Methi Rice And The Story Of A Big Problem
May 8th, 6 recipes done, 23 to go- I count as I jot down the recipe for my watermelon mojitos in the lunch break. Ray picks up his tray from the counter and walks towards my table.
“Sorry got held up cause of a call.”
“Not a prob dude. Chill! I had to update the book you gave me anyways. There was no time last night.”
“Yeah, obviously. Your sister was so mad. If you had waited until last evening, I would have asked you myself Cass! There wouldn’t have been so many problems,” he sighs.
“Really?” I enquire a bit out of curiosity.
“Do you remember the first day I saw you yelling into the phone, sulking as usual?”
“Well, that very moment I was knocked down. You hadn’t changed a bit. Which adult would scream into a phone like that, tell me? Only your hair is a bit longer, otherwise you are still my same old high school bestie!!”
“Mama made me to.” I try to make him understand
“Still the same old stubborn Cassie you are, can’t you see it?. Even now you try to defend yourself with that innocent little voice of yours and that’s why you shatter me to bits every time we meet.”
“But everyone say I have a pathetic voice,” I say, remembering Neil.
“HAHA..Yes! A pathetically cute voice,” he laughs.
“Whatever! As long as you like it.” I smile and get up to leave.
” I need a day off. At least Sam has to do something! I am so irritated Cass. So many case studies to do and so much of shopping too. Should I work or should handle my wedding work, tell me Cass? At least Mama can come over nah?…” Poor Vicky, she is looking so worn out! But mama coming here will never happen! NEVER!
“Vicksy relax. Let’s list down the undone stuff and do one each per day. Once we write down we will know how little we have left to do. Tomorrow is a second Saturday, so I am free.”
I think this stuff was a really really bad idea. We did know how much was left, but that certainly wasn’t little.
“Cass, I don’t think I can get married any time soon.” She is actually, literally wailing. Even my bro came out of his room.
“Vicky stop crying like a baby! What’s the time Jerry?”
” I’ll give you a minute Vicky, freshen up and come fast. Jerry I’ve kept some Methi rice in the cooker. Correctly switch it off at 5:41, k?” The pleasure I get bossing over my siblings!
“What’s the plan for today Cass?” Vicky asks me as she gets into my car.
“I just spoke to Ananya, she said the ready made lehengas at Tamanna, commercial street will be really good for the Sangeet.” Vicky has been behind having a Sangeet after she went for a north Indian wedding. Its a traditional function for them but nothing of that sorts for us. In Tamil Catholic wedding things go a bit different and hence neither I nor Mama have a clue about Vicky’s Sangeet thing. Thank god Ananya is there to help me out. She has told me to keep it a week before the wedding, as the mehendi will take a week to wear off and will spoil the look of the gowcould30 minutes after getting stuck in the traffic we reach Tamanna only to Ananya waiting for us.
“Vicky! Cass told me everything. Come on don’t get so upset. All of us will help and every thing will be done in the wink of an eye! Whishkkk!!!”
It took my sister 2 hours to finalize her lehengha and another 1 hour to finalize mine. Seriously I am okay with anything and everything. I don’t get the point of any of this anyways. It isn’t even our tradition to have a Sangeet and neither theirs to have it a week before.
Ananya and Vicky are perfect for each other. The only fruitful thing was, I could text Ray in the mean while they tried and tried stuff. He completely understood my plight.
A girl who cannot choose her sister’s lehengha on time, isn’t surely going to choose her tiara, her band, her shoes, her silk Saree, her gold accessories for the Saree, and of course her dream platinum necklace for the gown, her veil, her invitation cards, etc, within a month! She really isn’t going to get married anytime soon!
We are now heading to the Swarovski shop for Vicky’s tiara.
Similarly, another hour later my beloved sis picks up the very first tiara she liked after trying everything else that was available. She kept the store open for half an hour after their closing time, can you believe it? I really feel sad for these staff. I can actually see the relief on the guy’s face, who had shown her the tiaras, while he helped bill the precious tiara Vicky eventually chose.
We left home at 5:40 and now its 10:15 and we are still stuck in traffic. At least Vicky gets to text, actually torture Sam about her tiara. I mean it really looks cute with all those tiny crystals embedded into a beautiful floral base, somehing like the applique work on the final layer of tulle of her gown. She was lucky to find something similar. But it certainly doesn’t sum up for so much of excitement and enthusiasm.
Back home and she is still blabbering her way into the phone about the beauty of her lehengha. I am glad she got over her tiara though. I am pretty sure Sam has dozed off on the other end. He does it quite often and later pacifies her with gifts.
I wonder how she isn’t hungry. My stomach is growling like hell and my mouth salivating to taste my awesome Methi rice. Jerry has already fallen asleep on the couch, watching cricket, waiting for us. But it looks like he has already had his share. He would have never known Vicky would take so long. Wonder what he would have done if he were the escort!
- Jeera sambha rice/ Basmati rice- 1 cup soaked in 2 cups of water for 1/2 an hour.
