At a recent drunken gathering I was asked what my will-he-make-it-to-a-second-date tests were. (Which probably just goes to show just how drunken the gathering was, because asking ME for second-date-tests is a bit like asking a kake-da-dhaba-da-butter-chicken eater, whether they want their beluga caviar on crackers or plain chilled. ‘Pointless’ is what I mean). So anyway, I thought really, really hard (I was drunk too) and came up with this:
”He shall not be queasy about street food.”
And then I thought about it some more and I realised that I’m probably at my wisest when drunk. Because you know, not-queasy-about-street-food says so much about a man. No, seriously. I will not date a guy who goes all ‘organic aloos’ on me. A man who is NQaSF is a man who is not afraid to take chances. He’s been there, eaten that, had the jaundice and risen like a phoenix from the ashes. What has not killed him, has given him a stomach of cast-iron and an immune system that pooh-poohs at sissy amoeba.
The NQaSF guy is not just tough, oh no he’s not. This man, much like the perfect vada, is all crispy crust and soft insides. You might not think it to look at him, but ladies and gentlemen, he’s a romantic! This is a man who knows the joys of eating roasted bhutta while walking along bandstand, and the comfort that comes from conversations punctuated with the silent, contemplative munching of corn-kernels. He knows the sense of community that comes with standing around the paani-puri-vaala’s red-cloth-draped matka and struggling to finish the paani-puri in your plate before the lightning-fast vendor starts his second round. He knows the stomach-flipping way of using his (clean) handkerchief to wipe off that dab of imli-chutney from the corner of your mouth (which might sound gross but is actually all awww-inducing when the hormones are a-ragin’).
He knows that nothing completes a rainy day better than a glass of sweet cutting-chai, strong with the flavours of adrak and elaichi, and he knows that the best accompaniment to this chai is piping hot samosas, smothered in green chutney, served in those faded-green leaf donas.
And now, the government wants to ban them all.
It’s a good thing I went and got married when I did.