#MondayBlogs, #MondayMusings

Sharbat~e~Mohabbat – Love is the Theme this Summer | Monday Blogs | Monday Motivation

Sharbat~e~Mohabbat : Love is the Theme this Summer

Remember the good ‘ole Rooh Afza ♥️

So even if you now believe;

sipping on Rooh Afza is cringe-worthy,

Or impedes your no-sugar goals.

Bring back that love.

The world needs more of it.

Now.

Love those loud neighbours
That lone hungry cat in your neighbourhood.
The wilting plant you see on the side-walk.
That gruff storekeeper.
A lost stranger.

 

The home help who toils to keep it all together.
The bathroom faucet that refuses work. (It served you for years)
An angry driver bitten by road-rage.
Your petulant child in need of compassion,
versus tough love.

Love your wild bangs.
And your errant mood swings.
Your crooked, discoloured teeth.

Love them with your kindness.
Accept. Love. Let go. Bless.

Love is all that we need.
Love is what makes the world go around!
Love is all we have.
Love. Is. Enough.

 

© Natasha

 

Tomatoes- breakfast
Home grown tomatoes and sweet potato leaves. Clean, healthy start to the day.

 

Backstory – Sharbat-e-Mohabbat

This post was ready to roll two weeks ago, but our family caught a nasty flu. Thankfully just the DH, the 13 year-old and I. The 23 year-old was away travelling with her grandfather (my father), to his maternal home.

It’s been a battle of sorts with the flu. We are slowly but surely bobbing back to life. Today being the first day, back on the desk for all of us. It sure feels liberating, productive and reassuring; all at the same time.

Over to Sharabt-e-Mohabbat!

Two weekends ago my nephew was in town. I cannot have enough of his joie de vivre. That’s what I love about young people. Full of beans, brimming with zest and banter. It hasn’t been easy for this 23 year-old, after my brother passed over early last year. Yet, I love how wonderfully he has managed each and every debacle with courage, grace and love in his heart. I’m not too sure he knows this about himself.

He arrived, strutting in joyously on a scorching Saturday morning. It was a long metro ride from Delhi, followed by an auto rickshaw ride in the sweltering heat. I was exhausted after a long week, and had no stamina to pick him up, but he happily arrived; donning his quintessential mischievous, broad grin.

We offered him the option of mint nimbu paani (mint lemonade); a personal favourite for the scorching summers of India. On a whim I asked him if he’d like Rooh afzha (a syrupy, rose drink that has been around for over a century, I kid you not!) instead.

He immediately volunteered to make us all a unique drink.

Let me  make you Sharbat-e-Mohabbat. Do you have watermelon?” he asked enthusiastically. 

“Heck yes, we do,” I said laughing and chuffed at the same time.

I can’t imagine my summers without watermelon and watermelon juice.  But this one-of-a-kind Sharbat named after love (mohabbat) made my heart flutter. A die hard romantic that I am. I can romance food, books, plants, bugs, snakes, rocks on my path, a painting et al. You get the drift, right?

Well this isn’t about me. It’s about Sharbat-e-Mohabbat. And love is the theme this summer!

 

Sharbat-e-Mohbbat-Rooh-afza-sherbat-pink-drink
Sharbate-e Mohabbat, my nephews version.
Photo Credits: My 23 year-old girl <3

Well, so here’s what our Sharbat-e-Mohabbat looked like. 

Scroll down for the recipe.

I, of course had the one without milk. It was a power dose of energy, and was fodder for laughter. The rest of the day dissolved into dappled shades of joy and bonhomie.

Rooh Afzha – What’s in a Name?

Rooh Afzha, a concentrated squash with rose and kewra flavours was formulated in India in 1906, by Hakim Hafiz Abdul Majeed.

It literally translates to “refresher for the soul”. Launched in Old Delhi, this delectable syrup is manufactured by Hakim Hafiz Abdul and his sons company, Hamdard Laboratories; in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Rooh Afzha was prepared by Hakim to help the Delhi people stay cool in summers and counter heat strokes. It continues to be used as a Ramdan drink to break the evening fast/roza. Rooh Afzha is also added as a topping on Vermicelli desserts with Kulfi ice-cream, better known as the popular Iranian dessert Falooda. 

Most of us possibly aren’t aware that the Rooh Afzha formulation was made with a medley of herbs, fruits and vegetables including Vetiver roots and Kewra flowers. 

Rooh Afzha (the ready made drink) continues to be easily available in the bylanes of Old Delhi, in various forms till date.  Apparently at Amir Malik’s shop, at Matia Mahal, Jama Masjid it was christened as – Sharbat-e-Mohabbat, Rooh afza topped with watermelon chunks. There is a milk version and a water version, as per your palatte. 

I have seen many good samaritans offering this refreshing drink in large scale, on the roadside of Northern India; when the summer heat become unbearable.

You can buy it off the shelf at any grocery store/supermarket, and online as well. 

 

Bonding Over Food

We are a family that bonds immensely over food. The other day I was ranting to the DH, how food becomes such a priority for us. We spend a major chunk of our day planning meals, cooking, getting food cooked, ordering food, groceries, vegetables, checking out recipes, trying our hand at new food options; and what-have-yous. It’s alright really, as it keeps us smug and happy. 

