I blog this as I am having my cardamom tea. A morning ritual that I would never miss. Though of course, I can trade it for a cup of ginger tea or pomegranate tea, maybe. Anyway, over the last few days, I have been taking pictures of what I eat. As soon I see a dish, instead of taking a spoon and a fork, I take my camera out. While it seemed silly at first, as I began to spend some time and sketch each, I realized that each dish is as fascinating as a piece of architecture. The myriad folds, colors and textures. Replicating them into a book using a Micron pen is fascinating process, to say the least. The smooth buttery layers of the avocado, the dark brown spots on the soft thin layer of Indian bread, and the shiny varnished skin of an apple… So taking a cue from Paul Cezanne who immortalized a simple apple and jar of milk, and Salvador Dali, whose basket of bread looks startlingly real, I did these three sketches. Now, having food as an inspiration for your sketches is interesting. For one, you are never out of ideas as long as you keep eating 🙂
Thus is Indian bread with a filling of fried potato, and a side of curd.
We had a four-hour drive ahead of us. But first, food. Hunger silenced us, as we inched towards dinner time. We pulled our car right over at Bollywood Grille and Bar in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and placed our order. Then came the inevitable long wait. We let our eyes wander aimlessly on the inverted glasses and yellow napkins on the next table, on the single bulb that shone light on our heads, and a wall lined with Bollywood movie posters. We attempted to guess the names. But couldn’t get past three. Soon, our table was filled with a plate of hot Indian bread with butter, and a bowl of okra gravy. Before we saw it, we smelt it. A rich aroma of garlic and spices. We devoured it. The soft buttery pieces of naan. Dark green pieces of okra doused in oil and masala. Old Hindi songs played in the background in an extremely low volume. You had to stop chewing to hear it. “Rasmalai,” we unanimously decided, once the main course was done with. An Indian dessert made with balls of curdled milk. It came in a steel bowl, cool to the touch. We dug our spoons, and scooped out a soft piece that had been left to simmer in the sweetened milk. Satiated, we got into our car, put on some loud LP music, and navigated our way to The Buckeye State, Ohio.
The areal flood warning continues. And with the rain drops come a sense a lethargy and gloom. The stove is left unused, the laundry bags are full, and the beds remain unmade. The best option is to curl up in a couch, with the remote in one hand and a book in another; and just wait, be it crankily, for the clouds to move on. But in the meanwhile…