I can sum up the last two days with a play on two words – ‘roll’ and ‘eye’.
Because there’s a story about a roll. A story about rolling eyes. And a story about eyes on the roll.
Before you roll over your chairs at the sheer lack of comprehension of these strange words. Let me start to make some sense.
So with Durga Puja pandals at a hop and skip away from home, I was extremely tempted to visit as often as I could. Now I figure by now you know that I’m barely religious and negatively ritualistic. But I love visiting Puja since I was a kid. For several reasons.
I love the dramatic, powerful imagery of Shakti. One of the few Indian Goddesses who embodies and depicts the strength and might of a woman instead of posing coyly for her sculpture. She’s fearless and has a clear don’t-mess-with-me-look. And looks stunning while killing a beast. What’s not to love about her? What’s unfortunate is that half the women who worship her, aren’t half as gutsy or self-affirmed as she is.
Anyway, so while that takes about 5 minutes to see, another 10 are put aside to watch animated non-actors & non-singers, put spirited performances on stage. 5 additional minutes are interspersed to check out young Bengalis clad in gorgeous sarees, some of them having draped it for the first time in their lives (As is evident from the constant cross checking of pleats and safety pins).
And it’s all washed down with my favourite activity; gorging on spicy, flavourful Bengali food.
And my favourite has to be an Egg Roll with Kasundi.
The fried bread with a spicy eggy filling is just brilliant with a dash of pungent kasundi, which in my very humble opinion is the best mustard is the world.
So, naturally, I had a pathological craving for an Egg Roll.
The first day my husband and I went to ‘Pujo’, it was after dinner and we were stuffed. But we knew we had to make the customary dining choice (but of course). I wanted a roll AND a biryani and we could only have one. Somehow, we ended up ordering a biryani (I think that has to do with the fact that my husband is the one who was in-charge of placing the order!). So we ate it. It was expectedly terrible. Decided to come again the next day.
The next day we didn’t go because our baby was in a hyper active mood and by the time we fed, changed, settled him, we had slept off.
Last day of Pujo, and I’m literally panicking now. The husband needed to fly out to Delhi for work and I could see my plans being washed away. While he’d promised me we’d go after he returned, I wasn’t taking any risks. So I begged my sister to go with me. We planned to go that evening. I decided not to have dinner at all, unless it came in the form of a roll! She got caught up in something and said we’d go post dinner. I was itching to roll by now (pun intended). We finally left home at 9:30 and I was starving!
We tool 45 minutes to reach the pandal which was 10 minutes away from our house. We reached and saw the beautiful Durga idol and then hurriedly made way to the food counters. Ordered the roll. Looked tantalising. And took a bite.
There’s something like pining for something too much and then it always always turns out to be so lukewarm.
I’m going to eat it now when I don’t want it so it tastes better. (That makes sense if you read carefully!)
Part 2 of the story is about rolling of the eye. Which happened all day the next day at my husband because he’d ordered biryani instead of a roll, when he had the opportunity. Now of course we’d had meatier battles than this, but it lasted a while. He was dumbfounded that I was blaming him for a culinary decision made 3 days ago (and I now see his point, kind of, but since he reads this – why didn’t you get what I wanted that day?!). And I needed someone to blame for the terrible meal from the night before, because thats the healthy thing to do (let’s not judge here).
We’ve made our peace now though and decided our next meal out is going to be Bengali. But of course.
The last part of this story is about my travels today to capture the sights of Mumbai on my camera. I decided I needed inspiration to take pictures for my assignment and could only do that if I worked from some decent cafe (with wi-fi) in South Bombay. So I parked myself at Starbucks at Horniman Circle. Enroute, I took several shots of life as it is in Mumbai and got some decent photographs. Also got some glares. A few abuses. And a warning from a construction foreman who thought I was a reporter.
Finally spent a few hours working on that e-mailer (can’t stop. won’t stop) and was decidedly pleased with the results.
And thats a wrap guys. Or is it a roll? 🙂