Cooking for 15 Men and other Big Tasks. πŸ”₯πŸ—πŸ­πŸ’πŸ‰πŸΌπŸ˜‘

a recipe for disaster πŸ’₯πŸ”₯⚠


The first half of my house is done. Now they are casting the terrace roof.

My father’s got a new condition. Every morning, around dawn, right when I have finally shoved away my dying phone and am trying to fall into a dreamy wormhole, he comes to my room wearing his Star Accu Paduka Acupressure Spring Action Massage Sandal, his breathes slightly louder than a chainsaw, and moves around making sure if I am sleeping well and if I’m covered in this nipple-hardening cold. That would still have been bearable, and even cute, had I not been sleeping naked under the blanket. So yeah, that’s how I started my day today.

Then came the big task. Since I have eight months experience in chopping salads and vegetables and since the roof-casting team comprised of 15 underfed, ever-hungry folks who could eat bricks if you peppered them with salt and chilli powder, my mother bequeathed upon me the virtuous task of chopping around 60 medium sized onions, 40 radishes, 30 chillies, half a tonne coriander and as added bonus, kneading a barrel of wheat flour. I like to chop things, let me be honest, but I like it pretending to be a French mΓ’itre cuisiner and not some cookie cutter from Tihar.

So I sat down on our recently purchased carpet with a bathtub and began washing the onions after peeling them off while my mother video chatted with my three year old cousin who is basically a non stop gibberish uttering three foot long human being.

My father informed me that the temperature had dropped to 4 already, and I said oh, not being able to figure out the exact usefulness of this information.
The labourers came with huge machines, large enough to put Tesla to shame, and began their noisy work. My parents’ distant samdhiji dropped in with more free radishes – he is a farmer with no good kids to save for – and I could not feel the happiness I usually reserve for free stuffs. This samdhiji keeps coming with free vegetables all the time, which would have been a kind gesture had he brought something other than bottle gourd. Initially my mother showed too much gratitude to this man, but now she just distributes the gourds among the neighbours, thus cutting their grocery costs significantly. One of them even purchased a Ε koda recently, which my mother swore was bought from the money saved on vegetables.

“Don’t you grow other things as well? “My mother had to ask, politely, one day.

“Ah! I used to grow cauliflowers but these neighbourhood kids are such goons, they steal everything. ”

“Get a few dogs. “I risked a suggestion. He made a face as if I had uttered something entirely stupid, and spoke to all of us,

“Akhilesh had 4 dogs in his house. He was a vegetarian but he fed them cooked meat every day. He had hired special cook just for feeding the dogs. Being an LIC agent himself, that’s way too expensive. The dogs must have meant too much to him. Then he got married. “He said, pausing to build suspense.

“Then? “We asked with eyes popped with curiosity.

“Then he died of heart attack. Now the dogs shall be abandoned. “He said, controlling his tears.

But what happened to the wife, I wanted to ask, but he was too emotionally wounded to utter another word, so I did not. I mean a weeping samdhiji is certainly worse than a samdhiji with a bottle gourd.

Anyways, after doing all that work, my father asked me if I was good for something, and I, fearing another gargantuan task, said no I was not, and he said ‘good” and awarded me the most humiliating duties ever.

I had to sit on a chair near the switch of motor pump and switch it on and off whenever a voice from above asked me to do so.

It has been two hours of me sitting here like this, and I have pressed the switch more than a dozen times. I’ve had only 6 breads fried in desi ghee till now and I’m starving. Even though healthyfyme ensures that’s good enough calorie intake for a couple of days, I don’t want to believe it. I am going to uninstall this hitler app very soon.

We are not supposed to eat till the gods have eaten.

Tradition fucks hard.

Paneer Butter Masala and Politics

A hotchpotch of troubles

Do you remember those ancient times when I declared that I was going to follow a strict diet in order to shed some Kilos, maybe 17? Yeah, well that’s history now.
For the last couple of months I have been eating everything that is edible and has been proven not to be a variant of cyanide. Thanks to capitalism, the marketing tussle between Zomato, foodpanda and swiggy has crushed my dream to get back my now extinct jawline. Add to that the miracles of Cashback Guy – he makes offers I can’t refuse. I mean when you can get a 70 buck roll for 27, you don’t even have to be hungry to buy that.

A few days ago, we got Rasmalais and half a kg rasgullas, for half the actual market price. Burger King has been providing us our daily bread for a while now. There’s this coupon that gets you 50% discount on the first 3 orders and then there’s Phonepay discount, which means you can have the most delicious food at your door at the lowest price you can possibly imagine. This is a revolution I tell you. If government adopts it as a policy measure, the problem of hunger will vanish from India. But then we’ll be a country full of fat people and aliens will never visit us.

I don’t really exercise either. I mean that’s the toughest task ever. Ask me to play 150 chess games on trot, I will do it without lifting a brow, but ask me to move around a bit, I will get frostbite. I don’t like physical work. Not that I hate doing physical work but I hate the idea of me doing physical work. It’s the thought that troubles me. But I will have to do something, some day. I’ve begun to look like a pregnant man already and my flatmate has developed a new fetish – slapping my belly.

