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Food for thought

There is a cliched Miss India question " How will u explain the colour red to a blind man?", relatively simple question I would say , considering I am training to be an eye surgeon.. now what they really should be asking is " How do you explain butter garlic prawns and reshmi kabab to a vegetarian?" Now there is a googly question.
Its funny how all the vocabulary, in all the languages one knows just falls short, in just trying to describe even the simplest of dishes. How do you even begin to try and explain rasmalai to a foreigner..' soft cottage cheese,in a delectable creamy sauce flavoured with saffron, and garnished with crushed pistachio' just doesn't seem to do justice.
Food! Good food!! All my gesturing, facial expressions, multiple adjectives cannot describe the flavour, the texture, the taste, the experience of having cremaux chocolate fudge cookies, or ma's Christmas plum's almost like being handicapped. It's like not being able to talk, or talking in a foreign language, not being able to make the other person understand.
That is why I have such high regard for people like pritish nandy, who made me taste oysters, in his article in the hindustan times many years ago. That is why at the tender age of 15 I wrote to a guy ( I think his name was sanjay mukherjee) who used to write a food section in pune times, saying "I want to write like you." Almost a decade later I realise that it was not just my love for writing, but my love for food, which had made me want to leave a prestigious med school, to write. That is why ratatouille , chocolat are one of my fav movies... because they try to crystallise something so sublime as food!

P.S. - It's amazing how Miss India contestants manage to bring Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa into trying to explain red to a blind person, I wonder what they would say in trying to describe butter garlic prawns..
maybe something like.." I am an Indian (pause for claps), I believe that reshmi kabab and butter gartlic prawns signify the true blend of style with substance ( pause for claps), I am reminded of the great freedom fight of Mahatma Gandhi when he carried out the Dandi March to collect salt from the sea...and thus lead India to freedom and a tasty future. (thundering applause)


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