Friday, 1 July 2016

Aam kasundi diye Chingri or Prawns cooked in raw mango and mustard paste

I am suddenly very tired.
And drained.
For so long, I have been rushing so hard that I finally had a breakdown last week.
And not surprising too. The way I have been pushing myself ... living in denial; believing that every new morrow is going to bring me peace. That if I bury myself with numerous and more things to do, I will get far, far away from what I am running away from.

I have been running away from memories ... painful memories rather.  From the live video that plays in front of my eyes and in my mind every single waking moment. It drives me insane. 
Does this happen to everyone who goes through loss? I do not know.
All I know is what I have been doing to help myself definitely is not working.
Rather, it has overwhelmed me to the extent that I cannot keep up the pretense any longer.

It is coming to be a complete year since I was back home. And yet, it seems like it was just yesterday.
I tried to blog like a possessed person, write all the happy things I could see around or think of.
I went out to lunches and dinners and movies, bought and read books, drowned myself in music.
Immersed myself with numerous activities ... people praised me for being able to do so many things together. But what do the loving souls know?
They could not see the desperate me inside ... clutching on to whatever I could get my hands on ... to be able to escape from reality.

But nothing worked.
And all those memories and painful times swelled up high and high and built into a giant storm that swept me and my resolves and will power far away into the horizon just as it would a few grains of dust or some  dry leaves.

I had burned myself out.
And then came the nightmares.
I had stopped crying and avoided going out into the balcony in the evenings ... that time when I missed Bapi the most. That built up into suppressed trauma and returned to haunt me.
After not getting to sleep for a whole week straight, we consulted our doc.
And as usual, the only thing they know is to be an ostrich.
But I am not going to give up and let myself go in the hands of anti depressants and sleeping pills.

And have promised myself that I will get up again soon. Strong and stout.
Maybe I will be able to laugh too ... I live in hope.
Right now, I am learning to rest.
Have dug out all the books that I had got from the Boi mela at Kolkata.
My bedside table holds two by Samaresh Majumdar, that are in line and sequel to the first one that I have started reading.
Rabindra sangeet is my constant companion, especially in the kitchen, these days ... much to B's discomfort.
Since the rains have started, they are playing a part too. Pune's light, soothing rain is more like a balm on a parched soul. Not unruly, wild and noisy .... rather a light, soundless, steady drizzle with that cold wet breeze that stops you in your tracks as soon as you step out or open a window.
Take a deep breath and you can feel the insides of your heart and mind wash afresh with that sharp, clean and wet air.

I have been cooking too ... but not too much though.
The days and nights are perfect for hot, nutritious soups. And I am making a lot of them.
Very filling; very quick to make; very easily warming you up and your insides with that comforting hug of spices.
I do not feel like clicking any photographs and I am not pushing myself much.
Will take one day and one evening at a time.
I do not feel like communicating much these days ... so no friends or guests allowed. The family will be visiting soon ... that I am looking forward to.

Right now, I have this beautiful Prawn curry that I had made a few weeks ago.
Fuss free, no garam masala, redolent with the flavour of prawns and coconut milk. 
Fresh prawns, my aam kasundi and some coconut milk thrown in together to a boil and voila!, you have a beautiful, light almost malaikari like jhol in your hands.
 Some plain boiled rice to go with it and you will need nothing more on the side.

Need :

Prawns - 6 pieces, medium sized, cleaned and deveined
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Aam kasundi - 2 tbsp
If you do not have aam kasundi, just make a paste of mustard seeds + green chillies + salt + a little lemon juice
Thick coconut milk - 4 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Water - to make gravy
Cooking oil - 2 tbsp ( I used mustard oil )

How to :

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed kadahi / wok.
Marinate the prawns with a little turmeric powder + salt.
Fry them lightly and remove.

In the same oil add the aam kasundi and a little water.
Add turmeric powder and bring to a boil.

Lower heat and add the coconut milk.
Add salt and water, if required.

Let in the fried prawns and cover and cook for 5 minutes.

 Serve hot with steaming hot boiled rice.


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Thank you for sharing Kichu Khonn( a few moments ) with me in my kitchen!