There’s a Jewish proverb that says, “God couldn’t be everywhere, so he created mothers.” Similarly, sisters couldn’t be everywhere, and so God created people like Smita. I met her on Orkut, and she’s my first online friend whom I met in real life. Originally from my hometown, she’s a great friend, always jolly and giggling. A day seems incomplete without a phone conversation with her. Add to that scraps on Orkut, chats on Yahoo Messenger and Google Talk, e-mails and SMSs, and you’ll be able to guess the amount of interaction we have with each other. The best thing about her is that she’s proactively helpful: she actually offers to help friends even before they ask for it.
Naturally, the question that most readers will ask at this point is. “Who is Smita?” It is very difficult to answer that question in a few lines, but I’ll try my best.
No, I think I’m wrong there… the best thing about her is her cooking skill, but we’ll come to that in due time.
She had been planning to invite me for lunch for quite some time, and I had been pestering her too, but neither of us was really able to “sync up” (as our managers say) with the other. Finally this Sunday was fixed as the day. Another of my wonderful online friends, Shashi, was also visiting
After a long and meticulous discussion on phone regarding the menu, everything was settled. I arrived at NGRI yesterday around noon. Smita took me into her room and gave me special sweets (petha) that she had brought from
- Bhat (rice)
- Biulir daal (urad ki daal- black gram soup)
- Aloo-pneyaj-posto (poppy seeds with potato and oniyon)
- Chholar tarkari (a side dish with grams)
- Sorshe bata diye dantar jhal (drumsticks with mustard)
- Rui machher kaliya (fish curry)
- Aamer chatni (mango chutney)
- Gurer Payes (kheer- a dessert made with rice, milk and jaggery)
Among these, the fish requires a special mention. Yesterday she had bought fish for the first time in her life assisted by her friend Chandrani, and cooked that particular dish for the first time after telephonic cooking lessons from her mother. And she kept the head of the fish for me... I ate a fish head after a long long time. Each one of the preparations was delicious. I can appreciate it more now as I have started cooking for some time. But there can be no comparison between my cooking and hers. Anyway, it’s useless to use up space here; I can never make readers taste those dishes with my words. Before leaving, she also gifted me a bottle of my favourite mustard sauce.
After lunch we went first to Astha’s room and then to Chandrani’s room and chatted for some time. Smita also introduced me to her friend Ramya. After some time, Smita took me on a trip of the campus (where I photographed flowers), and then to a small temple on a hillock across the road. Then we went to Hyderabad Central where we were supposed to meet Shashi. Shashi was a little late, and we used that time in window-shopping in the soft toys section of the mall.Then Shashi came. I had never met Shashi before… only seen her photographs. Imagine the thinnest person you have ever seen, with a pair of amused bright eyes and a grin like the Cheshire Cat, and you’ll have a fair idea about Shashi. She’s one of those people whom you feel you’ve known all your life even if you haven’t met them even once. We went to the Shanbagh Restaurant nearby and had a delightful dinner. Smita and Shashi both being elder to me did a bit of “ragging” with me all through the dinner, but it was enjoyable all the same.
Soon it was time to say goodbye. Smita left on her scooter. I accompanied Shashi up to the bus stand. After she managed to squeeze into an overcrowded bus, I returned home.
Yesterday was like a breath of fresh air in my boring schedule of life in