This article belongs to Life's Like This column.
"I am a tamilian. No! Tamilians come from TamilNadu and not Kerala. No! Kerala and Tamil Nadu are two different states in South India. The Other two are Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. No! Idli-Sambhar isnt the only thing on our menu list(atleast not mine). No! I havent watched SIVAJI!"
I dont know who vilifies us, Tamilians. I can very well handle queries like above(and I pity what they learnt in their Geography Lectures at School. Surely, their Lecturers would suffer severe heart-attacks if they came to know their Curious Questions such as these). I also get requests like, "when are you going to bring idli for us?", as soon as I disclose that I am from down south, from my wide-eyed friends here in Mumbai. So, after umpteen requests from my colleagues I finally lost my patience and asked my mom to prepare IDLIs.
My mom immediately agreed, cooking being my Mom's forte, with a question "Idlis for lunch?". Thats when I pitied my knowledge too about Tamil Food. Idlis are normally eaten for breakfast.
Carrying the heavy load of 20 Idlis and 6-8 Vadas, I finally made my way into the Office after the hectic travelling by train.
It was THE time now, for lunch, and I entered the Pantry Section of our Office after inviting my friends and disclosing that their wish had been finally answered. My Friend immediately lended me a helping hand to carry my bag. I was surprised to see her helping mentality and let her carry my bag (little did I understand the cunning motive behind that). She again helped me with heating the food in the Microwave, again I was overwhelmed by her help, but lost her patience and took the food out when it was just getting warm. She then turned evil and snatched the Plate from me, just like Gollum who helps Frodo first, gains the faith in Frodo's mind and then snatches the Ring from him in the Lord of the Rings.
I was busy washing my hands to start my lunch and failed to notice the stampede going on behind me. When I finally realized that my friends had gone berserk when they spotted the Idlis, I concluded that I had made a Herculean mistake by not guarding the Food myself(cos I didnt wish to die of malnutrition). I scooted my way towards the crowd. The crowd resembled the Primeval groups, feasting upon a Deer that had just fallen into their hands. Pieces of food fell from their Mouths while they gorged the idlis mercilessly into their stomach, their selfish eyes were Wide and Evil-looking. When I finally got in a position of perfect view of the table, I could see that the plethora of food that I had bought, now had been reduced to an amount that could only be sufficient enough for the ants. I was clearly in dearth of food. "If you cant defeat them, join them", I remembered the line that I had read long back in school; and thus there I was, snatching the lone piece of Medhu-Vada from my friend's hands. My friend gave me a look of disdain but I didnt care. Hunger failed to eschew me from turning into a Primeval.
It was over. Just minutes before I had seen the White pieces of food decorated on the plate like ornaments on a girls neck. Tomato chutney, Coconut chutney, Idli and Vada; they were all gone. "Blimey!", I told myself as I spotted the bowl filled with Sambhar. Either none of my friends had noticed it or they didnt much care about it. Either way, I was happy that I could finally have something to dip the Breads into. With a sad look, I collected the bread and sat down to have my lunch. Ironically for me, one of my friends came over to me and asked, he was still licking his fingers, "Then! When are you going to bring IDLIs next?"..............