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Lai Gwad, Lai Gwad (very Sweet)

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by satchitananda, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Strange are the ways of life. Just a month ago I was thinking how short of topics I was to write even a single snippet. And now ..... as the closet opens and memories tumble out, one more memory has fallen out on top of the pile - a sweet one, this! Sugarcane juice. No, I prefer to call it 'usacha ras'.

    When I was a kid of around 5, there were many vendors from the villages around who would come to sell their goods in the city. One such person would come to sell sugarcane. He had a unique way of selling. He'd come singing and dancing. The song is etched in my memory and I still remember the tune as well. It went:

    "Aai ni khaawa ni baba ni khaawa, sachrecha mewa
    Lai gwad, lai gwad"

    (All moms and dads should eat this sugary sweet, it is so sweet, so sweet)

    I'd be waiting for him every evening in the holidays and then it was my parents job to buy those sugarcanes, make pieces of them and I'd eat them. Distribution of labour! I am told by the older sib that the man was filmed by FTII (Film and Television Institute of India which was a 5 min walk from home) students doing the act! :laughing:

    Pune is a city full of little shacks called 'ghural' serving usacha ras.

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    There would be benches inside and if you did not mind the flies, you could have a good time drinkng that sweet nectar of existence! Slurp...slurp... Well, being the eternal food lover (I am told people born under my star are all food lovers), what did little flies matter to me? Of course, I tried to keep in mind my parents' concerns and chose the cleanest one in sight. Not infrequently we used to go with a huge can and bring home some of the stuff. The 'grown ups' preferred getting it home and drinking it out of clean glasses.

    I remember once after the Chemistry practical exam (6 hours standing), I was done and did not have the energy to go home. I had my bicycle with me. I crossed the road and went sat in a ghural which had a separate 'ladies' section! :-D Oh the little luxuries of those times! I had one glass. When the guy came to get the glass, I asked for a second. Then when he came back, I asked for a third!!! You had to see the look on his face to believe it. Only after that I gathered energy enough to go home.

    Another time, I was coming back from work on my Luna (another of my precious memories is of going on my Luna all around town). I had not been feeling too well on that day. Right from the morning, every time I bent down a wave of giddiness would sweep over me. I thought I was imagining things and ignored it. On my way back, I turned onto the main road and there it was again. The giddiness. I was right in the middle of the road and did not know what to do. I got off, parked the Luna right where I had stopped in the middle of the road (yes, those days such luxuries were possible. One can't walk on that very same road today), walked across somehow to the side with darkness enveloping my brain. I tottered up to a lamp post to hold onto. Just then a young couple came up to me and asked me whether I was alright. I told them I wasn't well and that my Luna was parked in the middle of the road. I gave the man the key and asked whether he would be so kind as to move it to the side. He asked me where I lived. He took the Luna and went home to drop it there. I decided there was nothing better for giddiness than usacha ras. I told the lady I'd like a swig before I felt confident enough to walk. She obliged. I had 2 glasses of the good stuff after which she walked me home. She must have been wondering what kind of a nut she had offered to help! When I got home, my mom, sis and neighbour were at the doorstep, aghast at some stranger bringing home my Luna with me nowhere in sight. She kept asking him where I was and he kept looking around, wondering what to say. He must have wondered too, where I had vanished!!! Anyway, within 10 mins I was home, much to the relief of mom (I wonder, considering she used to swear that I was her Nemesis - 'shaitan' was her favourite appellation for me)!

    One of the purposes of my glorious existence, I guess, was to contribute to the livelihood of sugarcane juice vendors of Pune!

    It has been ages since I visited a ghural. All one gets these days is the 'clinically clean' stuff which is refrigerated and squeezed in clean machines. No, I am not complaining. They come in different flavours - with lemon, ginger, mint ..... but nothing can come close to the sachrecha mewa of my childhood.

     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2019
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  2. SpringB

    SpringB Senior IL'ite

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    Really sweet snippet. Took me back to those days when we had the juice straightfrom the extractor on the road side. A hint of lemon and generous ginger flavor added to its taste. Sugarcane that we had recently for Sankranthi didn’t have the same taste as it used to be. Thanks for bringing old memories
     
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  3. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks a lot SpringB. Welcome to IL and to my snippets! :-D
     
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  4. shravs3

    shravs3 IL Hall of Fame

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    Sugarcane!!!! Personally I feel sugarcane served in glasses on hot sunny day is the best way to quench your thirst.
    Of course after growing up we are cautious about the ice used in serving the juice and whether the glass is washed in clean water.
    But hey who cares when we are enjoying the drink:tongueclosed:.
    Just like Golgappas where we are not worried about the water used for making pani :hearteyes:.
    Good old college days !

    Roadside Sugarcane with lemon and ginger is the best. It can no where match the new Cane Juice centres . They literally spoil the taste by infusing various flavours :rage:.
     
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  5. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    True shravs. Growing up puts the spokes into many wheels indeed. Suddenly we start getting worried about various things in life. The difference I guess is that if we fall sick when we are kid, we miss school. So that is a bonus to the sugarcane enjoyed. When we grow up falling sick means we miss work and the consequences thereof!!!
     
  6. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    The memories...
    Of the carefree days of childhood,
    Of the little boats that we floated,
    Of the cane juice we gulped and
    Of the bubbly white mustache
    That we sported later for fun...
    Stay forever etched deep
    They come out once a while
    With all the familiar smells and tastes
    Wish I could go back in time
    And be that little child once again!

    Oosacha ras aani pausache din!

    Lovely treat, Satchi @satchitananda.
     
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  7. Mistt

    Mistt IL Hall of Fame

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    WoW! Adorable poetry! Very nice..
     
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  8. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    That's a beautiful poem Geeta. Reminds me of 'woh kaagaz ki kashti, woh barish ka paani'. :) Go back to my childhood ..... probably not. I would not want to go back to school, college and through all the struggles. But if our world could return to some of the sanity of that time, that would be wonderful, though I wonder whether we can really go back!
     
  9. nandinimithun

    nandinimithun IL Hall of Fame

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    Lovely snippet dear @satchitananda
    The first time I actually enjoyed a glass of sugarcane juice was in Mumbai, after my marriage....
    My dh took me to a small shop and he told me that he used to have there in his school days, I enjoyed a big glass of sugarcane juice all to myself... .
    Growing up we never really worried about anything and things were still fine and sane.... The struggles didn't look bad or big.....
    Things have changed drastically, I wish one day I show my kids how my childhood days was simple and easy. ...
    Sugarcane juice bought back lot of sweet memories, thanks for this lovely write up dear satchi.
     
  10. GeetaKashyap

    GeetaKashyap IL Hall of Fame

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    Thank you, dear @Mistt.
     
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