Wednesday, June 28, 2017

First times

It was his first time. She was waiting in the other room. This was THE moment.
The chapter which his high school teacher skipped, he had read alone. The topic which his parents never discussed, he did with friends. Scenes which would warrant a franatic reach for the remote control, he had seen (incognito mode of course) till the monthly data pack got exhausted. And now, when all of what he had read, heard, seen, imagined, fantasized was to be put into effect; now, on this momentous occasion, for some reason, like those random memories your brain throws up from time to time, he remembered how he felt exactly the same hesitation, doubt, and nervousness the first time when, as a bachelor, he had tried to make upma.

Upma, the simplest tiffin in existence.  Water, rava, and salt - that's all it took. And yet, he was nervous; how much water, how much rava. Making sure there were no lumps, stirring vigorously. And finally finding out that it required some more salt.
How he hated it and protested when his mother used to make it. "Upma and all is not tiffin only", he used to say. "Once in a while you should eat. Everyday you can't have puri and alu", his mother snapped back. He did not know, then, how little energy one has after spending the entire day at the office. Now he knew. And now he knew, the value of upma. He ate it with all relish. "Next time I will fry some mustard seeds and curry leaves. May be also chop one onion into it", he started planning.
Over the months, he became a Chef de Upma. Monday- rava upma, Tuesday- goduma upma, Wednesday- semiya upma (his favourite upma), Thursday- avul upma (his least favourite upma). "If only I had a vengala panai to make rice upma" he thought to himself one night. He felt it would be an unnecessary investment. What else could he make in that. "As if I am going to kindi-fy mysore pak or make sakarapongal! Why buy for one dish" he reasoned. Then one day he read a surprisingly useful piece of kitchen-hack. "You can make arsi upma in any thick bottomed vessel, like a pressure cooker." He immediately tried it. Grand success. He wasn't so happy even when he got 97 in the CBSE 10th class Mathematics exam.
From making bland rava upma, he had come all the way to making arsi upma.

"Is everything alright in there?" called a voice from the bedroom.
"Yeah, yeah, just coming" he said
"So soon" she giggled.
He slapped his forehead and went in with a silly grin.

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