Soul food: A humble bowl of rajma chawal

The phrases of Irish creator George Bernard Shaw would resonate with any meals connoisseur, “There is not any love sincerer than the love of meals.” Shaw isn’t the primary to have made this remark, nor will he be the final, for the annals of historical past bear testimony to the undisputable actuality that man’s mind has been dominated by his digestive organs.

As a Punjabi, I couldn’t agree extra, for having lived a substantial a part of my life in a state the place the phrases of a Punjabi music resonate, “Khao, piyo, aish karo mitron…”, the essence of my Punjabiyat lies in my plenary indulgence for gluttony.

My epicurean escapades with the rajma chawal, a North Indian family staple, throughout my faculty days convey again the great occasions spent in hostels and cooperative messes. At a time when Zomato and Swiggy had been remarkable, the cell phone system a actuality whose existence we had been solely conversant in via digital journals, this straightforward meal was an emotion, our go-to supply for gastronomic delight. Due respect was accorded to this dish by our hostel mess chef, for we’d be greeted by its aroma thrice per week, each morsel laden together with his Himachali experience. Leaders of the free world can maybe take inspiration from how this humble dish performed an instrumental position in selling peace, for the heavy meal would convey out the very best in our characters, eliciting in us the sensation of contentedness, forgiveness and generosity.

A typical post-rajma chawal complication was the laborious effort in making an attempt to not go to sleep throughout after lunch lectures. Notoriously labelled as ‘suicidal classes’, these lectures of engineering and mechanical drawing had been topics that mandated rapt consideration. As one struggled to remain up, the monotonous drone of our professors serving as lullabies, one lastly understood the essence of the strains, “We are however the verist, sorriest slaves of our abdomen.”

Fast-forward to days of portion management and wholesome weight-reduction plan, and a glance again on the Herculean portions of rajma chawal we consumed again then astound me. The recollections of these good occasions linger nonetheless to today, particularly once I attend gatherings or conferences the place I’m compelled to limit my consumption of this healthful meal. So, whereas boiled greens and low-calorie meals might maintain the weighing balance in verify, in occasions of homesickness, a low part or within the unexpected occasion of being left by the one you love, there involves thoughts just one soul meals to make issues higher once more, a humble bowl of rajma chawal. [email protected]

The author is a Punjab-cadre IAS officer

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