Friday, 3 April 2015

Good Friday Gone Bad

When i went to bed on Maundy Thursday i asked Sethuvamma to soak some rice in water. I had made up my mind to make Pesaha appam the next day. The only time Pesaha appam was made in our family was when we were with Amma, my grandmother. She called it Inderi ഇണ്ടേറി (some call it INRI appam or indri appam) appam. I liked the name but had no memory of its taste. I decided to try it out even though i was late by a day.

So on Good Friday gone bad because all days are bad when you are not working, i made the bread and milk porridge which was to be made on Maundy Thursday. I had two recipes with me. One was from Ria's Collection and the other was from her. I knew that she liked making food from scratch. If she liked it that way i liked it that way too. Sometimes i think i need no evolution. My likes and dislikes which were formed in the course of years matched hers so much so that i felt it was better to ask her what she liked and didn't and just copy it blindly. So many years saved. But you know what they say, that the process is important. So i rebel against her likes and in two years end up exactly there. Dare anyone question me about undergoing the goddamn process.

Speaking of rebellion i am reminded of the first year after losing belief that all atheists have. They feel liberated all of a sudden and want to rebel against everything they gave up. They would oppose everything religious around them in that first year. I was there once. It was the long break of uncertainty after SSLC (Secondary School Leaving Certificate) exams. Till then every year i would observe lent before easter. No chicken, no meat, no eggs no fish and all boring veggies. It was hell for a person like me who loved meat and fish. The whole of that year i went vegetarian. Food was where i wanted a rebellion first, i must have thought. By the time i was in +1 (higher secondary school) my folks had stopped being surprised at my vegetarian phase. They had other things to worry about anyway with the principal calling Sethuvamma to say that i had 'killer instinct'. That wasn't true, i was only throwing calculators at my Chemistry teachers not stabbing them with a knife... What my folks didn't know was that on the very first day of Lent i bought a very bad chicken biriyani from the nearest restaurant and ate it while no one was at home. I buried the plantain leaf and bones in our backyard. I placed a stone over it so that dogs wouldn't dig it up. My folks would be devastated if they knew that i had not observed lent i thought.

The only thing in my life that i am absolutely happy about is my atheism. I am glad that it happened during my teenage and therefore i got more time to be in it. I am not hard on believers now. I don't rebel against them. My rebellions happen without noise and without chicken bones being buried. No energy expenditure. You could even think up revolts. You were a revolt by yourself. [Nothing of the sort. Just a plain girl, alive]

The reason why i decided to make Inderi appam was so that i had her year in food. Steal her memories and make it mine. Her mother was fidgety in kitchen and used only new cookware to make it. The children were asked not to waste any of the paal because it was all holy. I would imagine myself as a child and being told all this by Amma. Replace her with me and her mother with Amma. There! I had my childhood memories of Maundy Thursday albeit stolen. I could steal from her like how i could steal from Appachan. I felt good stealing.

To steam the appam i had to use a pressure cooker and a vessel with holes.
Pesaha Paal/ Milk Porridge

The appam didn't turn out to be perfect. I didn't lay the cross made of palm leaves either. May be next year when i think of Maundy Thursday on a Christmas day or something. Seasons came for no reason other than food.

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