Photo of the Day
food is a funny thing. it can completely take over your life. not getting the food you want can twist your insides, and make you unbearable to all around you. at a time like this its the promise of some mythical meal that pulls you through.
when in delhi, a friend had told us about this vegetarian feast that happens in meitei temples in manipur. twenty days in manipur and we still hadnt found it. to be fair, we were distracted by the number of dosa stalls all around imphal. a couple of days before we left imphal, reuben, a musician we were shooting with, told us about this meal and where to find it.
now lunch in manipur happens by 10-11 in the morning. so we starve ourselves the night before and head out to the temple in the morning. we get there while the morning prayers are on. we hang around there not knowing how exactly to go about this. that’s when one man comes and starts chatting with us. after a long conversation he finally asks the magic question.
what are you planning to do for lunch?
ohhh, hmmm, dont know, no such plans really, are there any good places to eat around here, some place with, well, vegetarian food?
oh there are lots of places, and he rattles of a list while our faces droop low enough to taste the ravenous acid building in our bellies, but you can eat here too if you want
OH!!! there is food here is it?
ya ya, come with me.
heheheh mission accomplished.
cut to pay 60rs per head, cut to wait for twoooooooo hours. anticipate hallucinate oh the wait. food at last.
then comes one of the best meals ever. like ever. twenty five different dishes, all imaginable flavours and colours. everything tasted familiar but slightly different. we didnt even bother to ask what the dishes were called. we gave them names ourselves based on what it reminded us. we had some patchidi, some pooshnika kootu, vazhakka fry, vazhapoo poriyal, rasa vadai, bonda, oorga, sigh. when we couldnt move anymore they brought us a payasam made of black rice. believe it or not, you have that and it makes you feel light and hungry again.
this photo was taken right at the end. when once everyone is done eating, the birds come in to feast. once they are done is when the entire space is cleaned up. this was supposed to be the main story but the memories of the food were too strong.
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