The day before yesterday, I had to go buy curd because we were living dangerously*, Mi!. Yep, last pack. And you know how the last pack is – it leaves you wanting that little bit more.

So I toddled down 11th cross to the HOPCOMS outlet – by the way, the same guy still works there you know? Next to the HOPCOMS is a grocery store and adjoining this, is the Nandini outlet. So – curd + milk, then bread at the grocery store, and cucumber, guavas, bananas and maybe a veg or two at HOPCOMS was my agenda. While walking down the road, I was fondly thinking of those days when the veggie and fruit vendor came around in carts, calling out to everyone to come buy. After we finished buying the veg, we’d expect a bit of coriander leaves, a bit of curry leaves and the guy would good natured-ly accede.

I was thinking, with all the supermarkets in the area, those experiences are long gone. Remember how you once shopped some veggies on the way back from playschool with Vidur when he was 3? The two of you bought a snake gourd that Vidur insisting on wearing over his shoulders – like Shiva he said. And you told him he can wear it after you had finished shopping and paying for the stuff. So imagine your consternation when you both came home and realized you had forgotten the snake gourd in the guy’s cart! Vidur was so sad. What’s really funny is you met the guy the following day and he gave you the vegetable! And Vidur was quite happy to carry it back home!

So – coming back to yesterday – head full of memories and smile on my face – I shopped and just as I thought I’d finished, the HOPCOMS guy urged me to buy the verrrrry frrrresh spinach. And they did look good you know. I said I’d take one. He managed to coax me to buy two – and you know what? One bunch had a little bunch of coriander leaves tied to it. I asked him why – and he said the person who made the bunches must have added them by mistake.

Somehow I was inordinately thrilled! And came home quite happy. The coriander was exactly the quantity I needed. I also had the feeling you were right there with me, smiling, you know?

Today I cleaned the spinach – loooong job – and made two dishes with it. One with the masala and paneer Vidur likes and one ordinary one for the dal type. Also made baingan bhurta today and missed you soo-o much! The brinjal was a big fat one and I was wondering how to roast it on the gas, when I remembered that grill we had got for making fulkas. What a brainwave I thought, and, telling Vidur stories from my childhood about the “kathrikka pachady” I set about preparing it.  Remember how Vidur used to play with the brinjals when he was a toddler? He’d giggle so enchantingly each time I shook one by its stalk and pretended to drop it!

brinjal vidya sury

Oh! I now long for the brinjal rasam we used to enjoy so much! I haven’t made it even once without you, you know. Incidentally, I make a telangana recipe  – sliced marinated and roasted in a garnish of onions and other seasonings. Tastes great and Vidur loves it. T made it when we visited Canada and then later, her Mom made it for us when we visited Hyderabad last year in October.

I am going to miss you so much tomorrow – Ganesh Chaturti. But I know you I will feel your presence, Mi. ♥

*Living dangerously* was a phrase my Mom playfully used whenever the quantity of a kitchen item was low and we had to replenish it. “Should we  live dangerously and use it up” she’d ask, smiling.