Till Farts Do Us Apart

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

If there's an eloquent way of talking about gastritis, then I'm truly unaware of it. In the absence of it, you'll read some crass so, burp now or hold your fart in forever.

For a little over a fortnight, I've been nauseated to death and how. I've gone out on more than one occasion including, downing one too many vodka-coke when I stayed clean all weekend, over eating mashed potatoes with Sinner's Winner (that's it, I'mma stick to this name for the man I'd once written off here on this page - Sindhi boy still going strong). I have no respect for my body, and given the abuse I put it through with the amount of crap that goes in, it's bound to go berserk on my arse someday (the choice of words are so eloquent, please appreciate). 

My conspiracy theory naturally connects the gastritis to my job. In the Summer of 2014, when I was hobnobbing in Gurgaon, I'd spent abysmally long hours in the washroom at the office there. For some odd reason, I was truly unwell and all I ever wanted to do was to throw my intestines out. If not that, then cry myself to death over traveling to bloody 'gaon. That, ofcourse, I connected to my unhappiness of being out of Delhi. However, staying in the periphery of less than a kilometer from work and still dreaming of clean washroom, things don't quite add up. 

Then again, I am to blame. One fucking hundred percent for eating, and eating the kind of things no healthy man can digest when he's well, let alone in the tropical weather conditions here. My favourite meal in the whole wide world has to be blamed for this. 

Okay,  favourite is highly debatable. SSA usually calls me out on my referencing to people in and as "best friend" and "favourite ..." as farcical. According to him, everything I eat/watch/read cannot be my "favourite" and not all friends of mine can be "best". Which is also to say, he comes from the school of thought where your absolutes can be only in binaries or not. To say you've a list of ten favourite meals is incorrect. Depending on which school of thought you come from, please feel free to fuck off. Show yourself out from the page, if you're already rolling your eyes. The option to shut this tab depends on the OS and the browser so you'll know better. 

Speaking of my favourite meal, this remains a complex question and cannot be answered in a line or in a post, even. The categories drawn for each one of them will be time consuming. For the sake of expediting (and consequently, the lack of detailing), let's stick to my favourite childhood meal as kachodis from Aligarh. 

Growing up, I remember accompanying my grandmother to Aligarh, to her parents' and her rest of the family. I was the joey in her pouch pretty much till I was 11 and she wasn't bed-ridden. Summer in Aligarh meant sticking my head out of the vintage window pane on the first floor house, facing the railway station and overloading my senses with the sights and the sounds. Peculiar to the place, was the food. Nearly everything had adult flavours. Overload of hing (asafoetida), green chilies and coal smoked everything. In case you're unaware then, what garlic is to carnivores, hing is to the herbivores. I don't think I ventured to that part of the world much after she passed away. Which also is one of the reasons I don't remember much outside of what I'd tried with the family there. If they made something, that was the last word. If they brought something home, it was nothing short of best. 

The food is what constitutes most of my memory from my time there. I distinctly remember the aloo-pyaaz ki sabji prepared on our first night in (during most such trips), with some kind of yellow dal. Tempered with desi ghee, I'd be sticking my tongue out in defiance and throw tantrums before agreeing to eat a parantha with achaar and some sabji. To this day, the smell of desi ghee makes me sick. 

Her family there was vegetarian, so there wasn't much scope of whoring around with the meats. I don't honestly care if someone elevates non-vegetarian fare. If the greens are more than edible, you've my seal of approval. The folks at Aligarh- be it vendors or homemade food, quite literally infuse life into whatever they touch (in this case with their ladle), the vegetarian fare usually tasted better than the bloody meat. 

Years later, when I travelled to some obscure part of UP with Man Friday and our OCD friend in crime, for a film, I abandoned the guys (post shoot) and pushed out for Aligarh by myself, to meet her side of the family. Not only were they thrilled, I was quite fucking psyched to be there. The guys were supposed to join me next morning and after the breakfast, we were supposed to leave the city. When I picked them up from the bus stop, Divyanshu couldn't stop himself for asking for meats. "Aren't there any kebabs here? I've heard they do meat some justice in this part of the world."

For once, I had no idea where the kebabs were. That's how fucking great the vegetarian food in that part of the world is. 

I forced these guys to indulge in some kachodi, which if my memory serves me right, Divyanshu enjoyed (he's a tough nut when it comes to food). OCD guy being OCD guy just stared at my face with total disbelief. 

"You're fucking weird to eat this crap. Aren't you scared you'll fall ill?"

"You're depriving your senses of something so magical, you will never know it's worth the risk."

At the time of saying that to him, I was living on antacids and other medication. I was nauseated (damn right) but every fucking bite of that meal I had for breakfast at their house was so worth it. 

If you're still reading and wondering what the actual fuck is this vegetarian food/kachodi that I'm having multiple orgasms over, listen up. 

Imagine this thin, crisp and hard kachodi with no visible filling, the size of your palm (I hope you've big hands), deep fried in desi fucking ghee. Pair that with this lip-smacking renedition of mashed potatoes. No, don't write it off by saying, "Ew, mashed potatoes?". These are so fucking spicy, they can leave your bhut jholakia behind by miles. The potatoes are cooked with their jacket, mashed and devoid of any water/oil/gravy. They're dry and absolutely smooth. In every bite, you can taste a mouthful of green chili paste (without actually biting into it once) and subtle flavour of hing. The trio of this meal is completed with the raita. Don't be fooled by its runny texture. The raita is coal smoke infused, tempered with white peppercorn and jeera, that nobody in your house can dream of replicating. This entire meal is a fucking stunning play with different textures and burst of flavours in your mouth. You bite into crisp, hard kachodi with a coating of spicy potato mash concoction and down it all with runny, watery raita which is delightfully tangy, spicy and smokey at the same time. It's best left it at that. If you're a street food snob and think you know your pooris from puchkas, then be prepared to feel ashamed. If you've not tried this, don't come close to calling yourself a fucking foodie. 

Last weekend, I was dying of stomach cramps and was on a diet of bananas. After having finished one, it occurred to me that there going to be kachodis over the weekend since my grandmum's brother was dropping by for a night. Without as much as intimation, he brought a pack full of kachodis which I ate over two days. 

I've been in and out of washroom seven times since I've come back from work, and it's been two days since I ate this meal. I've thrown up. I'm dehydrated and possibly dying. But ever so satisfied. Atleast, it's after two recurring meals of those kachodis that I'll be gone.

If you're still on this page, do me a favour and write me an obit. One that concerns those kachodis and I.  

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