Monday, June 15, 2009

Jack for all trades


“Ah! You’ve inherited my Number One”, said granny when we moved into our new home in her backyard. What she alluding to was yellow, strong smelling and exactly what you were thinking of: A small innocuous variety of Jackfruit that she’d planted in the corner of her garden, now the driveway to our home.

In the twelve years that we’ve been here, Number One has faithfully yielded smallish yet absolutely delicious crops of crisp, non-fibrous fruit- the best I’ve ever tasted. This year however, it’s gone crazy. Over 30 huge fruit dangle obscenely from various parts of its long spindly trunk. We think the extraordinary yield is because it’s finally managed to pierce through the crown of the heavy mango tree that had been shading it all these years.

The produce from Number two, a much heavier yielding though marginally less crisp variety in our backyard, has always been reserved for friends, visitors and colleagues. This year, the thought of dealing with the bumper crop from both the trees is enough to make us all ignore them steadfastly, rather than deal with the sticky mess of cutting them down and processing them.

At work, this time of year has always been eagerly anticipated. All my chakka*-starved mallu colleagues at work would wait eagerly for the season, so I could bring and dump some yellow goodness on them. “In my nayteew, we used to get like this oLLy. My andy used to make jaam with jayckfruit, yinnow, chakkavaratti?” They’d say. “Blurgh yes. Notte quiteh my favouriteh”, I’d think.

The Tam gumbal would pipe up from random corners of the office “Bunrotti palaa* you have eatena? Supera irukkum”, they’d say. “What on earth possessed anyone to name a village Bun-rotti?” I’d think.

“Aiyo maraya namma oorinalli idral yenth-enthadhella maadthaare gotha? Happala, huli, pallya, chipsu.. Ohh halasina hannu* illadhe jeevanave nadiyuvudilla(I use it as a facial scrub daily. It's great for my skin), my Mangalorean friends would go. “Slurrp, ngn”, I’d go.

“In Vizianagaram, jeshtu oui are getting beshtu panasa* andi”, the Telugu bunchu would remarku. “Yes, commaan, let us vizit-the-nagaram”, I’d thinku.

“Kamaal hai yaar”, my northie frands would add. “Yahaan pe averybody is eating ripe? Hamare yahaan kathal* ki subzee banti hai.” (In Norththth na, we use iskin of jeckfruit in geography class as relief map of himalayas yaar.) “What next? Bhindi ka halwa?” I’d think. Wouldn’t put it past my Madras paati though.

“Plaa-mushu* na yenna nu theriyumo?” She’d begin sagely. “Yen maamiyaar aathulai adhukku nanna kadugu thaalichu thoenga, gueenga ellaam pottu masichu shaapuduvaa. Bhaama maamiyaar aathulai athai rendu eeda vadhakki….” (Lost me at plaa-mushu) At which point I’d go “Mushu mushu haashi deo malai lai.”

Last year, an oldish gentleman walked in from the road and helped himself to a fruit off Number One. He was making slow progress down the road thanks to the weight and prickliness of the fruit. “But, aunty gave it to me”, he said with a practiced expression of goggle-eyed innocence when we caught up with him. Aunty (my mother), who under normal circumstances would have paid him to get the fruit off her hands, quickly snatched it back from him. She did not take kindly to people her age calling her aunty.

As for this year, I don’t think we can pull off ignoring the bumper crop any more. The trees are groaning with the weight and the squirrels are making rude noises at us while they tunnel through the ripening fruit. We’ve already commenced negotiations with Numbers One and Two in an attempt to convince them not to ripen too quickly (or ever). I’m also making a Tibetan-style endless-loop CD with the words “Must deal with jackfruit”, set to a tinkly contemplative tune to play while the family sleeps.

If all the above doesn’t work, we’ll need some help. Any volunteers? Be fair warned that you will have to deal with the cutting and scooping yourself. We’re too posh for all that soht of thing dahling.

*****

Glossary:
Chakka, panasa, pala, kathal, halasina hannu = Jackfruit
Pala mushu = baby jackfruit (cooked as a vegetable, looks suspiciously like mutton!)

77 comments:

Harini said...

ohh...fond memories!! :) ..we used to have jackfruit trees in my dad's factory and every jacfruit season we used to have lots of them promptly delivered to our house...which of course wud be then be distributed to all thattas, pattis, attais, chittapas, maamas, athimbers, neighbourhood maamis and random people who visited home :)...ahh the pleasure of being a tam brahm household I say! :D

thenitknumbskulls said...

palaapazhams? aathuku vandhu eduthukaraen :) where do you live?
*goes to get a kaththi and ennai ready*

Reflections said...

