These images encapsulate the spirit of Ganpati - Mumbai's adored deity. That's Anandita bidding goodbye to Aaliya and Jehangir's Ganeshji who was given a wonderful send-off in a decorated Jeep. The other image is of Ukdichhey Modak - a delicate, steamed prasad that is so well balanced in terms of flavours and textures, it merits an article of its own.Our Blogdost Aparna Velankar sent me this image with a promise to deliver the genuine article later this week. Aparna.... I am waiting!
Earlier in the evening, I had spent a mellow evening enjoying High Tea with Asha Bhonsale and her lovely daughter-in-law Anuja at Sea Lounge. Modaks were avidly discussed, along with several other Maharashtrian specialities that Ashatai cooks so expertly. She not just loves food, she loves feeding people. It goes back to her childhood when she used to cook for the family along with Meena, her sister. Asha was just 9 years old at the time! But this evening, she was in the mood to dig into scones and clotted cream, salmon sandwiches and mini chicken quiches. Knowing how particular she is about her diet and exercise, I was delighted to observe her eating heartily and saying sweetly.... "it's okay to indulge once in a while. And I won't eat dinner tonight." I reminded the 80-year-old Diva of the time she had come over to our home on her 60th Birthday and brought her unbeatable shammi kababs ,which we had pounced on! But by far the best part of the High Tea was when the pianist Jokim Crasto switched to playing old Asha Bhonsale numbers, adding his own Jazzy twist to ''Çhuraliya..." and other hits. What a warm and wonderful evening.... as Ashatai hummed along softly, avoided the imli chutney of the bhel, and talked fondly about her grand children, I felt I was in the blessed presence of an extraordinary woman whose amazing life has been so very rich.... and who has equally enriched countless other lives for decades with her golden voice.