Sunday, May 28, 2006

A grand old pumpkin tale.

This morning, I peeled and ate about 20 pumpkin seeds. I had saved them for drying after salvaging them from a pumpkin slice Ujwal had used to make some vegetable soup on Saturday. It brought back memories of my childhood. My mother used to give them to me ready peeled with their green covering intact. Peeling is quite a chore. Even if the outer covering is completely dry, it’s still slippery. Holding the tiny seed in your finger and trying to break and remove it takes a lot of patience. My other memory about pumpkin seeds concerns the annual fair (jatra) in Navi Wadi (literally ‘New Street’) very close to where I stay now. We used to go to visit the temple of Maheshwari, our family deity (kula devta). They used to have sweetmeat shops there where you could buy pumpkin seeds in sugar covering. It was considered quite a treat then. I wonder if it’s still available. Or, considered a treat. I also remembered a story from my childhood. It was about a bouncing pumpkin that a crafty grandmother used to save herself from a tiger and a fox. By a strange coincidence, I read it just the other day in a book for children rewritten by the renowned Marathi writer, Pralhad Keshav Atre. Delectable!

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