Friday, November 26, 2010

The double-double that wasn't

    "Well, they aren't the most useful creatures around."
That surprised me. I wouldn't say shocked, especially given the nature of our preceding conversations, but I was expecting (hoping) you'd be in agreement with me on that one.
    - "Define useful."
    - "They don't really do much. Lay around, eat, sleep. Cute, yeah! But useful?"
    - "As opposed to dogs who'll fetch twigs, bark noisily, lick and feed on a steady diet of turds."
    - "You mean cats don't slobber?"
    - "They do, but are courteous enough to spread it discretely all over themselves, where it vanishes, except for adding that subtle gloss..."
    - "Look at you go there again! I meant useful work. Dogs guard, sniff bombs, lead the blind, retrieve, and where I came from..."
    - "You mean come from!"
Cutting you off without losing a moment, it was around a quarter of a second before I noticed your right eyebrow rise up, and the tiniest fold develop above your other eyelid. It was within the next second by four that I realised what that meant, and wiped that smug wise ass smile off me in a hurry.
    - "Oh! Sorry! You meant.." Difficult following up such an action packed semi-second.
    - "Yes keener boy, where I came from; I am not a natural. Forgot that already, eh?"
Sorry! No more Grammar Nazism.
    - "So, where I came from, dogs hauled around luggage, you know, supplies, postal bags and all."
    - "hmm... Extrapolating the route your train of thought is chugging along, the next station has to be you telling me why one should be a cow-person."
    - "I just meant dogs are more active, mankind's best friend, if you will..."
    - "'Mankind's'. You sound like a perfect left winger, and yet you..."
    - "Hey! Hey! It's called libertarian!"
    - "Ok.. I mean when I think of dogs, what comes to mind is an emotionally insecure person with a need for constant, interminable, unremitting, unconditional affection; not exactly the most Li-ber-tay-rian type around.. hard to imagine someone like that rolling a joint, really..."
Oops! Had I said too much? You just had your eyebrows raised, and the most perfect poker face I had seen on you. Double oops! I just saw you see me seeing you intently; too late for a poker face now!
    - "Go on..."
    - "Uh! Yeah.. So, cats don't make good slaves, don't wag their tails, and don't slobber you with affection. And the closest they come to sports is when someone makes racquet strings out of one. They're just so placid. Self-contained. They do what they want. Don't listen to you. Moody. Expect you to cater to them. Persuasive, but with dignity. Walk away if you still don't give in. Wish to be alone when you feel like playing with them. Drive you nuts. And yet, they make us fawn over them..."
This time, I turn my gaze from the moon towards you, casually. Yes, just revving in the collect-your-thoughts pause. Not watching you. And... there you go. Saw me see you. Again. Why do I even try?
    - "You think I'd make a good cat?"
    - "I think you would. Not a great cat though, but still, a very good cat."
    - "hmm... You're not doing too bad yourself!"
Huge smile. Won't hide it.
    - "It's almost time; They won't let us back in after another hour. What do you propose?"
    - "A coffee would do well."
    - "So it is then, two double doubles!"
    - "!?!"
    - "Oh! No double doubles here, my bad! hmm... I know just the place. Let's get something that gies well with the java... why're you looking at me like that?"
I was expecting you to follow up with something of an if-you-know-what-I-mean... perhaps a double double wasn't what I supposed it was. Best not to ask you now. Mental note: urban dictionary, first thing when I get back. Minutes later,
    - "So what do you call yours? Figaro, Tom, Pixie..."
    - "I don't have a cat, if that's what you meant."
    - "You don't?"
    - "My folks uprooted a touch-me-not plant I had been tending to since years, you know, the one that folds in when you touch it. Supposed to be inauspicious. Wouldn't count on them getting a cat. But there are several in the neighbourhood whom I spend time around."
You squealed with joy as your eyes stopped somewhere on the menu. But I had noticed the dimples getting deeper as we had stepped in, the smile leaking away even before you picked up the catalogue, and the impatient delay trying to stop the flood gates from gushing out before you read the name in your mind. You knew what we were having all along, but the experience just seemed incomplete without this "à la carte" ritual.
    - "They seem a bit selfish though. After a few weeks, you'd think they love you. And then they'll go away. Won't recognise you if they saw you."
    - "I think it's usually us who go away. They're not heartless. They probably just move on. They must be great actors. Punishing us with their indifference. And yet also, redeeming us, of our guilt, by appearing heartless."
Wow! It WAS good, the best ice-cream, ever. You agree, but still seem to lament the double double from the corner of your eye. Someday!
    - "They don't carry luggage though."
    - "Nope. Just baggage."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Oh ye of higher CGP... (Haiku)

Last time too,
you took my breadth away...
Damn it!


Sunday, November 07, 2010

Stuff-I-Like: #4 That Cheesy Feeling

For connoisseurs, it isn't really that difficult. I know a few who could accurately plot how salty, smooth, pungent, tangy, sharp, piquant, milky, dry, mild, ripe or wheyed a lump of Camembert feels in the month of August, depending on its ageing.

However, trying to describe the taste of cheese to someone who hasn't tried it at all is like describing the difference between dark cyan and teal to someone who's been blind all their life. Far more difficult than describing a cat's eyes or coffee's fragrance. Cheese orgasm, on the other hand, has seen the most choicest of metaphors and similes seeking affiliation. A few come to mind as I go back a couple of days in time, Diwali eve, the last time we (me + the usual suspects) took a dip into this pond of cheese-bursty-white-sauced-penne-like-pasta-tubes... (Gomito, to be specific: it's like penne with an elbow)
Wipe the drool off your keyboard already...
A cheese explosion in the mouth, a burst of taste, a sudden hot lava-like spread embracing the tongue, a warm fountain filling the corners, a bedsheet of flavour, a river of sinful ecstasy forming deltas of deliciousness, an √©clairs of cheesy delight, melting glaciers of awesomeness... And before the moans and groans could cease, lo and behold! Lasagne Varuno was there! (Or was that Varuno alla Tuscany?)

Making a ceremonial offering to Aristaeus, the Greek God of cheese (true that!), shortly before eyeing it and saying, "Oh Fuck it! Let's dive!"
Layer upon layer, baked spaghetti with the delicious combination of tomatoes mixed with the yeasty goodness of soft bread perfectly seasoned with softened onions with just the right amount of grated cheese, all mixed perfectly together with hot, cheesy cheese topped with a garnishing of coriander... And all finished before you could say Dhaniya! And again the Cheese bursts... The explosiveness of the dish could easily put Guy Fawkes to shame on his own night (Remember, remember, the fifth of November?).

Besides the man of the hour, Varun "Mr.Cheesus Christ" Singh (my companion from DADT) himself, joining in were Aamod "Call-me-Mod" Shanker, Aditya "Awwn..." Sriram, Satyabrata "aka-Bunty" Mohanty, Naveen K. Sharma (Best roomy ever :P), Praveen K. Sharma (Bhaiya!), Aditi "Arre!" Gupta, Divya "What-can-be-said!" Tak, and Palkush "Mera Pehla Pehla Pyaar" RaiChawla (Mera!), all those who made the evening so very special, and without whose presence, well, frankly, I could've have had some more!

What followed is best left for diaries and journals, accounts to be read at farewells, wedding receptions and eulogies in years to come.

Title Credits, Photo Courtesy and Culinary Orgasm Credits: Varun Singh (Top Chef, IIT Kharagpur)