Sunday, November 13, 2011

Smile, it's a day

Had a beautiful lunch yesterday. (It's three-thirty in the morning now. I thought of writing 'today' instead of'yesterday but realized it would be temporally inaccurate. However, the number of times my mind keeps going over those dishes, I think I'll be having that lunch for a few more days. In the mind, at least.)

I'd gone over to a pal's house for lunch - a very tasty spread of Kerala food. And while I hogged on the yams cooked with grated coconut, hearty bowls of saambar and spoonfuls of al dente avial, it was the stew with coconut milk that conquered my heart. That stew was so brilliant that maybe a movie should be made on it.

I can picture a bachelor in his early forties, unlocking the door to his apartment and walking in to darkness. He follows this routine every night. Takes off his shoes, sits down on the couch for a few minutes, wonders what to do. It's been a busy day but an empty one. He steps into a shower trying to get a colleague's off-colored remark out of his mind. If you're 40 and unmarried, you're either perverted or cold or both. Somehow, he thinks, women are prepped up to deal with these harsh realities early on. But men. Not so much. They get told often enough that they own the world, they rule it, they can live on their own terms, etc. etc. It's not so. You can't really rule anything. You can only struggle and hope to belong.

The shower has done him good, though. He's much more relaxed now. Saunters into the kitchen. The cook seems to have tidied up better today. Floor feels cleaner. He helps himself to some rice and takes off the lid of a large soup bowl. There's some stew. It's fragrant and looks pretty with cubes of translucent carrots and potatoes in it. A sliver of green chilli swims prettity in the white, creamy broth. He helps himself to some. Pours a ladel full of that on the rice. Thinks a second and pulls out a bowl. Fills it with more stew. Grabs a spoon and walks into his balcony.

From the 27th floor, the view is amazing. One can't see the sea now but Mumbai's skyline shimmers like decorated sentinel along the shoreline. He starts eating. The stew and the rice. Remembers. His first holiday in the forest. His days in the art school that he abandoned midway to become a professional football player. His loss of eyesight. His project of developing illustration in braille. Comes back. The stew and rice. Truly, a perfect meal.

Now, I do think Anurag Kashyap or Abhay Deol would like this story. Especially if I met them with some of this food.

Anyway, that was a good, good lunch.

Then, we finished off with payasam. Now that's another story...the sequel to Roman Holiday no less.


subbulakshmistoned said...

Has anyone ever told you how infinitely amazing you are and about how magnificently you write?
- a fangirl.

Mukta said...

:-)) thanks so much subbu. so i understand that if you met Anurag Kashyap or Abhay Deol, you'll be giving them the link to my blog? Yes? he he!