kanda bachchali

kanda bachchali
the tuber
and
the greens
coming together
with mustard
being ground enough
for it not to lose
its tanginess
so as not to turn bitter.
this was my dance teacher
explaining to me
how it was a delicacy served at
a traditional andhra wedding :
and how it was
a message
to fuse something
that grows above the ground
and
the other that fattens below.
but what about the cooking time? i asked
we are not concerned
about how fast
the tuber softens
or
the over cooking of the greens.
but it’s the mustard
that must be pound
on the stone
and not in a mixer.
i shuddered
at the idea
of
living my life
with a man
whose mother marinated fish
with paste of mustard.
il faut choisir ‘le moutard’
“hum toh kachi ghani tel hi istemal karte hein”
sandesam :
sandeham
samyogam.

Glossary:
1.il faut choisir ‘le moutard’ translates as : One has to choose the young man. While mustard as a condiment in French is a feminine noun, the reference to ‘le moutard’ is the colloquial way of saying, a young lad.

2. “hum to …karte hain” translates from hindi to english as : we only use cold pressed mustard oil.

3. sandesam : means a message .The dish kanda bacchali is called sandesam. It makes its presence in the telugu wedding cuisine as a message for different morphology types coming together.

4. sandeham : a doubt, a querry.

5.samyogam : synthesis. In telugu it also bears a connotation for mating.

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Jaya Rao Dayal attempted pursuing psychology for close to a decade. She is trained in Bharatanatyam, and in the last decade, has been interested in Indian Aesthetics. She submitted a dissertation to Jnanapravaha in Mumbai as part of a post-graduate program in Indian Aesthetics. She lives in Gurugram, India.

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