Maggie - The Official Bachelor's Staple Food - can be prepared in various ways.
1. Most common method - Gas stove
2. Microwave Oven
3. Induction stove
4. Immersion heater
5. Economic Times News Paper.
This is a story about option 5. Read on.
Pune - Long long ago.
That sunday, my gastro-duodenal rodents woke me up at 9 a.m. I crawled out of the mattress marching towards the bathroom for a hunger-induced, hasty, teeth-brushing. I gave a short glance at my roomie in the other room who was still snoring away, lying there half-naked.
Despite a good tiffin-centre right around the corner, I was not physically and spiritually motivated to go through the Herculean series of tasks just to satiate my hunger – standing in queue at the tiffin-centre with other equally starving bachelors from neighbourhood, ordering breakfast, waiting for 30 mins before the food arrives, eating the food, feeling insufficient, re-ordering food, waiting for 30 mins again, accumulating 100000 PSi of gas in stomach due to waiting, and finally regretting “WHY THE HELL HAVE I COME HERE IN THE FIRST PLACE?”
Ha, only losers would go there, I thought.
I initiated the proceedings by taking out a pan from the kitchen cabinet. Filled roughly half of it with water and dumped two packs of regular maggie straight into it. After about two minutes, the water stopped boiling (and my patience started withering). The blueflame had already died. Lying there was my semi-cooked maggi like an interrogated victim in jail. Moments later, while I was sincerely resenting at my situation, my roomie showed up, slowly tottering into the kitchen.
Roomie: (releasing a disgusting yawn) “Good morning dude, is the maggie ready?"
Me: (silently pointing my sight at the half-cooked maggie in the pan)
Roomie: “He He He He”
Roomie: "I knew this would happen..He He He He ….the LPG was over…..I forgot to tell you yesterday…He He He He.”
Back here, my self-respect felt like a rape victim - hopeless and lost.
“Insaaf chaahiye mujhe” my self-respect was shouting within.
“Khaana chahiye mujhe” the rodents were nagging me on the other hand.
Precisely, in moments like this, I generally feel like putting my head into my hands and cry out as loud as is humanly possible. Some people call it helplessness.
Two minutes later, I started looking around confusedly. Searching for nothing in particular. Then something caught my eye -- an elegant heap of Economic Times papers lying at the corner.
A bulb glows. Dawn befalls. In my head. EUREKA!.
Like Archimedes of Syracuse (not naked though) I rushed toward the main door of the apartment. Peeped through the peephole to make sure no humans were hanging around in the corridor. I stole a grand total of three bricks inconspicuously, which our neighbour Mishra uncle had laid near the elevator two days ago (some upcoming cement work in his apt, who cares). I strategically placed the bricks on the kitchen’s granite platform such that, it comfortably held the pan over it, while giving ample space for the Economic Times paper rolls underneath.
A full 10-mins of high-flame cooking ensued. During those 10 mins, whether my maggie was being over-cooked or being evaporated, only God knew. Offensive smoke filled the kitchen due to the live combustion of Economic Times. Ridiculous amounts of ash flew all over due to wind sweeping in from the window.
The roomie hurried into the kitchen hearing a muffled scream from me. I was sitting there on a chair, with my legs awkwardly spreadout (an ergonomically disapproved gesture). Roughly an inch of my finger became tandoori and I was restlessly blowing air onto it to pacify the burning pain. My eyes turned red and bloodshot, while face with myriad patches of burnt Economic Times remains all over. (Think about a narrowly escaped tsunami victim)
The roomie then leaned over to take a careful look at the noodles. Overcooked and garnished with amazing flakes of burnt paper, it resembled an exotic African pasta.