Despite hailing from the streets of kebabs, biryanis and koftas back in Lucknow, Misha had never cooked even a single meal in her life. Her job in Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar was demanding; her energy went in meetings and handling people and after coming home, she’d scroll through Instagram looking at all the food bloggers, silently craving for good food. When her dear stomach permitted (which it did every day!), within a few finger touches, a variety of aromatic parcels would be delivered at home, each night. Be it cheesy pizzas, creamy pastas, crispy burgers, chips or Indo-Chinese; every day her routine was the same: Work, Binge, Sleep, repeat.
Just like any other night, Misha had come back from office after a tiring day. Tomorrow was Sunday so she could rest the whole day, scroll through her phone endlessly while munching on fried items. She started the “scroll for fun” activity right-away.
First post: Her friend Arushi had posted an image of Lucknowi biryani, cooked by her husband Imroz, a few minutes ago. She mentioned that she got her mother’s ‘special ingredient’ by using the LoveLocal app, showing her gratitude by tagging.
Second post: It was a promotional Ad of a well-known food delivery app which had used a wordplay on Sunday to relax and chill while they delivered amazing food to your doorstep!
Third post: It was an old childhood photo posted by her sister Natasha, captioned #Kebabsforlife. The two little girls were in an old kitchen sitting on the floor and gobbling down kebabs. A young woman was serving them from a tray shyly smiling at the camera.
Misha went back to her childhood days. The photo pulled her back to so many memories she had kept hidden in her memory box. The streets, filled with chaatwallas, kebab corners with succulent green and red chicken cubes, laced with piquant spices. It took her back to that very old kitchen where her mother prepared her favourite dishes, more healthier than her delivery friends. Her aloo koftas had spinach and fenugreek and the kebabs were shallow fried, retaining juicy tenderness of the meat. She was somehow able to smell her home’s kitchen which was filled with fiery masalas like saffron, chillis, cinnamon and cardamom. This quick trip down her memory lane provoked a soft rumble in her stomach but a jaded Misha decided to sleep over it.
The next morning, something in her woke up. Normally Sundays are for chilling but today Misha woke up with a sense of purpose. She freshened up and quickly checked her phone to call her mother. Mrs. Srivastava was surprised at her daughter’s early morning shenanigan but supported her fully when she realised the reason.
Her mother then gave her a list of spices and vegetables required for the dish and Misha diligently wrote them down on a piece of paper. Next, Misha went to Arushi’s profile and downloaded the app LoveLocal. With the ease in interface, she was able to buy everything she required from the grocery stores in Delhi. While she was at it, she also ordered all the toiletries and cleaning agents she was unable to buy from a store due to her workload. Since everything was locally sourced from near-by stores, she was sure of the quality of the purchase, and she saved on hefty delivery charges that other online platforms came with. To her surprise, at the check-out, she got a bonus combo deal, which she happily accepted with a smile.
With quick and effortless delivery LoveLocal was able to provide her with everything she needed for the recipe, and was able to stock her house with all other essentials.
Now all she needed was her mother’s instructions and music to groove to. She played her favourite Punjabi song and followed all the instructions from her high authority. The sizzles and cracks gave rise to an irresistible aroma of spices wafting in the air. Her mother’s ‘Aloo Ke Kofte’ were ready in no time, all thanks to her mother’s recipe and LoveLocal. She left a good review and was about to dig into the creamy kofta with naan, when her doorbell rang.
She found herself face to face with her newly arrived neighbour; a charming man who had locked himself out. He said that he could not resist the amazing aroma coming out of the flat. Misha smiled at the coincidence, and invited the man inside. He came in and relished the Koftas, while generously praising the hands that prepared it. The appreciation warmly shined in Misha’s eyes. Little did she know that the love-affair that started with a plate of Kofta’s would go on for the rest of her life. The love affair with cooking of course!