Sometimes I feel like I was a cheap dish served at a local restaurant. The beggars and the bums have a piece of me every chance they can get, and I get served on Saturday night at all you can eat buffets. I am not a starter. I am not dessert. I can’t be main course since I can’t seem to be able to fill anyone. I am what you can eat at three am in the morning, out of a box that was left outside the refrigerator; forgotten and left to rot because no one was sure if I was worthy of being savoured on the next day.
It makes me feel so common, that I could be one of the most over-consumed items on the planet, like that extra tissue that comes out with every pull, or that adulterated drug anyone can buy off the street or even find large quantities of, for free just around the corner dump. I am replicated in so many of these eateries in so many ways; I don’t even know what I taste like anymore. Maybe I am tasteless.
I am just another item on the menu, that comes to the table really fast, and is eaten without fuss by all its eaters, and I am nothing gourmet. I can be slop, I can be grub, and some think I am bed and board and some just come in to steal some of me, yet I am nothing special.
I am just another item hoping to be ordered more, so I can climb up the ranks on the list, but hey, not many want to eat me forever. I am not staple diet, if you know what I mean. This is not a riddle. I am just talking about myself. Can you smell the aroma yet? I am not sure if I am being baked afresh or refried, but I will do my best to taste as I always do.
I suppose you smell nothing. A forgotten item of food also has a forgotten smell. Well, at least I’ve had no one to eat me in a while, and tell me I smell great, and that I can be quite appetizing if I want to be. But my ingredients make themselves; I can be put together, not prepared. You can’t fry me; you can’t roast or toast me. I can be baked to perfection, but as far as bakery chefs go, I hardly have any takers.
Some think I am cake and cut into me; sink into me, devouring large portions of me, knowing not that I am a once in a lifetime recipe. Some think I am porridge and gulp me down to soothe their cold throats and their strangled within choking souls, never leaving a good tip for the waiter who served me, or for how well I was prepared.
I hate to be on every menu. I wish the eaters would seek me, for if ordered right I can provide great degrees of taste, sumptuousness and satisfaction. But they all want to use me. No one wants to own me. I am bread; anyone can make me, and I make everyone very happy irrespective of whether they pre-heat me at three hundred degrees or end up burning me at a repeated five hundred degree scorch. It does not matter; I can always manage to taste good. That probably is the only good thing about me.
However, I often get cold and wasted. They leave behind my borders. They only consume my insides. They love me with cheese, and I think I am great on cheese, or with cheese on me, or let just say I love being cheesy. But cheese makes them a little too happy and they tend to think that too much of me will spoil them, make them fat and ugly to other people, which is why they always peel me off. They seem to enjoy pulling apart all my layers, before soaking me in gravy and then consuming me.
It is usually easy to pull me apart with your bare hands and I don’t demand much chewing before I become soft and warm in the throat, quick to swallow. The openness about me baffles people. The fact that I can be changed into so many preparations, as per the liking of the eater makes me a regular side dish, often with butter; my best friend and companion.
I am fabulous with butter on me. Add a little cheese if you want me to serve you right. I can be a soft loaf, a crispy slice or a side-loading hot dog bun; anything you want me to be. Order me today, if you want to be filled up just right. Don’t let me get stale.
I don’t want to be stale. I have been here since the beginning of time. Bite into me today, if that is all you can do. I won’t last long. There will be others like me out there, but they will never taste like me. I can be right out of the oven, as soon as you’re ready.
Siddharth Pathak | 17th January 2015