I have family scattered all over the world. During those years when I lived in Tenerife and in Surinam, I was totally cut off from my family. The only communication I had with my cousins was through snail mail. Whenever we met, we met like strangers tying up the lost years, by the time the familiarity set in; it was time to go back.
Social network has made it possible for us to stay connected. Now we live like one-large-closely-knit-family, all the conversation tapped under our thumb. We have a group on 'Watsapp messenger' where it is possible to stay connected with each other at all hours of the day. Everybody communicates at their own convenience, at their own timings, sharing their joys and pains, offering advice and solutions, there are long discussions, or harsh arguments, but the presence of their closeness is felt even in their silence.
There are jokes and forwards, audio and video clips.
If I complain that I have kidney stones, cousin advises. “It’s very easy” she types “take a bunch of parsley and coriander leaves, clean, chop, boil, cool, filter and store in the fridge. Drink one glass daily and you will be free from all the accumulated poison”
Well, if I listened to all the advices on health and wealth, that are forwarded to me, I would live to be 100 years, but I am lazy.
I belong to food loving family, so most of our conversation revolves around food. We can peep into cousin’s kitchen, thousands of miles away.
Me at Mumbai, comfortable under cool breeze of a ceiling fan. My cousins in Manila, Bangkok, Hong Kong, Indonesia have a pleasant weather, it is raining in Lagos, weather is good in Spain, it is freezing in New York, Texas, Albany.
Everybody in their own comfort zone.
My cousin will not venture out in the freezing cold unless she has to. It’s snowing in Chicago. She spends her time doing what she likes the most…yes cooking. She shares her kitchen tips with us as she cooks.
She is cooking Tuna cutlets.
We all are curious to know her recipe for fish cutlets. Everybody knows to make it but everybody has their own method and we are always willing to learn to make a bit different from the normal ones that we are used to.
She starts to post pictures as she starts cooking.
Dry the tuna on medium flame
Add ginger and cumin powder, salt and pepper
Add onions, green chilies, coriander leaves and spring onions
Add egg and mashed potatoes
The cutlets look good
We all are drooling. We decide to make it at our respective kitchen in our respective town sharing with our families.
Cousin in Indonesia prepares the same day and thanks my cousin in Chicago for the lovely recipe.
I ask my cook to prepare. Its awsum! I share my picture while I munch. "Where is the Chutney?" asks my cousin.
well, who care? It tastes good just the way it is...there are enough chilies in it.
My cook has learnt a new dish, imported all the way from Chicago.