For some reason, I haven't been sleeping very well of late. There's been a lot of stuff on my mind, and I haven't been all that well either. After a food poisoning incident the previous week, this week it was a dizzy spell in office - a strange kind of panic attack that hasn't ever happened to me before. If it weren't for a friend of mine at the office who seemed to know exactly what to do to calm me down, it might have been worse - as it was, it just passed in a few moments, but I was determined to take it easy this weekend - and prioritize the right things.
First things first - I had to make a call to the Happy School and tell them that for once, I wouldn't be able to come in for my class with the second-graders. I felt a pang about it, but knew that I needed to do things differently this weekend. Usually, my Saturday mornings go towards this very worthy cause but I figured I'd go for a check up instead.
I then regretfully informed my Zumba gang that I wouldn't be able to take the 5 p.m. class that I've been doing on-and-off on Saturdays - it takes enormous energy to lead a class, and I was in the mood for conserving mine this weekend.
The check up at Fortis was a bit useless though - the physician declared I looked perfectly healthy but wrote a bunch of medicines ( which I didn't take) and a bunch of tests ( which I did), which also revealed that in fact, I am perfectly healthy - if you discount a minor insufficiency of that darned Vitamin D. The Doctor suggested that I drink more water since I might be a little dehydrated. Vijay paid the bills, muttering something to the effect of 'Drink more water...yeh toh main bhi bata sakta tha...ridiculous...'
I was very tired when we reached home after the check up, but was determined to do something productive. I decided to go ahead and do something I haven't done for months -attack those damned besan ke laddoos - I spent my entire sabbatical trying to get them right and came dangerously close one time. Without practice, I knew that I would lose my carefully acquired skills.
I set up a google search and a youtube video and roasted the besan happily while waiting for the videos to load. Pickle wandered in and got very excited when he learned that I was making besan laddoos.
I blame Pickle for distracting me, my phone for loading the video and search results too slow and my general impatience which caused me to roast the besan on high-flame instead of low-flame. One moment, the besan was that light brown color, and the next, it was charcoal black. Oh god. I told myself, dismally, that it would probably still taste as good, and quickly turned down the gas and added the ghee. In my nervousness, I added too much ghee, and lo and behold - there it was - a black oozing mass.
Irritated, I added the powdered sugar anyway, and poured it out onto a plate. Maybe once it cooled, I might still manage to salvage it, although chances looked dim. I carried the mess into the drawing room and stared at it dismally. Pickle wandered up.
'Ban gaya kya, Mummy?'
No, son. Not yet. Maybe not ever, I added under my breath.
He looked at the plate, quite unperturbed 'Yeh Chocolate hai kya?'
'Yes.' I was inspired. 'Chocolate mithai.'
'Main Bhi banaoonga.' He reached out to it, and I protested it was too hot. After some time though, I gave him a bit of the ghastly preparation. I tried to roll a ball out of it myself, but it was a miserable failure, as expected.
I looked over to see what Pickle was doing, and found to my surprise that he had eaten the entire portion that I had given him. A little worried, I asked him 'Kaisa tha, Pickle?'
'Bahut yummy.' he declared thickly, spraying a little bit of the remnants in his mouth.
That's when I decided I'd go ahead and roast some more besan and mix it to the congealed mass in order to get at least the right consistency if not the right color. And so it was that after about half an hour, when we all finally sat down to lunch, I proudly served Vijay and Papaji with perfectly rounded but terribly dark brown laddoos.
'What's this?' Vijay looked wary.
'It looks better than it tastes.' I turned to my supporter 'Right, Pickle?'
'Haan.' Pickle asserted, adding 'Maine bhi banaaya.'
'Oh.' Vijay and Papaji exchanged a glance and then hesitantly took a piece each.
Vijay popped one into his mouth while Papaji, more slowly, broke his in half and then followed suit.
Vijay said 'Oh.'
I waited, and he finished swallowing and asked politely 'Have you added....something else?'
'It's a special recipe' I gushed 'I put in Sooji.'
Vijay said 'Oh.' and then added tentatively 'Perhaps next time you could put in just besan?'
'Okay.' I was sulky.
Pickle jumped in angrily 'Bahut Achha hai.'
Vijay added 'And I was also thinking...perhaps you could burn...I mean roast the Besan less...'
I nodded unhappily.
Pickle spoke even louder, almost shouting 'BAHUT ACHHA BANA Daddy. Stop it!'
Vijay and I just stared at Pickle and then burst into laughter. I reached out and hugged my son, and said 'You liked it na, Pickle? You're my favorite...'
Throughout the exchange, Papaji said not a word. He just slowly reached out for the remaining half of his laddoo and manfully put it in his mouth.
P.S - I was going to write about Sunday too, but got tired. Later.