Friday, December 31, 2010

Food's on me

So technically, I've been on a diet for the past seven days. From freakin' 24th December onwards! Don't be impressed by my iron clad will power because I started a diet on Christmas Eve, the most gluttony inducing festival of the year. There is none! Christmas for us is no different from any other day. This is because we cherish life so much so, that every day is Christmas, New Years and Valentine's day all rolled into one for us. Life's just pink and awesome.

Ok. I'm kidding.

If you want to know the truth and promise not to label, Ill tell you why Christmas is no different from the 10th of March or the 4th of July. It's just that we are all too lazy to celebrate Christmas. At the outset, before you excommunicate me from Christianity, proselytize me into atheism, label my behaviour as utterly despicable and unforgivable or blame my upbringing and my forefathers' impudence, let me tell you that for the first 8 years of my life, there was Santa and for the next 10, there was Christmas with all it's trimmings. So to be fair, my forefathers did do everything right. It's just that post that, I've been conditioned to just let the holiday pass by me. And here's why.

Celebrating Christmas implies that I
  • Find the Christmas tree from the innards of the attic in my grandfather's house
  • Find the baubles that go with it
  • Throw away the broken baubles because they are so badly packed (By me, of course!)
  • Get screamed at because I am SO efficient at packing
  • Pay my own hard earned money (Ok. My father's hard earned money) and buy new baubles
  • Put up the tree and decorate it
  • Put up the nativity scene
  • Clean up my room
  • Dispose of all reptiles, amphibians and insects that reside in the alleyways of my cupboards and bookshelves. To make things worse (yes, it could get worse as you'll see in a moment!), I live on the 10th floor of an apartment building. I'm guessing it would be harder to chase them out from my apartment and all the way 10 floors down and then out of the block, than if I lived in a house. More importantly, where would they all go and how would they adjust to the harsh cruelties of the world, after having lived in the company of my Cashmeres and Silks, studying Shakespeare and Rumi all day. The spirit of Christmas present and future wouldn't allow me to partake in the aforesaid massacre. That's actually the reason I don't clean my room also. You do understand, right? (But God forbid, I try explaining the situation to my parents! Jeez!!!!)
  • Help Mommy cook the Christmas meals (I love my mother and everything but we get along like fire and water. And in the kitchen, this metaphorical example becomes literal as her biggest complaint is that I'm like a fire which she constantly needs to put off! Talk about a spirit that is antithetical to the Christmas spirit! Humph. So anyways, cooking with Mommy is ruled out for sure, which means, she would be less than pleased to cook alone. Which means, the kitchen fire will not burn on Christmas Day.)
And if these arguments are not convincing enough, there are these events that need to occur post Christmas.
  • Take off the tree
  • Pack up the tree
  • Pack up the baubles, new and old (Since packing is not my forte, this leads again, to several altercations which sometimes end up in screams and tears. I would like to specify here that only Mommy screams. I never scream. I am the most calm, composed and perfectly behaved person I know. And you better know it too!)
  • And to top it all off, end up sad that Christmas is over! Along with yet another year. And face the grueling fact that we're all getting older and none the wiser. (That's not my fear. I can't be any wiser. My brain might explode if I do. I'm just talking on behalf of Mommy again.)

So to make a long story short, it's pretty much just like any other day for us. 

Anyways, getting back to the point, I have been dieting for the past week, and yesterday, I decided to start Alla Svirinskaya's formidable 4 week detox (detailed in her beautiful and awe-inspiring book called Energy Secrets). Roughly, it means avoiding
  • meat (but obvious)
  • dairy
  • eggs
  • flour
  • sugar
and also drinking stuff like clay water, ginger - lemon juice etc, along with a whole load of meditations.

I have done it once before, and pretty exactingly, if I may add, so I thought that this time would be breezier. I am painfully aware that for someone who eats half a cake for a meal, followed by some veggies for dessert, giving up sugar and flour is not an easy task. Therefore, I imposed the diet on myself with a lot of determination the last time round, but I guess my assumption that it would be easier the second time caused me to commit a lot many more infractions already. And yes, dinner today was a piece of Citrus Glaze Cake.

So the story is that yesterday, I had gone out in the evening to buy gym clothes (Yes, I'm a very dedicated gymmer) when I saw that a new restaurant called Aladdin had opened up in my neighbourhood. My heart leapt! Could this be a Muslim restaurant?!!!!
(Don't judge me. 
I live by stereotypes. 
I'm a stereotype. 
And stereotypes are there for  a reason. 
To simplify.
I. Like. Simple. 
Period.) 

Now the reason I love Muslim restaurants is that I think they know their food more than anyone else, and this is especially true in Kerala. Undoubtedly, the best food in Kerala is cooked by them and everyone knows this fact. The tastiest and most popular restaurants are owned by them, the best wedding caterers are Muslims and so are the best cookery show hosts. And more importantly, they cook unabashedly with as much butter, ghee, fat and oil as their heart pleases.

And my heart sure gets pleased. (Like Shakespeare said, the heart has it's reasons of which reason knows nothing. Or something like that. But you get the drift.)

So I walked in with Mommy (who loves food as much as I do and eats even more) and my weary, woebegone eyes see a sight that quenched its thirst, much like a sip of water after days of the Sahara sun.

A scarf covered head.
In front of a table of food.
And more such women.
And men.
And kids.
And more scarves.
And tables full of food. 

And my heart leapt yet again, and this time, jumped straight out of my mouth and settled on an empty chair. (Ok. I'm kidding.)

But my heart did leap. 
And so did my diet. 
But the diet did jump out. 
It jumped out of window this time.

The funeral is tonight.
Same place, same time as the death of the diet. 
And the food's on me.

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