It was dinner time. A called to remind me. We had promised to meet after a two hour study schedule.
“What are we cooking?”, he asks.
I make a face. Too vague a question.
The fridge whimpers in the kitchen. Like a child trapped inside a dungeon.
It screams everyday. We get worried when it doesn’t.
Like one of those moments when the milk stops at the brim while it boils, and disrupts the shouting and cleaning ritual.
Funny how we swim in irony. And, then we boast about the many strokes we know.
He is still thinking. Hands in his pocket, his lips pursed, as he plucks out the menu in his head.
We have drawers full of food. A rare percentage of it, healthy. The rest, not so much. We’re butter people. The ones who conveniently blur the font of the text that says Calories.
After a few Veto discussions, we decide on Eggs.
This is a ritual too.
Where we each name a meal we can prepare, until one of us says, Eggs.
We have a Menu in our head. Leather bound. The kind that feels beautiful, holding in hand. Eggs have been underlined far too many times in it.
He steps aside to let me talk to them. The only time he does that.
With everything else, he is quite the culinary artist.
The butter sings as I let it slide down, swishing about in the round pan.
We sit down, fried eggs in yellow plates, as the fridge feels unattended in the background.
While people stand with burning wax in their hand, back home, we sit here, talking about it, with our fork and knives, eating eggs.
A woman just died. The wax needs to burn.
Atleast the wax can burn. They don’t have fire drills in India.
So, where do we live exactly?
We wait under the Nizamuddin Rail bridge for the bus. Take the DTC to Aldwych. Men and women shove and push to get down at Elephant and Castle, and thus we find a place to sit at Kashmere Gate.
We do that all day.
When the white pigeon tries to balance itself on the old antenna across the street.
When the onions turn a beautiful golden colour, like the ones in mother’s frying pan.
But we don’t live in India.
And, we didn’t burn the wax.
We do wonder if we should.
But then, we butter our toast and eat eggs.
I told you. We are butter people.