Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Some inhabitants of my terrace

Ghonchu learns cooking – Part 3

Links to Part1 and Part2

Ghonchu walked into the kitchen and switched on the gas with the expertise of a professional cook. “Phatak”, said the lighter; “whoosh”, roared the flames in the stove; and Ghonchu replaced the lighter with the smugness of a job well done. Having learnt to light the stove and cook magi previously, Ghonchu was already an accomplished cook. However, an artist’s pinnacle is achieved only if he cannot surpass himself any further. Ghonchu had decided to paint his next stroke in the art of cooking. This time, he intended to make chapattis (roti).

Any reader who was worried on reading the above line underestimates Ghonchu. The Ghonchus’ of this world may not be great cooks, but they are hard-working and perseverant and accomplish their task no matter what.

Ghonchu had learnt the steps to cook a chapatti. He took some wet flour (atta) and made a ball out of it. Having smeared dry flour over it, he began kneading the flour. He started using the belan to knead the mixture of wet and dry flour. On using the belan once, the round flour turned to a reasonable flat shape. Emboldened, Ghonchu swished the belan a few more times. However to his consternation, the flour started sticking to the belan, the roti plate and his hands. Having recently watched Spiderman, Ghonchu was reminded of how Tobey Maguire must have felt when he first learnt about his spider-like characteristics. With a ‘yuck’ emanating from his mouth, he quickly went over to wash his hands. Afresh he started over. Slowly, the flour, albeit wet and sticky began to take shape. Ghonchu paused for a moment to admire his handiwork. After some thought about the shape of his roti, Ghonchu eventually concluded it was like those amoebae drawings in his ninth grade biology book (read shapeless).

He put the wet amoeba on the gas allowed it to get dry. After some time, he decided it was time to turn over the amoeba. With this intention, he touched the roti plate with his fingers. Two seconds after that he was licking his fingers. It is best not to talk about the screams and oaths heard in those intervening two seconds.

But the Ghonchus’ of this world are not to be outdone. He cleverly found a pair of tongs. “Ha! Where will you run now?”, Ghonchu mentally asked the hot gas plate and the overheated amoeba. Using the tongs, he turned over the amoeba. After a few more tosses and turns over the gas, his first amoeba was ready to eat. With a smile of satisfaction, Ghonchu sat down to taste his accomplishments.

The roti tasted like papad as it had been overheated. However, Ghonchu still proudly ate or rather munched his amoeba shaped, papad-like roti.