A Piece of Bread, A Curry of Potato and Family Beside Me

It is Sunday morning and we are allowed to get up late. Every other day of the week Amma and Papa are united in their wake up calls that turn from sweet to strident in about 5 minutes. I know that if we are not up Papa will walk in and yank the covers off me bringing in biting cold. To compensate, Papa always puts on ‘Vibhit Bharati’ on the radio to play morning ragas like Bhairavi – calming soothing sounds that barely still the chaos of a household running late for First Bell. We all go to school, Papa and Amma as teachers who take their responsibility of molding young minds far too seriously in my opinion and my sister and I who could learn just as well in bed.

Slam down that quart of milk (mandatory) while slipping into school uniform of shirt-tunic, grab a toast, jab the scrambled eggs with a fork and run. Very English. Very Proper.

But on Sundays, when there is no bell, there is no one calling “get up you are late” I am awake. I lie in bed and enjoy the radio. I want to get up but it is too early. I let the music soothe my soul. I know what’s coming. I savor the anticipation. I can feel the saliva forming little pools inside my mouth.

“Breakfast – come on girls. Pooris are nice and hot. You don’t want it to get cold do you?”

By the time my sister and I get to the dining table, Papa and Amma are already seated. Papa looks so handsome in his white, flowing kurta. Amma is relaxed, beautiful.

I slide into my chair eagerly. “Mmmm, Aloo curry smells so good.  I will take that golden brown Poori- that completely round one.”

Amma passes the dishes and as I serve myself I remember – I don’t have to use a knife and fork. Sunday breakfast we are allowed to eat with our hands for how can you feel the crispy tender texture of a Poori if you don’t use your hands? How could you possibly dig into the inner softness of a potato if you don’t use your hands? On Sunday mornings we are very Indian, very informal, very chatty. Papa jokes and Amma tells me not to drop food on my frock.

Happy Sunday Morning!

Today when people tell me about the carbs in potatoes and the fat in fried bread I tell them food is so much more than calories. It is style, it is life, love, laughter. Sometimes I tell them it is not what you eat – it is what you can digest – no saliva, no digestion. I am a Chemist by training. Papa saw to that. You are not going to win a chemistry argument with me.

I still love Sunday mornings.  Especially if breakfast is Aloo-Poori.

Writing 101: Tell us about your favorite childhood meal — the one that was always a treat, that meant “celebration,” or that comforted you and has deep roots in your memory.

Free free to focus on any aspect of the meal, from the food you ate to the people who were there to the event it marked.

Today’s twist: Tell the story in your own distinct voice.

Published by neerja2014

aspiring, perspiring, trying: yes. writing: sometimes publishing: tomorrow

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