Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Agony and The Ecstasy.

There is one complaint I have always had with imaginative writers – they give me heartache with their food. When you have a hyperactive imagination and think up the most ingenious things one can eat, you ought to spare a thought for a hungry little kid with an imagination equally hyperactive. Which is why I can almost always be seen with a wistful expression on my face after I’ve (re)read certain books – it just kills me that I will never know what Butterbeer or Frobscottle taste like, or find a shrine as perfect as Honeydukes or Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.

Eventually, my wistfulness did materialize into something more productive – I took to cooking. Correction, I took to birdwitted attempts at creating Eat Me cupcakes. I also tried to recreate everything found in the Land of Birthdays when it came to the Faraway Tree. Turns out you can’t cook if you daydream, work yourself into a frenzy, or jump when the oven beeps. I didn’t exactly flavour cakes with liniment, or put salt in the strawberries, but the sorrowful concoctions I forced down my folks’ throats weren’t any better.

I think I am a better cook now; I do come up with edible things now and then. But what I call the book-hunger tops any masterpiece I manufacture. I remember running home from school, hastily putting together a plate of jam sandwiches, and trying desperately to get through a particularly toothsome Five Find-Outer mystery while my grandmother watched grainy black-and-white movies at full volume without her glasses on (she’d have done better to listen to the radio, but there, I’m diverging). Blyton made me hungry, so did Dahl. Dickens too. CS Lewis always had his characters eating mushrooms and fried eggs with talking badgers for company. And, as always, there was a veritable overdose of roast boar with Obelix. These are books I grew up eating, quite literally. And the more the descriptions, the more I slathered the jam onto the bread. And I hoped beyond hope that I’d simply walk into a page someday.

And I wondered how I grew so fat. But then, the well-fed women in the stories always ended up in ivy cottages by the seaside with buried treasure under the floors and smugglers nearby – or at their mundanest, a rabid dog. So I don’t think I’ll complain.






For all of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, do go find an emo blog. The only thing I’ve even come close to slitting is a sachet.

4 kindred spirits have swallowed my rambling:

Dream Baron said...

Wistfulness...Hmmm...anyways i liked the way you have structured the piece...well organised...

new age scheherazade said...

oh man. this feels like i wrote it myself. this is getting creepy. it's even the same authors i think of as writing 'eatable' books.
and un-angsty works just fine for me.
you're right-loved it.

Full stop. said...

Enid Blyton was torturous. Remember all the kids in Famous Five eating delicious sounding things like scones and waffles with syrup?

Priyanka Kumar said...

@ dream baron: thank you. it makes me feel all professional.

@ newage: :D un-angsty it is. till the end of time.

@ full stop: oh, yes. i believe british food in itself is quite inedible, but the desserts. oh, the desserts.