 

Sharbat-e-Mohabbat-Vegan-Bowl-vegetarian
A yummy Vegan Unagi bowl. Unagi- read Eel, replaced by Egg plant. Rustled by my 23-year-old. Don’t miss the homemade kimchi, spring onions and spinach garnished with sesame seeds.

Jewel of a Japanese fare:

The same evening we took my nephew out for Japanese fare. We realise every time he visits, we have the best Japanese food in town. Ibisu, is no exception. Set in an inconspicuous office complex, the eatery has a simple, non-ostentatious and very basic identity. The food is authentic and par excellence, I say. You literally walk into a Japanese home with drapes that open to a tiny reception. 

The cubicles have curtains and even clothes hangers. There are separate rooms and an open plan area too. You eat on the atypically low Japanese tables surrounded by cushions, dim lights. And if you get lucky, you get a cubicle by an intricately designed window that opens to a lovely view.

Here’s what we ate. There were assortments of Sushi, Sashimi, Nigiri, Tempura, Japanese salad and more. The Matcha ice-cream and sago pudding was the perfect wrap up to the delectable fare. 

 

sharbat-e-mohabbat-sushi-platter-Japanese
The Japanese fare

 

Love is the flavour this summer and I believe most families bond over food. 

What all do you bond over, as a family?

I believe we as a family can bond all over again with these, this summer. Gardening, late night walks, sky gazing, , cycling, birding/nature walks, board games – indoor scrabble, monopoly, Jenga, Uno and outdoor games (badminton), music, dancing, yoga/workouts, singing, music, reading, films, art and writing.

We have been doing quite a few of the above, especially last week when we were mostly in bed. I’ll be thrilled if we can do at least a few more from this list.

I also want us to pause and just enjoy each others company. 

Since our 13 year-old is also home from boarding for summers, and our 23 year-old is readying to gather wings; I feel this is one summer which must be made simply memorable. 

What’s your idea of a fun summer?

How are you bonding, or planning to engage with family and friends this season?

 

 

Would love to hear your ideas and experiences. 

Before I go, here’s the recipe as promised.

 

 

The Recipe : Sharbat~e~Mohabbat

Ingredients:

1. Watermelon – cubed/chopped into bite-sized chunks

2. Hamdard Rooh Afzha – 1/2 tablespoon depending on your sweet, syrupy preference

3. Chilled water/water from your Earthen pot/matka, or: Cow’s Milk/ Plant based like Coconut, or Almond)

$. Basil seeds/Chia seeds (optional) – 1/2 teaspoon

4. Ice Cubes

 

How to create Sharbat~e~Mohabbat:

1. Spoon in 2/3 tablespoons of Rooh Afzha in a tall glass.

2. Chop watermelon into medium cubes.

3. Dunk the watermelon cubes in the glass.

4. Allow the watermelon to swirl and be coated in the flavours of Rooh Afzah, as you stir it lovingly with a spoon.

5. Now splash in liberal doses of water or milk. (Use plant based milk if you like. I like mine with the goodness of H2O.

(The 23 year-old made Sharbat~e~Mohabbat this afternoon with a medley of coconut milk and water and it was yum. She innovated further by adding in basil seeds, and thanks to her it now features in this recipe.)

6. Throw in some basil seeds for an added squishy flavour. Let it sit for 5 minutes or more to allow the seeds to swell up.

6. Sip into the goodness of your cool, refreshing Sharbat~e~Mohabbat.

 

Banish those sweaty days and hot flashes. Great for pmsing and menopausal women too. 😉

 

 

 

 

 

@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

 

Linking up with my wonderful friends: Trent’s Weekly Smiles and Sandee’s Awww Mondays

And jumping in this week with precious Xmas Dolly, Sandee, Alana and Cathy’s, John Monday Mewsic Moves too.

 

24 thoughts on “Sharbat~e~Mohabbat – Love is the Theme this Summer | Monday Blogs | Monday Motivation

  1. Oh! It seems that I didn’t notice this wonderful post on my blogroll in time!
    Everything you wrote is delightful – so I read about the ugly flu and forgot it until I got to the end of the article. There is a lot of light in your words, in your thoughts, dear Natasha! I wish you to always have a clear soul, to always find the balance you need and all those you love to be well!
    May the Universe return your love!
    I hug you dearly! <3 <3 <3
    Diana recently posted…Destinul e bătut în cuie?My Profile

  2. Natasha, thank you so much for dropping a link of your post. I so enjoyed it! From your heartwarming verse, to your good-natured nephew, sharbat-e-mohabbat to bonding over food…love is certainly everywhere. Food is certainly the adhesive that binds most families! Enjoy your time with your family.

    1. Totally doing so. Love is the theme this summer and nothing like the Mohabbat between our loved ones. 🙂

      Thanks dear Poonam. You have yourself a love-ly summer too!

  3. Hello again, dear friend!
    Indeed love is enough! We have not to forget that!
    The images look delicious, even there are not my favorite food.
    I wish you health and much inspiration, dear Natasha!❤️

    1. Thanks dear Suzana, glad you enjoyed the images though they weren’t your favourite idea of food. 🙂

      Have yourself a jolly good week.

