Its a late Saturday evening and I am sitting before my beloved D-boy…..the lights are twinkling all over
There’s a pot of chicken cooking on my stove and the lid is clattering against the pot as fragrant steam tries to make mad attempts for independence and freedom…
It’s a simple chicken curry….a new recipe or perhaps an old one…..sai says I should note down my recipes here…..for posterity’s sake, I presume!!!
Chop up onions (2 large ones per kilo) finely diced and quarter some potatoes (4 per kilo)….please wash all ingredients and yourself if possible, before cooking…..some chillies (6 I believe) also roughly chopped……1 packet of chicken thighs (8 medium sized pieces) the skin ripped off and washed …….dump the skin, the onions and the chillies into a large pot and pour in a generous dose of garlic sauce/paste and mix it all up….you could use other sauces if you like, I had only garlic so that’s that….finally dump in the chicken pieces and mix the whole up and put it on the burner……add a dash of oil…..on a low flame, let the whole simmer….stir every 4 minutes….as you can see, I am a lover of even numbers…..oh, and add salt
The onions and the skin and the chillies give off oil and water….and so does the meat…..after a while, the whole broth like thing starts smelling delicious and bubbles away quite merrily, which leaves me to simply do the rice, which is easier and quicker to do than it’ll take to write it here, so skip that……after a while the onions melt and the chicken juices combine to make it a sort of broth….which is where you can add the potatoes and if you want a stew, just add some veggies and you’re almost done….
But not quite…..I have just added a generous helping of masala paste so the whole hue of the chicken is now a rich reddish-brown in colour and also half a can of tomatoes that has been feeling rather forlorn and neglected in my almost bare fridge…..so, there you have it….stir and stir and stir….simmer, simmer, simmer…..always on a low flame…..
Makes me feel like a witch in a Shakespearian production in my own ktchen….boil and bubble, toil and tubble, cauldron boil and brew trouble and so on and so forth…..
And as the damn chicken and rice bubble and boil, so does my brain……I like cooking because with a cigarette epoxy glued to my lips and my hands busy, my every churning mind takes stock…..hehehehe, forgive the silly pun…was not intended….
I wonder what the hell does one get stuck in conversations, get stuck in belief’s and also in honour and sensibility……I wonder why my ever agile mind and facile tongue have suddenly found themselves stuck in the quagmires and quicksand of conversation, simple easy conversation with someone…..
Its hard enough to do with disabilities of looks and a rather pugnacious and idiotic personality that like karna, I am stuck at the end battle without weapons and without abilities…..
Recently, someone from my past, a friend who I had met about 6 years and more, and since been good net friends with declared that she had feelings for me……
After a long hiatus, it was as if my heart suddenly realized its existence……must have been shock value to even find that someone could even find me bearable, much less like…..well, not as in like like, but as in like MORE than a friend…..
Sounds pretty soppy and juvenile perhaps, but…..
Damn, my curry just got a little stuck to the bottom of the pot….I HATE THAT….I have to scrape and suddenly black bits appear in my gravy….hmmmm, multi-tasking does have some drawbacks……anyway, give me a minute here…..need a cigarette now that the damn curry’s done as well as the rice, I can chill and have a smoke ….
Anyway….leaving aside my petty sentimentality and perhaps senility of accepting a fate of being singularly lonely and idiotically possessing large groups of friends who eat my rubbish and drive away my blues……the point here was that I had honestly never expected this….
Expect, hell, I had specifically even stopped myself from even daydreaming about ever being liked enough to be considered even the least bit romantically….
I mean, my whole life I had fought, schemed and planned for attention and liking…..I had become interesting so that people might like talking to me…..had learnt how to dance, cook, be witty, be savvy, smart and knowledgeable……I know, it sounds all so inane now and oh so important then……For a hug, for a look, for a kiss, I had used whatever tools god had given me and fashioned an arsenal of weapons, that was in retrospect, truly formidable….
And all for absolutely NO BLOODY USE……
You JUST cant get more pathetic than that…..
Anyway, after sairekha left me, I arrived at a crossroads of life…..I found myself, my dreams and my abilities hollow and meaningless…..and so like every other desperado and idiot of the books, I set out to find myself and perhaps some peace….
So hear ye, hear ye, hear ye……after many travails and encounters, our hero just did find that rotten and hard earned peace…..at the cost of indifference and perhaps even reallocation of self and baggage…..
I was boring perhaps, I was me perhaps…..simple and easy and different…..
And then to hear that someone was interested in me…..not for my food or my scintillating conversation or even my dubious abilities……I tell you, it was heady and idiotic and somehow it felt right…..even when it was wrong….
She was due to be married and somehow thought that I had found love in the unlikeliest of places…..or that I was in love and so could handle it…..I mean, what the fuck…..
I was NOT in love and nor was I looking for any….or so I told myself and had almost half convinced my errant and recidivist heart…….
I mean, I asked myself, she’s getting married in two months….what’s this, some freaking Karan Johar megastarrer ?? With myself as the reluctant khan??
Some fuckin’ bad joke, yeah ??
Anyway……so, I humour her…..yes, I am a bastard…..but hopefully an honest one…..
I liked hearing her voice, let me say this honestly…..And I thought that I would let her down easy….she’s just getting cold feet before marriage…..she’s just unsure…..she’s just idiotic, like most girls…..or so I thought….
I mean……she’s getting married to this idiot who loves her, who cares for her…..cares and loves her enough to want to marry her……would I or even could I allow her to break his heart……perhaps a bit like mine own was broken and shattered ? Naaaah…
So, I let her speak and let her spin her webs and so on……wrong move, I know, before you say it……she was a good pal and she had been there when I was broken and bruised….what was I supposed to do…..shut up and not take her calls? Perhaps I should have……
After about a month of such nonsense, I realized two things –
- I had moved on in life, but I was still vulnerable and immature
- These calls were getting me nowhere and in effect I was merely ruining her already confused life…
I reasoned with her and then when reason did not work anymore, I gave up…..I told her to grow up and sleep on the bed she had made….perhaps brutal, perhaps harsh, perhaps uncalled for…..but reason and logic and sense were not getting her anywhere….
And so I did…..
And then I tried to go on with my life….
And I realise that my heart aches for longing and for relations which go beyond friendships and mere talking….
I thought I was tougher than that…..thought I had banished such wants and desires from my life and my being….
I had given up or at least made myself give up the hope and the want of things more than what I have now…..for the softer things in life which I had fought and schemed for…..for the attention I was deprived of as a child and the peace of merely looking at someone and the warm shiver that would go down my spine….
I guess I am still greedy and hungry…..for things that I cannot have…..and like a lump in my throat that refuses to go away, my tongue and mind have become entangled in the same and refused to budge….
Its not wrong to want……but its wrong to want things that I cannot have……and so I tell myself as I wrap myself in my blankets and switch on the music…….for a long time, I would listen to music and rock myself to sleep…..when I was growing up, I would scheme and figure out till my mind just gave up to fatigue and sleep…..now that I am grown up, I again listen to music and rock myself to sleep…..
To smell the fragrance of shampooed hair......to reach out and hold a warm hand.....to even know……these were not for me, I sternly told myself and worked myself to fatigue and indifference and a hard won peace…..
And yet, I realise that its still not easy……and my tongue and mind are in rebellion against my determination…..and this too shall pass…..I know….
But like my chicken and my friends and my work and everything else……it all seems so incomplete…..an ache that I must dominate and go past….
I guess, I must speak again or else go mute……I must think again or go mad…..
I am still me…..and I am not hungry or perhaps hungrier than ever before….