Currently, there is a very interesting Cadbury dairy milk commercial running on the TV.
The family is having dinner around the dining table. The young girl has a bar of Cadbury milk chocolate next to her. Her mom serves her something (most likely vegetable) and asks her to eat that. The young girl sticks her tongue out, indicating that she is not willing to eat it. Just then, grandpa asks grandma what’s available as a sweet dish. The young girl senses what’s coming and tries to hide the bar. However, grandma already has her eyes on it. She tells the grandpa that they can have the bar. The young one quickly opens the bar and licks it saying “Jootha ho gaya”.
I spent some time looking for a single word in English language that can describe the concept of “jootha”. Culturally, this is a very Indian concept, and hence couldn’t find a single word. Closest I came to was this definition from Encarta encyclopedia. Food considered polluted: food that is considered polluted, usually because it has come in contact with somebody’s saliva. So what the girl is saying is that now that the bar is jootha, polluted, no one can really share it and hence it’s for her own consumption only. Effectively, she prevented others from sharing it due to this act.
This advertisement took me back to a time when I was only eleven. I have two sisters, Mrudual and Ujjwala. Mrudula is just about a year and a half younger to me and Ujjwala is five years younger. So at that time, Mrudual was nine and half and Ujjwala was six. At that age, I and Mrudual must have looked like giants for tiny Ujjwala. She almost resembled the young girl in the Cadbury commercial.
Typically,mom would allocate the eatables to us and leave for work. I and Mrudual would quickly eat our share. Ujjwala was a slow eater and a weak kid. By the time we finished our stuff, she would normally have a lot of hers left. We would plead with Ujjwala to part with her share and give it to us. If she didn’t give it to us willingly, we would cheat her and take it away. Being the youngest and weakest, she couldn’t do much to prevent us from taking it.
Somehow, she hit upon this idea to make her food jootha. She would lick each and every item of her share the moment mom distributed it to us. Any time we asked her for the share or would try to take away, she would warn us that the food was jootha and hence would prevent us from having it. I still don’t remember how she got the idea, but she did prevent us from stealing her share.
I had almost forgotten this incident, this ad vividly brought it back.