Yum, yum, yummae
Lotsa place in my tummae!!!!!!!!

I havent eaten any past 2-3 yrs now & am yearning for some. Arnd yavva area nimma mannae located???? Aditha maasam b'lore'il yethunonde, korachu ennikum vechaekanae....

Please, please, pretty please;-D!!!

SJ said...

Aioo yentha comdey appaaa Halsinna hannannu spare madilla. No, me no likey this fruit. All phor you wonly!

Winnie the poohi said...

ha ha ha! I love jack fruits!

Sakshi said...

I volunteer I volunteer *Jumping up and down*....will cut scoop clean up the whole mess...in short will do yanithg to get may haands on this chakka...need my address brother?? nopes it's not of Kerala u see othervise why will I write to you?? para para...

Arunk said...

> yellow, strong smelling and
> exactly what you were thinking of
lol! Yes, you do know us too well ;)

Arun

Aarabi said...

miss home like crazayyyy! love the fruit with honey!! :D

Bea Walker said...

Long time ROTFL lurker....howda maraayare, halsina hannina happala thindiddeera? yenthaa ruchi antheeri??!!! Flicked the nostalgia switch - used to participate with grandmom and assorted aunties in peeling and making happla in the summer - of course had to stand guard over the drying happlas and kaka ootufy too :)....keep the blogs coming - love the talkies, lunchtime in Electronics city almost caused a hernia :))

Rithish said...

@Biker: nam manglooru kade halsina hannininda gatti (rice cake) kooda maadtaare.. nandantoo favorite.. aadare ee maavina hannina season-alli halasina hannu thinutta kootkondre hege?!? :-)

Anonymous said...

:) nice again.
keep them coming..

Suru said...

Damm .... this post seems as if I wrote it .... there's a jackfruit tree right outside my door, with squirrels tunneling into the ripe fruits. There are tons of fruits which are still on the tree.

There's even a playschool called Jackfruit House.

What's the deal with Malleshwaram and Jackfruits?

Nice post dude, keep 'em coming!

Reflections said...

Curious really....u wrote abt the jack & I wrote about the king the very same day;-D

sanjana said...

Finally we get a post, after waiting for a such a long time!
reminds me of the jackfruit's which are sent from ooru,slurp, yummy! :)


-Sanjana

10yearslate said...

Aen-ree sir-a! Eid-ka-chand aageeralla? aar-aar thingLakkomme baryoodh anth sankalp thogoNdeeraen?

(What-sir, sir-a? You have become moon-of-Eid only no? six-six months once writing vow taken or what?)

Nummooraag-ree, num phamily thour man-yaag musth beLeethidd-vu ree. Alle hindh gandhivada-daag irthidrall-ree thudug soLe makkL, bidthiddilla, raatri 3 ghanteg bundh kaLoo maadkoNd paar aagthiddr.

(In our town ree,my missus parental home, nicely growing ree. There only back side, in gandhivada, living no, robber whore sons, would'nt leave, night 3 o clock coming robbing doing and escape making.)

Idhakk anth heLi, num maava, laevel craasing-ge haakthiddrall-ree, dhodd gate-baagla, adhann thandh compound-daag sigsidhr. Aamyaag, gida sutthi muLLin kanti thandh haakthiddr. Ell noDooN-r-lay makkLa, eeg hyang thudug maadtheer-anth.

(For this only, my F-i-l, level crossing putting no, big gate, that one he fixed in the compound. After that, around tree thorn bush brought and put.Where, we'll see, my children, now how robbing you will do?)

Isht-ella maadi hagloo-raatri kaadh kaadh beLsidhr ree ondh haNN. Adh aenaag baek-ree? Officer saaybr obbr heLi kott kaLsidhr anth, 'nunn magaLu basri aagyaaL, halsin haNN thinno bayke moodythanth, elloo sig-volth, aa haNN bidskoNd bar-ree'

(after all this doing, day-night guarded, guarded growed sir ONE fruit. What should happen ree? Officer saab one guy sent word it seems "my daughter is preggers, jackfruit eating craving, nowhere getting, that fruit liberate and come ree")

Mathangi said...

Spluttering out morning coffee at 'mushu mushu haashi'! Have been coming here for a while and love the phonetic manglings :), much nostalgia coming.

Anonymous said...

I'll trade some of ours for some of yours. How is it?

narendra shenoy said...

brilliant as usual! by the way, you should travel mangalore bombay by the matsyagandha superfast express this season. wonly jackfruit smell, including in the loo.

narendra shenoy said...

Quick unrelated anecdote.

