Categories
Caste Food

E for Egg

Egg

In the beginning of the Yugoslavian film Ko To Tamo Peva, a man in a bowler hat pokes an egg with a nail – making a tiny hole, & then sucks it all from the other end. There is no way to find out if the other end is poked too. It’s a technique that treats an egg like the secret it actually is. Pa would do this too – his choice of weapon was always the needle – a secret in itself. 

Sometimes secrets need to be cracked open on the sturdy edges of pans or broken open with knives, spoons, & forks. They need to fall with a plop leaving you no time to marvel at that sound because it’s already broken into whispers. Other times, secrets need to be nudged gently into revealing themselves. You knock on them gently at first. Consent, fucker. I know men who handle the egg delicately like it’s the only egg in the world. I know women who stand over hissing pans and throw in onions, tomatoes, coriander, chilies – leaving no room for conversation, much less secrets. 

What is a cod liver capsule if not the yolk turned inside out? 

An old love who was into bodybuilding used to eat 6 eggs every morning. He’d break them open on my head one by one & I’d fall about laughing. He ate the whites, I ate the yellows. It was perfect,  until he began throwing the yolks away because they weren’t healthy. 

Nothing else tastes like the yellow does – leaving its echo behind long after the song is over. 

In school one afternoon, I opened my dabba to find egg bhurji & chapati. I began gulping it down before anyone could find out. A girl I’d always admired for her lack of interest in boys wanted to taste the egg. I gave her some, she ate it & squinted at me. Giving me no hint as to whether the egg & I had passed or failed, she walked away with her head held high. Her friends regarded her with fear after that & stared at her wondrously through the day while I tried to understand why they never looked at me like that – the egg was in my dabba after all.

One morning in Basavanagudi, I saw a Brahmin nose walking around in utter disgust. It was sulking cutely. It didn’t approve of the egg smell in Bgudi. On some days it walked with agarbattis, flowers, & camphor. On most others – just gau mutra. The last time I saw it, it was running after a thread-wearing man who had recently married an egg-eating shudra. It was funny only because the man kept touching his nose, to make sure it wasn’t his own nose chasing him.

Categories
In Between

E – Egg

Some things just snap me out of the lousiest possible moods. On days that I wake up early and write 500 words, for instance, nothing goes wrong. Even if things do go wrong, I don’t notice it. Even if I do notice it, I am rarely worried because I am happier on days that I can write. And then there are the occasional postmortem sessions that I conduct on my blog that leave me dry and suicidal.

The Egg is another thing that comes close to snapping me out my any lousy mood. I mean all kinds of egg here. Boiled, poached, scrambled, omelette, sunny side up. So long as the yellow is in the egg, I love consuming all manner of eggs. I am convinced that without the yellow,bulky, thick, gooey mixture of the yolk in my mouth, life would be very very dull. Also cruel.

These strong feelings that I have for the yolk don’t all have to do with the taste. I am sure that if the yolk was blue or orange, instead of yellow, it wouldn’t taste like the egg, much less look like it. The yolk and its yellowness are pleasures dipped with guilt. Well, guilt because, you know, cholesterol and all. But what pleasure is fun without a little bit of guilt here and there?

Picture a cold Sunday morning. And the faint smell of egg being cooked with coconut oil and curry leaves wafting into your nose and teasing your nostrils. I can only picture that one scene from Tom and Jerry when Jerry is magically being flown towards the cheese by a string of the cheese smell. I think Tom and Jerry and Popeye show are the only shows in the world that realise the importance of smells. No wonder they give ‘smell’ a whole new visible form. It has color, texture and is able to lift people off their existence. Even cookery shows don’t do that.

I am no food enthusiast but I am all up for adding coconut oil in everything that I eat, drink and rub. A cousin once taught me to fry eggs in coconut oil and a bunch of curry leaves and I feel indebted to her. It’s the best smell in the world. Also the best cure in the world.

Without the yolk, the egg can pretty much go to hell. What’s an egg without its yolk? The vegetarians should get some sex and relax. Don’t tell me the combination of white and yellow wasn’t meant to be eaten. Most of the time, I ignore the whites because too much reaction is already happening, what with the yolk bursting into buttery little balls in my mouth. But there are many things you could do with an egg before eating it. Like watching the little volcano of yellow explode when you poke the sunny side up with a spoon or a finger. Watch it as the liquid flows out of its cave and melts on the white. Collect a dollop on your finger and suck on it. The aftermath of the its taste will be strong enough to make you cook another egg.