Thursday, May 01, 2008

I love Bebo

A Nawab I am certainly not and I have a pot-belly that neatly curls up into six-folds (rather than the now famous 6 ‘Khan-Packs’ ) - yet, I too have a Bebo in my life – not in Bandra but in sultry Goa. As you drive up from Colva towards Martin’s – Bebo’s house comes on the left. Bebo acts in plays – so, is a local celebrity. You have to only ask at any roadside shop and they’ll at once direct you there. Tho’ not many in Mumbai have heard of Bebo – obsessed as they are with Bollywood’s Choti Begum-saheba in waiting and other such sprigly things – my Bebo’s fame too spreads well beyond the Goan shores. Many a lustful, middle-aged marauder like your faithful blogger – in Delhi, Dubai or Dallas begin to salivate at the mere mention of Bebo’s name. Celebrated non-resident Goans and immigrants who have acquired the status of honorary Goans, visiting apprentice Goans of my ilk, Goan politicians of all hues including successive Chief Ministers, local aristocrats and socialites all adorn Bebo’s eclectic fan-club.

Alas !! Bebo is a man – dark, greasy, podgy and reeking of Feni anytime of the day – but he makes the most sinfully divine Goan chorizos in the world. The tenderest of Salcette Pork is marinated in home-made vinegar and purest Kashmiri chilies – stuffed in hog-intestines, tied-up in small knots and hung out to dry on a clothes line in his courtyard. Soaking in the scalding seaside sun and salt from the air, they acquire a red hue and piquant taste that can turn on any man by setting on fire the most uninitiated palate. Bebo’s sausages are not like the commercially produced ones - long with chunky meat inside - that you get in Bombay cold-storages. His are more cocktail size with morsels that you can nibble on – sucking out the last drop of juice from the meat. They don’t have the sharp tang of acetic acid that comes out of synthetic vinegar and the Kashmiri chilies give them a lighter ruddy colour and a subtler flavour that tantalizes the taste-buds without damaging the orifices at either end of the human anatomy.

Bebo sells them not by the dozen but strings of fifty or a hundred ( not as much as you might think – because they are much smaller in size ) at a price less than third of the branded variety. And, if he really likes you – he would ask his wife to pack some of his secret Rechado masala in a bottle to take home for just the cost of the red-chilies (which come at Rs 150 a kg in the market, by the way). So next time – you are in Goa and in a mood to stray a little, give Bebo a call (9822584195) and drop by at his humble hut in Betalbatim to pick up your parcel. I promise you won’t be disappointed – or I would buy the sausages back from you ( cooked or uncooked ) – and that’s a Ghose lot of guarantee.