Sunday, December 6, 2009

Continous obsolescence

While I was walking on one of the Mumbai suburb roads last month, all of a sudden I smelt something that I hadn't smelt for more than a decade. That smell was of freshly made atta (powdered wheat) at one of the atta making shops. I remember going to a shop and grounding atta when I was in Mumbai in 1999-2000. Ever since, I have never done it and I don't even recollect seeing a shop that makes ground atta with that curious looking long mechanical machine. As a kid, I remember countering my dad on many occasions when he used to argue that during his days, he used to carry many kgs of wheat to the atta maker and get them back ground. That he used to work so hard and not have all the luxuries we have in our times. I used to hit back saying I too have done that. Now, looking back, I could be making the same claim to my kids, the problem is I don't think they will even understand what I am talking about. With all the commercial atta available in ready made packs of various sizes, the need of buying raw wheat or getting it from the ration shop and then grounding it with instructions of the coarseness of the powder (more like the short/medium/long when we guys go to the barber and instruct) has stopped by my family and many other middle class people. It is hard to even see these shops in the cities now.

Found this related article about the flour milling occupation written last year:

Do feel free to add things that you once used to do as a kid and now our children can't even understand the things if we start claiming those things we did.

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