Roasted corn on the cob
If you’re from Bombay, you’re probably also up right now, wondering what happened to the city. Wondering why, out of the blue, our beloved city is targeted yet again. Wondering what we did to deserve this, and if it will ever be possible to let a loved one go out for a casual walk without thinking about it.
When I was growing up, Mumbai was considered one of the safest cities in the country. As kids, we were told to “go down and play” in the evenings. We would walk to the park and to other playgrounds recommended by newly made friends, and our parents didn’t think twice about it. As students in college, we traveled from one part of the city to another using whatever mode of transport, we drove to town in the middle of the night, and no one worried about our safety. As I watch news reports of the blasts this evening, the new mother in me is almost sure she’ll turn into a control freak when Avanee starts school or goes to college. Who’s to know what will happen when?
But we’ll deal with that when we have to. Until then, one will try and keep the faith in the system, and dream of a more innocent time. A time when we could stand in the rain to grab our monsoon treat of bhutta, or roasted corn on the cob, sold on the corner down the street. Watch the guy fan his little coal stove with an old magazine; watch the little red bits fly into the cold, wet rain and sink our teeth into perfection, only to complain about the bits stuck in our teeth, later.
Yesterday, Amma roasted some corn on the cob for us. Smeared the blistered black and gold cob with salt and chili powder and lemon. Return to innocence. I hope you find yours in simple things like these.
Good night, my beloved city. We’ll be OK.