Food has always fascinated me, the aromas wafting in from the kitchen, capturing the fancy of my rotund self at an early age. Soon the fascination transformed, as it often does into a full blown obsession with my fingers itching to knead, drain, sift and chop ingredients into malleable members on my team of delicious discoveries.
But, I have realised now that cooking and feeding have a world of social connotations that has little to do with that elastic enigma called the stomach. For instance for my granny, and pretty much grannies all over the country, recipes and their quirky little secrets are almost as important as family heirlooms. They guard the mysteries of the myriad miraculous treats, till the rightful heir comes along and wins the throne of the kitschy kitchen king over, using ladles, woks and pans in their march to rightful coronation.
It is also incredible how associations that last into decades are formed over dreamy dinners and languorous lunches. I mean isn’t it exciting when the man that you are not so sure about, orders that very decadent, delicious, dreamboat of a sticky toffee pudding. Sigh! That would cement the deal, and give this said man a chance at redemption.
And I for one cannot count the number of times monumental decisions in our family have been made over a cup of steaming coffee and piping hot pakodas. The yummier the pakodas, the better the decisions, so the crispy scrumptiousness of the batter was directly proportional to the happiness quotient after said mini meal.
No occasion of joy, the world over is complete without the sweet sensation of sugary concoctions dancing with our tongues to a tune of mellifluous harmony. Be it cakes, kheers, baklavas, puddings or what have you, but no birth, marriage, promotion or conception is complete without an ode to the dessert.
So to the food politics and the bureaucrats that rule the sinuous synergies of the food empire, my humble salute, for what is life without the idiosyncrasies of gastronomical journeys of self discovery!