Monday, July 10, 2017

1049. Indian Winnow and Sieve....!

The super markets and departmental stores off today offers us nicely packed cleaned and sorted cereals and grains. About two and half decades ago it wasn’t so. The women in the house would make a list of groceries to be purchased and wait for the salary day of their husbands and get the quota sanctioned to buy them. They would go to the mundy with the list and purchase the commodities. The grocer would have made a bulk buying from the threshing unit and the husk would not have been thoroughly checked. The grain got from the mill by the grocer would have been threshed. Threshing is a process of loosening the pulses from the scaly chaff that is surrounding the grain. The groceries thus got from the mundy would be “unclean”. No.. no do not get it wrong the word “unclean” is used when the cereals are not separated from the chaff, husk or a few little stones.
When I was young I used to witness this every month in the start of the second week. The winnow and sieve would be out and that was the time to know that the groceries have arrived from the mundy. The winnow is a small square tray made by wide and thin strips of bamboo sticks. Sieve is round with the rim of steel and mesh of either metal or nylon at the bottom. Winnow is used to separate the chaff or husk by allowing the air to do the separation. It is the simplest method which involves throwing the grains up into the air so that the wind blow the lighter chaff away from the winnow and the heavy grain falls back into the winnow.  

Sieve has many different plates. These sieve plates allow the fine flour particles to pass through the holes of the sieve and the bigger impurities like bran or crust remain in the sieve. The different sieve plates are used depending on the coarse or fine flour.    

If we observe the winnow discards the husk and chaff and retains only the best portion in it, while a sieve let go and allows the wanted portion to pass through its pores while retaining the waste things in it.  Winnow hold what is required and sieve retains the useless.  

It is better to be like a winnow and retain the positive things that life has to offer us rather than be a sieve which lets the wanted slip away through its pores. What remain in the winnow is used and what remain in the sieve is discarded.

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