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Mezze is widely served in the Greek and Middle eastern world. An assortment of little dishes and tasters which accompany a nice ouzo or a glass of wine. So when you read mezze moments you will have tasty snippets of life as I live it, India for four years and now Brisbane Australia, all served up with some Greek fervour and passion.

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Thursday, 10 April 2014

In praise of Baju from Bihar

For any of you who knew me in my Indian life I lived on a so called "Farmhouse" in South Delhi surrounded by large gardens and some pleasant neighbours. My gardener was called Baju and he was employed by my landlords but sadly at such a small salary we had to surreptitiously supplement it every month. Baju came to work day in and day out -whether the outside temperature was 5C or 45C as it was sometimes. He swept an expansive garden free of leaves and branches and also trimmed hedges and kept everything in order. He did this day in, day out. 
He was an unskilled and uneducated young man from Bihar, India's poorest state and he left behind a wife and twins when we first arrived. Within a year, one of the twins had died and another baby was on the way. He saw his wife and kids maybe once a year and sent them every penny he made. He came in for a cup of chai mid morning and was always surprised because I had the best chocolate biscuits on offer for dunking.He worked long hours, for not very much.So this is a tribute to his hard work, his lovely smile and his ability to complete his daily tasks. It takes strength to do so but also there was something more that I had not counted on. 
Why on earth you might ask have I suddenly brought this up - simply because in Australia I am Baju and daily I head out to the not so expansive garden and sweep the blossoms that have fallen from the frangipani and the tibouchina. It is to my intense surprise therapeutic and calming
 Some of the garden he looked after 
 Baju and Tara on Holi having fun with colours 
and I love the fleeting sense of achievement as I collect all the dead leaves and put them into the compost bin and for literally moments the garden is spartan and swept.  The wind blows and the whole cycle starts over again. I head out in the knowledge that this man from Bihar has taught me a valuable lesson in my life and this post is dedicated to him and his family on this day when India heads to the polls.


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