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Location: California, United States

LIKES: India, Music, Math, Dance, Advertising, Statistics, Optimism, Dreams, Strong opinions, Rains, Bike rides, Caribbean Sea, Jamaica, Waterfalls, Swimming, Stray dogs, Full moon, Tagore, F.R.I.E.N.D.S., Junglee sandwich, Phone talks, Jasmine flowers, Short work meetings, Fridays & Saturdays, Chocolate ice-cream at mid-night. HATES: Sweet tongued liars & Bitter tongued liars

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

(Khatti) Meethi Yaadein (Sweet Memories)

I was in the midst of creating another fundu slide for the upcoming team offsite, getting all tangled up with trying to put in audio in the most creatively challenged boring powerpoint.

And then just out of the blue I got this sudden urge to have amla. For those who don't know what amla is: 1. I pity you 2. you have missed out on the tastiest food on earth second only to the God of foods- chocolate.

Amla is this small innocent looking green fruit. But put it in salted water and in three days it transforms into this heavenly tasting thing. One crunchy bite later, you are one happy person.

As a kid I remember running out into the patio when the sabjiwalah came by and frantically waving to him so that he could see me and stop by our house. And then the pestering would start. If my mom would buy a quantity less than 500 grams (~ 15 oz), I would make my eyes all wide and say "Bassssss??" (Only that much?!!!) Then I would follow my mom into the kitchen and not leave her side until she had washed and put in all the amlas in the glass jar. Then came the most difficult part- waiting. It took atleast 72 hours for the salty water to penetrate into the amlas and really I learnt to be patient during these testing times. And then after the long wait I was rewarded when my mom reached way up on the kitchen cabinet and pulled out a nice juicy amla for me.

It's funny how just a fruit has so many memories entwined around it. Now that I think back on those days, I think it was not just the amla, but this whole ritual that I shared with my mom that made it yummier.

I can almost feel the sweet and sour taste while I go back to putting my audio file together. I am totally going to take a detour to the indian grocery store this evening and hunt for my favorite little green fruit! And mom, I am calling you tonight :-)

Music: Mann Mohana Bade Jhoothe (Seema) and Tere Bina (Guru)
Mood: Nostalgic

26 Comments:

Anonymous Twisted DNA said...

I had a Pavlovian response (salivating) just thinking of the sour amla :) I ate amals as a kid but just ate them raw or raw with salt and pepper. Never marinated them in salt water. Must be some North Indian thing?

5:22 PM  
Blogger Orchid said...

:0...poor you, so did you get to eat one finally?

9:23 PM  
Blogger Sudipta Chatterjee said...

:(

Mujhe bhi chahiye!!!

Waaaaaaaaa...

That used to work so well when I was a kid

10:20 PM  
Blogger Sakshi said...

Now I want one!!!
*Shaking her fist in frustration*

Why do you do this to me :(

1:56 PM  
Blogger Life Lover said...

twisted dna---> yeah we had them with salt and mirchi too, but that was when my grandma used to make amla pickles!! I don't know whether it is a north indian thing.

orchid---> only the frozen one, its not the same...but something is better than nothing.

sudipta---> indian grocery store mein jaake frozen packet buy karo, they have a picture of amla a.k.a. indian gooseberries on the bag, let me warn you though, the stuff inside is not even half as good as that nice green fresh pic on the bag :( good luck!!

sakshi---> see the above comment for your amla source in US...sorry for making you crave too! :( but hope you find it and are able to have it soon :) if not, have a big piece of chocolate, in my view, chocolate can cure the biggest of other food cravings in a jiffy ;)

3:02 PM  
Blogger januM said...

i pity u guys in d US.. have another friend over der who always misses things like this and calls himself 'I'm not an US material'!
have fun :)

9:57 PM  
Blogger januM said...

http://havetobehappy.blogspot.com/

9:59 PM  
Blogger Life Lover said...

janum---> (wish you had a different blog name but oh well!) anyway, just wanted to let you know that I am indeed very happy to be where I am (US) and certainly not pitiable in any sense of that word :) now coming back to what the post was about, I think you missed the entire point entirely :) the point was not about missing 'things' but missing that part of the childhood, which was so innocent and fulfilling. BTW, I did find a nice packet of amla here in the US and enjoyed it a lot too! :)

1:42 PM  
Blogger The Lonely Traveller said...

Even I liked amla (Not to be confused with Nagarjuna's wife)

:-)

9:59 AM  
Blogger Strider said...

amla ka patha nahi , par churaya hua amla bahut mast hota tha!

waise nagarjuna ki amla bhi theek hai ;-)

10:55 PM  
Blogger Isha said...

man this post bot some sweet memories and sweeter tears to my eyes.. getting caught stealin amlas.. climbing my first "terrace" off a compound wall.. and a guava tree.. watching myself escape from our evil 'captors' .. just becoz i was a girl as the rest of my cousins.. held back tears and looked at me enviously

5:40 PM  
Blogger Isha said...

P.s. ditto with the pavlovian response

5:41 PM  
Blogger Strider said...

btw hav u met amla ka cousin imli??
we used to make those small little lollipops and eat them during class! :D

9:12 PM  
Blogger itchingtowrite said...

amla and then drink of water....

10:36 PM  
Blogger Priyankari said...

Sweet post!

11:53 PM  
Blogger broadwaybabe said...

oooh i want to try it where can i find it any way?

2:26 PM  
Blogger Di said...

eating is it a different thing..but just watching peoples expressions wen they are eating it wen its absolutely sour is a bit of a treat too.. :D

6:17 AM  
Blogger Rai said...

Sweet, Sweet, sweet!

10:09 PM  
Blogger The Lonely Traveller said...

New post!

11:01 PM  
Blogger Sakshi said...

Gaonwalo, ladki kahan gayab ho gayi??

2:09 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

Sounds very interesting. I'll keep my eye out for them during the next trip to the Indian grocery store.

3:56 PM  
Blogger Lavender said...

Hey i've never tried dat recipe of amla..it sure tops my priority list now :)By d way,ever tried raw amla..my aunt can swallow dat thing..its one tough job though very healthy :)

9:55 PM  
Blogger Rai said...

Don't you think it's high time for a new post?

3:55 AM  
Blogger PSV said...

almost a month...May mein itnha sookha kyoon parr gaya?

4:48 PM  
Anonymous Twisted DNA said...

Don't make me come to your work and make you write a post. (I am not too far from C***o).

12:05 AM  
Blogger The Lonely Traveller said...

Boss!
Kidhar ho?

Cheers,
TLT

3:27 PM  

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