Menu and wines.
These words carry a lot of meaning for a good chef. Because for him a combination of a menu with wines is not just a simple array of dishes served with glasses of different wines. It is a creation…in which he blends creativity…ideas…philosophies…taste…flavors…love…and gives life to various ingredients on a single plate and rejuvenates the palate with wine.
I was returning from work thinking about a good combination for a particular course in my menu when i felt a cold bottle being thrust in my hand. I looked around to see an acquaintance of mine giving me a bottle of wine. It had no label…No AOCs or DOCGs…Nothing.
We both went to my home and I tasted it.
The smoothness that spread in my mouth…the full body that hit the palate…the lightness of the sugar, the strength of the tannins and no interference of sulfides.
It was homemade. But it was ‘the’ wine. The wine that I would give anything for to pair up with my menu.
I asked her if I could have more of these made and she denied. She didnt want to spend her time in making wines for a commercial purpose… she had her statistics classes to attend and many other stuff she was involved in. I could not request her a lot, after all she was just an acquaintance.
But surprisingly she said she would tell me the process and soon I got it running. As the wine aged so did our relation. From acquaintance we became friends…from friends to really good friends…and from good to special friends. Our friendship itself was proving to be a whole wine-making process.A blend of totally different people, personalities, careers and culture. Yet it was similar. It looked one and the same.
The wine was ready. I tasted it. It was good…but it wasn’t the same. I dialed her phone. Now I was capable of requesting her. I told her I needed the wine she made. She had magic in her fingers that made a simple wine taste divine; that mine wasn’t the same. I pleaded, begged, hoped and wished that she would finally agree but she denied politely.
I was stunned. Not because I did not get the wine but I had never pleaded to anyone so much ever before. It made me realize how much it meant to me; how much her involvement meant to me.
I hoped for my next menu atleast she would agree…I hoped.
My wine friend came for dinner during the launch of the menu I had planned. I served her the wine I made – I hoped she would taste it, realize it wasn’t the same and help me make more the next time.
I waited in anticipation as she swirled and took a delicate sip. She smiled and said ,” hmmm…this is good…even better than mine!”
I looked in her eyes and saw the real meaning of this sentence.
I still wasn’t ever going to get the wine she made.
I was shocked…depressed. I still cant express my feelings. My menu did not matter here. What mattered was her involvement in it. In life we go on climbing the ladder of progress…sometimes fast…sometimes ruthlessly…never expecting that someone or something may come and just spin it for you. And then you want that someone or something to be a part of your life; not caring what you do whether you progress or she does because now it means one and the same.
Everything changes- your choice of food, the way you make food, the songs you listen , the way you smile…
But then you are faced with the sour truth that that person can never be a part of you. Never be with you. That the one thing that you never wanted to lose and was most important to you is just slipping away. Life changes.
All that you achieved or wanted to achieve just become mere goals in life. Like exotic food without salt, lemon without its tang…music looses its excitement…all smiles are false masks…everything gets confusing as if caught in a cyclone….wine an elixir becomes a smooth poison. Everything happens too fast to control.
Life itself becomes victim of its own. A blade hovers somewhere high…its blade sharper than that of a german made knife…and you wont let it fall…because you have a profession to care about…you have a passion you nurtured….just the salt and spice missing from it now…
you care…yet you dont want to….its confusing….
..of course you wouldn’t give up…would you??…. if you do…………THUD.