A Nostalgia Called Pakoras


When it rains, all is well. The aroma of water and grass after a dry spell wafts in the cool air and instantly makes you sigh. You walk out in the garden while the world around bathes under the natural shower. You open your mouth and drink the sweet nectar of heaven. Even the world slows down and pauses to admire the beauty, even if they silently curse the rain from within. All you can do is let your hair down. For Karachi is not known for its frequent rains.

 

Only when you walk in shivering and wet, do you notice the pakoras waiting for you. There is a slight sizzle to them and their glistening bodies, drowned in oil, lie under the fluorescent light lit above. The scent of mint and yoghurt are ever present because you know that pakoras without chutney are incomplete.

 

You run to grab a golden jewel before they all finish. Dunked in the chutney you pop the first one in your mouth and relish in the taste. Your eyes close and a dreamy look crosses your face. Then you remember to chew.

 

Chew.

Relish.

Chew.

Relish.

 

The cumin tastes nutty and earthy with a pungent smell, which makes you salivate further. The potato and onion churn around in your mouth and the gram flour accentuates the savory taste. But, there is a familiar zest to it. And you immediately know what it is. Nani. Her hands are magic when it comes to pakoras and you can very well taste her love in them.

 

Swallow.

 

Rainy days at your grandmother’s house are treasured memories. The pakoras may be bittersweet but the only missing ingredient is your grandmother and those rainy days that greet in numbers so small. Once in a blue moon.

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