Passion Parathas

You are in Mahabalehswar. Its the middle of the afternoon. Right there in the main market. There is a hustle-bustle in the air that the chill clime seems to struggle to ward off.

You squint your eye, catch more the air and store some smell of strawberries before you head back to the plains. You have told colleagues who would care to listen that you have gone there to ‘renew’ yourself.

There is a chatter in the air. Sound of cameras clicking. Of Bargain and memento hunters and odd tractor.

Shopkeepers invite you to buy trinkets and trumpets with an ease and swank of sophisticated socialites slipping from subject to subject in another sundry party that would get a Page 3 feature!

Amidst all the chatter, noise and sights, a song reaches your ear. Its not melodious. Its not classical. You don’t know, for you are not trained. But you don’t think it can be classical music. You are sure it perhaps will not pass the muster of the entrance gate of a music studio. Or perhaps it could.

All the same, the song grips you.

You look around. Without too much difficulty you spot the singer. An man kneading dough and making parathas. At the restaurant nearby !

You spot a small crowd outside the restaurant. They seem to be standing there to watch him make parathas. You wonder what attracts the crowd !

You wonder if its the man. A well built man singing loud enough for the market to hear is not common sight. But you realise quickly,its not about him.

You wonder if it is his antics that attract people. Antics. Of tossing up the dough. Catching it. Tossing it into the Tandoor. Picking it right back tossing it back to find the plate, so much so that it could put an established marksman to shame !

Singing all through.

You aren’t sure. Perhaps, perhaps…you think, its the song. You smile. You realise. You nod your head.

Its not the song. Yet. It is the song.

There is a song that the lips sing, when the heart is ‘in’ what you do. You don’t realise that you are singing. When they say, ‘you really are on a song’.

It doesn’t matter, what you do. Arranging clothes in a retail store, keeping books in a bank, making movies or composing music ! Or for that matter, making parathas for people that you don’t know. Or know.

When you are on a song, it shows.

You smile. You know whats missing in life. Realisation that what you were looking for is right here. You feel light.

You squint your eyes, tilt your head and ask yourself… when was the last time you were on a song !?!

18 thoughts on “Passion Parathas

  1. Very few are able to turn hobby into job And may be the guy is one of them And if not, He is one of the best marketing person. And yes, Kavi thanks for writing such a beautiful description within simple words. Thanks. Keep traveling, Keep writing And sharing always.

  2. This was brilliant music of the nostalgic kind. A modern interpretation of what my grandfather (he would have been > 120 years today) use to say : “whatever you do for work, treat it like it’s a puja to God. Enjoy doing it well.” And then he would give us the example of a sweeper, who did absolutely first-class sweeping – you always knew when he had been around ……and he was no less than a big boss somewhere who supposedly “worked”.

    (Actually this is explained in Vinoba Bhaves “Geetai”)

    So many of us, do not even notice this wonderful music of those who enjoy their karma.

    Thanks for posting this….

  3. I'm Nu says:

    Kavi,great post..if ‘great’ tells you what I really mean !

    Well,I’m always on a song. 🙂 I just can’t do without music..even when I’m driving,cleaning the house,cooking, fact right now while reading this post my lips are singing a song.. :)Music make you feel lighter and helps you focus…or may be the other way round.. the concentration makes you sing 🙂

  4. I'm Nu says:

    hey noticed that may be you haven’t noticed my other blog at WordPress…haven’t seen you there.. come visit sometime 🙂

  5. Neha says:

    wow..such a vivid beautifully written..

    the guy must be a genius..the parathas look yummy..

    I am hungry and nostalgic at the same time..

  6. Resonates in those evergreen lyrics
    Har dil jo pyar karega
    woh gaana gayega

    You took it further to show how to enjoy, like and live the work you.
    Certainily one of your best posts.:)

  7. radha says:

    I know – these guys are no less than the pizza dough makers. And they do it at roadside stalls amid all the din! And to think he enjoys his work too.

  8. Kavi,

    Wonderful observation and you have penned it very well. I wish I see these people when I visit. At times I realise that we do not sing nowadays. We could only envy such people.

  9. Aparna says:

    The toss of the rumali roti brought back a lot of memories.
    This was a common sight in many areas in Delhi where I grew up. Those were also the days when I sang a lot more, after all the young and the restless are always on a song.
    As life slowly starts happening to you, you lose your ability to hum a few lines, may be because there is always something more mundane to do and you really do not see yourself humming while waiting for buses.Or buying groceries. Or feeding children. And paying bills. Of course, the kids grow up and the entire house reverberates with the sound they call music and you feel” will my life ever be peaceful again?”
    Nice post, made me realize I haven’t sung for a while now. So get your earplugs out, Kavi.

  10. Kavi,

    please start videoblogging.. if your photoblogs are this good, can’t wait to see videos .. where we see the world through your eyes.


  11. The making of rumaali rotis is indeed an art in itself. Music will perhaps embellish it, but rumali roti makers are artists even without the harmony!

  12. aativas says:

    To be on the song .. well, that really matters at the end (and at the beginning too.. that leads to the end!)

  13. Interesting narration of an interesting event. 🙂

  14. Pearl says:

    I envy a nation with such culture. The closest we come are the hot dog vendors — and they do not sing!


  15. Insignia says:

    Its an art!! Not all of us could do that without breaking off the dough or missing a step. You are from Madurai, so you must be really familiar with making of Koththu paratha. What music!!! accompanied with the aroma… Hmmmmm……….and the tea. The art of cooling tea by whisking it from as far as possible!! Wow!!


  16. Guria says:

    It is as if even if you are standing elsewhere and haggling, the image of the man working and the sound of him singing, really singing, pulls at you…

  17. Kavi says:

    Hobo : Thank you! I am just a fellow traveller like you. Cant write as frequently as you, but still try to. Thanks for all the nice things that you say !

    Ugich Konitari : Acharya has a way with things ! And there are Big Bosses who sang while they worked too ! So did mothers, sons, daughters. Drivers and book keepers !

    But the silent majority that sings when the pay check hits the bank and cries for the next 20 odd days…. perhaps must have some view of the Paratha ! 🙂

    Nu : Thank you ! Its fantastic to hear that you are always on a on song ! That comes, perhaps because you enjoy the things that you do !

    Will check out the new blog !

    Neha : Thank you !

    I am not sure about the genius quotient. But i am reasonably sure of his happiness quotient !


    The Holy Lama : Thank you ! Thank you !

    Braja : 🙂 Thanks !

    Radha : yes. Isnt it awesome. to think he enjoys his work while there are those that crine in airconditioned cubicles. Its not about the enviroment !

    Balaji : You will ! Just let me know when you are coming this side ! 🙂

    Aparna : The song that anybody sings when they are on a song…are the best to hear ! The ear plugs are not needed ! 🙂

    Sing ! Lets have some music !

    Sundar : Thank you ! Have been contemplating that for sometime ! Let me see what i can do ! 🙂

    Sucharita : You bet. Thats an art form ! The making of it. The eating of it is a different story !

    Aativas : yes. The beginning always leads to the end ! 🙂 Thats all thats there to life and living !

    Chandrika : Thank you !

    Pearl : You must come here to see the sight and sounds that you will get to see ! 🙂

    Insignia : Oh Kothu porotaa ( as its called ) thats a sound and light show…as a matter of fact ! 🙂

    Guria : thats exactly what happened ! 😉

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