The heading force-feeds images of booze flowing, incessant banter, loud chortles and some serious strutting. But very different to all of it, I had a bachelor party yesterday.

Having moved into a new apartment with a barren kitchen, the chef in me wriggled uneasily night after night. My taste buds were tired complaining about the extra salt, the extra spice, the extra chilli and/or the extra oil. But the complaints accumilated over time and pushed me to – set my own kitchen. Little did I know that it could well be a bachelor’s nightmare. First I buy a 2 burner stove just to see, I picked one without the stand. And when I go to exchange it, I get looks from people around yelling ‘dersion’ through their eyes. One lady even asked me… “how could you even pick this one up?”, all I could do in response was, appreciate the dirt on my shoes.

Then comes the issue every Indian fights for atleast once in his/her life – GAS CYLINDER. I think the number of people who have died out of disspointment for not getting one could easily overweigh the ones who died in a gas cylinder blast…! But sanity prevailed in my case, and instead of waiting for a regular connection (that would make anybody proud) I decide to go for the small commercial cylinders and in the process also realize, they have custom made ‘small’ regulators too. Hope you have guessed by now, that I purchased a regular sized regulator, which had to be ‘exchanged’. And when I went to the shop to do that, ‘somebody’ said ‘something’ like…”how could you even pick this one up?” and the dirt continued to fascinate me.

This excercise, has helped and taught me loads about ‘Holistic Thinking’. Then comes the connecting tube which would help the cylinder bring the burner to life. Thanks to the gross ads and the T.V serials, this tube has gained a lot of importance. You could  drive a bike without brakes, scuba dive without oxygen, sky-dive without parachutes, sing in public without a helmet BUT the gas tube is something we want to be ABSOLUTELY sure about. And yes I bought one, infact the best one. (no exchanges have been reported as yet)

Then comes the ‘Utensils’ part…! Walk into any shop selling utensils and you naturally relate to a baby in a topless bar. Non-stick, Aluminium, Copper bottom (!), Ceramic, Steel, Stainless Steel, Teflon coated, Induction compatible…!@#$%^&..! Thumb rule – choose something that comes in sets and in a box – it saves you the excercise of reasoning ‘why were they picked’. And finally I picked a set – Non Stick with no beef coating hence protecting myself from the wrath of holy gods. (Yes I asked the guy selling it..!)

Now with the HOW being answered, I started to think of ‘WHAT’, as in what to cook? Walked across to the shop and bought a packet of oil (vegetable, refined, mustard, groundnut and a zillion others to choose from), salt, mustard seeds, 1 capsicum, 1 potato, 1 tomato and 2 (yey!!) chillies and the shopkeeper knew what to ask… “how could you even pick this up?” and gave the vegetables for free. Yes there are times when a ‘free’ makes you….. ummmmmm… happy?All set, I turn the cylinder on, turn the stove on and play rambo with the ‘click’ igniter. click click click….click click click… it gave up on me! With the gas already smelling like it is going to consume me for not paying dowry..!(it comes to your mind) I turned the gas off and bring my match box (from the prayer room… I know what this could lead to) and lo, the blue flame looks beautiful, so beautiful that I stare at it appreciating.

Then came the ‘Non-stick’ kadhai, (without the sticker) adjusting its curvy bum over the flame. The oil,the veggies, salt and MAGGI…! At the end, I played some nice music as I ate the concoction with a smile. Yes a ‘bachelor’ party it was indeed…

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Harish Bhardwaj

Harish Bhardwaj

Would love to read, write and network.