Recipe of Joy
Nostalgia is an emotion that can wrap around you anytime, anywhere. Couple it with homesickness and you have a perfect recipe for a blog on a snowy winter day. That’s how R and I have for the past few weeks. December tested our patience and hope both. R’s dad’s health wasn’t doing the best and we were biting our nails here on the other side of the globe, hoping he recovers soon. But they say Christmas is a magical time of the year and how! My dad in law started recovering soon after Christmas and ever since has been fit and fine. Thank goodness! All’s well that ends well. Anyway, that story for some other day.
Let’s get back to “Nostalgia”. Ever since we heard of my dad in laws’ illness both of us have been homesick. Now that he is hale and hearty, we are relieved. One thing leads to the other and homesickness led to home, family, and our favorite childhood food. And when one talks of childhood, matters do get out of hand (in a good way). Childhood takes you back to sibling fights, school, friends, lanes that recognize you, people who love you, and food that you love.
Lunch boxes - something every Indian mother is obsessed with. If you have grown up in India in the 90’s you will identify with this. I did not grow up with pizzas and burgers, neither did R. In fact, it only became popular in the last decade or so. Before the advent of cheese pizzas and fries, parathas ruled many kitchens in India along with their counterparts like dosas and idlis and the likes of it. My mother’s simple recipe of “meetha paratha” did the trick for me every time (Indian sweet bread stuffed with either sugar or jaggery). Childhood was easy. Bad grades, meetha paratha. Sibling torture, meetha paratha. Maths homework – meetha paratha. On days when my lunch box had meetha paratha, I felt hungry much before the recess bell rang. R and I got talking about it and we discovered that his childhood revolved around meethi roti (another name for the same paratha that I devoured while growing up). As if that was his answer to life’s problems back then. Hilarious, I thought to myself. We are so alike.
This time around too we decided to cope with homesickness with meetha paratha/meethi roti (or whatever name you would like to call it). Nostalgia took over my house with every bite of it. We laughed at things that once seemed so important. We talked about the pranks we played, the trees we climbed, the friends we made, and the subjects we loved or hated with equal passion. The innocent yet embarrassing questions we threw at our elders. We laughed harder on their (our elders) coping mechanisms to situations when they had no answer to our silly questions. Giggles!
During one of my calls to my mother I told her how her recipe saved us. She laughed and said it was the easiest thing she could do to make me happy. "Sigh! I knew my sweet tooth has always been my weakness," I joked.
As the day ended and the sweetness of our childhood lingered on our tongue, we wondered how this recipe of joy was lost and forgotten. "It indeed is a recipe of bliss and deserves a special place in the family recipe book for future generations," I winked. R acknowledged it with a grin as we glided in to slumber. Funny, after so many years this unusual recipe was once again our way to trick life’s uncanny snags. Nostalgia is not a bad thing after all.
|Photo Credit - Mr. Husband|