Me, the greatest chef on the planet! (Part 1)

My first time baking was in response to emergency sugar craving. 

The house, bereft of any sweet goods whatsoever, due to it having been holiday season, seemed such a sad and gloomy place. (They say longing for someone often makes one see things as such, but I just think sad people ought to be introduced to a healthy dose of chocolate.)

So, I decided, it was time to take charge of my life, take matters in my hands, and learn to bake.

I’d seen mother do it, it seemed easy enough, mixing a couple of things and tossing it into the oven, and, being the good natured human I am, I decided to give our parents a surprise (holiday for me, working day for them) when they returned. 

My sister heartily agreed with the plan, and we decided to make chocolate muffins. 

Here, I must state that it is really my sister who is better suited to cooking, for, people like me, who eat to live (and make an exception for a sweet a day) just rely on Google and our general indifference.

We Googled (surprise!) the ingredients, and I being oblivious to what the difference between baking soda, baking powder and cornstarch is, or for that matter, being oblivious to the fact that flour in fact meant refined wheat, not wheat, despite my younger sister (young enough to be ignored) warning me against my tomfoolery, proceeded to cook the way I thought the world ought to, and baked some nice, crusty, mmm-not-too-bad-&-plus-it’s-sweet-&-that’s-what-matters muffins.

The house, unaware of the unorthodox methods I had employed in my endeavor, heartily praised my cooking prowess for a first timer.

I polished off more of it than anyone else (chef’s privilege) and heartily praise my ability to be able to produce something tantalising to the taste buds, if not anyone else’s, then mine, with the aid of nonchalance and a touch of Google.


The blue shirt in the white van

The blue shirt would step off after a journey of precisely 45 minutes in the white van. I say blue shirt because it was the shirts favourite colour.

A bundle of shirts would accompany the blue thing on its journey home. Some red, some yellow, some green.

One day, a human stepped into the van, a new entrant in the private, lifeless, shirt-world.

That day, out from the van, some 45 minutes of a journey later, stepped another human in blue.


<a href=””>Circle</a&gt;

A child on the bus home painted me a circle. 

It came as a pleasant surprise. 

My day had been long and tiring, and I had, remorsefully, contemplated the meandering path of my life, my awkward relations with the world in general, the upcoming rent, and my lack of fitness, my had-been pride in months gone by. They seemed so far away, the good old days and the sparkling future.

Then, the child came and surprised me with his beautifully painted circle.

He had filled it up with all the colours he could find, and, looking closely, I saw he had painted a sheet first, and cut it out in a lovely circle later. The back had no paint smudge marks. Heh, detective me.

I beamed at the beautiful young child with all the positivity I could muster within me, and thanked him, genuinely, from the bottom of my heart. It was a beautiful gift, no doubt, to be laminated and hung somewhere on my bare walls.

As I contemplated the gift’s purpose a minute, thoughts of the simplicity and innocence of children whirled in my head. Trying to simplify my own complicated thinking, I realised maybe he chose me to give it because, perhaps, with his child’s inner eye, he saw me as a colourful being. Maybe, I too, was someone beautiful on the inside.

“Thank you, Mr. Timothy.” Being a child lover, I had had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of the shy 7 year old just yesterday. 

“And why do I get this special painting?”

“Oh,” he said, “I thought it suits you.” I smiled graciously at the child. 

“It suits you,” he continued, “because you’re just like it, round and always with coloury clothes on.”

I’d forgotten how cruel children could be.


<a href=””>Leaf</a&gt;


Years and years ago, when the air was crisp and a chill around, when within my own body, I felt a curious comfort, when the days were drowsy and the nights were long, when undisturbed, on my bed I lay, I noticed a slanted ray of the Sun illumine a lone tendril of a creeper that grew, and a leaf settle next to it.

It was an old, withering leaf, and deliciously crunchy, and no doubt it must have commented to the fresh, tender plant what a bright, cheerful day it was.

The pale, vain leaf on the fresh, tender plant in the new, painted pot must have no doubt replied it couldn’t have cared less, for what use was a cheerful day to a not so strong leaf?

