A long, long long time ago, the Chistis who lived in the deserts of Rajasthan decided it was time for a different way of life.
So they got on a boat and rode down the river Ganges to a place known as Bengal, a village known as Momarizpur.
In Momarizpur, they built a house made of bamboo and straw, next to a pond the color of jade and bright yellow banana trees with emerald green tops.
There, they were happy. They worked all throughout the day and danced all throughout the night.
But trouble loomed nearby. The Chistis' neighbors did not like such different people moving into their beloved village.
The neighbors called a meeting and one of the leaders spoke, As you all may have noticed. We have some strange looking people living by the pond over there. Not only are they strange but they eat strange food as well. They eat round ugly bread the color of mud! I think we should send two of our men to watch them more closely before we decide that it is okay to mix with them. Do you agree?
All of the neighbors replied in robotic song, We agree.
The two spies who were assigned to spy on the Chistis, did so by peaking in through a small hole on the fence that separated the Chistis outdoor Kitchen from the public pathway.
They watched the Chisti women making rutis. By taking a big bag of wheat, pouring it into a bowl, kneading it and kneading it and kneading it. Then making small balls out of the dough, pounding it onto a wooden board, rolling it and rolling it and rolling it. Then placing the rolled out dough in between their palms to make the shape more round. Finally, slamming it onto the fire. Poof! A ruti!
The two spies watching said, Hmm, this looks really interesting.
One of the ladies thought she heard voices. Did you hear that?
The spies did not want to be discovered so they pretended to be dogs, howling. The ladies were relieved. It’s just a dog. Let’s throw it a ruti. Plop! The ruti fell on one of the spy’s heads. He picked it up, sniffed it and threw it down with pride. I’m not going to eat that. I’m a rice eater!
The spies went back and reported what they saw. And so the decision was made not to talk to the Chistis because they were strange.
Many days later, when monsoon had started, there was an unusual storm. The rains fell and fell, thunder and lightning, lighting and thunder across the sky. All the rice paddies were drowned. The villagers of Momarizpur had no rice to eat. They were starving.
So the Chistis got together and decided they couldn't let their neighbors starve to death. By taking a big bag of wheat, pouring it into a bowl, kneading it, and kneading it, and kneading it. Then making small balls out of the dough, pounding it onto a wooden board, rolling it and rolling it and rolling it. Then placing the rolled out dough in between their palms to make the shape more round. Finally, slamming it onto the fire. Poof! A ruti!
They did this over and over again until they had a stack of rutis one mile long. They packed up the rutis and gave them to each neighbor. The Chistis spoke, Hello, we are the Chistis. I know you don't like us very much. But we wanted to make sure you had some food to eat until you can grow your rice again.
The neighbor picked up the ruti, smelled it and said, I am kind of hungry. He put a little bit into his mouth, and little bit more to express in joy, YUM! The Chistis were so glad. They delivered the rutis to the rest of the neighbors of Momarizpur. When all the neighbors were fed, they got together to thank the Chistis. Thank you Chistis! We were so mean to you, yet you still saved our lives. Please forgive us. After all, rice and ruti is the same thing. Carbohydrate is carbohydrate. And they lived happily ever after working throughout the day, dancing throughout the night, eating rutis and rice.