Saturday, October 15, 2011

Vegetable Sweet Porn Soup


Don’t we all love Chinese food?

Um, not really. My mum hates Chinese food. The typical Saffola Health woman that she is, she thinks Chinese dishes are too full of soya sauce, vinegar, and other such concoctions that are way too acidic for what my dad’s prosperous looking but gentle paunch houses. My dad loves Chinese food though. And my mum loves South Indian cuisine. Food is one thing, where referring to it as “South Indian” doesn’t really piss off our brothers and sisters from the south of the Vindhyas.
“Hey, you’re a South Indian, right?”
“No, I’m a TAMILIAN.” *pissed off*
“Hey, Kalaripayatu is a South Indian art form, right?”
“No, it originated in KERALA.” *pissed off*
“Hey, masala-dosai is a south Indian dish, right?”
“Yes, it’s from Tamil Nadu.” *proud smile with a little black til ka dana shining through the little space between the two front teeth*

I digress. Sorry. So, because my mum loves Dosais, Idlis, Utthapams and Vadais, my dad loves them too. He basically loves food. Period. But since my mum isn’t too fond of Chinese, whenever we go out for food, it’s mostly Sambhar and its various companions that give us company on our table. If not South Indian, then it’s Shahi/Kadhai Paneer, Dal Makhni, Butter Naans and Lachha Paranthas that form the staple restaurant diet for the Ahujas. Chinese? Almost never. Compromising on choices is one of the basic principles to live by for a couple whose marriage was “arranged”. And, I’m happy to see that my parents live up to those vows.

But I love Chinese food. Since it’s not a much preferred form of food on our family lunches and dinners, I choose to indulge in it with my friends. I remember my college for the various business seminars that would be arranged every alternate day by one of the odd 48 management societies, whose organisers would plead, beg and bribe people to attend them; and for the local Chinese food joint right outside college. I would have enough Chinese there during the day for me to not want any more of it during my evening walks in the colony with my friend Rahat.

Things have changed since college got over. I’ve been eating a lot at the local Chinese Van at Shankar Road lately. A yellow little food joint on wheels, it boasts of its existence by proudly displaying its name in a Chinese looking font in deep green. “Hot Pot”.

The van is strategically placed in the middle of the Shankar Road market and invites visitors from not just Old and New Rajinder Nagar, but also from Patel Nagar. People flock around the four round tables next to the van as soon as the evening clock strikes five. With customers lined up on foot and in their black “Jatt di Pasand” Honda City’s, the sight of those mean machines with tinted windows is no different from the sight of the different ladies you get to see around mehndi-walas a day before Karva Chauth. There’ll always be a newly wed twenty-three year old with straightened hair and the fairest of skin. And you’ll also get to see aunties with broad waists and a daughter or two hanging by. There’ll be Punjabi ladies and there’ll be Baniyas. There’ll be those coming right from their offices, and those coming back from a trip to their “Maaika”.

There are two cooks who stand for hours together in the hot iron van every day. Manchurian, momos, chowmein and chopsuey get packed at the speed of sound. There’s a new stock of twenty ketchup bottles with the label “Continental Sauce” that takes its place in the van’s inside rack every morning. The cooks bend down and rise up with pearly white noodles and shredded cabbage in their hands. The noodles are thrown into the big black pan every thirty seconds and the cooks chant “Ek Singapuri Chowmein ready!” as they perform these rituals like magicians from the West of Bengal.

Hakka Noodles. Singapuri Noodles. Chilli Garlic Noodles. Egg Noodles. Chicken Noodles. Veg Noodles, and oodles of more noodles churn out from their pans. But that’s not really what the van is known for. Hot Pot is known for its Soups. The menu displays some twenty varieties of hot steaming soups, which are served in old green or orange colored bowls. Garnished with little bits of paneer, the sweet corn soup that happens to be my personal favorite is deliciously hot. Whereas the Jatt di Pasands sit in their neon lit Santros and Safaris, holding bowls of Hot and Sour or Chicken Soup in their hands, while the Manchurian and noodles adorn their cars’ dashboards.

