“People think dreams aren’t real just because they aren’t made of matter, of particles. Dreams are real. But they are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes.” – John Dee , in SANDMAN #6:“24 Hours”
Sometimes it takes another trip to a completely different but familiar place, and for some time to pass, to wedge the distance necessary to write about the experience of other people’s culture, space and rituals unfamiliar. This is what I have been telling myself the past two weeks upon arriving from India, of course. Needless to say, Mumbai’s intensity left me breathless and overflowing with rainbow colored stories and tastes, I wrote at length about the futility of knowing where or how to begin while I was still there. So I let my photos speak for me, swirling then in the ennui of leaving for the second time. I’ve been home for awhile now though, and so far, I’ve worn my kurtas and my bangles, rings, told many stories, gave away my presents and uploaded a thousand pictures, and have gone to the beach and back. But still no three part post.
And just like the overzealous disclosure of a lucid dream, the specific details and the emotions and the logic, even the order of events, are slowly slipping away with every imperfect description, inadequate word said, and funny tale told. Which brings me here…EAT! Finally, the first installment of my three-part India post because I am deathly afraid of forgetting. So, here goes…
Let me begin by saying, OMG, I love Indian food. Full stop.
Anything anyone suggested I try or quickly pop into my mouth, I willingly did, without hesitation or remorse. I loved how chicken tikka and palak paneer melted as I ate one spoonful after another, loved how chana’s textures and flavors exploded in perfect harmony leaving my palette never the same again, and appreciated how warm naan with a bazillion different dips and sauces in little containers to choose from something that suited my eating style. All my hosts and hostesses, whether in Ahmedabad or Mumbai, would watch me furtively at first, each time I stuffed myself with whatever they gave me but all anxiety disappeared as I oohed and aahed at the different flavors assaulting and devirginizing my taste buds. I told myself that my “diet” would need to take a backseat and start when I got home because there was no way I was going to deprive myself of the food ecstasy extravaganza. Thinking about it now, I have absolutely no regrets, even if I had to be bikini clad just a week upon my return. Fact is, I lost like four pounds even if I thought I had gained yes, a bazillion. Please don’t ask me how that happened because I ate everything I could while I was in India. Must be G’s grace. LOL.
Anyway, I did have a couple of things going for me from the get go which made me an easy India foodie, 1. I am an adventurous eater, 2. Except, I don’t eat red meat or pork, 3. I love spicy food. I am also very good at listening to locals’ advice regarding street food, so I waited until my last day (with Kinneri in Juhu Beach) to try some. Again, no regrets and no infamous India tummy ache soon after or the next day.
Wow. Right now, I am longing for the many choices, the different smells and the firecracker flavors. Since coming home though, I’ve had every single meal made more spicy than usual or just made spicy even if it’s not meant to be. 🙂 I do miss a lot of things about India and the food and surprise attack flavors, some of the most. 🙂 Of course, I also miss eating out with my sis, Sacha, having tea and comparing photos with her at the end of a long day, and gushing about just how lucky we both are. Boy, would I kill for half a serving of kulfi right now. Think you can do something about that, G?
Anyway, enjoy the food snaps. There are plenty to make your mouth water and lips smack.
Drooling is allowed.
Until part two, friends: India 2.0 Pray (2/3), have an amazing day full of gratitude and love love love.
grateful slice: Indian food, the nature of dreams and cliches like, ‘Better late than Never.”