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Mouthpiece #46


Vibha Sharma

February 18 · Issue #46 · View online

Weekly digest of Vibha Sharma

To New Beginnings...
“Inertia sets in with age”, I often hear it and myself am guilty of saying it many times on various occasions, and I don’t say it casually, I believe it and say it with full conviction whenever I do. As we keep adding years to our lives, the innate adventurous streak in our personality keeps getting more blunt because with experience we tend to weigh the pros and cons more and sometimes the analysis part itself tires us out and then one can just forget about taking it further. Many of our desires and wishes silently move on to being prefixed with the phrase ‘if I could…’. In other words, unknowingly we set the stage, when we stop living and start spending life. Because isn’t life all about exploring, seeking, discovering, learning and experiencing? If yes, then how can there be any time cap on any of this basic philosophy of life?
Good music has always inspired me ever since I can remember. I remember a couple of occasions when my mother asked me (a primary school student) to accompany her to some kirtans where she asked me to sing a bhajan or two with her. I guess she did have some confidence on my singing skills. I can comfortably call myself a bathroom-, classroom- and hostelroom singer, but never beyond that. Even this kind of singing stopped post hostel years, no particular reason, just no occasion or reason to sing, I guess. Many other things laid their claim on my attention, priorities and time. However, music kept alluring me from time to time whenever I came across any melodious tune or song and sometimes hummed with it too. I think there was a desire as a student that when my studies get complete, I will learn vocal music. But time just flew past me.
Just very recently I decided to not think anymore, not delay anymore and not to push this desire in the ‘never fulfilled’ category. I finally registered for the vocal music classes. However, I cannot take full credit for taking this plunge. It certainly helped that I have with me a partner who never says no to anything that anyone wants to try out. Rather he encouraged me to delay it no further.
It is a little too early to say but I am enjoying it, not just the class but the time that I devote practicing on harmonium. There is nothing that I want to achieve through this, there is no place that I want to reach singing, there is no gains I am looking out of this - just the pleasure of learning to sing with knowledge of sur and taal.
So, don’t stop living before you die!!!
Here’s to a new beginning…and to many more to come…
What's cooking? Besan ka puda/cheela
Chana besan : 1 cup
Onion : 1 big (finely chopped)
Ginger : 1 Inch (grated)
Coriander leaves : ¼ cup (finely chopped)
Green chillies : 2 (finely chopped)
Salt : to taste
Red chilli powder : ¼ tsp
Garam masala : 1 tsp
MDH Chana masala : 1 tsp
Coriander powder : 1 tsp
Oil : to grease the pan for shallow frying the pooda
For sandwich
Bread slices
Amul butter : 2 tsp
Mix the above ingredients (except oil, bread slices and amul butter) with water to make a batter of pouring consistency. Take the non-stick pan and grease it with oil. Pour one ladle of batter in the center and spread it like dosa batter in circular formation. Chopped onions may hinder the ladle movement, so spread the batter very gently ensuring that no gaps get created in the process. Sprinkle a few drops of oil on the top. Once the lower side is cooked, turn it over. Repeat the process by pressing it gently to make sure that it is completely cooked from inside and attains crispy exterior.
The pooda/cheela can be had as it is with mint chutney and tamarind chutney, however we make a sandwich using it. For that keep two slices of bread on the hot pan, reduce the flame, spread some Amul butter on one slice. Cut the pooda in four quarters. Place two quarters covering one slice completely. Spread mint chutney evenly on it. Now place the remaining two quarters of the pooda on the mint chutney and spread tamarind chutney on it. Then place the other bread slice on it, press the whole sandwich gently and serve it hot with ginger tea for that out of the world experience. 
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