First of all, I’m not pregnant. Gajner is not one of those places where young people go and parents are scared their girls will come back with a baby in the belly. No sex, drugs and rock n’ roll around, trust me.
Still, somehow a monster came to live in my stomach when I arrived to India, and it’s always hungry. I used to eat a lot back in Spain, but I never reached the levels of the monster. NEVER.
Food in India is delicious and it’s everywhere. I think what attracts the monster the most are the spices. I walk in the streets and the monster is always alert, smelling around, looking for the best samosa. Even when it fails and the samosa was not that good, it doesn’t surrender, and makes me purchase (yes, purchase. In India no one ”buys” stuff, you “PURCHASE” it) another one.
The monster gets very excited when families in Gajner invite us to eat. I personally don’t really like the way of having people invited to eat here. You sit with the other guests, all alone in the floor of some room, and the hosts bring food, nonstop, but they don’t eat with you. My way of understanding the point of having people home to eat is to share the food and the time with them, and talk…but that is not how it works here. The monster does not think much about that, though. Every time there is almost no more dahl in the bowl, or veggies, or there are only two chapatis left, or rice is starting to disappear, more food comes. The plates are never empty; food is infinite, which is like a theme park for the monster.
When all the normal guests are done with the food, the monster keeps on asking for it. It sees though my eyes and it really struggles to stop eating if there is still food on the plates. So after everyone else stops eating, the monster and I have a long discussion while still feeding it. My shame of eating alone against its hunger. I win after a while, as even the monster realizes how people stare at us, trying to understand how is it possible, and it feels ashamed too.
The other interns in the house are frightened about the monster. When they cook, there is always this fear, “will it be enough”? When they serve the food, they look at the monster through my eyes, asking for its approval. When the food is over and the monster makes me wipe clean the few leftovers in all plates, there is always a moment of tension.
But the monster is cool, it’s peaceful. It would never hurt anyone, and it’s very easy to make it happy. If you want it to like you, you know what to do.
Cheers from the monster and me!