Food Talks and BS walks

The other day I was watching Anna Faris getting all riled up about a plate of risotto. She said, not verbatim, that it was a pile of gooey rice and the “Food Nazis” are going to judge that glop. In another show, I saw Aziz Ansari Instagramming pictures of food while Adam Scott, Nick Offerman and Robe Lowe ate on. In yet another show, I heard Kaitlin Olson say, “I am just going to be one of those douches who takes food pictures”

Rings a bell, anyone? I am one of those incessant food picture taker. In my defense, I have taken other kinda pictures too. Food pictures started happening as this whole brigade of Food Nazis and critiques and Masterchef and Facebook and Instagram phenomenon happened. My family still gets irked by the picture taking. Why, just today, a Peking Duck sat on the plate and I was taking pictures. My husband asked, “What do you get out of this?” And I had a very dumb, unprofound answer to that, “Instant gratification”. What am I going to do with instant gratification? Stew it and eat it?

Seriously, what is the need of being a Food Nazi? It’s food. Everyone eats. It’s as banal as breathing. Is there a “Scrumptious Air Buffet” available? (Although I am sure it will be in the future) Chefs are tarnished, restaurants are blamed, there’s name calling over paltry reasons like why your hash browns are not as good as mine. Then there’s the wizardry of weaving words about food. “Holy Basil from the Indian subcontinent infused in free range, locally sourced lamb, which was carved by our master knife-ninja, and cooked for 38 hours on a low flame, lightly basting with zatar and matcha extracts and virgin peanut oil with a side of organic plum tomatoes injected with wild jalapeños and stuffed with shredded mozzarella made from a farm grazing buffalo milk which was milked after the calf was full” That’s just one dish. The critics on Yelp and Facebook and wherever would elaborate it even further by dragging back two generations of the buffalo and lamb and the earthworms that fertilised the tomatoes. Admittedly, some describe food in a most tantalising way, and if you notice, these are the ones that put it simply.

The two most memorable food writings for me have to be Enid Blyton’s and Yann Martel’s. Enid describes toffees and tarts, just like they should be described: sweetly and with a childish delight. Yann Martel, on the other hand, talks about Idli: the South Indian steamed rice and lentil cake. A very simple food that is made almost every morning by the protagonist’s mother who has just tragically died. There is no nonsense around these writings and yet they live on.

My finest dining experience of all the multitude of meals I have had are easily boiled down to two. One, back in 2008, on my birthday, I decided to trek the Himalayas. After eight gruelling hours of witnessing an avalanche unfold, getting stung by unknown thorns and crossing rivers without help, I was so tired, I could’ve just slept on the ground. A local mountain lady, who did not even have a bathroom in her house, cooked me a cauliflower and pierogi stew, and hands down, that is the best food I have eaten till date.

The other one was in 2013, when I was pregnant and could not eat anything except ice cubes. 🙄 I was prescribed medication to keep food down and something that would stimulate appetite. I was at work and we ordered takeaway. And by jove, when the food arrived, I was on it, like a vicious scavenger. It was just a bunch of sandwiches and some Indian fare, but I remember having tears in my eyes while eating, I was so happy.

Both these instances simply point to one theory: When you are hungry, EVERYTHING tastes good. It’s a plain and simple truth. All these “foodies” (don’t get me started on that term) mushrooming up everywhere claiming their unparalleled love for food.. well, let’s just say, I need a baseball bat to deal with them. The constant Instagramming and Snapchatting and Facebooking and Yelping and the orgasmic ooooohs and aaaaahs; bulimic baboons, really. “Eat with your eyes”, they say. What the fudge! “Presentation is important”. I say, “What for?”. It’s food, take it or stay hungry. And those super-effing-annoying minuscule portions in oversized plates. I absolutely detest that. The goop in there looks so delicate and photoshopped, you wouldn’t want to disturb it. You can gobble it in one go and that’s it, meal over! The next day, it’s going to turn to poop and smell like poop.

The whole molecular gastronomy has left me speechless. There’s liquid Nitrogen and deconstruction and reconstruction and flames and smoke and mist and magic. Its like the Cirque du Soleil of food. Honestly, I get lost in that Tantric deviation. It’s okay to do it for TV, but do we really need the theatrics when we are hungry? All celebrity chefs, big or small, will tell you at the end of the day, that their favourite dish is something their moms or wives or grandmas or dads cooked on Sundays. Why? Because, in the end, food is as pedestrian and as essential as sleeping. A bed and a pillow is all you need.

By the by, I am also guilty of embellishing my food stories and constantly taking pictures of what I ate. Yes, I am one of those. And let me tell you, it’s stupid, fucking, daft. I mean, just eat, man!

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Incoherence

Tired, broken, lonely.

Demons in the mind.

Ugly dance of chatter,

Needles in the eyes,

Wine in the spine.

Dreams of bare bones,

Sinister, frightening.

Six feet under, motionless,

Lies a thought of sunshine.

Minutes, hours, days,

Rainbows turn black.

Traffic and tall buildings,

Smells of the netherworld.

In this monstrosity of May,

There is a rumble of rain.

Stupid Sunglasses

Stupid Sunglasses,

I have so much to say.

The message is lost,

Let’s try another way.

You had a loose screw,

It needed tightening.

Part of you broke,

You kept on finding.

In a moving car,

On a hilly road.

You jumped about,

You burst out.

There was no need,

For all that fuss.

You blocked the sun,

And now you have no son.

Like I said before,

The message is lost.

Just like the sunglasses,

A bow to my blindness.

 

Ka-boom!

