Breakfast Time

Breakfast time is something memorable to someone who restricts breakfast only for weekends.There was a time in early service career when I used to skip breakfast, till I was berated on the score by late aunt Tessa, who alarmed me with her grave predictions of what would befall those who failed to break their fast in time very morning. And she had also educated me on the merits of a heavy breakfast, a normal lunch and a light supper, which life style I have tried to practice ever since

But really, for one who believed in a good English breakfast - of corn flakes in milk, eggs on toast with lashings of butter and cheese topped by jam and marmalade, accompanied by sausages, delicious ham and crisply fried bacon, washed down with glassed of fruit juices, and finally a steaming hot cup of tea or coffee - - practicing this everyday, was beyond the dept of one's pockets or permitted time frame. Then when the battle against the middle-age-spread also stepped in, the whopping breakfast concept had to be relegated only to the weekends, for a real goods leisurely tuck-in in the company of the near and dear.

And so over the years, a pattern evolved, with a rushed breakfast through the week, the children barely managing a glass of milk before rushing to school with their heavy bags at crack of dawn, and we parents settling in for bed tea followed by some fruit before departing to office. I prefered my fruit bowful inscoups preferably chilled in summer, downed by a glass of tender coconut water - - a breakfast that some would term as exotic - - nourishing and sustaining, yet light on the stomach not to make one feel heavy.

And come weekend, we were ripe for the real breakfast time. The children insisted in sampling daddy's culinary skills every Saturday morning, and daddy responded with the chef's cap on and his own versions and variations of the whopping fare, not necessarily the English one always, but at times evedesi fare of alu-parantas, achaar and dhahin, puripallya, or just parantas , and egg variations. On Sundays though, it was back to basci South-Indian roots and after 'mass' the whole family drove up in our Maruti to the little 'udipi' at Moti-bagh crossing, for idli-vada-samber, dosa-uttapam combinations, with mysore-pak to sweeten the tooth, eaten till our gills were a bulging. I liked this place not only for their excellent fare, but also because the owner being a home-towner charged me less by returning a couple of notes from the total amount of the bill. There always was a scramble at the counter when the children fought over the returned noted, claiming them for their own piggy banks.

The week-day routine continues even now, with my bowl of fruit and tender coconut water each morning. But come Saturday and Sunday, the scene has changed. The young ones having departed to different continents, it is some time since the 'udipi' has been visited, and I rarely step into the kitchen. Instead, I sit alone at breakfast table on weekends to eat what the cook presents, minus my bi-peds for company. In their place the piece of paranta from my hand. Fluffy the spitz, springs to it, while the dobermans, Bingo and Noni, catch it high in mid-air. Cleopatra the cat and her son Hopy though, nibble their bits on the table taking time inspecting their share before picking it up with a shake of their head - - in the baragain, at times loosing it to the dogs, whose patience and discipline gets worn out by then. Yes, the table routine with parantas on weekend mornings continues to be the same. Only, my little creditors have changed.

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