I have had the most volatile experiences with Bengali people in my life. From my first crush to my worst one; from my favorite mentor to my close friends, Bengalis have been everything in my life. The reason I put this out here: the dishes I prepared this Sunday were all recipes of my favorite contestant on season 13 of Masterchef Australia, Kishwar Chowdhury, who’s also Bengali. And they turned out AMAZING.
I cooked my take on her Ruby Curry(which originally uses chicken, but I used paneer or cottage cheese), a Bengali staple called Aloo Bhorta(a spiced potato mash), and Naan flatbread flavored with garlic and coriander. Now sadly, I was in an indifferent kinda mood and didn’t end up taking any pics of the food(Fuck me because it was a GREAT meal). And yes, this was supposed to be a food post if I’d taken the pictures. But now, you’re getting a rant instead. Haha, what fun.
This Sunday, one of my cousin-sisters who’s recently moved to my city for her job, came to visit us. Now truth be told, we barely met when I was younger, because we lived in different cities and never met more than once or twice a year, and she’s quite older than me too. Naturally, I never really developed a bond or anything with her, but I was always intrigued because a lot of my relatives and my parents have told me numerous times how similar they find both of us, in terms of interests and personalities and everything.
So anyway, she was here and as I was cooking that day, she helped me in the kitchen. I’m pretty terrible at rolling out the flatbreads, which is what she helped me with. I’m kinda bitchy about anyone being in the kitchen with me while I’m cooking, and I was pleasantly surprised to actually not mind her being there. Mind you, we’re pretty much strangers even now. In fact, I think cooking together as we did that day is the strongest “bonding” activity we’ve ever done.
While doing so, I was immediately struck by a stark comparison. Just the day before, I had a conversation with my favorite cousin(also a sister) who is the closest cousin I have in terms of age. Now, this cousin is someone I got close to just before the pandemic struck(yes I have non-existent relationships with almost all of my extended family can we move on), so it was a relationship that developed solely on texts and occasional phone calls.
In our convo the day before, she was voicing out how detached she feels about me, even though I know so much about her. Because of the pandemic, we didn’t get to meet at all throughout the peak of our getting to know each other. Even when we met recently, it was for an engagement ceremony in the family and we got barely spent any time together. Mind you, this was the first time we were meeting.
The thing I realized, when I was cooking with my older cousin is that even though we barely knew each other, she felt more real to me than my favorite cousin. Distance and a face-to-face meeting really make such a big difference in your relationships. I am a single child, and these cousins are the closest thing I have to siblings by blood.
So yeah, it was a weird realization that no matter how close you are to anyone, they don’t feel real until they’re in front of you physically.
You can tell how lazy I’m being because I’m blogging about the events of last Sunday a whole week later. I’ll be blogging more this month for sure, now that my exams are almost done.
What are some weird realizations you’ve had lately?