Missus has a Mangalore uncle, who related this one. Priceless I thought, though not many have shared in my mirth, but what the hell.

There is a girl in uncle's office in mangalore, the telephone operator, who had been, for decades, trying to get married. Sadly, severe horoscope issues prevented this from happening.

Uncle was thus extremely happy for her when she landed up one morning with a basket full of sweets and distributed them around the office. "Maduve agutade anta" (getting married it seems) explained a co-worker (kindly excuse glitches in lingo).

"Who is the lucky man", uncle asked, gallantly, of her when she came to give him sweets
"Avaru Napoleon, sir", she said, blushing.
"Napoleon? Christianaa?" Uncle was puzzled. She came from a conservative Hindu family. Marrying a christian would probably meet with opposition at home.
"Illa sir. Pure hindu avaru. Napoleon."she reiterated

It took uncle a good bit of cerebral effort to figure out she was marrying someone from Nepal

usha said...

:) lovely thing, this is. reminds me of amooma bringing it along for us, whenever she came visiting.

my Dad still maintains that the sole reason why he married Mom was that they had jackfruit trees at her place, which was like a lottery for the Chennai bred him. :P

ds said...

aaahh....bikerdude..... found ur blog quite some time back..... thought u were hibernating in siberia or somethin! yes, hamaare yahaan kathal ki sabzi banti hai... am a thorough panju from delhi! glad to know people still have gardens and fruit trees in their homes.... not much such luck in delhi...

Illkilya said...

Great post, left me in splits! Also made me yearn for Jack fruit in the middle of the night. Brought back a lot of childhood memories, with dad peeling it & sis & I gulping it down... one large fruit devoured in a matter of minutes... LOL

PRITI R said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
PRITI R said...

Hate the fruit but love the writing :)

Pri said...

haii where you had tolged kannaa? just the other day i was describing jackfruit to my boss. she was not very excited when she heard 'it kind of looks like a massive bee hive'. kindly send parcel for me no. my mother makes me eat canned jackfruit. it is the most horrible thing you can imagine.

Rekha said...

Gr8 post, my grin hasn't stopped yet. BTw, have u planned auctioning them online? :) just a thought!

Raju said...

adE ee chakka chipsinTe kooDe nEndra kaTTi unDengil, swargam kiTTiya pOle aanandikkyum nyangaL.

Super guru. halsiNaNNandre five lives namgellaa. yummu yummu tinde tinde anta ravi maaman thara haaDteevi.

palaa pazham pazhukkarattukku munnaaDiyE oru poriyal paNNi timbOm naanga ellaam. idu eppiDi irukku?

Prats said...

YUmmmm...such wonderful fruits they are...would love to come and help scoop, goop whatever,for that luscious one.
Dipping the fruit in honey, yummm!!!!!!
Let me know when the time comes...

My3 said...

Ooooooooooooooooooooooooo
Don't share it with too many people. We luuuuuuv this fruit. I buy canned ones and my kids make funny faces. We are arriving on July 19. Pliss to keep few fruits for us. We buy them in Jayanagar complex and my little one munches them and finishes them before get home!!!! No sharing there!

In Mysore my mom even uses the jackfruit seeds for kolumb. Yummmmmmmmmmm.....Thanks for the lovely post. A picture is worth a million words :D???

Sumi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sumi said...

madras Paati's "pala mushu' and Bama mamiyar's style of cooking it...looks like there is a Bama and her 'mamiyar' to talk about in every Tam Brahm family. now I tell mine 'pala mushu' resembles mutton curry, i can guarantee u ,they wud stop cooking this 'booring' dish! thanks for the idea!

June 20, 2009 7:11 AM

WannabeWriter said...

Your posts are also like jackfruits..seasonal....enjoyable! :) Well.. I am not a major fan of ripe jackfruits - smell too strong for me...but I love the chips and the kadachakka in curries...

mentalie said...

dude, my mum would fly all the way down to bangalore and back just to meet Number One :) i'll let her know about the free for all you have issued first thing in the morning...

buddy said...

jackfruit with honey..much divineness

Jai Iyer (iyermatter) said...

Haii jockfruit items. I am loving it.

Mario said...

"In Norththth na, we use iskin of jeckfruit in geography class as relief map of himalayas yaar." - Too good a line... Kudos to u... :)

Anonymous said...

ooh...PLEASE post your address...am heading to B'lore for a short spell and hope to find some jackfruit!

M

nikhil said...

loved it.... makes a nice read :)

bluejay said...

