Sunday, April 26, 2009
Thought for food.....
You never know where pictures posted on blogs may lead you.
From his blog he appears to be someone who likes to announce it to the world when he has enjoyed something. Be it a play, a garden, a person, sometimes even a particular dish. He always posts the relevant graphics. With a pithy comment. He posted one such mouth watering graphic, about a sizzler dish, that was cooked over a weekend in Pune , and almost immediately in Mumbai, several eyes widened, and minds buzzed with the prospect of a lunch. He'd been actually hinting that a bloggers' lunch was long overdue, and now that I look back, I can see his master strategy in making it all happen.......
And so the five of them met again. For sizzlers.
One , who delayed his weekend trip to his family in Pune by a day, and arrived at the lunch with his luggage.
Another , who left her two princesses at home, and braved the Mumbai public transport to travel a long way , to meet folks she had seen only once; of course the long ride was utilised two study the Mumbai election supervisors manual, which she needed for her assigned duties as an election officer around the month end; and never mind that she almost used her red pen to tick off grammatical mistakes, and deadly imperatives as her bus kept her awake bouncing through the potholes.
Another , probably looked upon this as a great way to escape anxieties and formalities associated with career and life stages; a couple of hours away from it all, with lots of laughs, and conversation, and missing cell phone contact numbers. Technology has advanced, but not so far as to have a robotic voice warn you that you are carrying the wrong phone.
Of course, there was also one who cannot resist carrying tote bags, in anticipation of meeting in a Mall type environment. She stayed the closest, and came by a three wheeler, whose driver was a bit upset about the fare remaining in single digits, despite him revving up the accelerator and making darting stops here and there, trying to overtake an open truck carrying huge boulders. But he had a nice look at her bandaged hand, and decided not to show his displeasure to someone who was already hurting (!)....
And finally, there is this guy who is probably the fittest of the lot. Lives fairly close by. He has been off rice recently, twitters occasionally when he hits the gym, and for a while one thought that he was going to arrive , say, jogging , since the mid-day sun was today being occasionally snubbed by a few clouds doing their thing.
The place had all these columns, balconies, and balustrades, where you could stand and watch the hoi-polloi traipsing by, and there was a suggestion that the four of them stand there, waiting for the fittest fifth. They would all applaud and wave at him as he came puffing by, and everyone, including the general public would have a great time. Then someone mentioned his camera. You'd never know when he clicked. And the next thing , all four would appear on his blog waving to no one in particular, a la folks in Buckingham Palace. The waving plan was hastily abandoned, and we proceeded to the sizzler place , where we would meet him in a short while.
The place is a branch of a well known sizzler restaurant. But we were unfashionably early. And the staff was suitably startled by a bunch of middle and senior citizen types arriving with luggage, pickles, several tote bags, election manuals and the works. A bit of a change for a place which has raucous fashionable young peoples groups, fellows calling themselves "dudes" having late lunches. The staff was so smitten they forgot to switch on the AC.
By and by , folks recovered. The staff, that is. Menus were perused. Lips, pursed on noticing the outrageous prices, relaxed on realizing that sizzler meals were not likely to be getting the government's special attention, as a possible sop during election time. And the country was not yet ready for the stimulating policies of Kevin Rudd. (Hi Lilly!)...
The stuff arrived, one sizzling plate at a time, suitably obscuring everyone's vision with the sizzling vapour, and fogging the spectacles of two oldies and one of the younger fittest.....And ice arrived in irregular shapes, to fog the water glassses, so necessary in the Mumbai summer......
Five sizzling dishes later, it has occurred to me, that there can be smoke of different types.
There are some smokes that need a fire at one end and a fool at the other. These harm.
Then there are some smokes that happen because of a little water sprinkled on a heap of delicious pasta/rice and veggies sizzling on a hot iron serving skillet. These are great.
Lots of laughs and good conversation and ribbing amidst flavoured steam rising from sizzling cutlets, green beans, rice, lightly heat-scarred cabbage,cauliflower,tomatoes, and the eternal favourite, french-fries. The fittest one was secretly noticed smiling to himself over the french fries, after he publicly opted for pasta after his recent anti-rice blog, read by the world.
Folks went home , mostly all having overeaten. One went off with another to catch a transport to Pune, discussing technicalities of retirement. Another went off, seriously calculating the number of years he would have to swear off his wife's delicious rice and sambhar, now that he had this sizzling forbidden meal. The two ladies, wandered off to look at some nice shops, and do some shopping. The country doesn't believe in stimulus payments . But still we spend. Amazing, isn't it ?
We have really all met only once. In December. Except for those who work in the same organization , we hardly talk, even on the phone. In real life.
But thanks to our black and white , electronic life, it feels like we meet often. We share in everyone's ups and downs. We sense things unwritten in blogs, because we can now visualize the persona.
Its a great way to be friends.