Swapna, you look so think and weak. What happened beti”, Gupta aunty asked me. Her voice conveyed genuine concern and her eyes were focused on me.
Gupta aunty is our neighbor. She has a son and a daughter. Aunty looks at least a decade younger to her real age. I noticed that she looked healthier and was gleaming. I have always admired her charm and her food! As a child, I always used to run to aunty’s house for her unique snacks. Her passion for food was a major reason behind my interest in cooking.
My studies had kept me away from home for over half a year. I was back home for my semester leave. And, the first comment I received from everyone was that I have become thinner.
“No aunty, the food is terrible in our hostel. I hate it. Due to restrictions, we can’t go out often either. Tell me how long can I survive with Maggie and bread?” I told her.
“Arey beti, this is the same story everywhere. Remember that this is only a beginning. After studies, you may have to go out for work and who knows, you may have to travel across the globe also. If you wither so early, how will you stay healthy and face life?” asked aunty as a matter of fact.
“Aunty, everyone has only this to say. Do you think I am not worried? After all, it is my health right? I feel tired and sleepy all the time. Do you know that? I am unable to concentrate for long hours and even my hair has started falling due to lack of nutrition”, I complained like a pre-nursery child.
She smiled to me and tenderly ran her hands across my short hair. I had cut it so short recently that it barely touches my shoulders. Earlier, I had waist-length hair which I used to cherish.
“Chalo, I have a solution!” she smiled widely and took me inside her kitchen.
“Ye le, Kelloggs cornflakes. Take this for breakfast every day. You will soon become our old bubbles”, she said and patted on my shoulders.
“Uff aunty, who will eat same corn flakes every day?” I sighed. It would be more plain and boring than my hostel food, I thought.
“Beti, don’t forget that breakfast is the most important meal for anyone. If you start your day with a good breakfast, your entire day will be good”, aunty said.
“Yeah-yeah. Breakfast like a king, lunch like a minister and dinner like a beggar is the old saying”, I reiterated although not sounding very convinced.
Gupta aunty read my mind and handed over a spiral-bound book. I flipped through them and found interesting recipes made from the cornflakes. They looked yum and knowing Gupta aunty’s culinary skills, I didn’t have a doubt about it.
Presenting to you my favorite ones from the book!