about writing and other such passionate matters


“I want to eat Dal Makni and Rice,” the young son demanded, one day.

“Tomorrow,” I replied, patiently.

“Not tomorrow, now.”

“You can’t have it today. Dal needs to be soaked for atleast 8 hrs,” I informed him.

“I want to eat Chhole and Bhhature,” the same young son demanded the next day.

“Tomorrow,” I replied patiently, yet again.

“Not tomorrow, now.”

“You can’t have it today. Chhole needs to be soaked for atleast 8 hrs,” I informed him, once again.

“I want to eat Rajma and Chawal.” Young son demanded, but with an underlying tone of belligerence.

“Tomorrow,” I replied, in a patient tone.

“Not tomorrow, now.”

“You can’t have it today. Rajma needs to be soaked for atleast 8 hrs,” I informed him, feeling like a stuck record.

Instant gratification? An impossibility in the case of these absolutely-must-be-soaked-before-cooking beans.

If this was twittersphere, this situation would have been #damnthesoak.

I was beginning to get worried. The tradition of boy extolling the virtues of his mother’s haath ka khaana in front of his foot-stamping wife was in danger of getting extinct.

“Mom, where are my cricket-whites? I have practice today.”

Oh, heck! “They are getting soaked.”

“Soaked! Soaked! All these soaking excuses are just not SO –OK.” He was almost screaming.  The angry pain in his eyes was scary.

My supermom tiara was in danger of becoming as muddy as the cricket whites after a day’s enthusiastic play.

I was feeling mighty aggrieved myself. I had forgotten to soak the green gram for my sprout bhel. Lunch was going to be unsatisfactory. I was beginning to feel empathy for the son’s woes.

A solution had to be found.

“Soak no more” seemed the only solution to these challenges that beset the peaceful tempo of a tempestuous urban life. Friends, relatives, neighbours and even the know-it-all Googlebhai were consulted.

Most relatives seemed to go into cardiac arrests even at the thought of cooking without soaking.  Was this going to be an unsurmountable challenge?

“No, absolutely not,” said Rachna, wiz-cook and best friend. “Wash well the beans and pressure cook plain for a whistle. Let it sit for an hour, then discard the water. Once you do that, cook normally the soft-like-soaked-overnight beans, dal or what have you.”

Hema, Rekha, Jaya and Sushama’s pasand was all-soak for clothes, so they were no-help in that department. Sona, Mona and Tina (thank God for kitty parties) swore by Surf-Excel.

“Did you know that the new Surf Excel Matic has the power of “Vibrating Molecules” to penetrate deeply embedded stains & remove them effectively, so no soaking before washing with the new Surf Excel Matic!”  Mona said.

I did not know that but Surf Excel Matic seemed to be the new love in Mona’s life. And she seemed happy.

After following Rachna’s advice I am able to keep son’s foodie desires satisfied, so I am happy.

And using New Surf-ExcelMatic has made soaking clothes a thing of the past. I am much happy.

My house is now a 75 percent “Soak-No-More” zone.

Why not 100 percent, you say? That’s because no-one yet has an answer to how to obtain sprouts without soaking the gram. Not even Googlebhai.

Do you?


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  1. Prateek Agarwal on said:

    Now that’s an article soaked in humour. Well done, Sonia Rao! 🙂

  2. Prateek , thanks so much for your gracious comment. And glad you enjoyed reading it.

  3. Piorre Hart on said:

    Wow! Sonia… I do so enjoy reading your write-ups! Great job!

  4. Hilarious and a true foodie take on this! Good luck…….and I have a good feeling about this one 🙂

  5. Bloggyqueen, love your comment. As always. Thank you much 🙂

  6. I loved it. Probably one of the best entries for the contest – good luck!
    If you have some time, do check out mine, too.

    Btw, I am still reveling in your comment on ‘The Littered Sky’ short story the other day 🙂

  7. Hey. Glad you loved this post, Rickie. And thank you for your kind comments.

    ‘The Littered Sky’ was a fab read. Looking forward to more such awesome stories.


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