom does not think that we are not doing enough. Like I personally do not believe in feeding elaborately in such a ceremony..... yet we kept everything in the menu he loved... pulao, rice, poori, prawn, fish, chutney and others on both of the final ritual days just for our mother so that she does not misunderstand us. Besides, my wise man said we are not mourning his death but celebrating his life.
What is 'good marriage' or a 'perfect couple'? We should never generalise it. Every person is different, hence their equation too. My parents were not a romantic couple but when my dad got transferred to remote areas of Bengal, mom packed bags full of homemade food each time he visited us. Daddy forgot his own marriage anniversary date but never forgot to get the turmeric powder or mustard oil straight from the mill as my mom wished so. My man do not gift me flowers on my anniversary day but on every tour... when I suffer from extreme nausal condition and turn half dead, he cleans me, the surroundings with so much of care. He left his parents, son, office and rushed to Kolkata to be with us with all kinds of help. So we should not term any relationship as good or bad because the couple knows the best how to work on it. I am not a saint though, me too discuss people even if less but getting wiser with all the varied incidents happening around.
This recipe of bhindi / lady's finger with onion is a super simple, easy and quick one with no use of spices. Daddy had it in the canteen of his office and loved it. I remember he came back home one day and asked mom to prepare it. Maa used to prepare it as he narrated that went well with roti, paratha. Hence, I will not call it a family recipe or really do not know if it is an authentic Bengali recipe or not. Of late daddy was not allowed to have any vegetable with seed for health reasons. Me too prepare it often and love its aroma that we get from the crushed and tempered garlic, dry red chilli and nigella seeds. I remember this dish was part of a combined post of mine last year. I wished to share it again as a separate one with an updated picture and the trick on how to retain the original green colour of the bhindi even after boiling it without any hassle. Let me think of sharing an appropriate Mother's Day dish that both my parent's loved which definitely should have a Comilla connection. Come let us prepare together this healthy vegetarian dish within half an hour.
Lady's Finger : 250gm
Onion : 1medium[cubed]
Garlic : 1tbsp[minced]
Dry Red Chilli : 2[halved]
Nigella Seeds : 1/4tsp
Turmeric Powder : 1tsp
Salt : As required
Green Chilli : 2[slitted]
Oil : 2tbsp
Wash the lady's fingers. Dry with a soft cotton cloth. Discard the two ends.Rub with salt. Keep aside for 10 minutes. Add a big cup of water and microwave at hight heat for 5 minutes. Once cool discard the water. Rub the bhindis with little salt and turmeric.
Heat oil in a wok. Temper with nigella seeds, dry red chillies and the minced garlic. As they turn golden brown and give a nice aroma, add the cubed onions. Fry till golden brown.
Add the lady's fingers. Toss well. Cover and stir every 1 minute. Lower heat to minimum. After 2-3 minutes, add 1/4 small cup water . Stir carefully. Once the water dries up, its done.
Enjoy fresh and hot with any kind of Indian breads. The bhindis lose colour once refrigerated.