Oprah Cooks Chapatti
I have a bad case of cabin fever and blanket rash. The moody mountains, for so long hidden or drawn zen like against the horizon pulled up their shades the other day and glared down the valley in a stony slate coloured stare. Distant winds whipped in from Tibet or somewhere further, wrapping themselves like candy floss around the highest peaks while lamb like cumulous clouds flocked on the higher hills.
The force of the gaze of the gods turned the weather cold and silenced the birds in the trees, the trees on the hillside whispered against the approaching wind. Indra beat his drums in some further off place than even Tibet, bruising thunderclouds that massed and rolled around the valley.
Spring flowers bent their heads against the hail, shivered deep in their petals while trees reached further into the sky with fresh tipped fingers drinking rain. The mountains removed themselves from public view and I stayed wrapped in a blanket.
FOR A WEEK.
Now this particular area of the Himalaya is said to hold extremely magical spiritual powers, people come from all over the world and even India to seek the sacred sanctuary of God’s Backyard as we affectionately call Kumaon. Some practise very hard meditations or tapas (tapas are heat generating penances that are supposed to inflame the gods into granting your petition) in between cafe lattes at Mohans. Others prefer to wait for divine intervention, being somewhat directionless and undisciplined. I belong to the second category, my meditation is on the connection button as I watch the icon spin uselessly like car tyres stuck in the sand. My heat generating exercises involve a complex mantra of swearwords gathered from all over the world and a few tantrum asanas. But it seems to have worked because the other morning I Got A Sign.
The Mountains appeared clothed in majestic white early one morning as I pondered alone in my cabin, I took it as a sign that I was on the right path with my fevered thinking.
I am going spiritual.
I plan to go deeply into the zen of the chapatti, to explore life and the mystery of life from a ball of dough. The chapatti will be my meditation and my koan. When I do japa, I will tell beads of chapatti dough instead of prayer beads. I will hold classes on Enlightened Breadmaking. Seekers will flock to my classes and learn everything they need to know about their mysterious role in the larger scheme of things by making chapatti.
My devotees will become fully initiated into the Art of Enlightened Breadmaking. I will ordain a Puri Baba, a Paratha Baba and a Bati Baba.As we grow across the world, I expect I will find a Croissant Baba and a Pan au chocolate Baba as well. I will arrange it so that even Oprah cooks chapatti on daytime TV while Nigella Lawson gnashes her perfect teeth and her agent wonders how she is ever going to get sex back into the Soul Kitchen.
It will be the saving of manind, I imagine. Simple leavened bread instead of that genetically modified poison wheat bread wrapped in plastic. Chapatti can save us from food allergies and Monsanto and snatch our souls from the abyss. The chapatti will become a symbol of the Neo New Age, just as the spinning wheel became the symbol of the liberation of Indian people from the British colonisers.
And people can call me Chapatti Baba, I think it has a nice ring to it, don’t you?4 comments