And definitely not one you would want to be around or take care of.
Nobody likes to be ill and illnesses definitely do not bring out the best in you. I agree to that.
And god knows I have had my share of ailments and more in this lifetime.
And those I have borne with as much courage as I could.
Or as much as a dislocated shoulder, an almost permanently painful hand, painful feet, a weak back and neck, two surgeries, etc. etc. allow me to.
All of them have made me immobile and restricted to the bed for a period of a minimum of three months to a maximum of one and a half years.
I have bore them all ... and the time ... stoically.
But I am not talking of those large scale ones.
I am talking of the small sized ones that are always lurking around the corner of a year and jump on and grab hold of you at the slightest provocation.
Those small sniffles, a little ache here and a little ache there, a little fever today and a little tummy trouble tomorrow ... those little thorns.
They hurt. And they hurt well.
As if they had been waiting all their life to get hold of you, get you down in misery and then revel in the completeness of their existence.
I hate them. With a passion.
And with a reason too.
I turn cranky, restless, want attention, new books, soothing words and everyone around me at all times.
And I want good food.
Growing up, I have seen other children suffer from all kinds of ailments that only kids are supposed to suffer from. Ear aches, throat pains, tummy troubles, fever, ever present cold and cough, measles, chicken pox ... every thing assigned only for children.
And then I grew up, left home, settle on my own, and started to fall ill every now and then.
I mean I got the measles and mumps long after I got married .... get the drift?
Definitely not at a respectable age for these ailments.
The doctor had asked just one question ... " Didn't you ever go out and play when you were a child?
I am sure them measles were embarrassed too and had turned tail, in around a week.
The mumps were a little more persistent.
The Doc had advised to not even think of phuchkas or chaats .... literally.
Which only made me think of them more, wondering why.
And why it hurt so much every time I thought of them.
Learnt that apparently those impure thoughts would stimulate the already painful salivary glands, making them even more painful.
And I had to live with that torture for a full two months of my adult life!
And now, I am down with this very painful, very persistent, all consuming, overwhelming, good for nothing , (with all worthy beeps), tonsillitis.
This too is something that belonged to my siblings ... the whole brood, except me.
I used to join them, when the mothers would line them up on the kitchen verandah for a hot water gargling session on winter nights, at Dadu's place, just to compete who could throw the water farthest.
But right now, I am at my, not only wits but also patience's end.
I feel like looking up at the sky and appeal for a break from the almighty.
Which, of course, I can't.
Because my throat hurts so bad that I can hardly talk. Or whisper.
Because my head hurts so bad due to the high fever that I can hardly move it.
So I just rue.
Because I can't call up Bapi and hear his soothing voice.
Because I can't call Ma and burden her with worry ... not right now.
Because I can't call up Didi anymore.
Because I can't have B around me because this is time a crit sit has to come upfront.
Because I can't wallow in self pity and cry a little because the throat will hurt even more, if constricted ... or made to work in any way.
Because I feel like having a plateful of steaming hot and spicy biryani and have to make do with bread soaked in milk.
Now that I have offloaded my pains on you and Kichu Khonn, I hope tomorrow will be a better day.
I wasn't too sure of posting a recipe today. But I, anyway, am.
I had bought some fresh Mourala or Morala fish and had planned to do at least three kinds of recipes ... both to be able to eat and make some posts ... since I hardly get fresh Morala regularly.
But the fish was so fresh that I couldn't help munching on them as I fried them. So by the time I realised I had finished almost half of my quarter kilo of fish, I had only a handful left on the plate.
So quickly decided to make the tauk or the sweet ambol.
The ambol or the tauk is eaten at the last in any Bengali meal. Believed to be an excellent palate cleanser after any rich food as well as an aid to digestion.
And is perfect for summer lunches.
It doesn't take much to make an ambol or tauk.
It usually has a thin gravy and a souring agent and a sweet agent for balance.
Ambols usually are on the sour and salty side while tauks are sour and slightly more sweetish.
This Morala mach er tauk is sour, sweet and slightly spicy from chillies.
Tauk, mishti and jhal.
Fresh Mourala fish
Whole red chillies
How to :
Marinate the fish with salt + turmeric.
Fry in mustard oil on high heat.
It will turn crisp.
Remove and keep aside.
And restrain yourself from munching on them ... ok, maybe a few but not all.
Heat mustard oil.
Add mustard seeds and red chillies.
When the seeds start to splutter, add the tamarind pulp and water.
Raise heat and bring to a boil.
Add sugar, salt and red chilli powder.
Check for taste.
Add the fried fish and lower heat.
Let it simmer for a while.
aloo and dal sheddho makha and morala mach er tauk.