Friends, let me begin with a list of things you shouldn’t be doing on a rainy Monday:
1. Working long hours to finish the work you deliberately ignored last Friday (for alcoholic temptations).
2. If working late, being too busy to eat anything throughout the day (and letting those gases play orchestra in your empty stomach).
3. If having unplanned fasts, believing that you can reach home on time and cook (rain + traffic = death of motivation).
4. If reaching late, switching on the TV to watch Masterchef Australia
5. If tempted by the show, ordering via food delivery apps (the final nail in the coffin).
It all began on that dreadful Monday night. Tired eyes and hungry stomach is the worst combo ever. I went into the kitchen to stare at an empty refrigerator and repeated that few times hoping for a miracle. The kitchen was stocked with things that I didn’t even know of, but it was too late to call my Mom to ask for recipes. Also, I had already lied to her during our daily status call that dinner was taken care of.
I decided to divert my mind and watch TV instead, bad choice. After watching Masterchef Australia for 15
minutes, hunger was transformed into craving. I picked up the phone and went through food ordering apps sequentially searching for maximum discounts that I could dish out (pun intended). Swiggy was the best option but one can blind date these days, not blind order. After shortlisting restaurants on Swiggy, I went to Zomato to check their ratings and realised that people love reviewing these days.
The day is not far when we’ll start reviewing/rating fellow human beings — “Dheeraj is a nice guy but is moody on Tuesdays, 3 stars”. Also, people don’t just review, they spill their hearts out. Here are a few gems that I read and my thoughts:
1. “We’re vegetarians and we got a cockroach in our soup.”
(Ma’am, even non-vegetarians don’t like the taste of cockroaches.)
2. “The Chinese food we ordered tasted Chinese Chinese and not Indian Chinese.”
(You know China can attack us if they knew what we’d done to their food?)
3. “The soup was bland and served at the end of the meal.”
(It’s called a finger bowl.)
I scrutinised all the options the way in-laws scrutinise their would-be daughter/son-in-law. Finally, I ordered pizza, garlic bread and brownie from a place that guaranteed 30 minutes delivery. I continued watching Masterchef Australia and patiently waited for my food like a celebrity prisoner waits for bail. Every minute seemed like eternity and as soon as the 30 minutes deadline was over, I called them up. “Sir, the restaurant didn’t receive your order due to a system glitch, we’ll prepare your order and send it ASAP”.
You know what’s worse than road rage? Food rage! I went down to unexplored levels of indecency to tell them how pathetic their service was and wasted another 15 minutes in doing so. They apologised again (or probably spat in my food) and I had no choice but to wait.
Another episode of the cookery show was on. I was now blaming technology for not being advanced enough to deliver food from TV screens to home, eat what to see. The orchestra in my stomach was now playing death metal and at this exact moment, I had an epiphany. This was karma. For every time I threw away my school lunch because I ate outside, for every time I watched my calories when there was food available and for every time I refused to eat dinner at home whenever Gilki (bottle gourd) was prepared. Why is that we realise the importance of homemade food only when it’s not there?
Before I could dive deeper in my thoughts, the delivery person called. “Sir, there is heavy traffic due to rains; it will be another 30 minutes”. I lost hope in humanity, cursed this stupid age of mobile apps and went to the kitchen to cook Maggi, my go to option. Another epiphany hit and I realised that Maggi should be a religion. It’s omnipresent, helps you in the hour of need and always brings peace. Why hasn’t the creator of Maggi been nominated for Nobel Peace Prize yet? Before I could dwell further, tragedy happened. There was no Maggi in the house, the Gods were offended.
Misfortune never comes alone and the delivery person called again. “Sir, really sorry but we will not be able to deliver your order, you will get a refund.” The hulk inside me was now dead and I could no longer express my feelings in words. I switched off the TV, went to the kitchen, and started dicing onions to make omelets. Tears rolled down my cheeks (onions or feelings, will never know) while I called my Mom. “You’re coming home for Rakhi, you want to eat anything special?” — Mom asked. “Yes please”, I replied, “Gilki”.
(Sudhanshu Ramteke is a stand-up comedian)