Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Aam Pora Sharbat / Aam Panna

Budhua awoke with a sense of doom. He opened his eyes and looked around. Still lying down, he looked around the small yet neat room that he called his home.
The roof of fresh hay looked very neat, filling the room with a warm cosy smell. Budhua marvelled at his handiwork. The walls are filled with diiferent hooks, on which hung his clothes and other little household things. At one end is a small kitchen that had the chulha, the water pot, some small wood pieces and a few kitchen utensils.

He got up, walked to the door of his house and looked out. Every morning he did this small ritual ... stood at his doorway and looked with pride and satisfaction at the decent patch of land that he had worked so hard to make his own. Small patches of different vegetables looked back at him happily ... the morning dew still fresh on them. Beyond them was a small water body that he had dug himself, that stored and held rain water. Yes, he has done a good job.

Budhua looked around once more before walking down to the small pond for his bath. On returning he offered some flowers to the banyan tree beside his hut and went to sit at the door.
The morning was warm. The birds that wake him early in the morning are all done with their jobs and slowly dissappearing. They won't come out until the evening cool sets in.

Waiting, Budhua felt restless. He was waiting for Moina.
The very thought of Moina made his heart miss a beat, and then beat rather fast to make up.
The most beautiful girl in the village, Moina had not shown any interest in Budhua just as the rest of the girls of the village did not. Living on the outskirts of the village all by himself, he had earned the reputation of a loner. And a good for nothing.
He did not know to deal with people well. Neither was he interested in them. So people let him be. They were not interested in knowing where he lived and what did he did for a living. And as his hut was after a small patch of jungle, nobody ventured there ... thus he lived in peace.

But his peace was disturbed last summer. Just like the rest of the village, he too had gone to have his bath in the river as his pond had dried up. A bunch of giggling girls crossed his path. Budhua knew he was handsome. With a strapping body and shiny black skin and hair, he stood tall over most village lads. Many parents would have wanted to give their daughter to him had they not ignored him as a fool.

But Budhua was no fool. He knew his quiet was his key to a peaceful life. Yet when he saw Moina among that group of girls near the river, he forgot everything. Time stood still for him. All he could remember was the huge dark eyes and the red Palash (Flame of the forest) flowers in her hair. Unlike the other girls, she had not laughed at him. Just looked at him with those huge eyes and then cast them down as she walked away.

It took him full three new moons to be able to talk to her. And to make her talk to him. And then one day he took her to show his hut and land.
"O ma! Eeta tur ghor?!" ( Is this really your house? )
"Haw, tur bhalo laigse?" ( Yes, did you like it?)
"Khuuub". ( Very much. )

One day, when they met at their usual riverside place, Budhua decided that it was time. While the sun painted the sky a fiery red on setting, he asked her " Tui amar shathe ghor baandhbi Moina? " ( Will you set up a home with me Moina? )
"Haw ... kintu amar baap?" ( Yes, but my father? )
"Ami taar shathe kotha koibo!" ( I will talk to him! )
"Na na, age ami koibo, tarpor tui". ( No, I'll speak to him first ).

Today Moina will come to tell him her father's verdict.

While waiting, he thought he will make something for her. No matter what the result is ... she was the one who would have to face the wrath of her father first. She deserved something good.

Budhua got up and went to the mango tree behind his hut. Selecting some good sized stones, he threw them at a couple of mangoes. A good marksman, he got them down in no time.
Going inside, he saw the embers of last night's fire had not yet died. He had forgotten to clean out the chulha in his worries. So threw in the mangoes to roast them a little. He would make Aam Pora Sharbat for Moina.

When the mangoes were cooked, he brought them out, skinned and mashed them well and strained the pulp with some water.
He then added a little salt, gur ( jaggery ) and some more water to it. He had some cumin seeds in a little bottle. Taking a little out, he crushed them on a flat stone and added it to the drink. And then set the bowl to cool on some wet sand kept at the corner.

