It was originally meant to be kasuri methi thepla. I didnt have a clue what kasuri methi was all about, till my wife had asked me to get some from the shops down the road. I had heard and eaten quite a lot of methi and other leafy vegetables, but kasuri methi was something new for me altogether.
Curious to find out what this new thing was, I was down at one of the shops run by a friendly neighbourhood pakistani guy and was browsing through the shelves. Shelf browsing qualifies to be one of my hobbies due to the fact that you can pointlessly go through a lot of unwanted stuff, and spend a lot of time during the process.
After spending time on browsing through the shelves, I had located kasuri methi boxes, and there were two brands of kasuri methi on the shelf. One brand was priced less and the other had an offer. The alien miserly genes in me had started the mental calculation. (See, my miserly genes has to be alien, as in my family I am the only one with the trait – that deserves a separate post altogether).
While I was indulged in this, a middle aged woman walked in and asked the shopkeeper for kasuri methi. He guided her to the shelves where two brands of kasuri methi were kept. And then came the question from her -“which one is pakistani”. I was shaken out of my slumber and was wondering whats going on. The shopkeeper diligently pointed out the pakistani one and she took it and disappeared.
There I was, standing with two different boxes of kasuri methi in my hand, I realised, one made in India and one in Pakistan! How could I be such an unpatriotic guy! Even kasuri methi had nationalities. That moment spurred such a rush of patriotism in me that I had to act impulsively and I immediately had to find the correct one that I should buy.
The wife, expecting kasuri methi for thepla making was puzzled to see brussel sprouts in the shopping bag. As her eye-brows arched in the shape of the Arjuna’s mighty Gandeeva about to shoot some aagneyaastra, I started lecturing her on patriotism and its position in relation to kasuri methi. I narrated to her what had transpired in the shops and the importance of patriotism. When she still didnt understand the meaning of brussel sprouts, I had to explain.
After all we were now british asians and we have a moral duty of patriotism towards Great Britian as well. I explained to her that, as I couldnt find any “made in britian” Kasuri methi, I had to settle for the closest thing that britian could manage for thepla making – brussel sprouts. As any understanding wife would do, she understood the situation perfectly and the clouds of confusion left her face.
I was proud that I had taken a stand in the issue and had acted patriotically, making the right choice. To add to the joy, my wife also understood my position clearly and stood by me. Now she does the shopping herself.