We were on NH 45 again, this week end, and guess what, yessssss, it was the iyyiru otel in Acharapakkam again, that saw us trooping in, early in the morning for breakfast and late in the night for "light tiffin" instead of 'meals'. The idlis were still steaming and the vadas were not yet made; we were offered 'boori' and pongal, but no, we preferred to wait for the idlis and vadas.. and boy was the wait worth it! never have i eaten such super vadas, i tell you. as the men in the family would say it, we "cannot, means cannot" make such vadas "at home". as they would have it, ours drip with oil, they can squeeze out the oil..etc!! secretly, i have to agree to this observation, galling though it is. the hot-hot idlis, vadas and sambar-chutney went down the hatch in no time at all, and shamefully, i had room for a boori also, as it turned out. so that too was despatched quickly, washed down with coffee..yummy....
i thought i would not be able to eat a morsel more for a week. but no, i didnt reckon with that organ i call a stomach...it is just a huge inflatable baloon, i tell you. i have to remind you that i am on this weight loss mission. or so i would have everybody believe. not if you had seen me in action yesterday. i ate like it was my last breakfast and last lunch. yah, the lunch i must tell you about that too....we went to Vaitheeswaran koil you see. and after devoutly offering prayers, (of course, after consuming sambar with vengayam and all that, but we are convinced that the manasu should be suttham -the mind/heart should be clean! that is important) we traipsed off to this small mess close to the temple. there is this mami there, who makes these heavenly meals. when we went though, they were prepared to shut shop. they told us that if we were willing to have sadaam, sambar and extra appalam, they would serve us food, but there was no kai (vegetable side dish) left. if we would wait just a few minutes, rice was 'just' getting ready and we would be served food in '10 minutes'( the mami went off to make some kootu also, we saw her carrying away some cabbage) we agreed with alacrity and sat ourselves at the bench. no sooner than the banana leaves were spread in front of us, (those were our 'plates'- in most of the messes and otels they serve food on banana leaves and quite hygenic that is too), than another group walked in followed by a boisterous leader. seeing that a large clientele had gathered, the quanties were increased in the kitchen i suppose. the 10 minutes stretched on and on and after an eternity, but it was only an hour, food was served. steaming hot rice, boiling hot sambar which had almost no dal in it, appalam,hot kootu, hot rasam and watery buttermilk and lime pickles. just you try serving food like that at home and pralayam (massive floods, actually, disaster) would strike, but there in the mess, we all ate the saapadu like we had been starving for a week. the worst culprit was I. gosh, how i ate! all calorie counting went out of the window and i ate the rice and irrigation (watery sambar and more watery rasam), like it was devamrutham (nectar for the gods). and ate and ate, all the time chiding myself for hogging like a pig. i kept on at it though, telling myself that i would "make up". anyway, i must record here that i thoroughly enjoyed myself, letting go like that after a long time and since it was all rice i didnt feel as guilty as i would otherwise have felt had it been not rice, even 4 cups of it, but 6 pooris. yes of course, breakfast was conveniently forgotten about, i was struck by this short bout of amnesia in that regard and i ate with gusto. lunch over, and feeling satisfyingly fit to burst, we loaded ourselves in our car, which had it been human would have cried from the sheer extra weight of its passengers, we went off to a couple of other temples, Angarakan and Budan.
On our way back we stopped off for a cup of tea, yes, at a way side tea kadai with the shiny copper boiler. and then set off toward chennai. come night we trooped in again at the otel for, as i said earlier, 'lighta tiffin'. this time i didnt have amnesia, and remembered the lunch with the correct quantity of shame and i had already in-my-mind decided that i really ought to skip dinner however light it might be. also the stomach for a change displayed the existence of a firm mind and refused to accept a morsel more, and so the day was saved with no more food being consumed by me. but the thought of coffeee was irresistible, and human that i am, i partook of that heavenly drink and patted myself on the back for turning my back on the lovely sinful looking dosas and oothappams; instead while the rest of the gang ate their dinner, i marched up and down the sidewalk and got closer to the 10,000 step mark for the day. actually my target for a day is 14,000 steps, but yesterday, despite all that temple walking, i could not manage more that 10500. reaching home close to midnight, the last thing i wanted to do was walk 4000 steps more! forget it i told myself, walk extra tomorrow!
and yes, i have made up, so to speak. i got up at 5 and walked 10,000 steps, skipped a cooked breakfast and stuck to a guava, some papaya, a banana and a glass of milk. and i am back on the bandwagon after that acharapakkam otel visit!!