If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Nov 17, 2007

For a few channa's more !

Come the merrie month of May tributes to our Lady kick in. And every housing colony and parish worth it's grotto has a rosary. The big players have it everyday for the full month. So the statue of Mother Mary is pulled out of the loft. And the broken finger which blesses the world is skillfully recreated in plaster of paris and fevicoled onto her hand with more skill than the plastic surgeons at Holy Family Hospital. And the candle stands that were last used for Uncle Tommy's funeral eight months ago are brassoed. And the sheet of plywood that serves for the altar table top is retrieved from behind the Godrej. And the bell that you ring at 6.45 pm and then again at 7.00 is checked to see that the ringer still works and the baterries haven't gone down. [ Just kidding, it's always a brass bell, and the ringer will be ringing till Judgement day. ]
And the flower vase is washed by Lily for the odd lily. [ Yeah cheap puns are a bloggers first resort. ]
Now a chickpea by any other name will still be channa and channa by any other name will still be gram.And onto the schedule. Whose making gram when ? Aunty Maisie Aunty Terry, Aunty Jane, Aunty Bina, Aunty Eliza, Aunty Antoinette, Aunty Virgie [Virginia], Aunty Juanita, Aunty Lucy, Aunty Romy[ Romana], Aunty Zita, Aunty Myra, Aunty Philoo, Aunty Betty, Aunty Linda, Aunty Juliana, Aunty Marie, Aunty Wendy, Aunty Sybil, Aunty Biddy [ Bridget ], Aunty Rosie, Auntie Sheila, Aunty Esme, Aunty Elaine, Aunty Eddie [ Edith ], Aunty Ella, Aunty Elsie, Aunty Viola, Aunty Irene & Aunty Angela. Thirty days. Thirty providers.
So at the end of the rosary, which still has me wondering how Uncle Hector would remember the whole litany[ Star of David…. Etc.etc. etc. ] and everyone had kissed the statue and the littlest kids would have fought over who gets to blow the candles out the channa would appear. [ Aunty Maisie would have left after the fourth decade to get it ]. And she would dole it out with a big spoon. And we’d all line up and try and make as big a receptacle as you could with two palms. And we’d lap the gram out of our hands like horses, from the trough of our hands. And when everyone had got their firsts the greediest of us would be given seconds . [ No Aunty’s generosity ever ran to thirds.] And pate de foie gras could not have tasted better.
Yes I know May has thirty one days.That’s when the feast was celebrated and all the Aunties came together with a spirit of co-operation that would put Sahakari Bunder ro shame. And sorpotel, vindaloo, wedding rice, sannas ,patties and thali sweet was the order of the day.

1 comment:

Alan said...

Clem,
Brings a tear to my eye just thinking of those good old days.
The good old litany response "Prayfrus" and the smallies with "Wafers". What about the Cross feast and good old Jim Pops and his ever amusing renditions of "Hey Barbribab" and "Alu Vetta" (I may have cocked up the spelling but you get my drift.
Dont ever stop
Alan