Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shall we eat out today - Part 2

It’s been a while since I wrote this. And now the “shall we eat out today” phrase has boomeranged to me in a totally different fashion. Now that I am in a country which looks upon vegetarians as aliens..err .. Should I say psychopath aliens, the challenge has risen to a new level. I know there have been millions who have undergone this, given the fact that every other software engineer working here would either be a tam brahm, gujju or a marathi.(We are not considering goltis here since they have been proclaimed as extended American citizens).

So left with little options, I ventured into the unknown territory of cooking. I always sucked at Chemistry lab experiments. Putting the right amount of acids to neutralize the alkaline never was interesting for me. And I never could get a good result. And I always believed that cooking was an extension of a chemistry lab. But we do not give up so easily, do we? Especially when it is the question of survival. So I have started getting my fingers cut and burnt; started making rasams forgetting to put rasam powder in it, and have even started cleaning the vessels up. And the other day when my firang team mate asked me what I had for lunch, I ran out of words to describe what a sambhar is! And she of course found it hard to believe that I eat rice/wheat day after day without any meat what so ever.

It is alright when you have to cook for fun; for a change from the outside food, like I used to back in Pune. But dragging yourself to the kitchen every other day to make something can be a torture. This is the point when I realize what my Mom, or any womanhood for that matter, goes through day after day. I would surely have yelled out at amma if she had made sambhar or dal every other day. I have screamed my lungs out if she were not to provide me with a proper breakfast on Saturday morning and fill in with cornflakes or bread. Now I eat those daily for breakfast. And even for lunch or dinner at times. Except for coffee, I don’t think I can make anything at all which can be termed as “good”.

The Indian restaurants here give a good break. And so do the Thai and the Mexican ones which do have options in the vegetarian menu. But you would really relate to the term “khaas-poos” while you are in one of those trips. And having an isolated veggie in the group can be a pain in the butt for others for they would not be able to taste the animals/birds from that part of the world! Most of the vegetarians give in at this point of time in life. I was surprised when my colleague told me how she has started cooking chicken for her husband wearing gloves, even though she sticks to being a veggie. Heights of chauvinism I thought.

On hearing my woes, the only suggestion the people close to me give is “Get married”. But I wonder what the girl to whom I will be getting married is being told now! Get married and be ready to spend 1/12th of your life in kitchen? May be that is why we would be hearing the phrase, “Shall we eat out today”, more often.

Song for the Occasion: “Mummy bhookh lagi hai!” ...“Do minute!” ... “School se aate dhoom machaate. Ek hi baat pe khushi manaate, Maggi Maggi Maggi!”Mom: Pal bhar mein tayyar….Khaane mein mazedaar!

7 comments:

FC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
D said...

Holidaying abroad has given me a trailor of what you must be going through. And believe me, as a non-vegetarian my experiences haven't been any better. The well-cooked meat that we're used to in India isn't to be found in firang land! I've been forced to turn vegetarian on many of my holidays.

Vinz aka Vinu aka Vinayak said...

hehe..the chemistry lab thing was too good...even though i scored a 100 in chemistry, how i hated those stinking chemistry labs..!!

and coming way to cooking, buddy, cooking is fun, limited to once in a week...and let me tell you, i stopped complaining to my mom and other female members of ma family, once i ventured into it during my stay away from family..!!

:)

cheers

Vinod R Iyer said...

@D: Hmm ya ..NVs would have their problems too I guess. I am sure it is tougher to cook those dead bodies :D

@Vinz:Hope you are as lucky for the rest of your life too! :)

_audi_ said...

cooking good food is sure an art and a talent...and not everyone can be good at it can thy ;) u gud at writing - stick to tht..hehe

Vinod R Iyer said...

@Audi: Who will feed me if i stick only to this !?

_audi_ said...

what are partners for...i dont say thats the only thing she/he'll do for u, but compromise karna padega ;) wyds?