Pic.: Gloria Pinto
I just came back after visiting Collin, my student, who is down with Jaundice. His parents are abroad and he lives, here in Mumbai, with his uncle and aunt and his adorable grandma. They hail from the same native land, Mangalore, from where I hail. So, they were very happy to talk to me in Konkani; Collins’s elderly grandma was particularly delighted and kept talking to me so much about her good-old-days in Mangalore, which, was some six decades ago! She spoke about the lovely people, the fantastic food, the churches, feasts, fields, streams, hills and above all her wonderful childhood. What a pleasure and pride this warm 80-plus woman took in rewinding her memories… I was her faithful beholder, today!
It was a pleasure soaking in her stories… I did it happily.
And, then came the important part of the visit: Collin’s aunt proudly laid before me, on the table, some amazing idlies (which we call ‘Sannah’ in Konkani) and some awesome dosa’s (which we call Poleh). The coconut chatni was divine! “Mummy woke up at five this morning,” Collin’s aunt told me, “She loves to make them the authentic way.”
Oh yes, ‘authentic’ was the right word. I was really relishing such ‘Sannah’s and ‘Poleh’ after decades, indeed!
And, I said that to Collin’s grandma…
Yes, I said that straight from my heart… meaning every word.
So happy was Collin’s grandma, so elated by my sincere compliments, that she made me eat two more ‘Sannah’s’ and three more ‘Poleh’!
That was too much for one time… But, then, joy, they say, knows no bounds!
“Do we compliment others enough? Do we compliment genuinely?” I was asking in my mind, as I was coming back from their place. “Does the happiness with which we serve food to others, and the happiness with which we receive it, got a lot to do with the taste of the food?” I was thinking aloud.
The old lady was so happy…
I had made her day, perhaps.
I was so happy…
She had done my day, indeed!
“Besanv di mai,” … “Bless me mother,” I find myself saying in my mind.
And, I hear her saying, “May God bless you, my son!”
Pic.: Gloria Pinto