A lot can happen over a plate of momo

They say, “A lot can happen over a cup of coffee”. I say, “A lot can happen over a plate of momo.” It is a story of a plate of hot piping momos and how it had become one of the good vibes of my life. My city was truly busy enjoying the sudden 9°C temperature; the crazy north winds shivered my bones, a multicolored muffler protected me from cold, a glass of hot ginger tea from a roadside tea stall gave me some comfort, the swarming crowd near Esplanade metro made me realize the presence of strenuous Monday and then, adventitiously you appeared before me when I just ordered a plate of chicken momo. God knows, why you had to come on the same stall to have the momos.

You are not my parallel, not my almost, not my ex, but something I can’t name. You looked at me whenever you got slightest opportunity, I even caught you smiling when I passed by on office corridor. Sadly, you never made any move to talk to me; probably you were happy just seeing me there just like people enjoy an elegant piece of art in a museum. I was stupid enough to believe, you were in love, in love with me; but I was so wrong.

“Hello Jinny” your sudden voice made me look at you; you are in a brownish yellow jacket and black jeans. You were looking really handsome.
“Hi” I responded slowly.
“How are you?”
This time I had to smile, “Like you care!” I felt some spots of guilt in your face as you looked at the billboards to avoid my intense gaze. A few minutes had passed without any words from any side. I patiently waited for the momos to come. I was astounded to realize we just talked for the first time.
“I do care…and stupid enough to realize things very late.”
I had to laugh at his words; a man calling himself stupid is a nice thing to watch.
“Thank God, you realized…sooner or later!” I sighed throwing my words; he too sighed. I saw a strange kind of pain in his eyes but soon he turned it into an awkward smile. Then, a comfortable silence clinged us into a nameless thread. Perhaps, time stood still for a while and we too. I didn’t feel uneasy; he didn’t feel any urge to look away. I didn’t notice when we both started having the mouth watering chicken momos.
“The momos are really delicious, aren’t they?” he said to break the silence. I just nodded. I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t want him know my helplessness, my loneliness. Probably he was eager to say ‘you look beautiful’, or ‘remember me’ or ‘let’s exchange the numbers’; I was eager to say, ‘let’s stay in touch’ or ‘let’s go for a walk’. Sadly, we ended up saying “goodbye”. We moved away without exchanging phone numbers, without looking back, with a constant effort to behave like a normal person. And once again head won over heart.



A bowl of prawns and you

Prawn is my favorite and so is you. You got pungent words, marvellous looks and irresistible attitude…just like prawns cooked in Bengali style with lots of spice, poppy seeds, coconut milk and pulp. I often think you are the human version of our “Daab chingri.”

On a sunny summer Sunday noon, you showed up at my doorstep with a box of milky, spicy prawns. I was about to order something from ‘Swiggy’ and your appearance made me cancel the plan. I was so startled with your action that couldn’t even say a word for five minutes and you kept grinning impishly. I always knew that my girl doesn’t cook, can’t cook and will never cook just because ‘she is a girl !’

“Why do you bring this?”

“Because it is your favorite!” she chuckled.

“Did you cook yourself?” I had to ask.

“Yes!!” said she while transferring the prawns from box to bowl,  “A girl should not always cook but a little cooking doesn’t hurt.”

“Wow! I am changing you” I rejoiced just to make her angry.

“Not really, little boy” She said in sarcastic tone, “Now you have to prepare the rice.”

However, she helped me preparing the rice too. And it was a grand lunch with rice and “Daab chingri”. It was really a gala day for my taste buds. The prawns bathed in coconut milk just like a Cleopatra in goat milk and we relished the dish like ‘heaven is now here’, in our taste buds. I have never had such a quaint taste in restaurant food; the food was homely yet delicious.

When we finished the food, my heart was fuller than stomach. I asked her the reason behind such a treat while still busy on licking my fingers.

“I have finally dumped my bastard boyfriend to be with you,” she embraced me in a bear hug. I have always wanted this to happen. It should be like dream coming into reality for me. But sadly, I couldn’t. I just stood still stupidly. I felt sorry for him who once was my enemy.

Finally my crush is saying “Yes” when I least expected it. All my thoughts went to ‘that bastard’ who is my current best friend !!


Pic courtesy: Afraa