With class cancelled today, I was thrilled with the prospect of ‘me’ time. Waving bye to K as he left for his weekly class, I turned my attention to the full sink. Working methodically, I cleaned the kitchen and caught up with the day’s events with mom over the phone. Chopping tomato, onion, ginger and chillies, I prepped for my own version of the childhood favorite Maggi.
Thrilled with all prep work done, I opened the cabinet only to find no Maggi packs left. Feeling disappointed I mulled a bit and picked up my phone to call my next door neighbor. Listening to voicemail, my cheerful energy fizzled out. Taking a look around my spic and span kitchen with neatly cut veggies lined up on the cutting board, I could not let go. Foregoing the phone, I ran upstairs to change. Skipping out of the garage, I enjoyed the dusky light as I quickly made my way across the street four doors down where the garage was open invitingly. Kids played and the auntie stood watching them like a hawk. Me talking in Hindi and she replying in Gujarati, I asked if she had a pack of Maggi she could spare. As I went to to explain how I had to have it, she brushed it aside with a smile. How many do you want she asked pulling out what seemed to me like a mountain of the familiar yellow and red packs.
Back home, sauteing, boiling and cooking up this instant meal, I savored the silence and the joy at cooking up something that reminded me of a different time in my life. Settling on my couch with a bowl of steaming noodles, I turned the TV up and flipped between food channel and TBS. As steam escaped in wisps I twirled the noodles around the fork like I dreamed of in my past. Slurping each strand, I was a little ashamed at how something like Maggi had suddenly become exotic for me.