• malavikameh

A drab story.

My mom cooks the best food, I miss home because of the taste and the spices and her exquisite dishes. She cooks the best biriyani, the best rice and curry feast, the best rice cakes and gram curry, that this, this that, all. Although she cooks the best food, she eats like medication, little by little. Just the things that won't deter her health. She doesn't eat what she cooks, especially if it is some big fish or meat.

My grandfather, who was apparently a really great man married the best-looking wife who was my grandmother. She was so lean, so pretty, and had long black hair - which reminds me of Flaubert's prose, prose is like hair, you have to comb it to let it shine. Speaking of combing, I haven't done that in a long time. Her hair grew down her knees, the chiffon sarees always fitted her long slender waistline, she was perfect. My grandfather received big tasty fish and rich boxes of spices, and treasure boxes as gifts. Using which my grandmother cooked him the best, exquisite, Kerala cuisine every day. He fell ill quite early. But my grandmother took good care of him, tended to his sickness, and provided for his flamboyance. She was really firm, expressionless, and mostly a catch. Everyone loved her.

My grandfather never knew to cook, but contrary to that my father cooks really good food. But he never does because he never does. I mean my father is my favourite and all, but I never know why he does certain things. My father is a bit like Kafka's father, I quite don't get him at all, but I just go with it trusting him. Speaking of trust, he only trusts one kind of food for his supper. That's fish and rice and because my mother cooks it really well, he has never broken out of it.

Finally, it comes down to me, I guess. I can only cook fish and rice, just fish and plain white rice. I eat that every day. What am I a Himalayan ascetic? No!! I boast to myself that I have a Japanese Samurai fighter's diet. I just like to count down fish and rice into its very bits, bits by bits. Marina Abramovic has this crazy performance art, which is about counting rice. Counting rice is really difficult, have you tried it. First, you have to sit down, okay I would like to stand on a wobble board and count, to be honest. Sit or stand or wobble, just count, count, count. Rice is a split, sprite iceberg. Rice is about breaking down time, to its minute, to seconds, and further to its very tiny bits (I am a die-hard Steffi graf fan, she said something similar), to the faintest, tiniest corpuscle. Each bit of rice is so small and tiny, but together it sticks down so much stuff. So I cook what I eat, just the right amount. Whenever I waste any of it, I feel hella guilty.

My friends, they cook pasta. They cook it so well, that I am in awe. They cook it just like the books and all. Directions to use: pasta in the water, pasta plunges into the water. Then goes some sauce which is a whole process (I am too lazy for all that, my friend laughs at what I cook, my mother worries that's because she is not near me, my father thinks I am mad, but whatever it is, it tastes fine, just right). Reminds me of my mother's biriyani (Genuinely, what I do is, chop some veggies, put it all up in a pan, do some oil or ghee, and then roast it out, sometimes to eat with rice and fish) and they complain that whatever I make is a bit scary to eat, that they are just made for me. Firstly, there is no sauce, secondly, they are all about convenience. Hush and hurray! that's it, convenience.

Whenever I cook, I am like a nun in a convent, misplaced, not knowing what to do with the convent, everyone else, however, stands inside or outside, looking and studying about the convent. Me, I just am too drab, for fish and rice, fish and rice. Am I drab guys? Am I drab?

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