Sunday, August 31, 2014

Being Shahi

The morning of 26th August it was. A special day. No, it wasn't one of those days which warrant a bank holiday. But a personal milestone of sorts. Shruti & me had just completed 6 months of marital bliss. Marriage does change things. For the better, I mean. Shruti had just celebrated the important day by waking up with 4 back-to-back bullet sneezes. She bent her head back and continued nursing her nose which had now acquired a distinct pink tinge from the night-long cold. Not a particularly good moment to wish your better half, I thought.

As we sat down for some tea, I remarked " You wont believe who came in my dream last night?", quietly hoping to lighten the moment a tad bit. As if the suspense accompanying the question was a better cure for her cold than the cetrizine tablet she was going to take.

"Whom did you see?" She asked not-so-enthused.

"Rohan appeared in my dream." I said.

Shruti clutched her forehead. No, it wasn't because of her cold, but her "not-again" reaction to my remark at the mention of her brother's name.

"How many times will Dada (Rohan) come in your dreams. Only Dada comes in your dreams. Not me." She said with a wry smile.

" I guess so. Especially if the dream is about food or cooking" I said, recalling the recent dream which had featured me cooking up scrambled eggs and Rohan making a small appearance to mock me saying "Yeh kya banaake khaa raha hain?" and then making a quick disappearing act.

Truly, his love for good food was giving him frequent guest roles.

Strong & towering in appearance with a well-built frame, long straightened hair, a signature moustache coupled with a trademark unkempt stubble, wearing glasses and with it a distinct swagger -.Rohan could easily pass off as 'Sanju Baba' clone without his trusted companion 'Circuit'.
His intimidating appearance has earned him the title of 'Bhai' among all & sundry and could potentially send any unassuming person scurrying for cover, be it Manipal, Hyderabad or Mumbai. With an air of dynamism and energy about him, many believe that he has been blessed with the gift of 'jugaad', the Midas touch to make things happen.

But besides this rugged aura of his, there is also a classy side to Rohan. His tastes are exotic and ooze Nizamshahi royalty; especially the food habits. Quality good food being an uncompromising weakness of his.

For starters, it is absolutely essential for any food product to have the word 'Shahi' written over it for it to be a possible candidate on his food menu (Shahi Pulao, Shahi badam, Shahi anjeer to name a few). Anything which does not have the 'Shahi' stamp on it does not stand a chance of being counted.

A foodie to the core having sampled many a restaurant, he is a food directory of sorts enough to put even to shame. As evidence of his gastronomic desires, his food palate is unconventional (sometimes unIndian) and his description of the recipes could have you licking your lips. Given an opportunity, he can easily strike off the traditional idli-vada-dosa off the Udipi menu and brand the following favorites of his as the national breakfast of the country.
  • Pancakes topped with maple syrup
  • Waffles with maple syrup (His demands for a waffle-making machine unfortunately being shot down)
  • 3 Karachi Bakery/Osmania biscuits and a mug of hot coffee
  • Hot Chocolate laced with mint flavor

" Its not easy. You need to be really classy if you have to get in." I said playfully, referring to the dream.
"By the way, What will be there for dinner?" I asked

"Shahi Paneer today" She said as we had a laugh