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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Story of Mango Fruit Sambar and the philosophy behind it for Carnatic music

Story of Mango Fruit Sambar and the philosophy behind it for Carnatic music.

 by Balayogi  []

Some people with very high BP or cardiac problems cannot take me because of my saltiness due to salt in me.

Some people with severe peptic ulcer, liver cirrhosis, gerd [gastroesophageal reflux disease] cannot take me because of my sour taste caused due to my Tamarind content.

Some people with stomach ulcer, colon problems cannot take me because of my spicy taste caused due to red chillis and /or pepper.

Some people with severe diabetes cannot take me because of my sweetness caused due to the fructose in the mango juice.  

Some people with dislike for even the slightest bitterness cannot take me because of a few fenugreeks that are added.

Some people cannot take me because of the umami [thuvarpu] taste of the coriander. [1]

Some people do not want to take me because they dislike the aroma of asafoetida.

Some people do not want to take me because they cannot take the dhal in me as they suffer from protease deficiency [2].

Some people do not want to take me because they suffer from various malabsorption [3] related issue.

The mango fruit one of the main ingredient of me [the mango sambar] itself was proud of the fact that it was the only product which has all the six tastes embedded in it from the bitter kernel, to the salty shell cover, to the umami mavadu [small mango],to the sour mango before maturing into a sweet mango fruit unaware of the fact that its destiny is not defined by its proud self but because of its being part of me the Mango fruit Sambar.

So, there were these hoard of people with various unfortunate physical disorders who cannot enjoy or savor me [mango fruit sambar] and those with psychological aversions towards me, well justified after all it is a matter of taste.

But still I have many who do not come under the above two categories could and did and continue to savor me and that too repeatedly.

I also noticed that human beings seldom realize how sense of taste is extremely influenced by sense of smell.

Left to myself I would have preferred people savoring me rather than tasting me. Even most dictionaries define the word savor as ‘have an experience of’. Taste and smell are the senses people confuse. They seem to be inseparable companions. [4]

As my appeal is to the human senses and sensibilities of the body, mind and through them to the soul or spirit [for those who believe in them] I was proud of my excellent combination to provide all the six possibly verbally defined tastes namely sweet, salty, spicy, sour, bitter and umami combined with an enviable mix of aroma created by that whole lot of ingredients.

So, I never felt the need to feed any of the political ideologies, which lead some people to make political statements in almost all spheres of life and living and which gradually disturb the very essence of my identity just to suit a particular political ideology.

I was wrong to have lived in blissful ignorance of getting impacted or influenced by political ideological factors when it has penetrated itself in many areas and castrated many human activities of their intrinsic potentiality or vitality.

Especially, certain political ideologies, which tend to and want to homogenize everything, knowing well or ignorant of the fact that nature’s law is that of manifesting variety and automatic and spontaneous unity and harmony in variety.

So some votaries of this ideology want me to be accessible to and appealing to everyone a la leftist Marxist ideology and in that case you imagine what taste can I retain? What aroma I am allowed to carry? What texture I must appear to be? What is more interesting is that a person who loved, lived and grew through tasting me and savoring me and spreading my flavor to many others has decided propagate this political ideology with which I have no relation and for which I was never created and therefore neither do I have any clue as to what I must become and it has left many of those who have started enjoying me recently in total confusion.

All that I can assure is that all the nature’s bounties that have conspired to create me, the Mango fruit sambar, will always be intact only as mango fruit sambar for all those who can make it and want it. For the rest you can all have Mango fruit sambar without mango, without tamarind, without salt, without coriander and even without mango or sambar and call it still by the same name as Mango sambar.

All beings and things on earth have evolved with some purpose either obvious or not so obvious [ I cannot say hidden or mysterious or esoteric then my motives will be questioned] to enable everyone to experience and explore the unmapped atlas of life and enjoy the journey of life in the process.

Let everyone choose the vehicles or tools of their choice or taste or temperament to engage in this exploration and there are neither any fit all vehicles nor can there be any compulsion to use only certain specific tools to be used. So let no one sit on judgment on any tool or vehicle.

It was these intolerance and restrictions which have delayed the progress of science, prevented human growth through many restrictive religiously imposed rules and rituals and certain political ideologies. Let us not pollute everything with what we think to be the only way to approach anything nor view everything in life through the prism of our ideological fixations.

Everything fits in as some piece in the jigsaw puzzle of life’s purpose and therefore no person or thing can move around in vague inanity without identity nor are there any restrictions from liberating or switching over to other identities.

Yes identities inevitably tend to be labeled and defined and in turn they too define and describe the person or thing that they impact or influence. Each identity has also in its intrinsic fiber some inbuilt sanctity and self defense mechanism.

If I the Mango fruit Sambar can have such worries about my existence due to irrelevant evaluations of my personality I shudder to imagine areas like Classical Carnatic music being subjected to such analysis.

While questioning and doubting are most vital  aspects of growth and development of any field there must not be irrelevant evaluations or judgments popping out of impatience to wait for certain answers.
I sometimes feel like telling certain minds what Steve Maraboli said, “Get out of your own way… stop the paralysis by analysis… decide what you want, create a simple plan, and get moving!”, and also what Rainer Maria Rilke said,  ”I beg you… to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer”.

Mango fruit sambar and music are the trying to create, influence and impact the symphony of life through rhythm of the body, the melody of the mind, and the harmony of the soul all vibrating with the joy of tasting aesthetically through our senses and sensibilities and not necessarily to satisfy any social theory or ism or ideology.
“The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion . . . open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.” 
― Orhan Pamuk.

[1] Umami is a Japanese word that literally means “delicious” and is used to describe the savory taste associated with oriental broths and monosodium glutamate (MSG).
The stimulation for "umami" on the tongue comes from the amino acid (building block of protein) called glutamate - naturally found in tomatoes, parmesan cheese, and wine, among other foods. This taste is created in foods (like Indo–Chinese) by use of MSG (a.k.a Ajinomoto in India) or soy sauce. MSG is popular as it is a readily available, inexpensive, intensely umami ingredient with no off-flavors.

[3] Malabsorption

[4] University of Pennyslvenia professor Paul Rozin did even study with speakers of nine languages including Tamil and  to know more about it read the following book especially pages 34 and 35 ‘Taste: Surprising Stories and Science About Why Food Tastes Good By Barb Stuckey.


Ramamurthy Viswanathan said...

Very valuable information to read, digest and remember. Thanks,friend. God Bless.

Ramamurthy Viswanathan said...

Very valuable information to read, digest and remember. Thanks,friend. God Bless.