I am sitting at my desk and sneaking in a piece of mango pickle into my mouth (Colleague SB brings them on Saturday along with her aloo paranthas). If ever there was heaven, it is here, it is here, it is here.
I have always been a pickle freak. Especially pickled kul (I do not know the English equivalent for Kul). Whenever bottles of it would arrive at home in my grandma's suitcase, I would stash away one of them beneath the bed. Because when I was a kid, I was incredibly fond of two things as any other kid would be I guess - chocolates and pickles.
And I would hide them carefully since my brother had a bad habit of keeping them in the fridge right in front of my nose and preserving them for ages. Of course it wouldn't last. I would finish them off and Inevitably there would be a hue and cry about it and my mother would be ready to chase me around the dining table (it took some time, because the table happened to be really quite long).
The chocolates would come courtesy my aunt (father's sister) and my uncle (father's bro) from London. They would come in attractive packages like huge red stockings around Christmas. That was the time my aunt used to come down with my two cousins - Anna and Anthony - laden with perfumes, clothes, cookies and chocolates. Oh what times they were! I would stay with them for the entire time they were in Calcutta. It used to be a major party with their cousins as well accompanying us to trips to restaurants and the golf clubs. And there used to be this sardarji driver there who would take us around town. Nice man he was and very fond of me. I would chat with him for hours. Now I wonder what was the point around which our conversation centered.
The pickles though were a sore point with our family. Some baby or the other had died in the previous generation and mysteriously it was linked to the process of pickle making. Now don't ask me how? I am as confused and angry about it. I used to crib to my mother about it - why did we have to be saddled with such a weird excuse of not being able to make pickles?
Once I decided to flout this custom and I set out to make a bottle of lemon pickles for myself. It was an ambitious project may I say. First of all, my ma was not at all happy about the amount of lemons I had emptied on to the mat on the roof to be sun dried. Following which I dumped them into a bottle filled with a mixture of salt and sugar syrup. I waited for weeks till I opened the bottle.
I think it had turned into some kind of fungus instead of my dream pickle. So I have contemplating since then that it might have been a curse after all.
Now let me respond to Thalassa's tag before she accuses me of ignoring it!
Seven things I plan to do
1. Travel to my heart's content.
2. Open a paan boutique.
3. Own a nice sprawling farmhouse with lush greens all around. And have as my companions - an elephant, a horse, a panda and two dogs.
4. Keep a check on my foot-in-the-mouth disease.
5. Fall in love.
6. Get married at Cyprus - sort of an island wedding.
7. Shop without looking at the tags.
Seven things I can't do
1. Let my ego take a beating.
2. Be cheated.
3. Bear people trying to intimidate me.
4. Go window shopping (I end up buying no matter what).
5. Sleep well after a scary movie.
6. Not have popcorn when I am out for a movie.
7. Like my gym trainer (Laziest trainer I have ever come across. Just grins and says, wanna do more? I dread those three words).
Seven things I say most often
1. Gandu (an affectionate word in my dic)
2. Bitch (same as above)
4. What the fuck
5. Basically (I hate this word. It comes up when I am doing an interview and am a bit nervous)
6. You know
A random thought for the day:
Don't think the best things in life are free? Try not breathing for a while. Bob Smithwick