Friday, August 28, 2009

Modaks... and more...

Andrea Costabir has become my new BFF. We have spent a considerable amount of time together last week ( reasons will be known on 7th September), and the more I see of her the more I like and respect her. Sober, observant, discreet and sensitive. Tell me, how many people do you meet these days who can lay claim to any\all of these qualities? She has been the hard working editor of 'Savvy' for 13 years. Well. She has been with the Magna group that long ( Btw, I've just seen the first issue of their brand new, chatpatta film glossy, 'Star Week', and it has the potential to really take the pants of all those smarmy, cheesy established film mags crammed with stale, thakela p.r. stories). Back to Andrea and her decade long association with the group - this is a record in a field where journos jump from one job to the next like they're switching autoriks at Bandra station. Andrea goes about her work with total commitment and admirable professionalism. She does not seek personal glory nor does she misuse the access she gets to the top women of the country. We bonded over tea (for me) and limbu paani ( Andrea). When I offered her a pastry, she politely declined saying she'd had modaks for lunch. That's when my eyes lit up! Modaks!!! Ukdi chhe modaks??? Yes, she confirmed. The steamed ones (like momos), with a fresh coconut and jaggery filling. My eyes misted over. As much for the modaks as for my mother who used to make them at home in a copper modak steamer. What happened to it? Who threw it away once she was gone?Now, not even a physical memory remains.... but the taste lingers. Perhaps sensing my feelings, Andrea offered to send some across. I gladly accepted.... but didn't want to sound too eager. Well.... as I write this, the modaks are on the way. I shall share them with my family ( brother, bhabhi, daughters, son-in-law, husband... maybe Kiara, our crazy Irish Setter) at dinner. We were planning to serve phirni and shahi tukra with the biryani. But modaks sound far better. Amazing co-incidence - Ganpati and Ramadan overlap this year. The biryani is coming from Zafferbhai's ( iftaar special), and the modaks from Andrea ( Roman Catholic), to be enjoyed in a Hindu home! If only all those guys bleating away on tv at prime time , digging up old ghosts ( Kandahar, Jinnah), would abandon divisive debates based on religion ,and break bread (gobble modaks!) together - wouldn't it be a far better world?? Here's to modaks! Ganpati Bappa Morya!


athi said...

one of your posts that is distinctively de... :)

Maria said...

That happens only in many many households across the country! It's the real spirit of the country! Jai Ho!

Unknown said...

Hi Shobha,

I suppose that these smaller things in life keeps all of us from diferent faiths closer enough. There's a very old line which depicts that when we have 'Ali' in 'Diwali' and 'Ram' in 'Ramzan' then what are we fighting for. I wish we can be a peacefull country one day.


The Unsure Ascetic said...

Hello Mam,
I am Sober, observant, discreet and sensitive.

Unknown said...

Hey Shobha,

EXACTLY!! I don’t know if I have shared wth u ..before moving to UK the way u r conditioned in India is to hate all n every thing from Pakistan (can go on n on this)… but here in London I was face to face with not only Pakistanis but people from all over the world.. and wat a BS perception I was carrying… my best frnds here r frm Pakistan..and in the process I had some of the BEST Pakistani cuisine …. Now I never had a modak in my life n I know its Ganesh ji’s fav.. I have to search it in London.. any ideas??

Cheers Gulshan

Jogeshwar said...

Unfortunately religion is not the only cause of division. In India, we have the most complex and developed caste system in the world. It is further reinforced by politicians, such a shame.

good to know you appreciate such qualities, most people rather like those who are cunning, foxes who can reach their way to the top either by hook or crook.

Sameer said...

Completely agree with you. Growing up in a muslim dominated neighborhood in Pune I always enjoyed shirkhurma during Id as much as chakali and karanji during Diwalis. It's wonderful to experience and cherish the diversity we have amongst all of us. GaNapati Bappa Moraya !!!

Unknown said...

Life and times are not as simple as exchanging sweets and niceties. These incidents are always there and will always be there among the civilised.
Parents think that if they earn sufficient money, the children will have a nice and happy life. Seeing Anil's and Mukesh's, it seems when nothing can stop brothers becoming bitter enemies with the help of vested interests taking sides and instigating one against the other. Ultimately it all amounts to one upmanship. The politicians are at it during every election and at every opportunity. The filmstars are there during the release of their movies. And so are the businessman and the middleclass.

Anonymous said...


You must read the comments in the Indian Express on the BJP (CIRCUS) to realize that it is a pipe dream getting us united. It will have to take a miracle or GOD Himself will have to come down to settle these disputes.

Imagine idiots stating that the Vatican has a hand in the present problems within the BJP.

Please do not get me wrong. I am not agitating for Christianity. I believe in Humanity. I truly believe that each one is answerable and pays for his misdeeds.
I only keep wondering why these people keep attacking other Religions, when things go wrong. This is what triggers issues and the ball starts to roll, and then gets out of hand.

There are plenty of us who get along well without thinking about Religion, but a few miserables who have to be sifted out/maybe sent for councilling, to become civil, to change for the better.

We have personnel/staff from all different Religions/Caste/Creed, and everyone enjoys.
All types of Poojas and Prayers are conducted in our office for each festival. My Son's Family has just come back from a darshan at one of our staff's residence, as the immersion will be conducted tomorrow.
My granson's favourite programs besides Cartoons, Art, are Little Krishna, Choota Bhim and the likes. We encourage him to enligten and broaden his mind.
Children who are trained from a young age will HOLD these values forever; AS OLD HABITS DIE HARD.
My Children are good examples.
This also includes Cleanliness and respect for others.

Please excuse me, as the above is not to blow my own trumpet. I understand that there are Thousands who do likewise, and that is why we are still a Democratic Nation.
I wanted to clarify my stand on being righteous.

Oh yes that Miracle would happen.



P said...

What a co-incidence! I just made some today!! :) :)
First attempt at them.. were pretty good!

Another Kiran In NYC said...

Hmmmmph.... and all I got was a chocolate Modak priced at Rs 22 each! No chillar left in my pocket!

Sidhusaaheb said...



Chandni (Chanz) said...

it is sometimes very sad when I see people fighting over relegion. It would be a much better place to live if we all sit together and enjoy what god has given us rather than finding reasons to kill each other.

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