Monday, September 26, 2005

Pizza, pasta, love

This was a year ago. Strange things were happening cosmically. Several stubborn planets glided in neon concentric circles and perfectly aligned with each other. So, Mars was a 180 degrees from Venus and Jupiter was out of the way and Saturn was benignly distant and there were a lot of other even-keel placements that one really doesn’t give a lime about. What this meant was that people were suddenly finding their old music albums behind sofas, or shiny pennies on clean sidewalks, or birds controlled their poop good naturedly.

In such a time of happy happenstance, two inconsequential people were chewing the fat around a dining table – my brother and I.

My brother was eating. Ordinarily, this description would suffice if it were meant for an ordinary person, but not my brother. To say that my brother was eating is akin to describing the sea as wet.

My brother approaches food with a somber, tactical reverence. Nicholas Cage around a projector – pointless, painful, pontificating. He deifies chops and fries, and grilled tomatoes and sautéed sausages. He must savor every dash of seasoning and absorb every culinary nuance.

And when my brother eats, he eats. Everything else around the food-assimilation exercise is a mere footnote in time. So, whenever my brother partakes of food, nothing comes in between his food and his mouth – no talking, no chit-chat, no getting acquainted with elder sister (a trend that continues way past dessert). But on this astrally blithe day, he and I spoke on matters of the heart.

‘You ever wonder why anyone would love you?’, I ask.

‘You aren’t so great either, you know’, he grunts.

‘No, idiot. I’m not saying that nobody will love you; I’m just asking…have you ever thought why anyone would love you? What do you have that someone would love?’, I plod on.

‘No’, he says, cutting the 24th scramble of the eggs he was having.

‘What do you mean ‘No’?’

‘If you don’t understand what No means, why do you want to figure out why people love you?’ Something cutting-edge nasty about sarcasm on a full stomach.

I carry on like a bad dream.

‘See…it’s like this. Maybe we find people who’ll love us. But what if they don’t love us for the reasons we expect to be loved. Like, so many people love me because they think I’m nice and…’

‘Nobody thinks that.’ Sausages are now being sliced and mustard sauce is being dabbed.

‘There are plenty who think that!’, I snap.

‘They make a dessert with carrots in Poland. It’s nice.’, my brother is now wiping off the last bit of maple syrup with a thick bit of pancake.

‘Yeah..well..As I was saying. Many boys have liked me…’

‘There was only one boy..’

‘No, there were several. They like me because they think I’m sweet and nice and don’t talk rudely.’

‘Are they Polish?’

‘Are you incapable of having a thought that doesn’t arise from that bottomless pit?’

‘Whatever…where did Ma keep the lemon soufflé?’

I go and get the lemon soufflé and bang it in front of him. My brother takes a shiny tea-spoon, clears the first set of plates, and gently carves a slice of the dessert. He doesn’t notice that I’m peeved. Subtlety is obviously lost on someone.

‘Okay. Now, listen carefully. Let’s say I meet a guy. He’s absolutely wonderful. But he doesn’t love me because I can sit by the sea for hours, or walk away from anything, or walk into anyplace. He doesn’t love me for the chaos that I bring, the madness that I spread…he loves me because he thinks that I anchor him. He likes me for my stability. But I know that this stability is only brief; it’s only momentary. He likes me for my moments, not for my continuum. Do you know what I’m asking? Do you ever wonder if someone loved you for all the wrong reasons?’

My brother stops eating for a while. The last time he did that was when he’d heard that his friend had eloped or had lost his coupons to a 5 star buffet or something to that effect.

‘So what?’

‘So what what?’

‘So what if he loves you for the wrong reasons? If he loves you, that’s enough.’

‘Is it? That’s what I’m wondering? How can he love me for something that is not even my essential virtue?’

‘You go to Pizza Hut for the pasta, don’t you? Same thing.’

Lately, as I’ve been having thoughts of love, I remember bro’s gastronomical simplification of the subject.

To speak a tad metaphorically, if love is a pizza place, then I'm there and my pasta has just arrived. Bon appetit to me.


Rudra said...

I am relatively free today, n reading many of ur post....u r really a cool writer. Will ask Shobha (dey) to read ur sure she'll enjoy..

u know I share similar exp. with my sister, but we were discussing about sex before marraige.
She thinks its a crime...she was keeps on telling me (still she do) n I was eating Pastries.....

I dont understand why girls talk so much....I mean why they bang head on wall, when they know it's not gonna work..silly ...emotional fools....

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness!! hilarious!!!!
pizza pasta and wrong reasons!

oglidonkee said...

Brilliant Mukta!

I should say i liked the raindrops thing too , will try it on my girlfriend and see what she has to say abut it ;-)


Anonymous said...

"If there are different musical instruments tuned alike in one room, when one is struck, the others have the tendency to vibrate so as to give the same note.
similarly, minds of similar nature affect each other."

i dont think it is as random as rain drops who we end up meeting; but then maybe rain drops also are not random.

Ravi said...

So all you were saying is "Familiarity breeds Contempt"?

You think a tad too deeply. This could be harmful to your brain, you know. Your brother does know how to offset this by simplifying things for you. You should thank him.

PS: hey i got nice word verification on this comment "putoday". any idea what this means?

jaygee said...

Hey!!! Enjoy the ride and man woman!! and have a blast doing it... am so incredibly happy for u.. :D

Dinesh said...

First time on your post. Am your way of writing is superb. I shall be a regular now. :)

Hemant said...

I think either your missing ur bro too much or you jst recently meet some1 whom u liked ... so what is true ? :)

Mukta said...

Hey Rudra - You don't understand why girls talk so much? Do you understand girls at all? :-)

And 'anonymous',
I know who you are, by the way. Have sent you an email. Reply!

Hi oglidonkee,
Do let me know how it goes with your girlfriend.

hi anonymous 2,
I don't know who you are. But what you say could be true.

Hey ravi,
Hmm...maybe that word verification is a sign from the Universe that perhaps you 'think a little too much!' hee hee hee! Sorry, couldn't resist that.

Hi jaygee,
Thank you, thank enjoying both! really really happy!

Hi Dinesh!
Welcome and thanks a lot!

Hi Hemant,
Actually I'm in love with someone, therefore the post. But now that you mention it, I do miss my bro.

Ravi said...

hehehe...You got me there

I need someone like your brother to put sense into my 'deeep' thinking brain.

anumita said...

You in love!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And never bothered to mail me!!!!!!!!!! I am not coming to Pune!!!!!!!

Khakra said...

In your brother's wedding, wnsure the mandap is made out of bread dough, the strings hanging on it have onion and green pepper, and there's a pizza cooking over the wedding fire. Shehnai churning out Pizza Hut theme songs

Gangadhar said...

Just hilarious!!

Hemant said...

Congrats Mukta,
I read sometimes back that youdon't like any1 easily, now since you liked the1, so a BIG Congrats!

Mukta said...

Hi Ravi, can borrow my brother anytime.

Ah! Anumita!

You wouldn't come to Pune in any case. You didn't even come to my place in Mumbai, so...

Hello khakra-wedding planner,

Yes will sound off the PH idea to bro. By the way, they have a 'theme song'?

Hi Gangadhar,

Hi Hemant,
Thanks a LOT! :-)))))

Khakra said...

rephrase.. not theme song, ad jingles. Pizza Hut is now charging $0.25 in the U.S. for an extra pizza ordered. Time for both of you to land up here for the joyride

Mukta said...

hey khakra,

thanks for the tip. I'll tell my brother next time he calls. :-D

Prahalathan said...

Gastronomical Over Simplification.... Good one!