I am on a chutney rampage, Mi. With all the hospital visits, I have to keep the chutneys, podis and gotsus in the fridge, at the ready when we need a quick meal. Having these makes it easier to whip up that one-dish, either with the millet flakes or good ol’ rice.

You can see that I am taking the fail to plan, plan to fail advice very seriously, eh?

Also, cooking is therapeutic and the kitchen has become my happy place. Perhaps because I feel your presence there more intensely.

This time I was clever, and fried and ground the dals and chillies so that I could grind a bunch of coriander/curry leaves/mint/coconut/ridge-gourd–or whatever took my fancy with two tablespoons of the base. It really is convenient!

Did I tell you that I’ve reduced my coffee intake since some months? Mostly because of the time spent outside and not wanting to indulge in bad cafeteria coffees. I hope it did me good.

In the meantime, I had that craving for paruppusili and made it with cluster beans. Turned out so delicious that I got another batch of cluster beans and want to make it again. I realize how healthily we ate–good ol’ south Indian tambrahm meals!

These days I really enjoy cooking and think of you all the time I am in the kitchen busy talking to you in my head. When I knead the dough for roti, I think of how you would have thought it has turned out perfectly. When I clear up the kitchen sink in the afternoon, I think of those days when we used to do it together-one of us scrubbing while the other washed it all up. Remember those days when we had first moved to Sec’bad and had a water scarcity, and used to store water? What fun it was.

Making the cluster beans also reminded me of those days when we bought kilos of it and would pressure cook it. I used to love eating the steamed beans. Gosh, that reminds me of that day when I had to stay home from school and mama and you had gone to work. I remember eating a whole pack of Monaco biscuits and feeling guilty.

While making the chutneys, I remembered our houseowner there, whose lunch we were fascinated with, the first time we met them. Oh, the chutneys and pickles and ghee and hot rice. I am drooling just thinking about it.

By the way, there’s news. Got a call. Feels a bit odd because we’ve been out of touch for some years now…can you believe it? Then suddenly out of the blue, this. Let’s see how that goes.

Even mama does not call any more. You’ll probably ask, why don’t I? I do, occasionally, only to be chided for how I’ve “changed” and “don’t call anymore” conveniently forgetting that I am the only one that calls now. I am not keeping score, but I can’t help feeling hurt. Imagine me asking them the same question–could I ever get away with it? Anyway, I am not letting myself be dragged down by this–there’s no point mulling over it even. Except, once in a while I wish you were around so I could rant. Ah well, I do that anyway. Safest, no?