Though I have been faced with my share of fat luck, I think two huge thaalis of Benarasi food made up for it. If it can be considered as some kind of making up for having one's mobile phone stolen.
Life and it's small ways of making you feel better.
The afternoon started off with me sitting at a table in a hotel with this food critic. In a way it was fun (moments when she bitched about a person not very close to my heart either) and informative (she had a lot of little tid bits on different kinds of spices, different ways of cooking and the like), but then it went on forever. I thought at one point that I would fall asleep on the table. Which was also probably because all the dishes with the exclusion of none were cooked in desi ghee.
We were supposed to guzzle on Banarasi Lassi and Godaulia ki Thandai to begin our lunch with. But I am glad I resisted. Or I would not have been able to nibble on anything that followed. We thought we were clever and ordered a tasting menu kind of a thali even for the starters which promised us Kaashi Ki Chaat. In it came a whole lot of chaats. Dahi Palak Ki Chaat, Matar Tamatar Chaat, Chidwa Mattar, Khasta Matar Chaat, Makuni Bhaji and Hari Matar ki Chaat. Lipsmacking!
Next came another thaali of supposedly tasting menu samples of the main courses. It was of course Indian-style tasting menus. Large bowls with generous portions of Punchmel ki Daal, Aloo Dum Banarasi, Konhara Channa, Besan ka Khadra and Nimona. As I dabbed and dipped my puri and crisp Sattu ka Parantha in the bowls, I marvelled at the taste of home-cooked food. They were made without garlic and onions by this maharaj from Benaras. I have never had Satvik food . So consider me a convert.
There was quite a bit of similarity in the kind of dishes that they served with those from Bengal and Bihar. The Besan ka Khadra was ala my Bengali favourite of Dhokar Dalna. The other interesting items were the Konhara Channa that was a preparation of kaashiphal with black channa and put me in mind of my ma's kumro with kalo chhola (mashed pumpkin with black channa). The Nimona sounded like a sultry piece of thing/a medicinal thing (take your pick) but turned out to be a dish of greenpeas simmered to a thick daal-like consistency, with little cubes of potatoes and daal vadis peeking out.
At the end of it, when we were served the syrupy and crumbly Kheer Mohan (a close cousin of the Bengali Raj Bhog), the crisp Laung Lata (Bengali Mohan Bhog counterpart) and the Kamal Gatte ka Halwa (quite as delicious as Moong Dal ka Halwa, but made from lotus seeds), I realised that however clever I think I am being when it comes to asking for small portions, my pit-like stomach always gets the better of me. Always.
And to go back to my bit of bad/good luck. I choose to see it as a piece of good luck now because it gives me the chance to go for a better, new one. Bad luck to the one who stole it. May he experience the devilry of my phone*evil cackle*
It happened yesterday after an evening of loitering around with friend S in a mall. I was particularly enjoying my stint in a small Miss Jo shop trying out different kinds of wigs. And craving for an electric blue, waist length one which I would have definitely bought had it not been the end of the month. I could visualise shocking the wits out of my bugging relatives during the pujas three months away besides of course making my boss's eyes bulge out. After some clowning around, a lot of window shopping, we -- S and me -- got down to a spot of serious expensive shopping at the FCUK store.
It was only when I was seated at a coffeeshop and rummaging in my bag for it that I realised it was in the changing room of the store. So therein lies the story of the stolen phone. That has gone away for good. And in the aftermath of which I have been lying awake all night trying to figure out when it would turn 6 so that I could rush to the gym. I woke up at 10.