I am pining.I am pining my dinners away.The sambar masala which mom packed (lets call it masala-X for easy readability) me for Diwali is nowhere to be seen. No ordinary powder this one. One look at it and you would be reminded of gunpowder. Bend down a little and smell it and the spicy flavor of it intoxicates . Just don’t get your nose too close,for all you’ll get is fits of sneezing and coughing. You have been warned.You might not convinced yet.Let me compare this to the popular MTR Sambar masala. The most efficient way of putting it is this :
That sums it up (I knew my calculus would be put to good use someday). Few of us might argue there is no way one can integrate MTR masala from 0 to e powered x to get some mom’s sambar masala. If that’s the case,you are cordially invited to a Sunday afternoon sambar-rice lunch to my place over which I will prove to you beyond doubt the above equation. Fine, we shall take a more real-life example for the present, say traffic in Hyderabad. Another mathematical equation comes handy again :
Masala-X : MTR’s : : Hyderabad city traffic : Galli traffic in Ejipura
An inquisitive mind (probably one of those who had a problem with the integral)or a Bangalore loyalist would raise a question as to why Hyderabad was quoted and not Bangalore, although I daresay this matter is none to be proud of. I am afraid I will have digress further assuming that my intelligent reader is capable enough to keep track of the narrative.Lets take a simple case of a pedestrian crossing the road in Himayatnagar, a fairly upmarket locality in Hyderabad. Once you reach the middle of the road, 6 out of 10 times you find yourself dead straight in line with an adrenaline charged biker zooming at an inestimable speed, usually returning from a telugu movie at a theatre at RTC X-Roads where he would have seen the super hero (there are only superheroes in telugu movies) beat the crap out of the 50 people surrounding him in an epic climax. At that instant as you look into his eyes, you know you are done for. And at that very instant,your entire life will unfold in front of your eyes in a series of snapshots, rewinding fast from frame to frame. Then blank.Peace.….A deafening noise. The bike has zoomed past and you are standing like a dead trunk in the middle of the road,heart in your mouth You have been warned. Again.
Now that we have effectively described the credentials of this masala powder, I have to clarify one more thing. Granny will be stirring in her grave hearing me address the legendary Masala-X as mom’s, for it was her patented recipe. As a kid, when I visited grandma’s place for summer holidays, I would get down the auto and run straight to he kitchen shouting “Ajjjjji, masale haaki huli madidiii?”(Grandma,have you prepared the sambar adding the masala?) Grandma would walk to me at a slow pace, chuckling, peck me on my mouth (Why do grannys do that!?) and then open the container to proudly display the brownish-red sambar, its aroma filling the entire kitchen.And then we cousins would have the rice and sambar for dinner,with dollops of ghee to add, sometimes in the verandah by moonlight. My summer holidays were made of such memories :). Ajjis and Ajjas have gone, but their legacy remains.
So what now? I have lost all hopes of finding masala-X. And so the X-factor wil be missing in my dinner till I go home next time. Until then, I will just have to make do with the e^x times differentiated version from the MTRs.