It must have no doubt begun to list the various ailments that plagued it and the flutterings it felt about it and the general discomfort it had to face.

A sudden breeze blew and picked up the old, puckered leaf, that, dancing about for a second, and wisely, sagely nodding, no doubt forgave the leaf with life, for being so foolish she couldn’t help it, and embarked upon its downward journey to be crushed underfoot a child such as me, a foolish tendril in it’s own right.


After 20 long years of meditation, she opened her eyes. 
An ethereal glow enveloped her, she saw the shimmer of an outline stand before her.
She would finally get what she’d waited so long for.
“Could you please wait a while while I get accustomed to your glow?” She asked, and heard a deep ‘hmm’ in reply.
As her eyes gradually accepted the glare, she saw a monkey standing in the hot glow of the afternoon sun.

Uncle John

<a href=””>Peculiar</a&gt;.

Uncle John

My aunt chose a strange man to marry. The day she met him, I’d accompanied her to the grocery store (I was to live with her for a month.) He introduced himself as Larry, a regular at the place.

My aunt began to frequent the store more often, seeing now as her grocery requirements miraculously grew threefold. She blamed it on my ravenous appetite.

Well, Larry, it seemed, changed his name each day, whichever suited his fancy, Bob one day, Samuel the next, and for the entire month, aunty conceded to play the memory game with me (a game I usually won hands down, and so she refused to play). Not-Larry’s ever changing names were a constant source of admiration at home (albeit one sided, and wholly fuelled by her.)

She sighed such a sigh one day that I pointed out she had a schoolgirl crush on the guy, but she said no, it was true love.

Amongst other peculiarities, the man frequently changed his appearance, beard one day, moustache the next, once, he’d even had on an afro hair wig. Since my aunt absolutely refused to bring me along to pick up the groceries anymore, a strong set of binoculars did the spying.

I said he looked startlingly like a chimp with hair grown on, she said he was handsome no matter what he looked like.

 I, being a child, had absolutely no qualms in carrying out (futile) attempts to burst her bubble, but the woman was crazy after him. 

One day, it occurred to me he could be a little off his rocker, or a policeman, or a spy, or a criminal or something, but Aunt said no, he was just eccentric, and she knew all the details of his personal life. She said the man loved her and that’s why he chose to divulge information about himself to her. She even knew his real name – John.

Well, my month was up, and before leaving I made my last attempts at discouraging (what I felt was) her unhealthy relationship, but soon as I left, news came round that she’d married “Not Larry -but- John”. This was about a year ago.

Today, I attended Aunt’s funeral. She died of asphyxiation, but why it happened in the first place isn’t clear. When I asked her neighbors about her peculiar husband, they told me she had none.


<a href=””>Crescendo</a&gt;


That’s my chicken.

My aunt, wishing well for me, I’m sure, gifted me a chicken out of the blue. It was her chicken (rooster) actually, but, good intentioned as she is, and seeing me in dire need of a pet, she left the chicken to me.

 (If you can not notice the sarcasm here, you’re as good as my aunt.)

Of course the woman couldn’t take care of it, so she “handed it down to me”, something to be proud of for generations.

She called it Crescendo, I think, but I call it a pain in the ass.

For one, the house is filled with droppings from everywhere to everywhere and at 4:30 a.m. I have a fluttering, pesky alarm clock to swat off the dining table.

 (That’s another thing, it’s in love with the green on my dining table, reminds him of home I suppose.)

If I don’t get him off, I get company for breakfast- more droppings. 

Aunt positively threw me a bag of chicken food, she was quite concerned I feed him right, and for 7 days, I do not know how I have managed.

I won’t mince words and I definitely won’t pretend I like the thing- it’s all I can do to stop myself from flying into murderous rages- or say that despite the animal’s flaws I kind of have a soft spot for it- I do not.

I need a buyer, and damn quick, now that I have restored internet access (shall I tell you who pecked out the wiring the day he arrived?!) and you can take it off me for a couple bucks too.

Crescendo my foot, my levels of irritation have peaked since the day I’ve seen the dratted thing.