On our table the other day, The missus ordered peas paratha at Roopali yesterday, and I haven’t been able to get over it since.
Roopali, for those of you unlucky enough to require clarification, is a cafe on Fergusson College Road. It has been around for what feels like eternity, and is to Punekars, as violence and nudity is to Game of Thrones. Take that out, and it’s as if there is nothing else left.
It serves South Indian food, and does a very good job of doing so. The Idlis, Dosas and Vadas are all out of the top drawer, and the Filter Coffee is made in heaven and sent to Roopali’s kitchen on a daily basis. But as with all establishments over time, they overreached and now offer parathas on their menu.
Well, all right, you might think. And so what, you might go on to ask, in that querulous tone folks are apt to use when asking questions such as this. Well, here’s the thing: Roopali offering parathas on their menu is like Virat Kohli offering classes in guided meditation. I might be, and indeed am, a devoted viewer of the dazzling array of skills that Kohli parades on the cricketing greens, and but try as I might, I can’t quite imagine him gently asking me to breathe in and breathe out.And similarly, I just can’t imagine Roopali serving parathas.
That’s not how the universe is meant to work. It’s just wrong.
Now, here’s the whole point of this column: this act by the Missus, of ordering a dish that Roopali ought not to be serving in the first place, evoked in me much the same reaction that I evoke, effortlessly and without fail, in the Missus whenever we go shopping for clothes.
My feelings and emotions in being made to go out shopping would have inspired Tennyson to pen a sequel to his Charge of the Light Brigade, it must be said. I don’t so much enter a clothing store as am dragged in kicking and screaming. To say that I don’t enjoy shopping for clothes is like saying that politicians enjoy the sound of their own voice. It’s bleeding obvious, in other words. Doesn’t need mentioning.
And if I’m eventually to found in a clothing store, expressly against my wishes and the very fibers of my being, my strategy is to pick the first thing I spot and say that I want to buy it. Which usually turns out to be a misshapen shirt, dull grey in colour.
This brings a blush of decidedly reddish tinge to the wife’s cheeks, and I and everybody else in a two mile radius is treated to an extended monologue on how hopeless I am in matters of fashion. Since I and anybody who has glanced at me for even a second can’t help but be in complete agreement with this opinion, there isn’t much argument, and the proceedings generally end with my clothes being chosen for me. Which, allow me to assure you, is A Very Good Thing.
But the other day, at Roopali, I suddenly had an insight which inspired me to write this post. I take ordering meals at restaurants as seriously as my significant other takes shopping expeditions for garbs and vestments.
There is, of course, no mis-shapen grey shirt in my closet, while the peas paratha made it to us, that is neither here nor there.
He doesn't expect the paradox to be resolved in his lifetime