Good morning Bangalore!
The sun is shining with predictable intermediate rains and the green foliage of our city is dancing and preening. The regulars on Facebook are constantly posting about their green thumbs and kitchen gardens and simpering about how well it is doing. (Reminding me of the nursery rhyme; ‘Mary, Mary quite contrary, how does your garden grow’?) They are constantly flaunting their perfectly grown beans, tomatoes, and going into raptures over the chives and fresh coriander. And all these are senior executives, CEOs and the like. What a pandemic can do to people!
I appreciate and respect that many of us are taking refuge and empowering ourselves with our innovative cooking, gardening, and organically shifting gears to envelop a new and changing scenario. But, there a lot of the old ways that I miss. I realise that nature and the Universe is perhaps reiterating that, perhaps we need them more than they need us. The intolerable smugness with which we make our plans, the rampant destruction of our planet, the plundering, the looting, the wars we wage. Sigh! I could go on ad nauseam. But at the cost of sounding superficial, I miss the option of catching up with friends, the pressures, the deadlines, a lazy day at the spa, holidays and so much more.
I find, that slowly with less stimulation my brain is curdling and fermenting into yogurt, but I can solace that at least it is rich in pro-biotics! As much as conversations about the deadly ‘C’ occupies our lives (let’s face it. Our lives as we know it has ground to a screeching halt), I see a growing sense of ennui engulfing us. I have had innumerable conversations with people who have lost friends and family, and they too are fatalistically picking up and carrying on with life and the oft repeated phrase is; ‘how long can we burrow ourselves into a rabbit’s wren and be afraid’? Frankly, the conversations have now degenerated into what can be summed up as ‘c’est la vie’…this is life!
People are desperately trying to revive their businesses by adding unique selling points. Unfortunately, as Indians we tend to follow the leader as one then, doesn’t have to rely on one’s own imagination or enterprise. Since most people are afraid to step out especially to dine out, the restaurants and their ilk presently look desolate and empty. Some enterprising people from the hospitality trade hit upon the idea of giving one the same dining experience at home. Our mega thinkers in the government have deemed that closing all establishments by 8 or 9 and not serving liquor will deter the spread of the deadly ‘Cardi-V’! So even for the brave, dining out is not fun anymore. Let’s see what happens on August 1. We will either all attain ‘the feet of the Lord’ or immunize ourselves with herd immunity. Only the Lord’s feet have that information!
Closer to home, there is a new traffic jam. Every restaurant big or small is sending you food boxes so that our memories are jogged about their delicious fare. If we don’t go to them, they will come to us. Brilliant! Of course all this largesse is shown hoping that we order from them in the future. But, unfortunately a large section of ‘free-rangers’ are actually calling up the restaurants to complain that they haven’t received their ‘free-fund’ package as yet! Somethings don’t change in ‘namma ooru’!
Good friend Rekha Ghosh and Dildeep and Zorawar Kalra from Massive Restaurants sent across a tastefully decorated box filled with Pan-Asian goodies and a DIY avocado salad with succinct instructions. The concept was inch-perfect and the food had great re-call value. Some well conceptualised meals leave a lasting impression and this certainly did. Scion of the legendary Jiggs Kalra, it looks like Zorawar has learned a trick or two. Life’s new USP is ‘LIVING’!
writer, actor and funny girl