“The possessions themselves were not the problem, it was my relationship with possessing.”
― Chris Matakas, #Human: Learning To Live In Modern Times
A major portion of my identity has been associated with Curd Rice. I am not sure where and how the association started, but it generally has been that way. I hear my Periamma (Mother’s elder sister) always saying that I am a person who is generally satisfied with curd rice in life. When I was working,(Nowadays I am in deep contemplation, an euphemism for laziness and out of work) all parties and events that I attended generally had curd rice. Any functions that I am invited to, the hosts took extra care to ensure that I enjoyed the curd rice and the only question that I am asked by them was ‘How was the Curd Rice’ ? I have had instances when my mentors of long years left a curd rice in my desk, even when I was not at the desk (I used to do management by walking around) and couple of days back when my previous boss and mentor called me to have lunch, he had by default ordered curd rice and made it to a point to say “for you curd rice”! I also remember when sixteen years back when I was being marketed to my wife’s family, my folks telling them , here is a person who just needs ‘curd rice in life’. My wife did realize it very early that my folks had done a good sales job and repeatedly makes it a point to state, that they camouflaged a Sappatu Raman in the pretext of a guy who is only satisfied with curd rice. Well, I am a Rama in something! and to preserve domestic harmony, I dare not talk about the sales job they did on us! Out of the many things I remember about curd rice , my mother always used to chide me funnily with “Muttaluku Moru Satham” (Dumb heads eat Curd Rice/Butter Milk Rice) when I was young and was not living up-to her expectations in getting good marks in any exams. I have not lived up-to her expectations in anything generally and I commend myself on my consistency.
Well, I love Curd Rice. I can possibly write full length essays on the benefits of curd rice , butter milk and derivatives, but I will reserve them for a later day. There are a variety of curd rice eaters and the top three categories are something like this. Please feel free to skip this section, if you are one amongst the species who eats curd rice with a spoon. In my humble opinion, you are yet to experience bliss.
- Grinders – They like their curd rice fully crushed. They will first crush steam cooked rice with their hands till it reaches the form of a paste, then mix curd, do a second level grind and examine it with their hand to check if their grind has reached the necessary softness. After that they carefully craft out a hole in the centre to accommodate the Sambar and go inside out on with a proportion of Sambar and Curd Rice.
- Mixers – They like their curd rice with appalam/pappadam. There is a difference between Appalam and Pappadam. These folks, get the rice, spread them out a bit , get couple of appalam or pappadam and crush it into their rice first, then have the curd, then any of the other stuff like Sambar/Pickle, mix all of them patiently and then start gulping it in delight.
- Finishers – I love these folks a lot and have a lot to learn from them. Be it a banana leaf or a plate, once you they get to curd rice , they will make a complete sweep of everything that is left in the plate or banana leaf and ensure the plates or the banana leaves become re-usable without cleaning. Their finishing act of putting each one of their fingers into their mouth and dry them up completely. The planet needs these folks. Save water.
I belong to the Mixers category , but I envy the finishers category as they are the real folks who know how to enjoy life.
OK. Where am I heading with this ?
My sister and one more close friend from the beginning of this year, coerced me into a series of self-realization programs which had the prerequisite of not eating many milk based products for a period of 60 days and there began my disassociation with my beloved curd rice. I did manage to complete those programs and though did not get to realization in any form (Mea Culpa), have noticed that my longing towards curd rice is gone. I have reached that dangerous state of being indifferent to my beloved curd rice. There is no longer that urge of needing it. It is like this. If it is there it is ok, if it is not there it is absolutely fine! For a person who used to get laughed at for eating bread with curd ( my argument has been if I can eat bread with milk, why not eat it with a derivative of milk), the craving towards Curd Rice has completely vanished. I do not know if it is a temporary or permanent state.
Something is not definitely right.
Till the time I figure that out, Yeh Dil Mange Moru !
Stay tuned and Have Fun.