      Love and light.

  4. Such a lovely read, Nats. I have my own Rooh Afza story – I smashed a brand new bottle to the ground by accident when I was about 14 – and ever since then no mention of Rooh Afza went without a reminder of how I made such a mess! Somehow, that fits in with your lovely poem – we must learn to love the messy parts of our lives too, if we’re to live life meaningfully.
    Thanks for the recipe and all the descriptions of food. I realize that food is one of the things Jose and I bond over too and spend a lot of time discussing and preparing!
    Enjoy this unique summer with your girls! ♥
    Corinne Rodrigues recently posted…Picture Imperfect?My Profile

    1. I remember how strict our folks/ especially mother’s were over broken things. Lol!

      But thats what we love in the end, to appreciate the broken parts of us and even the broken cutlery when it happens inadvertently.

      It’s heartening to hear how you and Jose also bond over food. Alok and I do too big time. As do the two girls!

      Thanks so much. You have a love-ly summer too, that is abundantly blessed, peaceful and brimming with the flow of life. <3

  5. I loved the poem. Be kind to a faucet that doesn’t work or to broken, charred things. How often we forget to be kind there.
    Thank you for the delectable recipe. It sounds so easy and cool. We bond over food too, cooking, games, movies for sure…the weekend stuff.
    Sonia dogra recently posted…IWSG May 2022- Writing Highs/LowsMy Profile

    1. Glad it resonated, dear Sonia. How often do we cursed a Mixie that stopped working, forgetting all the time it served us? Or take our hardworking phones for granted!

      They may not be inhaling and exhaling (well who knows, lol!) but they are so integral to our being and our lives. They have feeling too I say. 🙂

      I hope you got to try the recipe.

      Yes, games and movies are such big ones. Watched Dr Strange with the familia at the theater after 2 years, and it was such a liberating, joyous experience. I guess in a big way for me, as I’m not too much of a television screen person.

      You have a cool, pleasant summer too!

    1. I hope so too, dear Brian. And if it doesn’t thentoo bad for it, as we know how it fight it off. :))

      Hope you and the purr-fect babies are having a good week.

  6. I’m sorry the flu hit your family but glad it was the entire family and that you are getting better.
    Your nephew sounds like a nice young man (and sorry about his father/your brother). I am sure that the drink was even better than usual, being made with love 🙂
    I think a lot of people bond over food. It is just the odd way that us humans are.
    Have a great week!

    1. Yes, if food be the fodder for love, cook on; I say. ha! Ha!

      But its sweltering hot these days and I have been mostly out of the kitchen. But grateful for the help who cooks for us. Amen to these blessings and people who make this world a beautiful place.

      How’s your week coming along Trent?
      Any music in the making.

      Have a good one.

  7. A delightful read to end my day.

    I too was recently laid up with a very bad bout of flu. It was the first time ever I’d had it, and also the first year I had an anti-flu vaccination. A lot of good that was!

    Having spent much of my life as a chef, creating food is very special to me. I like to think that the food I offered my diners helped them to bond whether they be families, friends – or potential lovers!

    I’ve copied the recipe, it’s something I’ll try out with my family. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    I’ll end where you started. To bond, love is all we need!
    Keith’s Ramblings recently posted…A short storyMy Profile

    1. Dear Keith,

      I’m just glad to here that the nasty flu is behind you.

      Yes, I believe the vaccine must have done as a world of good. Who knows!

      I have always marvelled at your food when you have described it to me. So I can’t wait to try it out one day when I come visiting Cornell.

      Do let me know how your Sharbat-e-Mohabbat turned out for your family? Did you manage to get the Roohafzha there?

      Yes, love is indeed enough.

  8. Bonding over food is a good thing. Bonding can be done in so many ways. A car ride to somewhere or nowhere, reading together and the list goes on and on.

    You did make me hungry reading this post.

    I’m glad you’re feeling better after that bout with the flu.

    Have a fabulous day and summer filled with love, Natasha. ♥
    Sandee recently posted…Awww MondaysMy Profile

    1. Long drives without a destination in mind, is such perfect way to bond. Reading of course. Last month I hurt my eye and my older one would read to me. It was the best experience, reading together.
      That too a beautiful book like, Elif Shafak’s The Secret Life of Trees.
      I wish to bring the habit of reading a book together as a family, but everyone loves the screen more these days. ;-))

      Thanks so much dear Sandee. You also have a cool, lovely summer with your loved ones. Hugs hugs. xo

  9. Ah, such a lovely musing to go over Natasha. Glad that you’ve all recovered from the bout of flu. Roohafza…the name conjures a smile as the memories travel back in time, to the childhood days where it was a staple summer drink in many homes, until Rasna came into the markets 🙂
    Loved your nephews twist to it…the bright red complements your Love poem so beautifully.
    The vegan bowl looks temptingly inviting, making me drool 🙂
    Wonderful reading your post Natasha. Have a great evening!
    Radhika recently posted…6th Blogiversary!My Profile

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge