Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Short story - What's cooking!

A brownie, deliciously warm, gooey and topped with nuts! Or something spicy like chaat. Even a thick milkshake of banana would perk him up! When exams near and especially, when they are just round the corner, the mind and the brain ticks for something else. Sighing, Neel let the Chemistry textbook rest on the table and turned around. Anu, his best friend, was sprawled over her Geometry and Anuj her twin, was yawning.
They looked at each other and burst out laughing.
"This group study isn't helpful. I am unable to concentrate. I feel like sleeping," said Anuj.
"Well, my mind has drawn a blank. I simply can't comprehend Geometry," Anu added.
"And, I have been thinking of FOOD," sighed Neel.
"Food...like chips or sev puri. Mmm... munchies would help me concentrate," Anuj mused.
"Let's see what's there in the kitchen," said Anu jumping up from the bed.
"What if Mum discovers that we had been prowling around in the kitchen? You know, how she hates if the kitchen is in a mess. And, plus there's Bahadur to convince," Neel hesitated.
On cue, Bahadur stepped into Neel's bedroom ostensibly to check if they were studying. Looking at their tired faces he asked, "What's wrong?"
"Bahadur...make something for us, please! We are SO HUNGRY," Anu wheedled.
"Didn't you just finish your lunch?" he asked.
"But that was two hours ago! Come on, Bahadur, please make something for us," she tried again.
Irritated and restless, Anuj announced that he would rustle a meal for all, if Bahadur didn't make something for them.
Bahadur was quick to stop him. "Remember chocolate shake, Anuj?"
Last time when Anuj had entered the kitchen to make a milkshake, he had forgotten to cover the blender's jar and as a result the wall had chocolaty squiggles running down it.
"Oh Bahadur! Why don't you supervise us in the kitchen? You issue orders and we will follow them," Neel chimed in.
Thus cajoled, Bahadur led them to the kitchen and the trio opened jars and tins.
Anuj found leftover bread, Neel brough out a bowl of boiled potatoes, steamed cabbage and french beans from the refrigerator. Anu picked out tomatoes and onions from the basket. They surveyed the ingredients and came to the same conclusion. Pav Bhaji!
"But is there butter in the fridge? And, the masala?" Bahadur growled
The vital two ingredients were available and so Bahadur assigned tasks to his team.
Anuj was asked to peel and slice onions. Anu chopped tomatoes, while Neel added butter to the kadhai.
Soon, a delicious aroma wafted through the kitchen. The three exchanged delighted looks.
"Can I have a bite? My stomach's rumbling and grumbling," Anuj said looking down at the sizzling contents in the kadhai.
Bahadur gave him a LOOK and asked Neel to add some more butter and saute the bhaji. He then took the bowl containing chopped coriander leaves and sprinkled them generously over the bhaji. Anu, licking her lips, toasted the bread.
Bahadur and Anuj set the table and then sit down to dig in the deliciously, piping hot snack. It was simply WOW. His mouth full, Anuj blabbered, 'Thanks Bahadur! Mindblowing! This makes me feel good about exams.'
'What?' asked both Neel and Anu.
'This...snacking while studying. I bet I will memorise Maths equations easily,' said Anuj. Their tummies sated they went back to Neel's room and to their respective positions. Words no longer swam before their eyes, they could sit upright and concentrate better, until two hours later, someone yawned and complained that their's stomach was rumbling and grumbling!

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