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  • Writer's pictureSrishti Tehri

Cheesy Fries, Day 3

Updated: Feb 15, 2021

I had been living away from my family for the last six years. In an another city, in an another house, living with two other friends, living another life, until Corona. Basically, these last two months are the longest I’ve stayed with my family since 2014. It’s one thing to make occasional visits back home from time to time, and it’s a whole other thing to live with them. When you’re only visiting, you care less about their horrible behaviour, habits, attitude because you’re just there for a day or two, have to leave soon anyway so why bother, yeah? But when you do live with them, you start understanding why you didn’t do that before, in the first place. You like some things, you despise some. The availability of beautifully cooked food is a boon, being there for your troubled brother is a help, and nights are never complete without your senior dog’s snores. Oh, the cat. Cat scratches too. Yeah, that’s more like torture. She doesn’t like me, she doesn’t purr and her poo stinks. Anyhow, living with your family can make you unlearn and relearn a lot of things about them as individuals. And, I’d have to say, I’m not having that bad of a time. My mom definitely hasn’t started reading this blog yet she somehow knew how much I was craving cheesy fries.

Well, maybe I was a little vocal about it the day before but she just knew. I woke up hungry at noon, went to the kitchen to make a cup of coffee and there’s my mother, busy chopping potatoes, in the most intricate way possible. Intricate because she didn’t want the fries to look like chunky wedges. And, I could do nothing but admire her for thinking about me. Obviously, I started helping her as well. But, it really got me thinking if I’d ever be able to love anybody as much as my mum loves me. Or, if people in general will be able to love anyone as much as their mothers love them, you know? Maybe, when I am a mom myself, I’d know what it feels like, to love unconditionally. I mean, to push a tiny creature out of your womb, in itself, is pretty much a sign of what a person is ready to do for an infant who’d do nothing but cry, poop, vomit, suck on your poor nipples ten times a day and still be okay with it. I guess, that’s when even they, as new mothers, learn to love unconditionally. I’m not saying all of this because my mom fried some potatoes for me today but it is just for who she is and how much she cares. I’ve been in this house with her for two months & four days now and there wasn’t a single night when she didn’t come to give me a good night kiss. Every single night. It’s insane how much emphasis I’m laying on this but it makes me so grateful. I try to love her as much as it is in my capacity to do so, but I assure you, I’d never be able to love like her. Anyway, cornflour. Conflour is what you sprinkle on top of fries after you half-fry them in oil for 30 seconds. You take them all out, spread them on a plate, sprinkle potato starch or cornflour on them, and freeze them for 20-30 minutes. When that’s done, you fry them again until they are golden brown. While the fries were getting fried, I thought I’d make me a nice, hot cheesy dip to pour over them. I took one portion of Mayonnaise (because I have no standards), mixed it with one portion of spicy garlic cheese spread (because I am an Amul girl at heart), and shredded mozzarella cheese into the concotion. I also added red chilli powder, black pepper and one chopped green chilli to compensate for the blandness that is, my life. Hence, once the fries were ready to be put in a giant bowl, I poured the microwaved mixture on top of the my perfect salty French fries. I wish I had cheddar instead of mozzarella but I was the most satisfied that I had been since the day I baked a carrot cake. Although, I’ve got to say that when I sat down with my coffee and cheesy fries, I realised what the bowl looked like. It resembled our society. You see, the cheesy dip stays on top of the fries- that batch represents the rich of the world. They are a few but they have everything. The layer of fries underneath have a bit of cheese here and there but they are mostly plain salty. The last layer, however, is the poor; they don’t get the cheese, they don’t get the salt. They are just there, piling up like a block of unrealised material to make people at the top, feel important. They are like that first step to a ladder. Migrant workers. That’s who they are. That’s how they are treated. That’s how they stay poor. And, when one smart, capable poor, gets to reach just the salt, with the help of reservation, the world is out there to make them feel lonely and like shit. I thought about it, realised it and then mixed the cheesy dip so well with every french fry, that each of them felt equal. I guess, that’s how I would loved the world to be, but ancient inhibitions that made this society what it is, will never allow is. Let’s call this evergreen division, The Cheesy Fries’ Theory, shall we? Ah, they were so good that I’ve put them under the ‘self-actualisation’ category in the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Mmmm. Google this, it’s like one of the first things you study in marketing to understand the human psyche associated to priorities and needs. Moving on, I also ate half a watermelon for supper and the best damn pasta for dinner. The way salted butter burns garlic and creates magic, is something you have to know for yourself. Only make this if you have parmesan cheese and basil handy. Or else, Dunzo it! But oh my God, it was phenomenal. Also, don’t add any vegetables to it, it’s just so complete the way it is. I wanted to talk more about how hot it was today, and my very eccentric aunt. But, it’s 4:27 am and I’ve got to sleep. I guess I can send some virtual love out today. So.. Love, Srishti

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May 31, 2020

Very beautifully written ❤️

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