A story after a long, long time…
Memories of food comprise an important part of ‘our’ memories. I hated sweet potato – till she showed me how good it tastes when smoked. And then I remember how smoked sweet potato had become a regular feature of our Sunday afternoons.
She had the weirdest of tastes – she always had to go for the odd flavor of icecream or pizza or cake that no one seemed to want to try. And, in doing so, she opened up a whole new world of taste for me – the world of orange chocolates. Who would have thought orange and chocolate could make such a wonderful combination? At least, I hadn’t.
It was strange, the way she wanted to eat at the most unlikely of places – and didn’t I love to watch the way she crinkled up her eyes and smiled oh-so-sweetly as she found just the right kind of biryani at a roadside stall, or when the flavors of her kind of panipuri hit her. She taught me that, too, how to love street food – me, who never as much as looked at roadside eateries.
I wonder how she fell in love with a total non-foodie like me, being the food lover that she was. Maybe she took it as a challenge – introducing me to new flavors and permutations and combinations, and teaching me to love it all, in her way. That’s why I am here today – in this broken-down shack of a place, that she discovered one evening, when, she said ‘her taste buds were bored stiff’. Only she could come up with such expressions.
I still miss her, a lot – and that’s why I am trying out some dubious-looking sabzi and rotis. And I must say, it is good. She would have loved it. And she would have had a field day on learning that I am trying out new restaurants and recipes – without anyone biting my behind. Maybe that’s what drove her away – the fact that I always needed her to bite my behind to try out new stuff.
I will never know, of course. Just like she will never know this new foodie me. That’s enough, I think. I should probably tuck into my bowl of sabzi and order a dal fry to go with it, and drown the memories of her in it – at least till tomorrow – the memories that refuse to go away, stubbornly, like excess salt in potato curry.