“Where are you? I am hungry! Either you’re coming back in 20 minutes or I will start eating rice the way it is!”, she shouted on the phone.
Hunger. Panick. Longing.
“Are baba, wait! I will be there in 10 minutes at max. Met a friend on the way.”, I replied.
“See, people here have already started their meal. Don’t make a fool out of me please.”
“O lady, I know! Rushing in!”, I hung up the call.
I rose up from the chair in the park, where I was sitting since the last 20 minutes. It was tough to make a choice. Its difficult when you have to choose the impossible. Especially when you know in all probabilities, that is not going to work.
Curd Rice. That was the plan for the evening. It’s an emotion. Beyond explanations – beyond words. I was supposed to go out, buy a cup of curd and come back so we both enjoy the best of curd rice. A sweet little program. Curd rice keeps sane. It brings stillness and calmness in situations which are unprecedented.
As I reached the hostel, people were halfway through their plates and she was sitting right there. Shaking legs, restlessly looking around with a plate for herself and for me, filled only with rice. A small cup of white salt kept at the side and the entire setup waiting for the curd to join the feast. I went closer and keep the curd cup between the two plates from the behind. A slight whisper of “sorry” to make sure there were no fatalities by the delay that had happened. She turned back and there it was, the much feared look. I sat by her quietly and in next 10 seconds I was about to witness the biggest emotional swing – from restless angry person to a joyous kid excited for the first birthday gift, that kind of thing.
Curd rice is not just rice mixed in curd. No! A lot of people will tell you it is this way. But it is not. Curd rice is just the next level of rice consciousness. You cook rice and you leave it for sometime to cool down. Then you batter the curd for sometime to make it even, break the lumps and make it into an even and homogeneously distributed mix. Then mix the white rice and white curd to get an even whiter mix. Don’t believe?
Yes, this is where the curd rice becomes all the more mysterious! How does rice white added to curd white makes the mixture even more whiter than both the components. We’ve never heard of this. Our books never taught this to us. Nothing of this sort ever happened to us. Precisely why, curd rice is a magic in itself. And wait, you don’t wait here. You go beyond. You see things that no one else would be seeing. You add some other components that make it more spicier and more tastier and even more colorful.
White is the symbol of peace. Curd rice white is a symbol of “too much peace”.
When both of our plates were nearly done with and our fingers were ridden with the white curd rice, I leaned over and asked, “How’s it?”
Two long stares and one short smile was what I got!
Curd rice cools down things. It creates space for that extra peace. A bowl of curd rice to this special day!
Always Ranting, Raantzaada.