This one is a short one but KILLER!!
Hunger had finally crossed all limits. I and Akshat looked at each other. I could see the poor kid starving. I decided I would cook some dal fry and rice for both of us. Delighted by the plan, he offered me company while I prepared our dinner. Engrossed in conversation, I washed the dal, put it in pressure cooker, poured water and opened the masala dubba for haldi (turmeric) when out of nowhere I heard a scream
“Naaaaaahhhhhhhhhiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii” he sprang towards me.
I was shocked. I just stopped saving myself from spilling all the haldi. As it is, it wasn’t enough and I knew there was no point in buying more since we were leaving for vacations that night.
“Aap dal mein haldi kyon daal rahe ho? Chhhiiiiiiii!! Haldi ka taste kitna bura hota hai! Imagine puri dal haldi ki tarah taste karegi! Kya bhaiya? Koi dal mein haldi daalta hai kya? Maana ki aap khana banaate ho aur experiments bhi karte ho but yeh kuch zyada ho gaya. Please haldi valdi mat daalo. I want my dal just like the usual yellow dal!”
Ok! Apart from being totally taken aback and spellbound, I was outraged at the dramatization of the whole point.
Controlling my emotions (yes, a plethora of them were boiling inside me at this point) I humbly asked “Tumhe kya lagta hai ki tumhari ‘usual’ dal YELLOW kaise hoti hai?”
“Arey dal to yellow hoti hi hai, usme kya hai. Haldi thode na daalni padti hai…kya bhaiya?” pat came his reply looking superbly confident and offended by my question.
Well, I had the following options at my bay at that moment to deal with the situation –
1. (The most obvious one) Use an appropriate tool like the lid of the cooker, frying pan or even the long serving spoon for that matter and give one tight CLANK! Issue resolved!
2. Cook food only for myself, and keep him starving while I ate in front of him.
3. Cook exactly as he suggested. (Since I had to eat as well, I decided against this one).
4. Throw him out of the house! (Yeh thoda zyada ho jata, I agree).
5. Ignore him and continue cooking for the greater common good (however, this wasn’t so easy).
I asked him to immediately call his mother and talk.
“Mummy…achha ek baat batao, kahin dal mein haldi padti hai?…..kya?…achha!…oh..ok…nahi..kuch nahi hua….”
I snatched the phone from him.
“Aunty yeh kitne saal ka hai?”
“Abhi tak yeh kya khata tha? ” (Felt like adding ‘doodh roti?’ but didn’t mean to be rude)
“Arey beta kuch nahi aata use, tum hi sikha do kuch!”
I disconnected the call and gave him the phone. Quietly he left the kitchen. I must add here, Akshat looked so innocent and cute that my anger just went puff! I love you my bro! It happens don’t worry!
To everyone who has been gobbling food ignoring what is in that food, please wake up!