Annadata | अन्नदाता

Her and my relationship with each other is supposed to be sacred.

Annadata. The food provider.

On days when my laziness engulfs my being, I grab my worn-out, small-framed, green-and-white cycle and make a quick 5-minutes run to the chamena. The chamena where my annadata resides from early in the morning till late in the evening.

Her place is way behind the one-room eatery. Her tools – stoves, spices, pots, and pans – surround her. Oftentimes her assistant, whom I refer to as dai, sits besides her, slicing onions or chopping tomatoes. Her art is to mold the concoction of vegetables, spices, and grains into a mouth-watering delicacy.

For her art, I do not pay a lot. The most laborious of artists are often underpaid anyway. She also does not demand a lot of exchange value for her labor. A 100 rupee note for a large plate full of fried rice – that’s her price. The market works that way. Rather, the market is made to work that way by people who barely visit her workstation.

I never properly thank my anndata for her important position in my life. I think I should. Maybe my next bout of laziness will bring me this opportunity.

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