What happens when food is the topic of discussion between partners? There is bound to be some dissent layered over some fond memories, but mostly, it will be a chaos of merriment.
That's what happened when singer-composer M.G. Sreekumar and his doting wife, Lekha Sreekumar, started talking about food, their diet and journeys propelled by the love for food.
Lekha knows her husband's diet like the back of her hand—“For breakfast, Sreekuttan likes idli or dosa; idli is more preferred. He's relaxed about his diet and doesn't bother me with demands for different kinds of food. For lunch, he likes his rice with fish curry, though I prefer a vegetarian meal. For dinner, he'd like some mutton or chicken on his plate, which I'll object to, and finally we'll settle it with dosa and chutney,” she said with a smile.
“She's an excellent cook,” said Sreekumar, who looked like he was a big fan of his wife's cooking. “Whatever she makes is exceedingly tasty, and the best part is, she won't take more than an hour to prepare even the most complicated dish”.
It was fun to watch them diverge and converge on the topic of food; while Lekha said that Sreekumar ate what he wanted, unperturbed by the scares of impending cholesterol issues, he defended himself by stating that it's not like he ate a lot, but he definitely likes to see the food that he loves on his plate. “I like mutton, so I can't help it. Though I don't eat beef, the mutton in the US tastes a bit strange, so then I switch to beef. I like fish, prawns and crab, and I relish having things I really like.” He did not forget to take a dig at his wife saying that contrary to him, she ate very little, chiding her for her diet regimen. “She eats one idli for breakfast, a little rice for lunch and a make-believe dinner. I cannot do without rice; if that means I'll have to suffer a potbelly, so be it!”, he said.
During their visits to other countries, Lekha said she likes to try out to the local food, whereas Sreekumar starts to scan the place for an Indian restaurant.
The couple also recounted the good, bad and nasty experiences of food from other countries. “In the US, they have a place called 'Crab House'; they made such excellent crabs. They did not serve us on a plate, instead, the crabs in a gravy came in a packet accompanied by a little rice. It was just magnificent!
And there were food faux pas moments too. “In a certain trip to Spain and Madrid, a friend of ours took us to a wonderful place where lamb chops were served,” Sreekumar said, “Overwhelmed by the experience, I asked him whether there were any other such place in town. He took us to a place where ham was served. Once the food was on my plate, the smell of it was so overpowering that I regretted having gone there at all! Lekha had ordered fish, and when her dish arrived, the whole place reeked of a particularly annoying scent”, he said laughing. “Of all our food experiences, this turned out to be the most horrifying!”