Indian homes are the places where a guest is treated with sumptuous food as a gesture of love and respect. No matter whatever may be the financial status of an Indian family, a guest is not allowed to leave a house unless his/her stomach is filled with some kind of nutritious delectable fares. Even if you are not in the mood to eat or drink, you have to do so when you visit an Indian home.
Indian families cannot bear to think of sending a guest away without having stuffed him/her with even the simplest morsel. They consider it to be sinful and unacceptable to send a guest away sans food. When guests refused to accept food at Indian homes, the families feel sad and some sentimental person can term the refusal to be a sort of insult. Even when a guest’s stomach is full, he/she must somehow find a way to gobble up the food served to him/her to satisfy the host. Polite refusal of having food in Indian homes is also not acceptable. The term ‘GUEST’ and ‘FOOD’ is connected with each other and it is unimaginable to separate these two terms in the country. Because, even if a guest has the most hot gossips to tell a family, he /she will be considered ‘a good person’ only if he/she relishes the dishes served to him/her .
In most Indian homes, ‘Puri –Aloo Bhaji’ is the ideal dish to be served to a guest and perfectly fits the desi idiom ‘Atithi Devo Bhavah’(Guest Is God).
Let me cite the reasons as to why is it so-
OILINESS AND SPICINESS ARE GUILTY PLEASURES
Puri is an Indian bread made by kneading maida (wheat flour) , flattened with a rolling pin and then deep fried in oil. Aloo Bhaji is a dish of potatoes spiced up with an imaginable number of condiments. Indian people prefer food that is oily and spicy. Oil and spice are used in less quantity when a person is sick. Now, when it comes to serving guests the first kind of food in the list is oily and spicy food. Indian people consider that ‘the more fried and spicy the food is, the more perfect is the strategy to win a guest’s heart’. So if a guest turns up and he/she is a special one, deep fried puris and spicy aloo bhajis are the common items to be find at a dining table. All Indian families consider puri –aloo bhaji to be the perfect food to make a guest happy and pleased. That is why round and bulging puris with a bowl of crispy aloo bhajis served with different kinds of condiments are quite a sight to be found at Indian homes . The most enjoyable sight is that a guest too hurries to the dining table when his/her eyes and nose feast upon the sensuous vision and wafting aromas of the puris and aloo bhaji kept on the dining table. The next attractive sight is that a guest cannot say no to puri –aloo bhaji and delightfully gobbles up the oh-so-delicious platter in no time.
BEST WAY TO WORSHIP THE SPECIAL PERSON WHO MADE AN ENTRY IN THE HOUSE
When a guest suddenly turns up in an Indian home, the family might think that biscuits and sweets do not seem to be a good food item to serve the special person who had made up his/ her mind to barge into their house out of all people’s homes in the world. So puri-aloo bhaji comes up as a perfect ‘saviour ‘ to be served to the guest who deserves to be worship like a God as he/she can think of the family and found the time to go into their house. After all, the best way to satisfy a guest is to fill up his/her stomach fully. Biscuits and sweets are secondary items and are not compulsory to be served to a special guest and can be shunned also as worthless food items. Puri –Aloo Bhaji is the perfect way to show off and pleasantly welcome the guest at that time and make him/her feel the best level of comfort or in other words make the guest feel like it is his/her home.
MAKE A GUEST SPILL OUT THE HOTTEST GOSSIPS AND SECRETS
Deep fried puris and spicy aloo bhaji are the best combinations to make a guest lost his/her sense to ‘oily and spicy pleasures’ and make him spill out his/her well-kept secrets and also the latest gossips he /she might have heard. If a family serves a guest with a fine platter of puri-aloo bhaji then there might be higher chances that he/she might spill out some of other’s secrets he/she might be holding carefully. The gossips also become more fun and entertaining when puri –aloo bhaji is served and there is much laughter and chattering around the dining table.
GET THE BEST INVITATIONS IN RETURN
A guest may invite a whole family to dine at his/her house one fine day to return his/her shower of love and respect that the family might have given him/her earlier at their house because of the classic ‘puri –aloo bhaji’ he/she might have been served at the family’s house. It may also happen that the family who always serves puri –aloo bhaji to their guests might get the highest number of invitations from them. Now, one day a guest calls a family to dine at his/her house, it saves that family’s time, energy and money for that particular day as they can satisfy their stomach with pleasure at their guest’s house.
When a guest who is away from his/her home for a long time, puri-aloo bhaji can remind him/her of ‘ghar ka khana’. If we invite a guest and serves puri –aloo bhaji to him/her , it will not only satisfy his/her hunger but give him/her get a homely feeling at his/her host’s home. The guest will acknowledge the hospitality of the host warmly and will converse with him/her in a polite manner. The host will also feel that his/her service has been good and will make him/her happier and get a sense of fulfillment.
According to Hindu religion, offering Naivedya (food) is one of the most integral steps of serving a guest. Even in modern age, guests are still treated with love and respect in every Indian home.