I love jackfruit.. have loads of trees back at home..and really really miss eating them!!!.. pleaseeeee tell me where to come and take it off ur hands!!!!

bananaiguana said...

hahaha, i havent laughed out loud like this in a long time! I'm coming back to BLR in a week after a long, long time; thanks for keeping the town fresh in my mind, bikerdude!

Anonymous said...

Dude,
You are hilarious!

laalay ki jan said...

ha ha ha! I love jack fruits!

Jun said...

super guru, ninna next postge kaitidde. ivattu siktu.
heege baritairu, nagastairu, some voice clips would be sakkat
aa. NRI tara.....adantu yen supperagittu andre, nakki nakki , hotte nau bantu maraya.

maja maadu,
Arjun

undeniablyblah said...

yebba whatay beauty of a blog!:D got here thru KA's. Totally hooked i am!cant wait for more!
Cheers!:D

Anjana R said...

a tad too verbose for my liking, but nice blog!

Curry Pan said...

anna yen aithu?

Anonymous said...

yenri edhu?

Ima said...

I'm still trying to process the info that people in the South eat jackfruit RAW (yes, yes, I am ignorant northie).

Curry Pan said...

argh! what happened? where are you? why're you lost? did you get married or somethinggg??

Sumi said...

dude,

en ree? enayuthu nimghe? yaake ??thumba dina aythu?? nim blog nimke saakayathaa? bega bannree!! nim thumba fans wait maadtha idhare!!

Bikerdude said...

Hello hello peepals,

VERY sorry for the unpardonably long silence. Thanks for all the ondraful commentifications. Shall be back with a bang (if not at least a whimper) real soon, I pwomiss!

Cheers
B

sFunn.com said...

yeah, i have eaten jack fruits,
not raw though.
:P
nice post

--
The Fun place.

Science Bloggers Association said...

Nice Blog. Congrats.
-Zakir Ali ‘Rajnish’
{ Secretary-TSALIIM & SBAI }
[Editor- Children’s Poem & Adult’s Poem]

Anonymous said...

when's real soon? been ages i say.

Anonymous said...

saar, every pore in my body is begging for your entertainment saar..

Harish Ramaswamy said...

Ah palapazham!
I love this post! :)

Poornima said...

Aye, thoo ninna! Jesht I came to yuvar blaag eegeega, read-u, enjaayed so very muchu (my friends & I talk like this vanly, what you know?)..I must have read every bleddy WORD from start (125B.C, when you opened this writing business)to finish, thinking, 'now he will write, now he will write'..then saw minss, next posht did not forthcame ataal. Rraiitrrs block va? Entha money oru khunsistency illathathu?

Write it off one more moshterpeace little bit soon no? nge? okay.

Anonymous said...

Dude, you gotta post.

Madhu | INDImag.com said...

My first time here. Saw food and Bangalore, so what's not to like ! :-)

Hilarious post. Voted for you in IndiBloggies. You deserve it..

AG said...

Any fruits still left?

Sindhu said...

Its my first time here, and man!! I was literally ROTFL. Can't wait for the next post !!

Reflections said...

High time u posted ;-)!!!

How abt something on Christmas u've celebrated in many places u've lived....see I'm even giving u ideas for free;-D

bluejay said...

how come u haven't posted in such a long time?!!! u gotta post!!!! come on!!Pleaseeeeeeee

Reflections said...

Even if u've forgotten us we havent....see I have even awarded u inspite of U being MIA for the past 6 months;-/

chandan said...

ha ha nice blog post :)

Anonymous said...

this last post of urs also came off on bangalore mirror, wht u waiting for pa, come on i say, write off one more for all of us.

Peeking Duck said...

you died or what?

subbulakshmistoned said...

hey read your article about weddings in Bangalore Mirror and here I see you haven't posted in ages!

Shruti said...

I really like your blog. Funny and well written


If you're looking for restaurant reviews, do visit:
http://www.couchpotatoesonthemove.blogspot.com/

Pri said...

thu nonsense. one year you'll take to update? bloggers meet it seems. write weekly post i say. also i had forgotten about tomato slice with uppu khara pepper. thanks for reminding me. now i want.

theobserver said...

hey biker,
i wonder where you get so many good ideas.
by the way,my dad's office is full of jackfruit trees.he never brings any home(against his ethics,calls it stealing).His boss had a close shave with a falling jackfruit.it been chaar saal baad and the trees havent improved their aim.

rama said...

Rally funny can't stop laughing.

maszkou said...

HAA. You reminded me of all the halsina hannu season craziness at my place. Removing those 100 pound fruits from the tree is such a pain, since it is rainy season at the same time. We almost have to call fire brigade to do it ! But in the end the yellow fruit is worth it!

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