Marriage is like a Paani Puri treat.
My take on marriage and association with food I love.
You dream about it, you drool, you lust. Finally, the time comes. You spot the opportunity. You walk up, the anticipation, the eagerness of a lioness on prowl. Once up and close, you are gripped with dissonance. The odour from the vendor’s stained shirt wafts towards you. You take a step back. He puts on dubious-looking plastic gloves and kneads the spicy potato filling. It makes you salivate. A car whizzes past, puffing a breath of dust into the pots of fiery liquid. You cringe.
He, then, hands you a leafy bowl. Your eyes light up. The moment has come. Your mouth lets loose another inadvertent gush in its dark alleys. A few deft moves, and you get your first serving of paani puri: it’s stuffed with piquantly spiced mashed potatoes, a sprinkling of boiled black gram and coriander leaves, a scoop of the most delicious tangy liquid.
The first mouthful calms your frenzied digestive system, but leaves you aching for more. One after the other, you get your six servings. You grab each, as soon as it reaches your bowl. You munch on it, your eyes watering, and your nose threatening to dribble fluid. But, it’s worth it. You hope that time stands still, and the vendor forgets the count. You try to ignore the people who are watching you. But, it ends.
He, then gives you the last piece — a shrivelled, malformed paani poori with dry mashed potatoes and assorted masalas. It dries your palate and throat. The reality check.