I ordered for a plate of the orange colored Singapuri Chowmein, and a half bald attendant got my order on the table.
“This attendant guy looks familiar”, I told my friend.
“You must’ve seen him around here only” was Rahat’s blunt reply.
“No, dude. I’m sure I’ve seen him somewhere else!”
The plate of chowmein didn’t leave me on a happy stomach that evening. ‘Cuz I knew that I had seen the attendant somewhere else, and I couldn’t figure out where. With a heavy tummy, I sat down on the study table and opened my book. Not in a mood to read through the boring black and white text, it was time for my daily boredom inspired ritual. I picked up my phone and looked up a few pictures of Jayde Nicole on the internet.
“Man, this is what a true Playmate of the year is made of”, I thought to myself, with a smile that no one but Shakti Kapoor can imitate.

My phone reminds me, have you ever spoilt your phone and had a crazy experience while it was gone for repair?

Around two years back, I had spoilt one of my phones and I immediately sent it for repair to an electronics repair workshop at Shankar Road. On my request for a spare handset, I was given a snazzy Sony Ericsson Walkman phone by the store manager who assured me of my phone’s safe delivery to me in two days. It was the same model of a phone that my dad owned for a few months and I had great memories of it. An orange cover and a jack-knife design. I was given a spare model that was better than the dead piece of cellular device that I had given for repair. I came back home and checked if my two day possession was in good working condition. Curiosity struck and the following happened.
Menu>Gallery>Images>*Haww, nude photos*>Back>Back>Back.

Whoa hoa hoa! “Hahaha”, I LOLed around for a little while and picked up the phone again.
Menu>Gallery>Images>*Eww, naked dudes*>Back>Back>Back.

You know that feeling, when you’re a little crawly kid. You crawl down to the closest electric socket and try pushing your fingers through it. At times there’s a little shock that sends shivers down your shitty diapers. You cry. But you come back again the next day to give it one more chance.
Or the feeling when you’ve been in a relationship with the craziest girl in the world. She breaks up with you. You cry. A few months later she wants to get back with you, and you give her one more chance.
I hate that feeling, but I’m a simple mortal just like you. So I picked up that phone again.
Menu>Gallery>Videos>1.Desi Mama, 2.Nurse Nurse, 3.Night of Dreams…
And then there was no pressing “Back”

“Hahaha, dude. This spare handset that I got from the repair guy yesterday is every IIT-ians dream!”
“Uh, and why is that?”
“’Cuz it’s friggin full of porn!”
“Are you kidding me! Give me the phone.”

The phone was passed around by a classmate in class the following day. And no, I didn’t start it!

“Shit dude! This phone’s full of creepy pictures, man. Half naked guys with hairy chests watching tv in a cramped room”, a guy in my class remarked. It prompted the others to open the Images folder too and their reactions were no different.

I dared to take the same road again that evening. Menu>Gallery>Images>*WTH!* A good five second look at its contents, and that face stuck in my head like Mr. Reshammiya’s bongo beat music. Pictures of a dark, half bald man with a chest bushier than Anil Kapoor’s gave me nightmares that night. The Videos folder housed some of his home productions starring himself and his beloved body parts to whom he made sweet love.
The repair guy had given me another of his customers’ phone to use for two days! And it wasn’t just any other customer’s phone. It was a -really kinky- customer’s phone.

I was happy to return the phone the following day and relieved to receive my instrument back.

I was passing by Shankar Road a few weeks back and the aroma from Hot Pot pulled me towards it again.
Bhaiya, ek sweet corn soup.
My order arrived in less than two minutes. The same familiar looking attendant got me the soup. I didn’t care to think much this time, and slowly blew on the soup to cool it. A spoonful of hot thick awesome liquid went down my throat and it lived up to its name of an appetizer. I ordered for a plate of chowmein and a veg manchurian to go with it. Having eaten to my belly’s content, I stood up and strolled back home. The same routine followed for a few days.

