Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Dinner-limited, fun-unlimited!

Dinners...it is not about candles, roses, violins and wine. Some of the most cherished dinners remain etched so deep in my heart, i would probably need an hour to reminisce all the wonderful ones i had! Being a die-hard foodie, i love anything that sits on my dinner plate, be it curd rice and mango pickle or a barbecued chicken. But it is the love that blossoms on dinner tables i covet. Childhood dinners are always so special, especially the ones we had on full moon days in the terrace. Mother loved to have long dinners on full moon nights with the whole flock. Wait a minute, a flock means us- the three musketeers! We had to carry the utensils upstairs, two floors up and the elder brother as usual being the lazy goosey, liked to carry water. The heavy weight utensils fell on us- the eldest and the youngest and we doggedly carried them up and down. May be the frequent climbing up and down helped to keep my weight in check!

Mother used to mix rice, curry and vegetables and making tiny balls of it, she would place one on each out-stretched hand. Munching on pappads, we loved to talk and eat and eat till she would be scraping the vessel for more food! Then came the fruits, usually grapes, which Dad would pluck and hand over, after picking the rotten ones. Lying fully satiated, almost gluttony, viewing the full moon was a bliss. Those were the dinners that i cherish the most. There were funny dinners in school days,when we used to have dinner in hotels, usually in Tirunelveli. I remember one of the first,when there was a quarrel among us to decide which hand holds the spoon and the fork- Left or the right. Table etiquettes and manners were something i learnt back then, spreading a napkin, wiping away with a tissue, using the fork to cut a piece of chicken! Cutting a piece of chicken with a fork and knife by itself is an art, the first time i tried, the chicken simply could not tolerate my torture and jumped from the plate and hid itself under the table! Then came variety of forks, distinguishing salad fork from dessert fork, cold cuts fork, serving fork...uffff...i am miffed even now!

I am reminded of my first romantic dinner with my better half in Ooty. Sounds so romantic, isnt it? But Oh my! I was so nervous i kept tripping on the way to the wash and back. Spilling some chicken gravy on the table cloth, clanging the spoon on the plate- the entire meal was a disaster, the waiter near by sent me a wary look. The fun was yet to come, when at last, i ordered lime soda and waited. There came two bowls of warm lime water, man, that was confusing. Was it lime soda? As always, i thought let me wait and watch what my husband does. He dipped his fingers in it and i watched awe-struck! Oh, really? That was supposed to be water to wash hands? Thank God, i decided to wait and watch rather than drink it from the bowl! Then arrived my lime soda in a tall glass, thankfully! After numerous such dinners, i hope now i can manage any type of dinner, be it  a nila soru ( dinner in the terrace on full moon day) or a romantic dinner in some star hotel! But the best dinner would be something in which i need not spend half an hour contemplating which fork to take and which spoon to use. That must be obviously a dinner at home, where i can dig in with my hand and shove a mouthful. Man, that is called a dinner, where dinner might be limited, fun is unlimited;)


  1. Hey Niveditha, you stirred some memories which I too cherish and recollect whenever I get time to sit out in the open terrace looking at the night sky (one doesn't get that opp. often, here in Mumbai).

    But thinking of the 'Nilachoru', we didn't have to climb stairs, for we didn't have one but had some open space in front of our home. We'll sit in a circle and Mom will mix the food in a common utensil and will hand over to everyone in turns. Couldn't recollect what we ate, but am sure wouldn't have eaten anything better than that till date.

    Missing those love-filled moments...


  2. Thanks a lot for your comment Vijayan. Hopefully, we all shall try out one such nila soru with our kids on the terrace on a full moon day, with their grand parents to tell them stories...Good luck!


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