Anyways, today, I got some paneer butter masala because the Cashback Guy wasn’t cooking today. He is having his PMS these days. Neta had his a few days ago. Thangabali said he’d make some maggie for himself and so that left me and Popatlal, and we agreed on to paneer butter masala. We agree on most of the things.

Given that he is completely devoid of flesh, Popatlal does need some butter. I was just a guilty companion. But boy o boy, did I lick the plate like a dog so that the last drop of gravy gets to my tongue! I am quite easy to kidnap, I tell you. I just love food.

That apart, I was reading about the condition of women in the industrial revolution. It was awful as usual. I mean reading women history is funny – you already know the climax. They have been really mistreated throughout. What’s funnier is that they didn’t even realise it until recently. I mean it’s shit, man. Even recently there was a big fight at KIIT which began with some assholes doing eve teasing.

In the evening we had an hour of political discussion which concluded with us calling this period as the dark age in the history of 21st century India. I mean you have infants dying in the hospital, you have train accidents happening fortnightly and yet building statues is at the top of your priority list. I am going to get a voter id and vote this government out.

Right now I am listeningto this beautiful song Mere Naam Tu from the upcoming movie Zero. I am already in love with the lyricist – Irshad Qamil.

My mother’s buying a ROBOT!!

No kidding..

Trust me this is no click bait. A few days ago, my mother called me to break the news that…. Okay, let’s start from the start.

Did I tell you about the new house my mother was building? Yeah, so at first I thought that we were going to have a normal 2 BHK flat with a roof big enough to allow all the homemade pickles my mother makes during holidays to lie in comfort and tan themselves in the sun. But then as the work progressed I began to wonder how much black money do my parents really own. There were fancy wardrobes all around, their colors handpicked from expensive brochures. There were designs on the ceiling, cupboards that could rotate and reveal secret chambers, fancy shoe racks, aqua guard and all that shit you find in Antilla. I have for a significant part of my life lived under asbestos sheets, with an ancient LG tv that needed a good beating on the head to come to life and a remote that lost buttons like kids lose teeth.

All this seemed so unreal that after a point of time I lost even my ability to get surprised. My mother would call me and tell me about the mermaid tiles she got in the bathroom and I would reply with a monotonous ‘wow’. Nothing could surprise me, or so I thought.

It was a fine afternoon. I was in my chair, my legs out in the sun, my torso shivering in the shadow. I was looking at this wild trio that lives opposite my flat. Petite girls, crawling on the front wall like spiders.

My phone buzzed and I didn’t even have to look to tell it was Maa. I am almost past my teenage, and I am a single guy with many self – consuming hobbies. So it had to be Maa.

“Guess what? I am buying a robot. ”

At first I thought I was having another of those ghastly nightmares that have been haunting me for over a month now. Then I thought maybe my mother had gone mad. That could happen.

“But it’s 22000 bucks. “She said with a hint of disappointment.

“What’s that for?”I risked a question.

“It would do all the cleaning work. I’ve got back pain. So I cannot bend. ”

“You could keep a maid. ”

“Maids poison their owners, rob them and run away. What’s worse is that they also take the cosmetics. Two blocks from our house…”

“Okay. I got it. But haven’t you spent a lot already? ”

“Neighbors are calling architects from Mumbai to design their house, and I can’t even have a little help from science. Moreover, I have got two blank cheques. You and your brother. ”

“Hmm. Wait. A ROBOT? What does it do exactly. ”

“I’ll send you the pho….. ”

And my phone went dead. My pretty samsung is in its last stage. I did ask her to get me a phone, but my mother always swore that all the money went into the house. Since its inception, my mother has wasted fortunes on a dozen Satyanarayan Poojas. Uh! It frustrates me sometimes but I am not supposed to react that way. I am not a teenage anymore. Well very near to not being one.

She did send me the photos. This is a crazy disc like thing they are selling on amazon. It has got 6 reviews so I guess I would not bet my money on it yet.

I shut the doors. Those pretty spiders were pissing me off. On the floor below, Neta and Thangabali were fighting again. Neta has gone nuts these days.

I’ll tell you about him later.

A Heartbreaking Tragedy

What need is there to weep over parts of life? The whole of it calls for tears.

~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

It was the same Lucius who had complained about the perilous loom of pestilence all over Rome. At the moment, he was being teared away from his family. His wife couldn’t stop crying, and so this was what he said.

Seneca crossed my mind when I leaned over that rail, drenched in a nostalgic sepia. In the distant evening sky, a tiny plane glided away. Pain, sadness, tragedy – that’s how life is. You just choose from the most severe ones to shed tears upon. Right from the moment you squirm your eyes and see this world for the first time, an excruciating tragedy begins. You live, laugh and love, all the while inching towards an inescapable end. But the echoes of laughter are never happy. These are the memories that don’t have an empirical existence. These are the memories you shall never be able to fully reconstruct. These are the memories that are lost piece by piece, bit by bit. It’s soul-shattering to watch a life – because life is nothing but an upturned hourglass of death….