I was walking down to my office yesterday, and I passed by the yellow little van preparing for a long day at work early morning. The cooks were chopping baskets full of cabbage and peppers, and there was a helper washing utensils under the tap on the roadside. There were five of these familiar faces preparing their beloved van for another day of incessant orders.

Paani nahi aaya!” shouted one of the helpers who stood on the roof of the van trying to peep into the water tank that shamelessly spoilt the van’s appearance. He moved away from behind the tank and sunlight shone through the hair on his bare chest. The familiar attendant! Soon there were flashbacks of nightmares and I knew why that face looked familiar. I haven’t visited Hot Pot since that day. ‘Cuz I fear that the manchurian balls have been subjected to the attendant’s bare hands. I miss the Chinese food from the van. And what stops me from going is a stupid idea of not eating something made by hands of a horny immigrant. His sight makes me cringe.

On second thoughts, the internet history page on my phone proudly displays names like Jayde Nicole and Amanda Hanshaw. What is life? Nothing, but a hypocrite jalebi.

Image Source: pakassociationdubai.com

13 comments:

  1. I couldn't stop laughing while reading this....hilarious piece ...loved it. :)
    and i like your mom....i hate chinese too...eeeeeyyyuuuccckkk hota hai.

    ps: u forgot Elisha Cuthbert :P :P

    ReplyDelete
  2. My parents and I have plans to dine out at a Chinese Restaurant tonight. You make me want to reconsider. :|
    And this post reminds me of a creepily disgusting scene from Delhi Belly. :P
    HAHA! Sarthak! You're such a gossip girl. B-)
    Who writes pretty well, btw. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Haha.. Now even if I'm starving.. I'll never have Rajinder Nagar ka chinese food. Eww! :P
    Great narration though. Loved reading it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love Chinese! How can anyone hate Chinese? It's the most lovable cuisine in the world :)
    And I know it'll sound holier than thou and all annoying when I say this, but you haven't had Chinese unless you've had it in China :D It was so good, breaks my heart.

    And it's so awesome that all these interesting things happen with you, man!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Sanjeev: Elisha Cuthbert is not a playmate!
    P.S. Bhabhi lagti hai teri :P

    Sahiba: So where did you finally go for your dinner? :D
    And, me? Gossip Girl? No no! *shakes head*
    Btw, I've got scoop for you. Secret. I'll call you :D

    Joshita: Ah! You still know where in Rajinder Nagar you can get the best butter chicken, don't you? ;)

    Disha: You got to eat Chinese food in China!! Now now, isn't it obvious who gets to visit more interesting places and have more interesting food! :P
    But I'm happy to know that you found the post interesting.

    P.S. I'm so formal on comments :|

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hawwww....Sarthak no no...she is your bhabhi...or do you want her to be the modern draupadi.

    Ps; YESS you are formal :P

    ReplyDelete
  7. ok this piece of writing is damn funny!!...but man i loved hot pot's momos man...!!now il never be able to eat them.... :( (in fear of findind a strand of hair in it...ewwwwwwww!) but as always....awesome narration... :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Haha Sarthak. Won't be visiting that place either. :P

    ReplyDelete
  9. HAHAAHA! Hillarious!

    No jalebis, take several bowls of soup and 'balls' of manchurian for this :P

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Btw, I couldn't resist. I strolled down to Hot Pot last night and had some momos. BEST MOMOS EVER!

      Delete
  10. I admit, I have not been on this web page in a long time... however it was another joy to see It is such an important topic and ignored by so many, even professionals. I thank you to help making people more aware of possible issues. Naked Girls

    ReplyDelete
  11. When you prevail with regards to getting your email address eliminated, which is regardless far-fetched to occur, your email address will be appropriated among numerous different spammers. mw4m sites

    ReplyDelete

If you had 5 Jalebis, how many would you give me for writing this post?

None = You don't deserve any >:O
@ = Soggy and stale! :(
@@ = Stale! :|
@@@ = I'll need a samosa to digest this with! :P
@@@@ = Sweet and Crisp! :)
@@@@@ = I'm opening you a Halwai Shop! :D