Glancing through my blog, I do feel bad for anyone who’s been following it. Over the past couple of months, like Nipun says, it’s been on a rant-age about all that’s rotten in Delhi. As a matter of fact I swear I had a nice little post lined up – about the Punjabi street that I stay at and the TONS of varied people and pretty lights and the morning classes and everything. And though at one point of time I may have had plans to bomb the place – and I’m not alone – after Diwali I realized I don’t have to. The city’s own are killing it anyway.
OK I’ll stop – nobody should be so negative. Especially when Delhi’s pollution has reached evacuation levels.
No really, I’ll stop. 😛
Two months after I’d come here, I found this Malayali tiffin service that delivers putt-kadala, parotta-motta curry etc and the quintessential dosa/idli/sambar/chutney for breakfast (and similar authentic Malayali lunch and dinners). The food tastes better than my Amma’s – if you think that’s not possible, are you suggesting that Adidas is misleading us all? Of course it’s possible.
Anyhow, I realized only our food works for me. So here I am, chomping on kanji-payar-chammanthi *evil laugh at the ones languishing at Jamshedpur/Indore/Hyderabad/Bangalore* cos soul food is always food that you grew up eating. They cannot be forced, they can only be found.
Like how the songs I grew up listening (Velikku Veluppan Kaalam/Chaudhvin ka Chand) have now ended up in my playlist.
Like how every time I fall sick, I now yearn for the hot Kanjivellam that’s generically thrown out from our kitchen unless Achan somehow manages to push it down our throats, and the million offhand antidotes in the name of ottamooli our grandmothers/aunts/mothers casually flaunt the careless knowledge of at the slightest hint of a cough or a cold, that none of us ever bother to make notes of.
Like how we know for a fact that men look good in suits, but nothing beats guys in mundu or girls in Kerala sari.
Like how the whistle of pressure cooker in the mornings announces sambar for breakfast.
Like how our weddings are a brilliant concoction of chaos and catching up with (though mostly meeting new) uncles and aunts and cousins, amidst silky richness and mullapoo (jasmine garlands) on decked up sisters and mothers, and a complicated string of actions in sequence that only bride, groom and the closest family need concern themselves with.
And you aren’t officially done with your sadya until you’ve licked clean your fingers dripping with the amalgamated climax of all that landed on your banana leaf. And you’ve burped.
Like how we still cherish the one time we explored the backside of our mother’s tile-roofed ancestral home set in a beautiful green village, found our own route to the river flowing behind, ate the best meen curry ever prepared, heard the temple tales of yore, unearthed Manichitrathazhu stories that the family history embodies.
Gaped at the endless stretch of mango trees heavy with fruit before embarking on an attack, bathed in the cool clear water from the well and binged indiscriminately on kappa-meencurry and jackfruits and grated coconut and unniyappams from Ammoomma’s kitchen. Marvelled at how bountiful life can be, topped by a cruel realization of the deprived daily lives we lead.
And if you like me grew up believing you’d live quite the neighbour-love story like in Niram (or at least own a room like it, damn it) I bet you were disappointed too, growing up. Dear God, I hope you are listening. I don’t think I’m growing any more.
Like how while LG-Kejriwal brawls filled the news, I wondered what Chandy-Pinarayi-VS were up to. Though I hardly bothered when I was home, and won’t once I’m back.
So the other day, a dude from Andhra came up to me and said, “Kerala?”
“OHHHH YESSS” 😀
It’s just one of those Malayali things.
PS: Yes, the featured image is my Amma’s place 😀