Festive lunches

There was a point in time (maybe early childhood) when I used to look forward to going to weddings just for the food. Maybe my parents’ network was such that most weddings we went to served good food, or I was too young to be discerning, but I would love the food at most functions and absolutely belt it.

Of late things haven’t been so kind. Maybe the general standard of wedding lunches has fallen (the last “function” where I remember the food being spectacularly good was my sister-in-law’s wedding, and that was in early 2017), or I’ve become more discerning in terms of the kind of food I like, but it’s not the case any more.

Recently I had written about how several functions serve lunch and dinner really late, and that we should make it a habit to eat at home before we go for such functions. The other problem is that even when food is served promptly, it frequently leaves me rather underwhelmed.

It doesn’t have to always do the quality of cooking, though. For example, most of the food at the wedding I attended today was cooked really well, and was tasty, but it was perhaps the choice of menu that has left me rather underwhelmed and hungry even after eating a lunch with 3 different sweets!

The problem with Indian wedding food is that they are massive carb fests. The main dish, if one were to call it, is rice (people like my daughter don’t mind at all – she belted a whole load of plain rice today). And then there are accompaniments, most of which seem watered down (and really, what is it about functions just not serving huLi (sambar) nowadays? At least that’s usually reasonably think and has lentils in it).  And then there are sweets.

There are some fried items but they are served in such small quantities that you can’t really get “fat nutrition” from it. There is a token amount of ghee served at the beginning of the meal, but that’s about it! There’s not much protein and vegetables in the meal either.

So you “belt” the meal and fill yourself, only to find yourself hungry an hour later. And this has happened on the last four or five occasions when I’ve eaten “function food”.

Maybe it has to do with my regular diet which has of late become more “high density“, that I find these low density meals rather underwhelming. Maybe all the wedding meals I enjoyed came at a time when my regular diet was low density as well. Maybe people were more liberal with ghee and vegetables back then (this is unlikely since people in India are, on average, far more prosperous now than they were in my childhood).

Oh, and did I mention that my daughter belted copious amounts of plain rice at today’s lunch? An hour later she too was complaining of hunger. I guess I’ll let her figure out about density of food her own way!

Anniversaries past and present

I realise that whenever there is an occasion where I want to write something and I don’t know what to write, I can simply rely on my superior long-term memory, and do a this-day-that-year kind of thing. So here goes, recounting past anniversaries.

-1 (2009): The day began with some errands. I even remember what those errands were but it doesn’t matter here. I finished up with those errands and drove up to Rajajinagar and picked up the now wife and her sister (who I was meeting for the first time) from in front of the Nirmala toilet in Rajajinagar, in front of the Capuchin monastery. We drove up to the 100 ft restaurant in Indiranagar and had lunch.

Then we went shopping. Of course those were still early days for me to buy stuff for her, but she bought lots of things anyway. And that was the day I realised what it’s like to take out a woman shopping – hanging out in the area just outside the dressing rooms while she tried stuff, without trying to look awkward. And then Baada, who had brought his then-newlywed-wife shopping to the same place “caught” me there.

Later in the evening I visited her place for the first time, and had both “tiffin” and dinner there. And made small talk with the in-laws, whom I’d met for the first time less than a week earlier.

1 (2011): It was quite unremarkable, frankly. She went to work. I bummed around all morning and went for a lecture in the afternoon (all the way across town) and walked out of it in half an hour since it was so uninteresting. We went to RimNaam at the Oberoi on MG Road for dinner. Apart from the complimentary cake they gave us (since we told them it was our anniversary), it was quite unspectacular.

2 (2012): We were doing a week-long holiday in Goa, along with the in-laws. The day began with the mother-in-law picking flowers from all over the resort and making a small bouquet and handing it over to us. Presently we went to the flea market in Anjuna (it was a Wednesday) and got bored, since we hate bargaining. We then decamped to Calangute, and discovered Infantaria where we had an awesome lunch.

In the evening we went to Thalassa in Vagator where we emptied a bottle of Chilean wine and ate awesome Greek food. We hadn’t booked early enough to catch a cliff-side seat, though, but it didn’t matter since the sun set behind clouds that day.

3 (2013): The day itself was unremarkable. The previous day I was returning from a work trip to Bombay, and I hunted around the airport for a gift, not able to decide until they called for boarding when I picked up what was frankly an unremarkable pair of artificial earrings. She had put in more thought into my gift, though. I got a nice large notebook (which I’ve never used much) and a nice Parker ballpen (which I’ve used so much  that I’ve had to change the refill already).

The next day (technically speaking, since the flight was at 1 am or something) we went off to Singpur, where we enjoyed Sushobhan and Sudha’s hospitality, visited museums, got stuck in rain, waited for taxis and were again taken for a wonderful dinner by Sushobhan and Sudha.

4 (2014): Still early in the day yet, early for me and very very early for her. I’m in Bangalore, she’s in Barcelona. Our first long-distance anniversary. I might update this post tomorrow.

And finally, 0 (2010): It was a long day. I actually woke up late. Was paranoid while shaving since I didn’t want to cut myself on the day of my wedding. The late start meant I had the opportunity to eat good breakfast, a luxury she didn’t have since she was involved in some pre-ceremony poojes. The ceremony started at 11, and we went for a ceremonial lunch at 5 (yeah, South Indian brahmin weddings take so long). And then we had to get ready for the reception. Both of us started laughing at each other since we were both so badly made up! And then two hours of standing and shaking people’s hands and posing for photographs. And then some more ceremonies.

And then we went home, where I had some Absolut Orange stashed away. We hadn’t bothered getting the ceremonial glass of milk, so we just took a shot each of the Absolut. And we couldn’t even sleep in peace since there were remnants of the wedding ceremony the following day!