Meeting Mrs. Gupta …

“Get up. Come on. Don’t make me come into the room, you lazy lump under that blanket. It’s seven in the morning. If I don’t see you up in five minutes, I’ll pour a bucket of cold water on your face.”

You’d think I was a next door neighbor, the way I’m yelled at on a morning, on a Sunday morning at that, to get up and get ready. You’d think I’d earn an extra few hours of sleep on a Sunday; it’s bad enough I’ve to get up at five in the morning on a weekday to go for a morning walk, get ready and leave for office by seven. Even putting two pillows over my head isn’t enough to smother the high pitch, threatening voice of my dear, sweet, caring mother from disturbing the last moments of my dream. I swear, I was once five seconds away from winning a dream jackpot of five million dollars when my mom’s voice sauntered in like Mrs. Weasley’s howler to Ron in the Chamber of Secrets. Poof! No more dream, no more five million dollars. The only thing left was a grumpy fellow staring into the mirror near his bed and muttering to himself about missed opportunities.

Thankfully, the silver lining to the cloud of waking up is the aroma of mom’s cooking wafting in from the kitchen. Be it coconut chutney, fried mustard seeds, tomato rice, pepper rasam, anything… anything that she makes has a rich aroma about it that is absolutely heavenly. The only delay to savoring it is the time it takes for me to complete the morning formalities, and I’m sniffing my way like a hound to the kitchen and the source of that temptation. Being a single child, my mom always makes sure I’m pampered and fed something extra. Even if I say enough, she’ll put an extra one on the pan and make sure I see it, so I doubt my decision and take it.

The catch in that breakfast plan is, obviously, that mom has to be well. Last week, she fell ill. My dad turned nurse, and that meant breakfast at six in the morning would have to be made by myself, the guy who can’t cook much except coffee. With that in mind, I had gone to the supermarket to ponder over my conundrum and find a possible escape route to food.

I did. At the supermarket was my neighbor, Mrs. Gupta who had recently moved into the first floor flat at my apartment complex. Hearing of my problem, she didn’t bother to ask me at all, she just pulled me home with her and told me she’ll get me breakfast. She did; something which would usually have to be stuffed down my throat. She gave me a bowl of cornflakes with honey, almonds and hazelnuts, with milk of course. Beggars can’t be choosers I suppose, so I swallowed my pride and swallowed the cornflakes. To my surprise, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. It was quite delicious. She told me it was Kellogg’s Cornflakes. It wasn’t a brand mom usually bought, Kellogg’s. Chatty, as Mrs. Gupta is, she told me of the nutrition it had, and it was quite filling too. I thanked her, and left, with her welcoming me back any time I wished.

On my way back from work that day, I bought a small packet of the same to have when hurry and lack of time prevents me from mom’s home cooking. Though at times, I confess, I’m tempted to return to the hospitality of Mrs. Gupta and her Kellogg’s khana.

(© 24th March 2015)


Poetry & writing are to me, a breath of fresh air in a life that is sometimes covered by the smoke of sorrow or self doubt. They also become the sweets I share to celebrate when life offers me a reason to. But most of all, they are to me, my life. For each word I write is a piece of my heart, a thought that just had to find its way into the world.

6 thoughts on “Meeting Mrs. Gupta …”

  1. Did you know that Kellog’s cornflakes was initially discovered by a team of 7th day Adventists as part of a strict vegetarian diet prescribed by the church? Dr. John Harvey Kellog, superintendant of the Battle Creek Sanitarium believed that bland foods would reduce passions in people.

    Enjoyed reading your post especially the decriptive part about your amma’s cooking 🙂 🙂

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