Saturday, January 20, 2007

Of Subways, Icecreams, And A Banana

I had a triple layer sandwich once. It was a very messy affair, with cheese and vegetable and coleslaw oozing out from all directions. But it taught me - never to do that again. Oh, but you shrink back in horror, I see. No I didnt give up on triple layers. I just found a way out. That it would be much more fruitful to just have all three layers one at a time. Nicer, neater, and each layer would have its distinct flavor to add in my mouth. A most nourishing experience indeed!

Thats how I give you this post in 3 parts. Each one of them is independent, and a post on its own. But notice how I cleverly mesh them together even in their individualities, to combine their flavors into one single dish of delight. The creative genius of the storytelling compels you to wonder where the three ingredients were separate and how they could have really done without each other. But they each happened independently. Its all a trick, brought together by the sheer talent and immeasurable artistic output of the writer, sweeping his readers off their seat and rendering them prostrate on the bare floor. I also, in the process, take the liberty of boosting my ego with these little little delusions of writing grandeur, in case you're the type that notices such things.

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Part A - The One In Which Nishant Is All Naive And Generous

Life, I find, comprises a continuous flow in ups and downs, in expectations and hopes and in disappointment and bitter resentments. I didnt know all this, before that day when we went to Subway. Its at the Food Court, so while everyone else ordered their own choices from hither and thither, I flew a straight line like a homing pigeon towards the Subway counter.

Through the sudden surge of saliva in my mouth, I urged the blastedly slow SubwayMan to give me a 6" Paneer Tikka. Parmesan Oregano bread, single side paneer (they charge you double for a double helping, I learnt once from bitter experience), all the vegetables in the world, a bit of mayonnaise, some mint, and twice the mustard. Come now, reader, be honest. Can you beat that combination? Introspect and tell me.

But mark the sequel! Watch how Life sneaks up from behind and pats you on the shoulder and demands a share. [The role of Life shall henceforth be played by Harsh.] He was still a bit hungry after his sandwich, and after all one must share a Subway na?

Well, ya I suppose one must. You can take some of mine.

Naive.

Going by the generally assumed mature adult principles of sharing, we went for it bite by bite. And thats where Harsh, or that great educator Life masquerading as Harsh, struck his blows. Having been blessed with larger, wider jaws and a far greater mouth volume capacity, he went through my Subway like a bullet through a cream-puff (Nishant's better self: plagiarism alert!) - i.e without mercy and with nothing to stop him but the dumbfounded look on my face.

I would take an average one bite, savouring the exotic-istic sauces and vegetables brought together by the pudgy hands of SubwayMan behind the counter. Harsh was a machine. He would hardly have handed me back the sub after his giant bite, and I would hardly have really gripped it again, than his mouth would again be vacuum, and his tentaclous fingers would reach out once more.

The sub was finished. The heavenly flavors still lingered on my tongue. I savoured them preciously as I saw the smile of contentment, which should have been mine, manifest on Harsh's dammit face.

I had learnt a valuable lesson. Life (Harsh) patted me on the back as we left Food Court.

Harsh (Life) can be such a bitch sometimes.

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Part B - The One In Which Nishant Watches His Love Getting All Licked Up By Another

I have a bit of a cough and cold. My throat hurts and my nose runs. And we went to dinner. Understand? Do you see it yet? Its a bit painful, so I'll make it short.

I sniffed and spluttered my way through a most adequate North-Indian dinner at Manipal Restaurant. Now I had only just plugged in my iPod, when the voice of Evil (henceforth personified in the ever-smiling face and excited vocal delivery of Animesh) spoke - Oi, lets go have a softy yaar.

How do I express my emotions? Words failed me. As I saw my friends turn around and head towards the Softy place. As I followed behind them, my throat choked with sorrow and phlegm (not flem, thank you Kyra) and anticipated depression. I sniffed silently; I wiped my nose. They just ordered. I stood right next to them. They clasped their cones, and began licking like nobody's business.

Thats about when they noticed me, standing alone and forlorn in the softy-devouring crowd.

