I was in the village again. It was tea time and I had brought along my own little flask of ready made tea – milked and sugared. Two little girls were hovering around me talking and singing. Then I opened my little plastic container for some cookies to share. They took it one by one, first looking at the shape, turning it backward and forward, smelling it before taking a bite. It was a peanut cookie bought hurriedly from a local German Bakery before heading off. This bakery caters to the various expatriate communities living and working here as well as the locals who want a different taste.
The children’s father looked at me and said, ‘I must bring you some corn and soya beans. The kids ate up your food’. Within ten minutes or so, I could see him coming down the hill carrying a big plate covered with another plate. He placed this heavy metallic golden plate before me. ‘Now eat this’. He removed the cover and I see pop corns and dry roasted black soya bean seeds. The pop corns were not the ones that we get in the movie halls. These were firm and chunky ones that were freshly roasted over firewood.
I was hungry and ate the pop corns one by one. Just like the kids who were discovering the cookie, I discovered food in its most natural state, unprocessed and unflavoured. Under each fluffy white pop corn, there was the crunchy hard base which would crack with every bite. My jaws and teeth were being exercised! The soya beans were equally crunchy and had its own creamy taste. There was absolutely no sugar nor salt. It was pure fibre. Then there was a small plate of ‘gundruk ko achar’ which is basically sun dried green leafy vegetables, soaked in water for a while and then garnished with some salt, chilli powder and garlic. This was really tasty. So more fibre which would be good for my digestive system. This would generally be washed down with some wine made from corn but at that very moment my tea just suited me fine.
I found this to be one of the most enjoyable meal I have had since a long time.