There ... Moina will have a cool drink after her long walk in the sun.

Budhua again sat near the doorstep and kept gazing at the pond beyond his small green patch. And wondered if he will see Moina ever again. And worried. The sense of doom surrounded him again.
It was not uncommon for a man to like a girl and to want to spend the rest of his life with her.
What troubled him was he had chosen the most beautiful girl in the village.

The Morol's daughter.
Morol, the village head ... the most powerful man in the village.

For the first time in his life, Budhua wondered if he was a fool.

Aam Pora Sharbat ( Roasted Raw Mango Sharbat )

Need : ( I am not giving any measurements here as the taste will vary depending upon how sour , sweet or salty someone likes this sharbat. Ideally it has an equal balance of sweet and salty taste. And I usually make it in the MW and use sugar. )

Raw mangoes
Roasted and crushed Jeera / Cumin Seeds
Drinking water

How to :

Wrap the mangoes in aluminium foil and roast them in an oven.

Alternatively you can pressure cook or pan boil them in a little water.

Or run them in the Microwave in 60% for 10 mins.

Remove and cool. Then skin and mash them into a fine pulp. You can also run a blender.

Remove into a big sized bowl and add sugar, salt to taste. Add enough water and chill.

Just before serving sprinkle some roasted jeera powder in a glassful.

Serve chilled.

Why does it have be a hot cuppa always? Go ahead and have a cool cuppa this summer! :-)

This is, for the very first time, my try at writing pure fiction ... spurred by the wonderful event Of Chalks and Chopsticks by Aquadaze co hosted by Sandeepa and Sra.

Off goes my story to Sandeepa who is hosting it this month.

Updated : Sending this to Srivalli's Thanda Mela too.

In the fast flying days, I forgot my blog's 2nd happy baarday. :-(
And did not even complete 200 posts. Not done. No excuses.

See ya'll around folks! TC !


  1. Orey baba, Bondhu'r finally ki holo? , Moina ki katha bollo?,Moina'r baba ki bollo? ..amaar je eto kuotuhal hoche mishti golpo likhecho Sharmila..darun hoyeche..and onek din hoye aam pora kheye..bodhaye last summer e India te kheye chilaam ...bhishon bhalo lagey garam e aam'er panna khete.
    hugs and smiles

  2. It's raining Aam Panna in blog world now :)...this looks delicious...just so perfect for these hot days

  3. A good love story any time Sharmila. That was beautifully written too. Hope they end happily ever after.

    This Mango Sharbat is indeed very tasty I bet, look so good.

  4. Nice story to read. Aam Panna looks gorgeous, love the color. Must taste so refreshing for Summer days! :)

  5. I loved how you ended this story, very nice. Khub shundor lekha hoyeche Sharmila. Thanks for such a lovely entry

  6. Thanks Jaya! Kintu tomar lekhata beshi shundor hoyeche ... honest. :-)

    Thanks Priti! must go around and have a look. :-)

    Thanks ISG! Yeah .. some feel good factor is always welcome. :-)

    Thanks Asha! Glad you liked it. :-)

    Thanks Sandeepa! Anything for such a beautiful event. :-)

  7. Wow darun likhecho..ek nishshashe pare phellam..I liked the way you linked your recipe part in the story..nicely written..clap clap..aam panna looks so perfect cuppa for this hot summer

  8. A special drink for summer..I terribly miss mangoes now...
    Btw - great story

  9. Budhua is no fool. I already have a crush on him by the way he made that aam pora for Moina. May they live happily ever after.

    P.S. Aami sheyee din raw mangoes khujte Chinatown giye chilaam, paka-paka aam dekhlaam, so my Aam Pora craving still remains for this season.

    Ek glaas aam pora aamake debe?

  10. Lovely story and a delicious Aam Panna.

  11. lovely! loved the way you've woven the story around the pictures. i can literally taste the am panna. :) You're gifted!

