“We love food; food brings communities together and communities together can uplift the society.”
This is the only motive behind our personal charity “Two Hands”. Rajesh, Pranav and I decided to pursue in helping Marathi cuisine migrate and make it global in a distinct way. One, we wished to popularise Marathi cuisine; two, we wished to educate people on eating the right way like our ancestors; three, we wanted to give them an evocative food experience; four, we wished to bring the communities together; last, but not the least, we wished to raise funds for the charities set up by unsung heroes. The reason why we choose to identify such Samaritans is because of a simple conversation we had with Dr Prakash Amte during his visit to London. In just a few minutes of individual chat times, he was inspiring us all. To us he said, “people now are aware of Hemalkasa, we are very happy about it. But there are numerous other people working hard doing good deeds for the society, who need support too…go and find them.” Every Spring, we host a meal at our tiny house situated in Berkshire county, UK. We thought a packaging of meal and charity would help get our message across. 2019 will be our fourth year hosting the meal and we are planning a “Lagnaachi Pangat” (traditional wedding meal) for our guests.
So, come Easter break, our house gears up for the mega meal. Every year, we host about 70-80 people for meal with a theme. Friends come and help a couple of days in advance and the cooking begins as early as 5 am on the day. Our friends travel from far and wide to make these events a grand success.
Our first initiative was to support Help For Farmers with Zunka-Bhakri charity meal. The staple food of the rural and our beloved farmers, traditionally has been as simple as Bhakri accompanied by just a raw onion, a dry chutney and times Zunka or pithle, thus the menu. All monies raised went directly to Help For Farmers who to support the farmers and their families in India, struggling for their livelihood as a result of unsustainable farming.
We patted 200 bhaakri and packed the meal in shidori parcels as a take-away.
The second year was celebrating the culmination of cooking journey through Ruchira supporting “Maya Care” and interacting with the director-producer and script writer (Ashay Javadekar and Gautam Pangu) of Shanks movie for Marathi Fine Dining Food.
Maya CARE was conceived by Manjiri Gokhale Joshi and her mother, as a dream to assist senior citizens in activities that would offer them convenience, independence and happiness while continuing to live in their own homes. The dream is now a movement propelled by a growing network of volunteers across 3 Indian cities and supporters across the world. Primarily a care service for senior citizens, Maya CARE is also used by those with a mental or physical disability as well as families of professionals working away from home
एका राणीच्या देशात , दुसर्या राणीचा उत्सव !
एकीची ६५ वर्षे, दुसरीची ४७ .
दुसर्या राणीचे नाव रुचिरा ;
तिचा अर्थ सुंदर व चविष्ट ,
आणि कै कमलाबाई ओगल्यांनी
लहानाचे मोठे केलेल्या या राणीला ,
हाताशी धरून ,
देवांच्या प्रीतीने ओळींनी केलेले
जवळ जवळ २५० पदार्थ !
आता व्रताचे उद्यापन, आणि
त्या निमित्त रुचिराचे पृष्ठनृत्य
जेवणाचा प्राण असलेला साधा भात,
“चल ग सखे!” म्हणत वरणाला घेऊन अग्रभागी;
“किती हा खोडकरपणा ! चला!” म्हणत
डाव्या बाजूच्या मिठाला आणि लिंबाच्या फोडीला
जातीने बरोबर घेऊन आलेले सोनेरी तूप !
“इश्श्य! ” म्हणत तेलात वलयाकार फुलणारे पापड ,
आणि जोडीने कुतूहलाने उमलणाऱ्या कुरडया ;
आणि २२ कॅरेट सोन्यात , तेलात ,
कांदे बटाटे वांग्याला गूंडाळणाऱ्या भजी !
निरनिराळे लवेजमे घेऊन येणाऱ्या चटणीबाई;
कधी घरंदाज लसूण-खोबर , कधी पारंपरिक पूड ,
कधी सिनेमातल्या हिरो सारखी दाणे चटणी ,
आणि हळूच मागून येऊन पुढे बसून
“हम काले है तो क्या हुआ, चवदार है !‘
गाणारी आमसूल चटणी .
अचानक वाहात आलेला आंबटगोड
बोरांचा कायरस ,
ठसक्यात आपली जागा पकडणारी खमंग काकडी ,
आणि आपापसात कुजबुजणार्या चटण्या .
शुभदिनी पितांबर पिवळा रंग घेऊन आलेली ,
मिरची-कढीपत्ता-कोथिंबीर आलंकृत बटाट्याची भाजी,
आपले गतायुष्य विसरून चक्क छान मसाल्यात
रुळलेली खोबर कोथिंबीर युक्त मुगाची उसळ ,
आणि त्याच मुगांनी पावन केल्या पाण्यानी
नारळाच्या दुधाशी जमवून घेऊन ,
जिरे मिरचीने सजवून बनवलेले कळण.
यूरोप खंडात आशियाचा झेंडा व्यवस्थित रोवून
विश्रांतीत एक भारदस्त सुसंस्कृत श्रीखंड;
आणि लगबगीने “आलेच हं ” म्हणत
फुलणाऱ्या पुर्या ,
आणि शेगडीच्या तव्यावर श्वास घेणाऱ्या पोळ्या.
अचानक एक खमंग व्यक्तीचे आगमन ,
आणि शहाजिरे-दगडफूल प्रभुतीने कार्यरत केलेल्या
सुंदर सोनेरी मसालेभाताचे,
जुनी ओळख दाखवत वरणभाता शेजारी बसणे ;
“हो ग ! ते दोघे एकाच गावचे ना ! ” म्हणत
मेतकूटाने दह्यात पडणे,
आणि आला मिरची कांदापात लोकांना
येण्याचा आग्रह करणे .
रुचिरा राणीचे ह्या ताटाकडे कौतुकमिश्रित कटाक्ष ,
जेवायला आलेल्या मित्रमैत्रीणीनी
“माय केअर” साठी केलेली मदत .
उगीच आपलं वाटतं ,
६५ वर्षे राज्य करणाऱ्या राणी एलिझाबेथला
तिच्या समारंभात असे जेवण चाखायला मिळाले असते का ?
In India, higher education is all in English, which is woefully absent in villages or small towns that are also the poorest. The idea is, if you teach English to kids there, they can have a path to good paying professional jobs and thus, a way to beat poverty. The challenge is the limited English skills of teachers in those schools. LeapForWord (LFW) has worked for 10 years to develop and perfect a unique system to rapidly teach English to rural teachers using regional languages.
Last year, we had the honour to create a Back-To-School experience in our backyard in support of LeapForWord. We were lucky to connect with Pranil Naik the brainchild behind a generous cause LeapForWord through our dear friend Amit Sangekar.
We arranged some goodies that all of us devoured in our dabba during our tiffin times-short recess, long recess and not to miss out the bhel, chiglya, borkut on Mavshi-Kaka’s Cart!
It is becoming more and more obvious that we need to drastically change how we use plastics. Our recycling infrastructure, reducing plastic use and littering needs to be addressed as a community.
Thus for Two-Hands LeapForWord event, food was served in these natural, biodegradable and chemical free servers donated by Innowise.
Preeti Deo is an Admin member of the Angat Pangat Facebook Group.