He beckons me as I sit sipping my morning coffee watching the world go by from the kitchen window. I try to ignore him but his pristine whiteness calls out to me.
“You know you want me”,he says. I stubbornly keep looking out the window.
“I have moved on”, I say. “I don’t want you as much anymore”.
“That’s a lie. You wish, I was with you right now, sharing the coffee with you”.
“No. I told you, I have moved on. There is a whole new world out there. Its simple,its easy and they don’t need as much time as you demand of me.”
“Yes, But you always come back to me.You can’t stand the quick and easy types for more than a day”. I say nothing. It was the truth. I just crave for him.
“You miss me…”
“Alright, alright,you are right, ok. I do miss you. I can’t resist you.” I blurt out.
“In that case,you know what you have to do.” he says.
I nod. There is no point fighting it. It is always like this. I try to ignore it, to get out of the commitment. But, I always give in.
I get up, measure out 1 cup of urad dal, wash it till the water runs clear. Almost on automation, I measure out 2 cups of rice and do the same. I mix both , soak them in water and keep it aside. I don’t want to look at it. I don’t want to think about him. What is this hold he has over me? Why is it so difficult to let go? Maybe because he’s been there ever since I can remember. How do you let go of so many years of togetherness?
I go about my day as if nothing had happened, as if I hadn’t given in to my carnal cravings once more. I smiled, I nodded, I laughed as if it was all another day. But, I am thinking about him all the time. Its useless fighting it and I give in. I stop trying to ignore that he isn’t on my mind. And it’s like a weight off my shoulders. I can’t wait to go home.
Late evening, I go to him. He is ready, so am I. I drain the water and put him in the blender. “I have to invest in a dry grinder soon”, I say to myself. “It’s just not fair to him”. I add a little bit of water, and let the blender go at him.I want him to get as fine as he can be. It whirs and grinds as all the while I am humming to myself. Round and round he goes, hugging the blenders contours, thoroughly enjoying himself. But, soon he heats up even though he is not as fine as I would like him to be. I shut off the blender and let him cool off. I start the blender again and this time after a little while, he is all ground up and fine. I touch him, Oh, he is smooth. I giggle like a little girl and pour him into a large glass bowl.
I look at him. “Nurture me”, he whispers. “Take good care of me.”
That’s when the doubts start hitting me. What if I didn’t do it right? What if I didn’t soak him long enough? What if he is still not ground enough? I shake my mind to throw those doubts away. I have committed myself to this. Might as well see it through. I open up my oven making sure it is not hot and put him in. I keep the light on, just to be sure. I carry on with the rest of the evening resisting the urge to go peek. Just before retiring for the day, I go to him and take a peek.
He seems to wink at me.”I will be fine”, he says.
I believe him and go to sleep. I wake up in the morning itching to see if he’s ok. But I’m scared. I start on the sambhar as I try to find the courage to look at him. Wash the dal, put in chopped potatoes, onions, tomatoes, sambhar pwd , salt and let the pressure cooker do its job. Did I take good care of him? I throw in the grated coconut, a piece of ginger, salt and green chillies in a blender and try to let the doubts drown in the noise of it. No such luck. “Nurture me”, he had said. Did I do it or did I let him down? I season the chutney and the sambhar with mustard seeds and curry leaves. I keep a pot of water on the burner to make some authentic coffee. There is nothing else to do but to take a look at him now. Slowly, I open the oven and sneak a look. Oh…he is fine. All light and puffed up and all proud of me. “You did good”. I am glad.
I heat up a griddle and bring it to smoking point. I take a wet tissue and wipe the hot griddle with it. Now, it is ready for him. I take a ladleful and pour it on the griddle. It makes a sizzling hot sound and its like something takes over me. I just go with the flow and start spreading him out on the griddle into concentric circles until there is no more to spread. I drizzle a little oil over him and let cook. After a while, I turn him over and let the other side cook up. From the corner of my eye, I see my family rush in, all excited, no doubt from the sizzling sound and the aromas now wafting around the house. I barely notice as I am in a zone.I keep churning them out, one after another, until I hear a loud burp. *I hope it’s my son*.
He beckons me as I sit sipping my morning coffee watching the world go by from the kitchen window. I look at my dosa, take a bite and close my eyes.
I am home.