Just after dinner one day, the three of us were sitting and watching Conan o'Brien on TV, sipping Naeem's signature after-meals chai. We'd just finished a meal of chicken curry and rotis from the local restaurant behind the compound. "Oops - almost forgot!" Naeem stood up and went to his room, and came back with the yummiest besan ka halwa I've ever eaten. "From home - friend brought it over today." Our mouths were already stuffed.
In between mouthfuls we got to reminiscing about back-home food. Nitin about his dahi-parathas and kadi, Naeem about his doodhi burfi and mithi lassi, and me about my puttu-kadla and mutton biryani. "The halwa's a little different from last time, yeah?" "Yeah, Ammi can never make the same thing twice. I asked her for besan ka halwa that's all - no point telling her 'the same as last time'! Lekin Ammi jab banati hai badi fit banati hai yaar!"
Amen. No arguments on that - go around the world eating your poulets, calzones, fajitas, dim-sums, chop sueys, sushis, kebabs, whatever - all that just melts away when you think of home food. I've already started counting down my 15 odd remaining days!
They say home is where the heart is. I'm sure for the most of us, home is where Mom's food is.