  12. Sharmila, golpor sathe aam pora sharbat, daroon. aam panna is so special for summer...why not no mangoes and craving for after the hot days are gone.
    Hope you are fine?

  13. Aam Panna used to be one of the life savers for a girl who grew up in hot Delhi.
    Nothing like the Indian coolers. Cocam sharbat, aam panna, jaljeera,lassi, bel panna, nariyal them all.
    Great story telling ability. But like Jaya I am wondering what happened to the young couple...any plans of writing a sequel?

  14. Thanks Indrani! :-)

    Thanks Sumi! :-)

    Thanks Pree! Budhua ke pathiye debo tomar jonne banate? :p

    Thanks A2Z! :-)

    Thanks KG! :-)

    Thanks Gouridi! Am a little better than earlier. :-)

    Thanks Aparna! No plans for a sequel yet. Just left the end open to everybody's imagination. A happy ending is always welcomed ... but is a little run-of-the-mill types. :-)

  15. Aam Panna looks wonderful and delicious! Happy second blog birthday too :)

  16. Thanks Mandira! Your good wishes are my blog's support. :-)

  17. Dear Sharmila
    How are you?
    Was in the foot Hills of the Himalayas and just back.
    Humm you are a great story teller too. I liked it. Of course I would have married them off if I were the Morol..and I am not a good story teller..I want happy ending greatly influenced by Hindi novies.
    Very nice recipe...but normally I burn the mango on Gas ( when wife is not around) to get that burnt/smoky smell)
    Bhalo theko

  18. Aap pora sharbat goromer shomoy shob theke upokari, thanda r refreshing drink. Khub sundor bhabe present korechho. Darun likhechho r amar bhishon bhalo legechhe.

  19. oreeebash...budhua jodi aamar jonne aam poda baanato, aami ek minute o deri kortaam naa...kintu tahole tor golpo taa aito dramatic n touching hoto naa kina :-)

    besh besh...ebaar bhaab toh??? :-)

  20. Thanks Ushnishda! MWing the mango is easier for me. :-)

    Thanks Babli! :-)

    Thanks Joyee! Aksho bar haab. :-)

  21. Loved the way the narrative flowed, but I particularly liked the way you've ended this!

  22. I just had this it :)

  23. Oh how lovely to read!..Congrats on your blog birthday, wishes for many more...and do send this to Thanda Mela if you have time..:)

  24. Thanks Aqua! :-)

    Yeah Parita ... it is aam panna season now. :-)

    Thanks Valli! And for your good wishes for my blog too. Am sending this to your mela right away. :-)

  25. Sharmila that was a beautiful story! You write very well, you are definitely gifted....

    The amm sharbat looks refreshing and perfect for the hot weather we are having now..

  26. Thank you for the lovely entry

  27. I am cheering for Budhua, what did big old Daddy say? Tell us, please :)
    You really write wonderful stories, I enjoyed this one very much!

  28. LOVELY story and the pix. But I would really like to know the ending to this luv story

  29. Very nice story indeed! Look fw to more! Cheers!

  30. ki mishti likhecho!!!!
    what happens in the end???

  31. Thanks everybody! :-)

    Nupur & Anon ... guess I'll bring it up in a sequel. :-)

  32. That was a lovely story. I am a sucker for happy ending in love stories but I like this open ended one. I wouldn't worry about a second part unless there is more drama in it. Happy endings are just that, endings.

    Why do you say this is your first attempt at fiction? Did you not write another one, with the hot&sour soup and the book-loving husband? I thought that was pure fiction too and a good one!

    1. Thank you Jaya! Sorry ... had missed this lovely comment.

  33. Sharmila, I just happened to visit ur siite but am completely gripped to it....all ur dishes are mouth watering and looks fav...The story in this post is fav...take it...u are gifted...

  34. I still relish the memories of aam pora shorbot made by my mother.The chilled delicacy was served to me when I returned back from morning school on hot n sultry summer noons.


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