Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Jeerakamittai/Candied Cumins – Colours of Childhood!

It would be really unfair if I start today’s post with an opening line that I do not fancy chocolates but I love the simplest things like Jeerakamittai/Candied cumins and Kappalandi Mittai/Candied groundnuts. I am sure , even before finish reading the line CJJ would give me that , “ helloooo….are u sure? “ look and smile considering the current situation that I have eaten more than my share from that large box of Godiva Truffles our dearest friends A & S gifted last weekend. Well, throw them in the category of exceptions, won’t you? ? Honestly, I am addicted to those two candies……..I cherish the sugar highs I get from this simple treasures of childhood…. colours of my childhood, indeed!

Last year when my parents were with us, they sampled various kinds of fancy chocolates everyday. But they were quite surprised to see me going for a tiny packet of Jeerakamittai they got me from India. As they watched me carrying small portions carefully nestled in my palms and nibbling on those colourful candies, my father recollected a colourful thread from my childhood and I was amused at the end of his narration……an episode that’s not even in my murky memory and after a lot of pestering my father agreed to put them into words and I got this in my mail last week.

“……….Once again I rewind and go back to my primary school days when this Jeerakamittai was a legendary figure among all of us --- a multi colored sugar coated granules , available in bulks and in packets ….. I think it was the cheapest then …. It had a magical attraction , especially when it was displayed in glass jars in stationary shops. Most children would have had it during their childhood days. Now I feel that children became addicts to this super sweet--- even Cadbury's were not preferred during those days. Such was the craze for this tiny colorful granules --- My daughter was no exception to this . When she was only two years , her Valliachan , my eldest brother used to give her a small packet of Jerakamittai whenever she visited him. He made her believe that it was a medicine, to be consumed only twice a day, thinking that he would have a control on her intake. But this prompted her to make frequent visits to Valliachan ‘ house and finally I was compelled to purchase it and keep it with me . An agreement was reached between us that she was allowed only two doses , one in the morning the other in the evening and that became a daily practice.

I still remember, my daughter never wanted to part with it when she enjoyed this delicacy. she was only two years then. One day, one of my close friends late Prof. Sureshkumar visited us and she was taking her morning dose of Jererakamittai. Professor closely watched her enjoying the sweets and after some time extended his hands and asked for a few. Without any hesitation she offered him just two mittais -- he put it in his mouth and pretended to be enjoying it and asked for the next…….but to my surprise, she carefully took two more and gave it to him. Professor repeated the same and asked for some more. she angrily turned her face and uttered "ini tharoooolla" ( I won’t give) Professor made a comment “anyway she is generous--at least she was ready to part with four !!! very rarely children of this age behave like this

My dear daughter , do you remember this ? “

No, I do not remember this sweetest piece of story from my childhood and that’s why I wanted it to be here on my web journal, in my father’s own words!


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