Naina’s phone buzzed the next day while she was at her salon. She checked it to see a sms from Tapan. Smiling, she began to respond.
“I was wondering if I could interest you in an authentic bengali meal?”
“I am clueless about this cuisine though would love to try it out.You will be cooking it?”
“Someday will cook for you too but for now will leave it to the experts. Oh Calcutta! On sat ? Shall we say 7.30 pm?”
Naina took great pains with what she wore today, for this was a second date!!!!!
Yes the day had finally arrived, hallelujah!
Fingers n toes crossed for it to be not a disaster…. Please date god- don’t bring out some hidden weirdness today. I deserve some good news after the 20 odd psychotic dates I have been on!!
Wrapping a two toned raw silk and jute fusion saree in pale saffron and dark orange wavy pattern with a deep turquoise blue border, Naina thought, “A windy day will not affect it”.
Her untameable curly hair she scrunched into a high ponytail and hung a pair of golden jhumkis from her earlobes while she painted a vibrant ambi in shades of turquoise n orange on her broad forehead. Lining black kohl onto her eyes, she stepped back from the mirror and appraised herself critically. Hmm.. will do!
She tuned onto her favourite FM channel and started driving to her destination.
Soulful strains of the sound of Hemant Kumar singing Tumhara intezaar hai…. poured over the airwaves. “Well as far as omens go , this will do as a good one,” Naina thought mischievously wondering if Tapan was tuned into it too?
She made it quickly to cyber hub and hurried to the restaurant. She kept wondering if he felt as excited to see her too?
Tapan was deep in conversation with the head chef when the entered and she paused to observe him. Clean shaven, dressed in a light blue polo neck tee , teamed with deep blue denims, he looked fresh as a button.
He smiled and stood up as she walked upto the table.
“You look lovely,” he said pulling out a chair for her to sit. “I was just telling the chef to go easy on us and begin with something light to get us started.”
” What sets Bengali cuisine apart are the distinctive flavours of mustard oil, poppy seeds and turmeric with sweet undertones of warm spices like cardamom , cinnamon, mace and nutmeg,” Tapan informed her while leading her through the myriad menu comprising of very exotic sounding dishes.
“Chingri (Prawns), Illish (Hilsa fish), Doi Mach (fish in yoghurt), Tangra macher jhol (Catfish curry), Mangsher singara (mutton keema samosa)”, Tapan kept reciting one dish after another with its english interpretation.
Naina was intimidated by it all but before she could state her preferences, Tapan dictated a few names to the server with a preferential timeline of serving each.
“Since this is an alien cuisine for you, I am taking the liberty to order for you. Dont worry, I wont let you go hungry tonight,” he assured her with a soft smile.
First to come was Baigun bhaja which were fried roundels of brinjal and were a lip smacking treat for Naina who enjoyed them thoroughly.
Next up, Shukto – a soup/stew kind of broth with some interesting flavours. Naina gave a thumbs up to that too while Tapan beamed in delight.
Luchi with Aloo posto was just too yum and Naina had to stop herself from licking her fingers and she said so to Tapan too who was all too delighted with her appreciation. Naina felt like a glutton as she seemed to be devouring the dishes while he was pecking away at them.
“I am a hardcore non vegetarian,” he explained to her query.
“oh, oh”, Naina thought miserably. Her date-god seemed to be in a wicked mood yet again!
“Chingiri macher dalna (prawn curry),” proclaimed the server with a flourish as if this was the piece de resistance of the restaurant while the Chef himself approached the table with Ilish macher Kumro jhol ( Hilsa with pumpkin). There was also mutton biryani and some plain rice accompanying the gravy dishes.
Setting it down, he proceeded to inform Naina on the careful preparation of these delicacies. “I hope you will enjoy these as much as I did preparing them,” said the chef happily.
Naina could only smile and nod her acquisence while she pondered how to deal with these dishes, for you see she is a vegetarian.
Posting my day 26 post for #Dailychatter Here as I take my blog to the next level with #Blogchatter and #UBC – the ultimate blog challenge in October 2016 through fictional series which will become a regular feature on my blog under #FridayFiction
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