August 23, 2007

Phase of

One had never liked cabbage, until one day one realized that one liked it very much indeed. So much, in fact, that one insisted on having nothing but cabbage sabzi for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We call the stuff kobeech out West, and every day the maharaj would be instructed to cook generous amounts of fresh kobeech, with precisely the correct amounts of haldi and tadka and so forth, for one's noble consumption. One was only eight years old at the time, but this was fairly extreme even by the young One's standards.

Nevertheless, things continued in an altogether hunky-dory manner for a month or so. Until what we shall call the Fateful Day. For it was on this day that one discovered a Worm in one's cabbage bowl (there was, naturally, a special cabbage bowl). And, what is more, one nearly ate the worm before the discovery. The gentle reader might point out that the impending ingestion should have been of greater concern to our intrepid annelid than to the young One, but the young One did not somehow see it that way. The amygdala duly kicked in, the associative conditioning was complete before one could say 'Ivan Petrovich Pavlov' (presuming one could say 'Ivan Petrovich Pavlov'), and cabbage became, once again, a Disliked Food.

You see, gentle reader, when one sits down to Critically Assess one's Life So Far, the major point that tends to strike is that one has gone through Food Phases, intervals characterized by the single-minded pursuit and devourment of the Currently Beloved Food. The above was, of course, the entire life-cycle of the Kobeech Phase in what might be called a Nutshell.

Many phases followed. There was the Softy Ice-Cream phase, the Plain Paneer phase, the Marie Biscuit phase, the khakhra phase (they had to be spiced just right) and the particularly obsessive Cadbury’s Twirl phase.

And now, one finds oneself in the throes of a new Phase. It all began with a Japanese restaurant and a generous helping of sashimi. The traditional accompaniment for such foodstuffs, as you may be aware, goes by the name of wasabi. A pungent chutney made from the root of the eponymous plant, it tends to grab you by the respiratory system. And one now feels a strange affinity towards this condiment. One can taste wasabi just by thinking about it. Reminiscent of mustard, but with a cleaner, sharper twang. Mouthwatering. Magnetic.

One shall now proceed to look for some wasabi, for immediate consumption. And one will find it somewhere, even if one has to wade through piles of wormy kobeech.

15 comments :

Anonymous said...

Oh yaay! A new post AND a fellow wasabi freak.

Anonymous said...

Food phases: yeah, have had my share too! For paranthas, banana ice cream, chips, maggi, hot chocolate fudge, spring rolls, pizzas, hot & sour soup, popcorns..

Sadly, the exercise-phases didn't usually keep up. :)

~N.

tangled said...

Ewwwwww raw fishies.

One in a Billion said...

Anon: Precisely correct, on both counts :)

N: One detests Maggi. Masala-flavour Maggi is, however, an exception. It be the Staple Food.

Tangled: Not quite. Raw fishies with wasabi.

tangled said...

That makes them less raw? Or perhaps less fishy?
Do not be asking me to believe such.

M. said...

One must try wasabi coated peas. These make for excellent "timepass" ( atleast M's side of the world refers to this category of snacks that way) and very intelligently add the unadulterated taste of wasabi to the crunchiness of otherwise tasteless peas.

P.S. A search for "wasabi peas" on amazon helps

One in a Billion said...

Tangled: Actually the wasabi is supposed to kill troublesome microorganisms. You could say it makes the fishies less, umm, cultured.

M: You have opened one's eyes and provided generous enlightenment. One had no idea such delicacies were available. This rocks, if 'rocks' is the correct term.

P.S. One's side of the world, by contrast, refers to almost everything as timepass.

Cheshire Cat said...

There is truth in what you say, wise One. I, for one, would never have believed during my innocent childhood that there would come a day when I would crave karela...

Anonymous said...

Cat: Yes! I don't know how that happened too. Haven't reached the "craving" stage yet. But yes, I'd never ever thought that I'd be eating karelas voluntarily!

One: Maggi means Maggi-Masala only. Yea, it be the staple food too, much to Ma's distress.

And wasabi maketh fishies uncultured? You mean wasabi is too hot for even the fishies to handle? Hmm, I wonder what it does to the wasabi freak..? :)

~N.

One in a Billion said...

Cat: It seems we all rather enjoy karela these days. Maybe we get used to bitterness as we grow up, what?

N: Ahem. Culture as in bacterial culture. Pun, like. Bad one, naturally.

Anonymous said...

Of course, I know what you meant! It was just that the "makes less cultured" pun brought to mind the same in terms of the consequences of choice of company...you know, just general wisdom about picking ones friends carefully and all that.

It fell flat, I see. But yours was an interesting take. It'll stay in mind. :)

~N.

Shweta said...

Oho, I see, the One has been that kind of child. Cute, très cute.

Anonymous said...

Hey, heard about the nasty tremors in your part of the world. Hope alls well.

~N.

One in a Billion said...

N: We clearly need explanatory notes for every sentence in this commentspace :)

And one is quite fine, thanks for asking. Singapore was not affected significantly.

Shweta: What's cute is the accent grave in your 'tres'. HTML is clearly worth learning.

Anonymous said...

*nudge*

~N.