Food & Memories

I think I have always been someone who got excited about food, looking to try new cuisine, and was happiest in making others try it as well & I have realized that there are so many memories attached to food.

Maybe it happens to all of us.

Whether it is the two rupees Pepsi cola that we used to get outside of our school & you need to rush to the store, get the cola & make sure you don't miss the school bus back home. I don't know where we get that Pepsi cola anymore, but maybe someday if I do, it will transport me back in time to the shop in the corner, just next to my school.

Eagerly waiting for the lunch break in school so that you could make your best friend eat her favorite Dhoklas. As I think about it, it is funny how I met some of my closest friends back in school over our shared love for Dhokla, Corn Cutlet & Neer Dosa.

As the summer season starts I miss the feeling of waiting for the Ice Gola Uncle who used to come outside my building at 7 in the evening. We used to rush from our houses/playgrounds to ensure we didn't miss him. That uncle has stopped coming now to sell gola, but every time I pass by the road, there is hope that maybe someday I will see him again & the kid who used to get excited about buying gola will be back.

Buying yourself your favorite ice cream from Apsara every time you felt proud of accomplishing something or just wanted to cheer yourself up.

Whether it is the festivals like Holi & Diwali where I always look forward to having my favorite Moong dal Halwa & Kanji vada or helping in making the festive snacks at home or the long bus rides back in Rajasthan during the winter season where we used to buy roasted peanuts just before the journey & have them along the way or having your favorite food during exams to make sure you can focus on studies, all of them have a memory attached to it.

On my way back home from college, there was a Bangalore Iyengar Bakery where every morning & evening they used to bake Rava cakes. The smell used to be so good that I didn't realize when but slowly it became a ritual to go there. Now every time I eat rava cakes it reminds me of that moment.

From trying out food at the fanciest places to having the perfect ginger tea in a tea stall (or Cutting Chai as it is popularly called), to having the Ghee podi Idli at IDC to the pav bhaji at a midnight stall in Mumbai, the list goes on & on.

These memories are a treasure trove, and they continue to grow. Maybe someday, I'll find that two-rupee Pepsi again, or the Ice Gola uncle will return with his cart. Perhaps I'll even recreate my favorite childhood snacks holding on to the traditions and creating new memories. The journey of food exploration is a lifelong adventure, and I can't wait to see where my taste buds take me next, with a heart full of warm nostalgia for the delicious experiences that came before.

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