A Day in the Life of an Unlikely Kitchen Star - The New Indian Express

A Day in the Life of an Unlikely Kitchen Star

Published: 15th December 2013 06:00 AM

Last Updated: 15th December 2013 11:11 AM

Sachin Tendulkar retired from International cricket two weeks ago and it’s understandable how fans and the media reacted. But what about small stars like me who are useful too in your life? As usual I woke up to a huge roar from the television in the living room and from the glasshouse I stay in, I could see everything that was going on. Honestly speaking, sometimes I do get tired of conversations and people, especially when they talk nonsense, which I really don’t understand.

Before I go any further let me ask you, “Who do you think I am?” I will give you some clues. I am round and tiny, you won’t see me if I stand alone even on the cleanest of floors (I could easily agree that the world is round). Together with others of my ilk, I enhance your tastebuds and you will see us in black, white and brown. We are notoriously energetic at work and my boss loves our playfulness. Any ideas?

Forget it; let me tell you my story, you may like me better once you understand how I became the star. I was born in the open Nature unlike you, wrapped up in glittering morning dew I used to rise up looking at the gentle smile of the sun. Holding on to my mother’s belly I danced with the melody of the morning breeze. At sunset we got touched in an orange glory and the whole field would bloom and look like an immaculate golden carpet. We fell asleep together in the moonlit silence of the nights. Days when stars filled the skies, we had sleepless nights singing stories of angels.

As destiny eroded our lives, groups after groups said goodbye and were taken away by complete strangers. Slavery had officially ended many years ago but we are still bought and sold ruthlessly, like I am sitting here today. Don’t mistake me, I have no complaints and I still carry much happiness and power of this Universe in my tiny body.

What amazes me is the brilliance of old people; they find us useful as a protector, also in our presence you will find calmness and growing intelligence. I heard a mother tell her child not to push me down on the floor; apparently it’s bad luck! At the same time to get away from evil eye, she would hold us pressed in her palm with other spices, circle around her baby and mercilessly dedicate us to flames in the smoky kitchen. I have watched a mother in all her shades and emotions around me.

My duty is full of fun and action, just like Sachin and Brian Lara we don’t like waiting and watching, rather be out in the centre and face the heat, naturally you get the best out of us. Our good qualities are well known, flying fragrance as we blend in heat, drama of splendour as we open ourselves to oblivion and as the excitement creeps in, you can sense us from a distance as we are called the inviting presence in the game.

As I watch boss directing the game by gently pushing us to the centre, he looks so spiritual at that moment. I have been waiting for my turn to be touched and feel the glory of my innings. I learned so much by watching him, like kids we are crazy and fly around the wicket and if you are not careful we could hit you right on your face.

We could be the openers or the last players in the game but we remain at the top always. In the middle of all things I hear, see and feel, I always watch the painting of a smiling mother who first taught my master about this art and how to win over us.

By the way my name is Sarshapam, the English called us mustard seed and I love my world and the life I was blessed with. We are the music, aroma and life of your kitchen.

The author is a London-based restaurateur who owns the Rasa chain

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