Food, I have found, is an enormous help when it comes to combating mood swings. And falling in love with food is one of my newly acquired gifts.
As a child, I was the model kid in the block. You know, the one who never badgers you for a chocolate or a lollypop. Or a samosa or a panipuri. Or a burger or a pizza. It’s another story that we lived in an age when Pizza and Facebook hadn’t conquered minds. But anyway, you get the point. So whenever a mama or chacha would drop by with goodies for the baby, the baby wouldn’t be too happy. Those were the occasions when you’d be required to sample the food so that the guest could be sure you’d liked it. And I had very proper notions about eating. The quintessential no chaat-no fried-no sadak-ka-khaana school.
Even in my growing up days, food remained a very mundane chore. Meal times were something you had to get done with. Yes, they gave some scope for family conversations but in a small family like ours, that has never been a point at contention. Granny would be ready with my lunch when I returned from school and I would eat and do my homework simultaneously, often forgetting what I had eaten the moment I finished. Granny of course, loved the arrangement, considering she could overload the plate with karela and palak and I wouldn’t lift an eyebrow. So basically, the taste or the fulfillment factor of food is something that has always eluded me. I never knew it existed.
In the past two years however, I have discovered new territories. Thanks to Pune’s novel scenarios that forced me to meet the ‘taste’ in food – or the lack of it – I have now realized what I had been missing. It helps that the man is an out-and-out foodie who can stand anything but tasteless khaana. I am now well versed with the delights that lie in freshly cooked kababs, in good, hot soup and in the roadside dhaba that sells sponge dosas. I adore panipuri and like them spicy and soft and no longer do I turn up my nose at the pakoras that the perspiring bhaiya diligently fries.
Now, whenever I feel blue and nothing seems to change that colour, I try my best to reminisce and capture the whiff of good-old Pune and get Granny to cook me a nice new recipe. She obliges, only to groan when I drag her to a rigorous work-out session.