• A Twisted Tale of Jalebi

    Our story begins when I first moved to Australia. I was a newly wed and totally in love with my husband. How do you kids call it?
    MY BAE, BEST BAE! ๐Ÿ˜
    We were in sync to the tee and probably the only real difference between us were our eating habits. I loved savoury, Husband loved Sweet.
    In those days, the Indian shop we visited for desi grocery shopping was far from home. Since I couldn’t drive, I would ask husband to get the daals and masalas on his way back from work. He would return every time with a rectangular box in a brown paper bag; it would be full to the brim with bright orange, sugar dripping, Jalebis.
    The first few months I didn’t say anything. But as this was becoming a regular practice I finally confronted him. “Every time! A whole box!” I growled, watching him binge eat as he binge watched television.
    “But they come Free” he protested, his mouth full of goeey orange goo.
    “Really! free?” I exclaimed.
    “Yes. The shopkeeper gives them to his customers for free. A kind of desi brotherhood. He even calls me BHAI. It’s such a sweet gesture how can I say no?
    “Wow that IS very sweet!” I agreed.
    I had seen shops giving away free CDs with purchases since Netflix was taking over the movie watching business, but free food was unheard of. Anyway, Not wanting to go down in history as the First Desi to decline freebies, I let it go.
    A few years later, when I had finally started driving, I decided to visit the Indian shop myself. It was a day before eid and I was desperate for an Instant packet of kheer. Thankfully, I made it to the shop in one piece and happily shopped away.
    Once finished, I stood at the cash register having made the payment, waiting for the brown packet. The cashier on the other hand had gone back to watching “Sholay” on his tiny tv.
    “Free Jalebi?” I called out to him trying to get his attention.
    “Huh! Free what?” He asked turning away from a dancing Basanti reluctantly.
    JALEBI ... BHAI!๐Ÿค“
    I added the latter for effect, in case he had forgotten his famous bhai chara.
    He looked at me for a moment, his eyes dazed with confusion, then a sudden realisation dawned on his face. He went to the back of the shop and returned with a brown paper bag. Giving me a strange smile he added it to my shopping and bid me farewell. Coming home, I put the groceries away leaving the brown bag on the dining table.
    When husband returned from work I told him excitedly of my drive to the Indian store. “Oh and your free Jalebi box is on the table”, I added.
    His face suddenly changed color, looking surprisingly orange, much like a Jalebi.
    “You ACTUALLY got a FREE box?!” He blurted out, giving himself away.
    I could not believe it! All this time he had been lying; A BIG FAT lie akin to his now protruding belly.
    Before I could kill him, he was rushing to the dining table. As he pulled out the brown bag, a rectangular object fell out.
    There was no box of jalebis, just a DVD case!
    Staring at us from the cover was a barely clothed Indian actress posing seductively. The queen of item numbers herself, Miss Mallika Sherawat.
    Written around her were lyrics that suddenly began dancing in front of my eyes;
    Sab mujhse poochte hain
    Tu kaun desh se aayi (Naam)
    Naam jalebi bai (Aha)
    Jalebi bai (Aha)
    Jalebi bai…
    Pictured below: Husband and his Jalebi at my sister’s wedding.
    How do you kids call it again?
    Oh yeah...
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