April 19, 2011

Bathroom-water cooking (Don't try this at home)

Issued in public interest
Before monsoon turns Bangalore's roads into rivulets and people start considering buying rubber boats to commute, summers tend to get quite merciless. In summers, water supply in Bangalore becomes like Indian Railways' tatkal tickets: everyone wants, only a lucky few get.

In many localities, people hit the road to stage protest, demanding water. Desperate times call for desperate measures. Indeed. As I did once. No, I didn't go down the road screaming "Dhikkara, dhikkara". When my apartment ran out of water during lunch time, I got water from bathroom to cook.

From the perspective of someone who has been there, done that, I'll advise you not to cook food with water taken from the bucket in your bathroom. No matter what. You wouldn't want to learn the lesson the hard way. 

I was making khichdi on that eventful day. Opened tap in the kitchen for water to boil rice. Damn! Wanted water, got only air. What to do? Vegetables were cut and I was hungry. Heck, I'll have my lunch, I thought and took a mug of water from the bucket in my bathroom and poured in my pressure cooker. Used my bathroom mug, by the way. Put the cooker on gas. My lunch will be ready!

Yeah, baby! The problem solver has done it again. Cometh the hour, cometh the man! Started feeling smug for being so awesome at crisis management. Was busy adorning myself with adjectives such as resourceful, creative and what not when the cooker's whistle interrupted my narcissist thought process.

There was my khichdi. It's aroma wafted as I opened the lid, further heightening my sense of triumph. And, it tasted good! 

Ok. Later that night this headache started troubling me. What crap, I thought. Couldn't even fall asleep for so long. Ok. Woke up abruptly about 8.30 am and went to, well, from where I had taken the water for cooking—my bathroom. And then began the three-hour long, intermittent process of puking, so awful that its vivid description may make you puke. All the effort, the emotions that I had put in making this khichdi went down the drain. Literally.

There is one person who rejoiced exceedingly upon learning of my kitchen misadventure. It's alright. He is the first victim of my bathroom-water cooking—my friend whom I had invited for lunch a couple of months ago. Then too the tap was running dry and I had to cook with bathroom water. He made some fuss but then ate it.

Later that day when I was in office, I got a call from him. "Kutte, kameene, tujhe keede padein," he had said along with other expletives, his voice booming in toilet. 

He is jubilant upon learning that I have now suffered the same trauma that I had caused him. His faith in God's justice is renewed. As for me, I never attempted cooking like that again. For the rest of my stay in Bangalore, I chose to be malnourished instead of falling sick. That's why I started looking like a pickpocket, but that's another story.

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