Oh, headsplits and splinters, go away.
Nasty litle tricks you play.
Deluded, hallucinating, is that you?
The water’s too cold.
And the sunlight’s too harsh.
The noises that sink in beautifully are a din.
Nimble fingers, shaking.
The wait’s over.
Enlightenment dawned.
The dance of the devils,
The sway of the wild.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
It will wait till eternity.

Small Talk

**Before I begin the not-so-small talk, let me tell you this- these thoughts occurred to me in the morning cool, while walking past the breezy canopied streets. So, if they are scattered or offensive, my sincere apologies**

I recently read on someone’s blog that nobody pays for Apple Music anymore, it’s the time of podcasts. I don’t know if the blog was very old, or if I am very old, but I still pay for Apple Music, because they keep my playlist as it is, without throttling it with their suggestions. I like the sequence my playlist has been following for years. Sure, there’s more added every now and then, but I do not shuffle. It’s a routine. Imagine Dragon had finally made it to my playlist with Levitate. I am still not buying the “You are my shooting star” nonsense. I mean, come on! A 6 feet tall hunk who can sing and play the guitar would have shooting stars all over the place. But anyway, I figured I don’t want to be one of those frumpy oldies who only lobbies for Hank Williams and Willie Nelson, so I took to the “new-age” music so I could discuss the now-trending-later-classics with my son. 30 years from now, Justin Bieber and Charli XCX would be classic, right? So I like to know what’s going on and some of them are really good. But what is with the EDM, Trance, House and all of those (for want of a better word) thumping, beatboxing, raving, eclectic music scene going on, I do not know and don’t care to know. I may be wrong here, but you must have a temporarily comatose cerebral cortex to enjoy and dance to that. I only hope my son doesn’t take to that.

So back to the business of talking music – I have a morning routine, I walk- earphones and walking shoes and all. (No Fitbit, no!) and during the hour-long walk, I listen to my playlist. I cannot walk without someone blaring in my ears. It’s like a lullaby for walking. And when you go on a routine walk in a routine place, you develop acquaintances. Most of them are just (‘morning!) acquaintances and thank God for those. Some are “smile and nod” ones, which are still okay. But then some are just that make me go, “Man! That b**** is going to want to talk”. So I start preparing for the calamity: you know, put your head down, look the other way as if you have just spotted a blue jay, look at your palms as if you got a boo-boo, pretend your shoe laces are undone, suddenly change the direction you are walking in. And I go through all this trouble, just so I don’t have to stop listening to Bobby Womack. I can easily press pause and unplug, but I don’t want to because when Bobby Womack is singing, you’d want to listen. So, over comes the acquaintance and starts asking weird-a** questions like “How are you? Long time no see? Nice weather, isn’t it? Did the son leave for school? Where is the husband? How is the husband? Why don’t you come to the park? Are you collecting clothes again for donation? When are we ordering those brownies again? Are you going somewhere for the holidays? Were you bathing your cat last evening?”  These are actual questions I have encountered. Now you see my fury?! The answers to all the above are as below:

  • How are you? – DUH! You see me walking.
  • Long time no see? – I turned around before you could see me, every single time, for weeks!
  • Nice weather, isn’t it? – Yes, enjoy.
  • Did the son leave for school – Do you see him with me? Are you going to his school to do some monkey business? Did you want to talk to him?
  • Where is the husband? – Sleeping.
  • How is the husband? – Sleeping.
  • Why don’t you come to the park? – Because I am not 4 and I don’t particularly enjoy slides and swings and sand play.
  • Are you collecting clothes for donation? – No, I am not. If I was, you’d get the news.
  • When are we ordering those brownies again? – Order them yourself!
  • Are you going somewhere for the holidays? – No. All of you go, and I will enjoy the peace here.
  • Were you bathing your cat last evening? – Yes. I possibly cant meow like that, and just like dogs, cats do get dirty.

All of these are fairly obvious answers, aren’t they? Rhetorical! But folks still feel the need to make small talk. I irritate a lady who is pregnant (and she’s not due until the summers) by saying, “Any day now, huh?” every time I see her. She is the only one victimized by my small talk. I do not know how to talk small. I can talk big, but even then, I get tongue-tied and sweaty-palmed and words rush out faster than thoughts. So I end up making a fool of myself. Bose and air-pods and the likes came up with noise-cancelling headphones for a reason. When you see someone wearing those, it is a billboard saying, “Do Not Disturb”. Similarly, if you spot someone wearing Crocs, it is a billboard saying, “Do Not Give Fashion Advice”.

So, to sum up, let me ask you this: If you were walking at the beach and saw someone in their swimming gear, soaking up the sun by their beach umbrella, having a sip of something cold, would you walk up to them and kick sand in their faces? I know one would feel tempted, but would you do that, really? As a society, we must refrain from acting out on our instincts, otherwise the world would go helter-skelter. So next time, you see someone enjoying the alone-time, stay away and do not stop for a chat. They just might be packing heat.

 

Romance- What’s that?

I been searching for you
I heard a cry within my soul
I never had a yearning quite like this before
Now that you are walking right through my door
All of my life
Where have you been
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again
And if that day comes
I know we could win
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again
A sacred gift of heaven
For better worse, wherever
And I would never let somebody break you down
Until you cried, never
All of my life
Where have you been
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again
And if that day comes
I know we could win
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again
At every time I’ve always known
That you where there, upon your throne
A lonely queen without her king
I longed for you, my love forever
All of my life
Where have you been
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again
And if that day comes
I know we could win
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again
All of my life
Where have you been
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again
And if that day comes
I know we could win
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again
 
Songwriters: Lenny Kravitz
 
I just have one question, Lenny, and everyone. You were just messing around, writing this, right? 🤣