Food

Prescription for Writer’s Block

My prescription for writer’s block is to face the fact that there is no such thing. It’s an invented condition, a literary version of the judicial “abuse excuse.” Writing well is difficult, but one can always write something. And then, with a lot of work, make it better. It’s a question of having enough will and ambition, not of hoping to evade this mysterious hysteria people are always talking about.

THOMAS MALLON

It was about a week ago that the thought of writing something occurred to me in recent times. It was right after I finished watching ‘Julie & Julia’. Julie’s blog was an inspiration. I thought of all the things that could be written throughout the movie. But wrote nothing when it was over and that was that.

Today, I had a brilliant start. Woke up early, played a good game of badminton outside in the cold, foggy weather and still sweat. Then there was Idli sambar. We groan in unison every time(which is all the time) we have it for breakfast. Sometimes Most times we need to remind ourselves that we are in Delhi and not Chennai.Idli, sambar, upma everyday for breakfast is simply unbearable. Last sem we even had a holiday for Onam. The administration has finally realized that this is Delhi not Kerala so the holiday has been removed from the calendar this year. Nonetheless idli-sambar stays. Can you believe that it’s what we get for breakfast 5 days a week here? In Delhi? And if you guessed the other two days are for paratha you couldn’t be farther away from the truth. Paratha just isn’t served here.Not once in the past 5/6 months! So here we are consuming spices rationed for a week or more in Nepal in a day and living with our Delhi bellies.

Delhi is known for its great street food but what tastes good to the tongue is most often not good for the stomach. People visiting Delhi for a short period almost scream with delight at the food options here. One source of joy being take outs for people who are too lazy to cook like me. I did too until Delhi belly set in. Another misinformation Nepali people seem to have about food in Delhi is that it’s cheap. It’s not. Not outside the some hundred acres of JNU, definitely not here in South Delhi. It is cheap only if you can survive on a fifteen rupee plate of plain paratha and vegetable sold in the streets with its aftereffects every day. It’s just that you can find the same menu in different price ranges here. Options are aplenty. The price of a kilo of apples or oranges or any vegetable is comparable to that back home, most times even expensive. It could get cheaper if you got it from the sabzi mandi but as that’s not an easy option for most and prices largely depend on which part of Delhi you live in.

At this point of my writing I am wondering how I got into this food issue here. I started out typing my thoughts with an entirely different agenda on my mind. Must be the Julie & Julia effect.

Pakoda in Delhi

The Pakoda Menu

That reminds me of the delicious pakodas we had yesterday. The place is somewhere outside Sarojininagar Market, Ring Road Market to be specific and didn’t have a name as far as I could see. But a friend who has been a customer of the place since her 10+2 days told me it’s called ‘Khandani Pakodewala’. According to her the place has been there before Independence. We got all kinds of pakodas the place offered and they were delicious as expected. Moreover it was perfect day for pakodas, foggy without sunlight throughout the day. As long as I was gobbling the pakoras I felt invincible. I was certain I was going to be fine, if Delhites had the stomach for it so did it. It was only later in the evening that the problem set in. Nonetheless that won’t stop me from trying them again on another ‘Perfect day for Pakoras ‘. Do grab some pakoras if you pass through the area. Bon Appetit!

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One comment

  1. A stupendous write-up ! I haven’t got much avidity for street foods (love paani-puris of Gupta Chat Bhandar in my hometown though) but am having a penchant for your writings ! Let your mind divulge its writing secrets while others (including me) relish them. 🙂

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