Saturday, 5 May 2007

The Big G

One day, somebody in an evidently inebriated state decided to compliment my mother on her ginger juice. Since then, what started out as a culinary experiment has morphed into an exhaustive annual exercise comparable only to her efforts at making tomato ketchup.
I’ve tried reasoning with her that ginger is best left in the medicine cupboard, and even then, rarely (if ever) used, but to no avail.

This time, the ginger juice monster in her lay latent for a good twelve months, when it burst forth in all vengeance demanding a couple of extra hands to do the very dirty work for her, whence my forced volunteering of labour and kind.

I should have left home when she came armed with a two-foot tall sac packed with various sized and shaped stems of the particular underground variety in question. But I didn’t and it was worse than I feared.

My first task was to clean the wretched stem-vegetable. Ever cleaned mud off a bucket full of tangled roots in numbing cold water and then waited the rest of the day to be able to feel your fingers again, only to be told you did it all wrong in the first place?

My further services were required to grate the lot of ginger. I suppose there was a certain sadistic pleasure to be got out of shredding the g while continually mentioning the absolute irreverence I held for it. Until it avenged itself by making my eyes water and murdering a couple of hundred olfactory epithelial cells.

I weathered the dense reek that covered every inch of my house and person for three days, as the elaborate process of making the juice unravelled. The golden brown liquid menacingly simmered in a huge (what can only be called a) cauldron. (Who had to scamper up the atta to bring it down?)

But my contributions weren’t yet complete. I also had the unenviable job of scooping out gooey goo left over after the preparation and dunking it dollop by slow, messy dollop into the home’s compost pit, uninvited, into the humble abode of a rat family and the roaches. The stains still haven't left my nails.

I realise what a thankless job it is, when I am further assigned to fill the (by now) ready juice into ten bottles, all waiting for me in a line. Given the responsibility, I spill not a drop, working with immense precision despite a wonky ladle. Mum waits till bottle no. 10 is full to taste a bit of the concoction and realises it needs “some more lime.” Out she pours all ten bottles worth back into the cauldron to repair the apparent damage. I’m not pleased. I pour the improved product back in, this time rather ferociously, spilling about a bottle’s worth, and still finding that we now have enough to fill twelve bottles.

So now I’m sticky and no amount of soap can rid me of the ginger stink on me.

Mum forced some g juice down my protesting throat. I know I made a face to crack mirrors and informed her that it was no less foul than last year’s.
“It’s good for colds,” she said in an attempt at justification.
“But I don’t have a cold.” Just in case she hadn’t noticed.
“And you never will.”

Honestly Mum, I’ll take my chances with the cold.


kripa said...

KATTHEGE GOTTHUNTA KASTURI PARIMALA? Anyway, i have started a signature campain supporting my case.

acanofspinach said...

Hey! I'm sure the ginger juice can't be that bad! You're just mad cuz you had to clean them roots!

Nicely done, a tad cheeky though! :P

THUDL said...

hey!..a fun read!...suddenly ginger juice is somthing that must be avoided at all cost...:)

kripa said...

I have a better quote- Ever heard the phrase " BANDAR KYA JAANE ADRAK KA SWAAD?"

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