Monday, October 6, 2008

One of those evenings in Mumbai...

February 2005: The lights are dim….the curtains drawn. A half filled bottle of Sprite lies on the glass centre table. Bryan sings aloud…and it does feel like Cloud Number 9. The smell of “besan”…not from the kitchen but from Mita’s face pack….dances with the music. She has been cooking all evening…ever since she returned from the “bazaar”… “puris” stuffed with peas and “alu dum”.

Her friends had been pestering her since last week to treat them to some authentic Bengali food. Away from home they sometimes feel homesick…but they never miss their mother tongue…they sing, fight, chat, conspire and plan in that language. They sing “Bhalobasha” and “Sujon”, they plan their little trips to the “Land of chikis”, they conspire against the weird neighbours, and they chat about everything under the sun…from “ear rings to Abol Tabol”.

Basuri has gone out with Broto on a date….so they decided to have the “puris” for dinner. Rajasri has been trying to be helpful…but she has already burned 2 puris. So Shila takes control of the kitchen as the main assistant to Mita. Rajasri is great with salads not with puris….but atleast she tries, unlike Leena who never budges from the couch. There is still some egg curry left in the refrigerator….Ditya had cooked it with such great care…and her culinary skills had been much appreciated. Shekhar had missed out on the curry…so he would have it with the puris today.

Shekhar being the best judge of food, his opinion really makes a difference. He is the one who organises trips. They still remember how they landed up in a temple which seemed to be situated on the other side of the globe. But the drive had been fun…especially when they came up with strange dance movements. Vir is there as usual…playing the fool. Today he told them about the bees that entered his room when the bee hive hanging from his window had been broken. He gave a performance that will be difficult for them to forget….he played both roles…that of the bee and his harassed roommate.

Raj will return from office quite late …as usual. He will be having his dinner in office but he wants his share of the puris as well. Ranjan and Tan have gone out to get the beer…

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