I hear a sweet little plop as I spoon in a dollop of curd over the rice in my plate. And I know instantly that the saving grace to this boring day is just about to unfurl!
Just this morning I realized a shot of feel-good hormones is what I needed – what with all the negativity that seems to clog my mind these days! And so I found myself at my office supermarket waiting in the billing line with a big cup of curd and a silly smile; at a meeting, constantly eyeing the carry bag with the cup in it; in the bus, smiling in anticipation of the moment coming closer. Hell, I sprinted up 4 floors because the lift had chosen this exact day to act up! A straight dash to the kitchen, and in a couple of minutes I made myself a plateful of freshly fried pappadams too.
And then, almost musically, that “plop”! I dig in my fingers mixing the curd and rice into a beautiful mush. Just to make things a little tangy, I also put in a little scoop of dried lime pickle on the side. It’s a very familiar sight to my eyes now – the rice and the curd, so pleasingly together in a lump, the red verve of the pickle on one side, the pappadams, golden brown and blistered on the other. I take just a moment to let my eyes have their feast, and then…I relish the first handful…and then the next… and then the next… ever so slowly…
It must be the simplicity of the taste that makes me crave for this little feast of mine every time I need some genuine bliss. Or maybe it’s because this is the very taste I grew up with (mom, you’re great, simply for letting me have as much curd as I wanted!). And there are so many memories I associate with this simple act of indulgence. Of how I have come to love curd with almost any breakfast my mom makes. Of how, one day, my sister and me discovered that a simple mix of crushed pappadams and really sour curd makes for a lovely unusual snack (which we can’t help stealing from each other’s plates!). Of how we would sit for a small round of curd and rice after getting home from a heavy dine-out.
There’s this Italian concept of l’arte d’arrangiarsi (which I read about in Eat Pray Love) – the art of making something out of nothing, the art of enjoying the simplest of food. I guess this is my version of l’arte d’arrangiarsi – feasting myself on simple tastes that are too special for me to ever stop indulging in. The pleasure at the end of it all? Unbeatable!
Did I mention that I helped myself to a second serving too? 😉