March 22, 2010 | |

What's for Tea?

Everyday, we would rush back home from school. With our opening words being, “What’s for tea?” Watercress sandwiches and crumpets? Pâté de foie gras or apple strudel? Ha! Puri bhaji! Which went down different ways. You could roll the bhaji in the puri. You could sandwich it between two puris. You could take a bite of puri followed by a spoonful of bhaji. But you ate it fast. Too fast for the Mother’s puri-frying to keep pace with. Cutting the puris out with an upturned ‘vattee’ was as much fun as trying to fry the strips of dough left behind. On days when the Mother was stretched, it was Marie biscuits for tea. Ten each. Counted out from a big steel box. With a glass of milk. If you haven’t dipped a Marie biscuit into a glass of hot milk and then pulled it out soggy, you haven’t lived. It’s an art form. To dip the biscuit. But for how long? Too short a time and you might as well have not dipped it at all. Too long and the biscuit fell away. Gravity claiming its share, which you could only slurp when the glass was empty. With a lot of practice, you could raise the ante. Two biscuits at a time. And if you managed three, that qualified for a doctorate... Read More.

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