by Nuggehalli Pankaja
Whenever I take Masaladose, I remember my aunt and uncle. They are very old -in their eighties, making them look like antiques in the eyes of the children.
Well, to come to the point, daily they both took simple breakfast like uppamao, rave iddli, rice iddli, sajjige etc. No, never bread, for it reminded uncle of the time he spent in hospital, living solely on bread and milk. Fortunately, they had a good cook who went out of the way to satisfy fastidious uncle’s tastes.
Hence uncle worshipped her as a goddess, making aunt jealous. So, when the cookamma perforce went on leave, aunt tried to impress him with tasty breakfasts, but to no avail. “Why don’t you try hotel-iddlies for a change?”- The neighbor advised her-“The new hotel near the circle makes beautiful fluffy Iddlies. I have tried it. Today being Sunday, many in the building get it through the watchman. You can also try. I am sure mama will like it. The hotel-man gives a generous quantity of chutney –sambar also, and aha-the pungent flavor of them –it is so appetizing!”
It was enough to make aunty’s mouth water. Summoning the watchman immediately, requested him to fetch six iddlies and of course, along with its accoutrements-chutney, sambar.
“Since I did not ask him for money, uncle did not protest”- Aunty informed me afterwards with a chuckle.
The watchman came sooner than expected, and laid the basket on the dining table. It was only after his departure that they found out that he had brought them much more than ordered! The six puffy iddlies were there alright, but along with it, two masaladoses- - huge ones, the like of them they had never encountered! Was that all? Two fat vades to boot! And large quantities of spicy chutney- tempting sambar wafting its sharp aroma for miles!
Seeing his questioning look, auntie hastily
explained-“I didn’t order all this-I swear! And I spoke loudly too! Our watchman seems to have become stone-deaf!”
Instantly uncle called him, obviously to take him to task, but he seemed to have gone out.
“OK, N o point in wasting it, we will eat it for a change-come”,- Beckoning his wife, and spreading the paraphernalia of chutney and sambar, uncle started eating. Seeing his happy look, auntie also did the same; Being very hungry , both relished it like anything, mentally thanking the watchman,especially aunty, since she loved Masaladose like anything. Strangely enough, it was also one of uncle’s favourites also, along with vada.
“I used to take all this regularly while in college”-He confessed- “Wonderful! Whoever invented Masaladose must be awarded noble prize!”- They both commented in unison, sitting back contentedly like well-fed purring cats-“We must indulge in such repasts once in a while. The change will do us good”.
Lo! The inevitable followed! Aunty started going to the toilet.
“I knew this would happen! You are a glutton, gobbling up- forgetting your age!”-Uncle growled.
But no sooner had he thrown these invective, he also followed suit! Not willing to let the opportunity of reprisal go by, auntie said sweetly-“You are that Bakasura reborn! That’s why you were so fat during our wedding , leaving absolutely no place for me on the hasemane (Sacred plank to sit during ceremonies)!”
God knows how the bickering would have ended, the timely arrival of the culprit- watchman saved the situation. It seems he got confused, what with all the inmates of the building ordering varieties of heavy breakfasts! Not to be outdone, he had packed a similar heavy breakfast for himself also, and kept it safely along with ours, but in the process of delivering , completely forgot and gave us his rich fare, thereby landing himself with the small breakfast we had ordered! ***