So there was our Radhu Ba.
Every crack of dawn was filled with sounds of Shankhnaad , chanting of shlokas , tinkling of bell, accompanied by fragrance of dhoop, jasmine, champa and the myriad of colourful flowers freshly plucked from the neighbourhood.
Aroma of lemon grass, ginger and mint invariably announced ‘masala’ tea brewing. She meditatively moved around simmering pots and pans that oozed aromas, ensuring a buzzing communal table of nine. Food always was simple, seasonal, cultural & local – freshly prepared and warmly aromatic.
Readymade packaged food wasn’t a word till then, or so we guess!
Food waste was alien, leftover food would be repurposed, raw vegetable waste made it to delectable chutneys and we did not dare to miss a meal without informing well in advance.
Although illiterate by today’s definition, she could have given a TED talk on the evils of pesticide, chemical fertilizer, cold storage and food waste. And, such were the rules – which came without a rule book – yet were abided by – and they always worked like magic – creating value for the individual, family, society, and our lovely planet.
Life was simple yet so detailed and beautiful – with food as the vital life force, the elixir and the healer.
Mitti Café is our tribute to Radhu Ba and all the mothers and grandmothers of the world for their common sense and effortless wisdom.