Mom Tails: What Happens in a Malaysian Food Fest

Hello, my lovelies! Oh no, I seem to have offended macho you… okay, then let’s try it again. Hello, dear readers. How have you been? Okay, now that we are done with the pleasantries, let’s head on with today’s post, shall we?

Today I am going to take you all on another drive down my memory lane. So tighten your seatbelts and keep your hands to yourself because we are soon going to zoom down Mom Street; the lane where all mom related quirky memories come gushing out at you.

For those of you who do not know it yet, my mother is a freakily quirky woman. In fact she is so weird at times that I fear she would one day wake up and call apples oranges…er! To do a background check on this poor woman (and prove your excellent stalking abilities for the induction ceremony of the International Stalkers Inc.) head over here and here. The latter ‘here’ is more interesting by the way so don’t forget to click on that one. 😛

So without further ado let’s get going…

A few years back when I was roughly 16 years old (roughly?!?), my dad came home one day from work (like he does every day) bearing four passes to a Malaysian Food Festival to be held in the lawns of Pride Hotel in Nagpur. We were pretty excited about it since in our family everyone is a hardcore foodie and since the Food Fest was being organized by a five star hotel it was sure to be a gala event.

Hmm…was it really like that? I doubt it very much.

On the day of the event, we all got dressed and left for the hotel at 8.00 pm. It was pretty early considering the fact that in Nagpur if the time mentioned was 7.00 then the program began at 9.00 and the people arrived at 9.30. Yeah, I can see that I have already alienated my Japanese fans who now think we Indians are all slobs.

Anyway, when we reached the hotel and made our way to the lawns, we were seated before a stage and promptly served some snacks. My sister and I decided that we had had enough family love going around for a while and so sat separately from our parents. 

Finally at around 9.oo pm the show began. Pride Hotel had roped in a comedian from the Great Indian Laughter Challenge, which was a very famous TV show at that time. I don’t remember his name but he wasn’t one of the top three comedians.

Anyway, the man took the stage to a few scattered claps here and there. Did I mention that Nagpur is a place notorious for having an unenthusiastic audience who rarely clap even if they like a performance? 

After trying in vain to make the crowd laugh at his lame jokes, the comedian finally threw in his hankerchief and left the stage with only silence hanging in the air. By then I was getting pretty bored and wanted nothing more than the show to end and the buffet to be thrown open wide. I mean my extent of drowsiness was indeed so great that I even wished mom would do something crazy just to lighten up the environment. But as they say, be careful what you wish for…

After a few more rounds of entertainment where Assamese people were passed off as imported Malaysians (or maybe I am just skeptical) the host rebuked the crowd politely for being so dull and morose. Why doesn’t that strike a nice chord with me? Hmm, maybe because you aren’t supposed to tell your customers what to do and what not to.

Anyway, the man next proceeded to play a game with us just to wake up the old uncle in the back row who had snored through the entire session and was dripping strings of drool everywhere. The game was basically a Q&A round where the winners would get some “prize”. That’s when I got my wish…

As soon as he threw the first question to the crowd, dear Mrs. Rekha Majumdar, my darling mom shouted out such a weird answer that I felt like digging a hole and burying myself in it. But that seemed to wake up the crowd, which the host hadn’t been able to do till then (go, mom, go!).

The next few rounds were moments spent in agony for me and my sister as we watched our mother shouting out dumb and dumber answers to every dumb question. Our dad was looking mortified too and could be clearly seen trying to subtly shush mom (ironic how only family members notice such things). Even the host looked irritated after a while of this exchange. And I wasn’t happy about that fact again. Who do you think you are, Mr. I-Am-Just-An-Employee?

Anyway, after the game was bundled up and thrown for a quick beheading, the buffet was announced open. I immediately marched off to grab a plate and fork for myself and joined the long queue. 

It’s infuriatingly fascinating to see a bunch of half-sleepy people, which mostly comprised of fat old ladies decked up in heavy jewelry and moustachioed bloated men, crowding around the buffet table not one minute after the announcement. Seriously, who are you people? Usain Bolt in disguise?

And so after a lot of struggles and fights to extract detached arms and legs, I finally managed to pile my plate with food and wandered over to where my mom was standing with my sister.

I realized that the two were discussing the merits of each item on getting inside the audible range of their conversation. And since I love nothing more than a healthy snark fest, I joined in enthusiastically. (Now you know that I am genetically sarcastic.)

After a while we wandered over to an open-air cooking session where a Malaysian chef (or was it another Assamese) was cooking some meat-on-sticks. The place where he was working had a table standing next to it. And on it sat a lonely pineapple with some meat-on-sticks speared through its pericarp.

The chef offered a stick to my sister who took it gingerly and bit into the soft flesh. She chewed for a while and then said in a matter-of-fact tone that it was very bland. That’s when it happened…

Without any prior intimation or signals of any kind, our mother dexterously grabbed a stick pointing out of the pineapple and bit into it… only to realize that the meat was raw.

Definitely not that young…

I couldn’t help the laughter that broke out of my mouth then, and neither could my sister. We laughed till our sides ached as we watched our mother make an ugly face at the bad experience and place the stick on the table under the eyes of the chef who was now pointedly looking at mom as if she had tribal origins. 

That night wasn’t a Gala event as I had believed it would be. But it did give me a brilliant thing to write about someday… like today. 

So what do you think? Did my mother sound like a woman who had gone off her rocker? Or was she fascinating (Yo, stalkers!)? Was the post interesting? Or so dull that you managed to create a drool pool on your keyboard halfway through the nonsense?

P.S. Don’t forget to like the post or share it if you found it fascinating.

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