“Can I have your pillow?” asks my father-in-law.
I look at him in horror – what, give up the pillow I’ve used since I was fourteen years old?! My pillow knows the contours of my head. It’s like asking Linus to give up his security blanket! I’d have withdrawal symptoms… probably go into a decline and fade away…
I’ve been married a few months and am learning to live with a new family. My father-in-law, more like a dad than a f-i-l to me, god bless him, is a compulsive worrier and insomniac. Me, I’m a Hyderabadi! Which means, among many other things, that worries weigh lightly upon our souls (till you become Madras-ised that is!!), that we can fall asleep anywhere, anytime, anyplace. Don’t believe me? Well, let me tell you what actually happened to me.
Hubby had a Bullet those early days and as any Bullet owner knows, its got a large, comfortable seat at the back too – a true lorry of a bike. I was unused to long commutes in Hyderabad and as soon as I joined the slave brigade… oops, sorry, the work force… in Chennai, I had to commute some thirty kilometers to work each way – by bus and train! Net result: I was so tired all the time, I could literally fall asleep anywhere! Back to the Bullet. Husband picks me up from the local station one evening and we make our way back home – some fifteen kilometers away. Am in a saree, so sit sidesaddle. Long before we reach the halfway mark, am fast asleep on the pillion… till… a rude lorry driver honks right in my ear and I jump out of my skin and literally –off the bike! Luckily, we were stopped at a red light so nothing further occurred.
My father-in-law hears this story and cannot believe that anyone could fall asleep like I could and did – all the time – in theaters, on the way to theaters, on the way back, while reading the paper… and of course, the last exploit on the back of the Bullet! He’s seen me doing it, of course and figures out that maybe the answer lies in my pillow! Hence, trying to cure his insomnia, he tries to wangle my pillow off me! Like we say in Telugu, his “pappu won’t udukufy” here (literally his lentils won’t cook here!) – meaning it’s a lost cause before he even begins! I might have willed whatever I possessed to him before I gave away my pillow!
P.S: I did, finally, give it – to my new born daughter!
A few weeks ago, my dear friend Dipika offered to make omelettes for all of us for breakfast and I happily laid out everything she wanted… expecting regular omelettes. But her omelettes were works of art – fluffy, fat, airy… and in case you’re wondering what this has to do with my pillows – they were softer than my pillows, even! And that is saying A LOT!
DIPIKA’S SOFTER-THAN-ANU’S-PILLOW OMELETTES
- Eggs – 2 per head
- Salt and pepper
- Butter – 1/2 tsp per omelette
- Oil 1 tsp
- Cake mixer with the whisk attachment – VERY IMPORTANT – otherwise you’ll have to kill yourself whipping the eggs into soft peaks with a fork!
- Very finely chopped tomatoes, onions, capsicums, green chilies, a tiny bit of ginger (optional), mint or coriander
- Cheese slices – 1 per omelette or grated cheddar – 1 tbsp per omelette
Whisk the living daylights out of the eggs adding salt. The eggs should stand up in soft peaks – takes 5-7 minutes per omelette so if you’ve got a lot of people to feed, use two pans and whip 4 eggs at a time.
Place the pan on the stove and pour in the oil and butter. Let it melt and spread out over the surface. Gently pour the whipped eggs into the pan. As they spread, sprinkle a little of all the toppings on top and cover. Tear each cheese slice into pieces and sprinkle over.
Cook on a very gentle heat till the top begins to set and fold over in half – using two ladles if necessary.
Cook for a further two minutes and slide on to the plate.
I guarantee you that you will NOT go to sleep while you eat this lighter-than-air concoction! I do not guarantee the same for ten minutes later though! This is very definitely a Sunday morning breakfast!