I come from a typical Indian family, where love and affection are proved by over-feeding. The ‘3 big meals versus 6 small meals’ kind of debates hold little value at my home, where every hour is a meal hour. Needless to say, most of the conversations I have with my mother revolve around food.
When I am out : Have you eaten?
When I am at home : Want to eat something?
All through my school life, I was clearly an over-weight kid. I managed to slim down in college for a few years, but towards the end of the 7 years of college, I started putting back the kilos, and now I am back to being, what can be, very politely, called as ‘plump’.
Inspite of this, my doting father has always been of the opinion that my bones are showing and that I should eat more. When I point out, that I already eat a lot more than I should, he promptly backs up his previous statement saying, “You are a growing kid, you need extra nutrition”. It is indeed a completely acceptable logic, if we overlook the fact that I am 26.
Now, looking beyond my family, there is my alternate family or friends. I don’t know how, but all my life, all my closest friends have been foodaholics. All of them, without exception. Maybe it was more of an unconscious choice than coincidence, that I bonded with people who are attracted to food. So meeting friends mostly mean eating, cooking and discussing food.
Then there was TV. As a kid, I used to look forward to the much-famed ‘Khana-Khazana’ more avidly than most housewives at the helm of their kitchens. And then came the flood of international food shows – Man vs Food, Cupcake Wars, Hell’s Kitchen, Nigella Feasts, Kylie Kwong : Simply Magic and of course, Masterchef Australia. They took me to an altogether different level of temptation.
After college got over, I thought that may be now I won’t have time to eat out everyday. But guess what? I have ended up in an office in Kolkata’s old ‘Office – Para’, which is nothing short of a street food heaven.
So yes, it’s not that I intentionally and single-handedly chose a life of loving food. It was destiny. And I am actually happy that it happened.