Some big people...make you bigger. His calm countenance reaches you thro' the tangy chokha-litti. So to the big making , at least in Ranchi , thesaurus Doranda would synonym with JAP , High Court and Bhola Litti wala.
A school drop sexagenarian from Bihar Sharif , sees life having come a full circle now as his efforts all along the decades bring auspice to his father's name with his new shop in Kanke as 'Bhola Litti'.
'Litti-chokha' , the staple meal of Bihar . An uncomplicated recipe wherein wheat and gram flour knead in little curd and water is rolled into balls stuffed with some spicy-garnished sattu is barbequed and served with mashed potatoes and eggplant which are sauteed in mustard oil and condiments. Chutney 'fcourse !
How does Bhola Kevat do it different at his cart behind the High Court in Ranchi !?!
The response to this interrobang is an insight towards life.
So, he says that he not miser with the sattu filling and doesn't know anything but this.
A celestial contentment!
On a random evening, as you raid his cart with your friends , he assures you a filled tummy with a dash of his elated energy which reaches you as it is. A sought after stall at all private functions...he sees you when the couples exchange rings...through their marriage vows and in the tonsure ceremony of their first born which they did big !
When his father began tossing litti in 1956 , Bhola simply followed and to this day, he is still walking the footprints . Losing his elder son in a motor accident 2 years back , it was a major setback for the family when his younger son - Rahul , a qualified mechanical engineer who mustered up the courage to carry forward the family legacy and chose litti over lever.
Keeping confirmity with contemporary is what Rahul goes by. Besides accepting cards as a mode of payment and paytm as well, Rahul has tied up with Swiggy snd Zomato .
Trained and confident - Vishnu, Diwakar , Giri and Amrit are Bhola's 'go-to' persons for decades who assist him with party arrangements about which the litti is about here... Bhola litti.
Now for all of them, it is not making littis... it is becoming one as besides being their source of income, this is the only what they've known...seen... done.
Year 2011, Jharkhand Tourism opened him to a new arena; Pragati Maidan , Delhi . While his logistics and boarding were taken care of, he smiled at the grandeur of the world and his work. Unfortunately, he doesn't see such oppurtunities often. Infact , 2011 was the only one so far.
I feel petty to be wishing him anything as I clearly don't stand a stature where I can give anything but 'words' , even which already exist in the cosmos. Still , may the taste remain with Ranchi for longer than longs.
What an appropriate time to cover this . With the ongoing famer protest in Punjab - the wheat bowl of India , where every 5th kid , thro' the mother's love , earns this sobriquet 'Bhola'... etymologically 'naive'.
A gumcha turbaned Bhola is oblivious of some fame he could claim. That serene and dovelike success.
(The writer is a lawyer by qualification and hails from Patiala, Punjab; now based in Ranchi.)