Aug 21 2008
On my way home I stopped to buy a couple of things at a small shop near my apartment building. I saw that they had packets of ‘chaka vartha’ chips or fried jackfruit chips. So I bought one for me & my folks to much along with our evening tea/coffee. While I sat with my mom and ate some of the chips, I remembered something that happened way back in 1997/98. My mom’s sister had come down from Scotland with her kids & husband that year and for a couple of the younger ones, it was their first visit to India. Sree Harshan was the youngest, at probably 6 or 7 years old at that time.
At my grandmum’s house in Mattancherry, Sree happened to spy a huge jackfruit that was laid under a small stool in a dark corridor that leads to a store room (and which is rarely used and kinda scary for a small kid). He had never seen jackfruits before in his little life and the poor kid was scared. He showed it to his sister who was around 23 at the time. Well, she told him that it was hedgehog and that it was probably as scared of them as Sree was of it. So poor, guilible Sree believed her and later he placed a bowl of water near to it. His sister threw out the water when he wasn’t looking and Sree thought that it was the hedgehog that drank the water and this made him quite pleased.
Well a couple of days later my aunts took the jackfruit and cut it up and fried the chips and served it to us. Sree, unware that it was his ‘pet’ that we were eating, was quite vocal about the taste of it and enjoyed a plateful of it. A few mouthfulls later we told him that it was the ‘hedgehog’ that we were all eating.
Sree stopped and took a look at the chips in his hand. And then he replied ‘It’s quite tasty’ and reached for another handful of chips to stuff into his mouth!