I would go to this cute cafe with my friend. I remember the first time we went, she ordered a hummus bowl and I ordered something else. The underlying thought was: why order the same thing, I’ll order something else. So we can have hummus AND the sandwiches. But when the food came, my friend refused to share it with me Joey style. So I had to order my own bowl. Every time after that we ordered two bowls of hummus and ate the whole thing.

This was in Bhopal. I shifted back home, to Guwahati, a few months back. I don’t really like it here. Plus it has put me and my partner in a long distance relationship.

We are doing fine. We do some cute things that sustain us. We send each other food sometimes. Recently he sent me hummus. And I ate the whole freakin’ thing alone.

My experience making, eating and feeding hummus

  1. Dadi calls Hummus it Chane ki chutney which feels apt.
  2. The pandemic started when I was in my Shawarma obsession phase of food consumption. Whenever I was in Pune, I would order two Dajaj Shawarms every night; 1 for my after medication hunger and 1 for breakfast next morning. I would get 2 packed and carry them in the train journey back home. My partner always told me that I made his house and possibly the train compartment smell of hummus.
  3. He would order some Shawarms for me before the train, in case I have forgotten. I hardly ever forgot. Which meant that I carried 4 Shawarms home.
  4. I wrote to Marrkesh requesting them to open a branch in Amravati 2 years ago. They have not. Can more people get behind this cause please?
  5. I probably owe the starting of interest in cooking- and hence Via Dil- to hummus. I missed my Dajaj Shawarmas so bad I had to make it. I was promised that making hummus is easy. And on paper, it honestly is. But it takes me a whole afternoon to make it: making the right amount of tahini and the boiling of Chana for 1375 hours take up most of it. In addition to this, something always goes wrong. This time I was cooking in an anxious daze and I forgot to add water to the boiliong pot, burning my chana. It takes the evening to recover from the setback- first mentally then cooking-ly. Now consider making your own pita bread.
    And this batch, made from chana, maida, sweat, blood and mental breakdowns- enough to feed a Marwadi wedding- is over that very night.

Post medication meal or the food that R, mumma and I have when we get hungry because of our night meds is the blackhole into which most of the Hummus goes. Roti-sabjis are cumbersome to eat and boring to be honest. So it’s mostly hummus or bhujiya for me and laddoos or bhujiya for mummy and R. In adsence of these, we eat any easy to consume snacky stuff we can get our hands on: dry fruits, mithai, papa’s left-over chakna. The bottom drawer in my bed side table is a snack drawer. It is full of Bhujiya, Bourbon biscuits and soya sticks, banana chips, pringles on the first night of restocking.

It’s a guilt-ridden, sad-ish meal we carry to our beds and leave crumbs of in out sheets. Who’ll feel great about a meal that is basically a side-effect? We shall never have great teeth like the Neurotypicals and body goals are a joke.

These obtuse eating patterns- over-eating or under-eating -are ways of coping for many many neurodivergents; and I am not even talking about eating disorders. So, I just want to put our snack drawer, side-effect hunger and coping meals on the grid of the internet besides the ‘new year new body, healthy meal, weight loss’ posts. I am here to say that however you consume food, is okay. Whatever your body is doing is a way for it to cope with what it suspects to be a threat. Go easy on it.

Today we cope.

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