“Sweet is to a meal what a dress is to a woman.”
What happens when you come to know that the person you are in love with since childhood, is exactly somebody else.
Yes, this is what happened with me when I recently read the article Journey of Jalebi .
I felt cheated and shocked too. The sweet that I relished since childhood was not part of my heritage instead it is a immigrated dish. Adding spice to my spoiled mood this song came along.
Now I really know I shouldn’t feel this way, but I was helpless. A sweet without which our festivals and weddings are incomplete, was no more ours.
This threw me back to my childhood, where in a Dhara (cooking oil) advertisement where a young lad of around 10 years is seen at the railway station in the first scene. Sitting on a bench there, with all his luggage, he looked pretty annoyed with all that going on his life. Among a host of unknown faces, he recognizes a known one and shouts, “Ramu Kaka”!! (Ramu Uncle)
Ramu Kaka( spots the child) : “Arrey, tum yahan?”(You here)
The boy : “Me ghar chod ke jaa raha hun (I am leaving home)”
Ramu Kaka(trying to tempt the child) : “Par mummy ne toh ghar pe garama garam jalebi banayi hai (But your mom has prepared steaming hot jalebi’s at home ).
And the boy imagines himself eating jalebi’s at home . This makes him change his decision and he returns back. I can never forget that voice saying jaleeeebi and that beautiful emotion it created.
Our dusshera celebration’s were imperfect without it. I still remember vividly how after watching Ravan Dahan (burning effigy of ravana), my father would take us to the famous sweet shop and would order kg’s of hot jalebi’s.How we even being so tired, walked miles so speedily so that we can eat the jalebi’s in their intact hotness.
Curd and Jalebi’s were part of our wedding breakfast menu. Some people who have too much of sweet tooth like jalebi with rabri ( another sweet dish).Some people for fun eat hot jalebi’s with chilled kulfi’s giving a shock to their gums. I think it’s good way to check your gums sensitivity 😉
So let me explain all my friends, especially the non-Indian friends what this hullabaloo is all about.
A jalebi is to an Indian what a pie is to others 😀
Jalebi is made by deep-frying a wheat flour (maida flour) batter in pretzel or circular shapes, which are then soaked in sugar syrup.
Now you know why I am creating so much hype about it.
Jalebi is just not a sweet dish to us, it’s a culture. We as Indian have a very famous phrase in Hindi “Jalebi ki tarah seedha hona” and the phrase translates to, “a person who is as straight as a jalebi” because of it’s spiral shape. It is actually a sarcastic remark on a person who claim to be innocent and are actually not.
We have a famous dancing item song where we see our own sultry mallika sherawat singing “naam jalebi bai “(her name is jalebi bai ). And this song has been a non-stop hit in our all dancing functions.
Jalebi originated in West Asia and then it travelled to the Indian subcontinent as part of the Muslim trade, cultural and political bandwagons. And it has it’s own names in different other countries with several variations in it. It is known as ‘zoolabiya’ or ‘zulubiya’ in Iran and Lebanon has a pastry called ‘zellabiya’ but it is shaped like a finger rather than as a swirl. Some other countries like Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, too have different names for it .
Now, after ranting so much about it, I am taking a long jalebi break for myself 😀
PS : I am off to my home for Diwali vacations . So I won’t be able to read and comment on your blogs.
Happy Diwali Everyone 🙂
PPS : I will back soon. Hope you guys miss my presence 😛