Nishant? Nahi khayega?

My face broke into a look of utter pure emotion - my pain expressed in my eyes, and my helplessness evident from the lines drawn across my forehead. Or not. But he got the picture, nodded silently and turned away, licking away all the while at his Softy.

He didnt say anything, but his eyes conveyed his apology, spoilt only slightly by his hands shoving the softy into his mouth.

I'm strong. I took it well. Just sniffed and turned away. I couldnt see it anymore.

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Part C - The One In Which A Miracle Happens...Really Happens

I have a cough and a cold. Bit of both. Oh, but you know that already. Well, there are a whole bunch of things I'm supposed to do about it.

I was walking back from class, towards hostel. Its on the way that I usually just stroll past the fruit shop. I look in the other direction, and pass on. Today, I stopped. I turned towards it.

My feet moved, and before I knew it, I had a banana in one hand while the other hand was handing over 2 rupees to the vendor. As I peeled it, the dammit of it dawned in my head.

I, who had silently sworn to never consume a fruit I wasnt forced to. I, who had never willfully held a banana in my hand, despite my father's oft-repeated words-of-wisdom on their calcium content. The same person was now buying one, out of his own money, and peeling it as we speak.

Its a miracle!

The banana was quite good actually. Its supposed to clean your throat and intestine and all. I suppose it must have. I felt acutely conscious of having lived upto family expectations (so what if my gpa isnt all that great?), as a goody-goody rush rushed through me.

I think I'll go have another today. And maybe an orange too.

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These incidents have gotten together to bring me to a state of realization. I know more about me now. I am humbled. I have grown.

Aside from learning to never share any form of edible item with Harsh, and bearing the pain caused by not taking care of myself. Aside from all that.

Fruits are good. Being able to eat icecream is good. Food consumes me (and not the other way around).

15 comments:

Dhruv said...

Hmmm.. I'd throw forth compliments and all but having lived in the company of my parents for so long, one of them has made it very hard for me to appreciate a person obsessing so much over food.

anju christine said...

y do i feel lik ur posts r growin to posts 4 d sake of being posts......... u get wat i mean?....... thot ill finally tel ya, u can do a lot better u know.....

Dhruv said...

Errr.. I wouldn't say that.

But I cannot get myself to appreciate a life centred around food..

kyra said...

i believe it's phlegm, not flem.

well, i kinda disagree with anju here. you've finally made sense after a long, long time.
welcome back, my dear

Revealed said...

But I loved it! I'd murder a paneer tikka sub right now if one floated past.

anju christine said...

food food food......... am i d only non-foodie around here.................. i feel lonely......... ;)

Confused & Baffled said...

@anju & dhruv: tsk ignorant friends. tsk. i hope, that one day you will come to the light.

@kyra: whats phlegm and not flem? and oh yes, thankoo thankoo.

@revealed: you and me both. *slower tone* you and me both.

kyra said...

i was just correcting your spelling.

XYZ the One and Only said...

lol, had fun reading that one :)

Opaline said...

Omg. Paneer Subway sandwich. Hahahahhaha. I'll tell you whats better, a BLT. BACON is better.

nabarun said...

this was a nice one bro.....{though i had to use the dictionary quite a few times....sorry m not that good}.... but you are still untouched by the real stuff of subway...the non veg section( yeah i know u must b uttering .....assam .....dog lovers ;)] and hey bananas are now for 3 bugs .

Harsh said...

Part A was pretty humorous i must say...but im not as huge n mean as i have been portrayed...n it never was "UR" sub dat u shared wid me..it was "OUR" sub dat we "DUTCHED" and ate...ass...:)

smita said...

well i agree wid nabarun..u don't know wat ur missing out ;)

Divya said...

haha LOL..poor harsh..pch pch - potraying him as a giant troll gobbling up your puny sub !! and yes fruits are good nutritious vit n mineral rich fat free yummy...yada yada yada(staring down at you moving my index finger to n fro) !!

medha said...

That was great reading, and more importantly, hilarious