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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mid-Monsoon Tapioca Harvest


The three bulbous protrusions on the piece of muddy stick that I'm holding are tapioca. The guy wearing the Hindu fundamentalist kurta? That's me. But let's go back to the tapioca for a second.

For the uninitiated, these are positively HUGE tapioca. Not the biggest ever, worthy of some world record. No. This is definitely a personal best, however. And again for the uninitiated, it's a bit kooky to be doing any sort of field work during the rains, if nothing else, because you can just as easily wait for the rainy season to pass before vehemently attacking any manner of tuber in your yard. But a lot must be said for people who let the palate dictate their actions; those of us who live to eat. And let me just add, most wryly, that it was worth diving into the filthy muck that I had to dig the tapioca out of, even with a swarm of mosquitoes draining the lifeblood from my veins, literally. Truly divine the stuff that you grow at home, sans the chemicals and genetic modification. Trust me - a city-bred, average Joe - when I say the vegetables in your backyard are priceless.

Sadly, for the sake of sanity, and ruled by the ever expanding gut of gluttony, more digging for tapioca will ensue during the rainy season in the next couple of weeks. Hey, it's just as well to turn a chore like this, with a slight manual labor element, into a treasure hunt. It gets work done, and you feel deeply sated when you gorge on the fruits of your labor. That's why pigs dig up truffles, don't they? Uh...no. I believe there's a greedy human villain who works behind the scenes on that one. ;-)

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