- 2 elaichi/ cardamom
- 2 tbsp dried Methi
- Fresh coconut milk- 1 cup
- water- 1 cup
- 1 1/2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 2 green chillis slit
- 1 onion chopped
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 inch cinnamon stick
- ghee- 1 tbsp
- In a pressure cooker, add the oil, the elaichis, bay leaf and the cinnamon. When the elaichi crackles, add the chopped onions and stir until translucent.
- Add the ginger garlic paste and the chillis. Stir until the raw smell of the paste vanishes.
- Add the rice and mix well.
- Add the coconut milk and water and dried methi. When the water boils, close the cooker and put the whistle.
- After a whistle, simmer and let it cook for 10 minutes.
- turn off the stove and let it cool down. let the steam escape. now add the ghee and mix the rice well.
Wow! Absolutely marvelous! Cassie would never be Cassie without yummy food!
As I get ready for bed, I get a call from an unknown number.
“Cass, this is Ray! I don’t have much time. Just listen to me and don’t ask questions.”
“Ray is everything alright?” He sounded pretty tensed.
“Please come to Cinnamon Cafe right away, alone.”
He cuts the call. What the hell was wrong? A normal HR calling like this certainly wasn’t normal. What if he was in some huge trouble? I certainly don’t want to get involved. Just a few days back I had wished my life had a bit more of masala. But I didn’t mean it. Should I go or should I not. This isn’t a movie where batman can come save me if Ray turned out to be a serial killer nor some soap opera where the heroine will escape death after a horrible gun fire. One bullet and i’ll be over, forever. What am I thinking? Ray is my friend and more over I like him and Mama wants me to marry him and here I am sitting and wondering whether to go or not. He is probably a drug addict and is being held ransom for not paying the dealer. I really can get vague thoughts. I can make a mole hole seem like a mountain. Everyone has told me that. SO I better get going. What’s the worse that can happen? ME DYING? I sit back on the bed with the same speed I got up. I should actually just go….
It takes only 5 minutes to Cinnamon cafe from my place. But I wouldn’t mind if it took me five hours today.
As I park my precious beetle a little away from the place, I have this urge to drive straight back home and wrap myself up with a bed sheet. I fight it with great bravery though. My feet turn so cold as I walk to the cafe. I take a peak at my phone only to see its 12 in the night. Certainly not the right time. Cinnamon Cafe won’t even be open. God knows what Ray is doing there at this weird hour of the day. WHY MEEEEE? I wanna scream. One turn and I’ll be facing Cinnamon Cafe. I could always run back and forget any of this happened. But I have to do this for Ray.
I notice that the hoarding lights are on. I open the door to the cafe and find two men sitting at a table. I suddenly feel something poking my shoulder.
“Just move to that table, without shouting, without turning, else you die.”
OMG! What have I got myself into? So many things left undone…So many places to be visited…So many..The voice doesn’t even let me complete my thoughts..I cry mentally. What else can I do?
“I doeen’ttt knnnnow annnyything!” I blabber out of fear as I sit down at the table. I haven’t felt so scared since my encounter with the Scary House at a water park when I was 10. Suddenly some music starts playing and a familiar voice is on a mike and some laughter.
I turn to see my brother with a pencil in his hand, laughing. Do I feel happy that I don’t have to die or do I get angry or feel supid for not knowing the diffrence between the touch of a pencil and a gun ?
“To the girl who broke my heart and my cheek bone at the tender age of 18, I dedicate this song,” shouts Ray into a mike with a few others standing by his side on instruments. So I guess that is ‘The Super Tango’. I also spot Vicky with her DSLR. I wonder how they got here without my knowledge. Soon a lot of people gather into to the cafe, half way through his beautiful song. I find Ananya, Sam, Anu, and also some old school friends. Nearly 20 people were there.
“Cassie, will you come up here please?” asks Ray.
“Why should I?” I yell back.
“Cause I want to ask you something stubborn brat!”
“Hmmm…It depends. Right now I am too frightened to even move. If you want me there you got to come and take me yourself,” I tell him with a devilish smile. I can’t believe he actually came running, picked me up and took me to the stage.
“Remember Cass, you told me you wanted someone to ask you out dramatically?” Ray asks.
“I probably did.”
“Well, is so much drama enough?”
“Hmm..I’ll tell you that when the climax is over..”
He kneels down and says, “Cassie will you go out with me and promise not to slap me ever again.”
“Former certainly gets a yes, but the latter needs to wait for this.” I slap him, not too hard though.
“Well I promise you Ray, that I won’t slap you ever again, but I’ll punch your nose instead though.” Everyone starts laughing.
“So is this much of drama enough?” Ray asks.
“Yes!” and we magically kissed….
The night ended with more music, dancing and a huge bill for Ray….
To be continued…………………………………
Author’s note: So sorry for the delay. I was busy traveling again. Hope everyone liked this chapter!