It’s not an epic coffee fail. But, an epic cooking failure. I am a good cook, having learnt the art since 13 and regularly took care of the kitchen cooking for a big family since 17.
It was one of the summer evenings of 1987. I was a graduate student of economics in Mumbai, India. One of my best friends’ house was empty for months, as his wife had gone home to deliver a baby. We were cooking every day - lunch and dinner and there I was reeling out my culinary skills for 5 of us.
Hearing how good the food was, one of my friends’ cousin and his pal invited themselves for dinner.
I was meant to have a short afternoon, hoping to be back at my friends’ in the evening for dinner. A menu was prepared - rice, a couple of dry Indian roasted veg and a curry.
I got stuck in my department as some of the codes won’t run. I told the guys on the phone to cut the vegetables, put the rice on a pressure cooker, etc. I went home late. They were sitting and chatting and had not lifted a finger. I was tired, hungry and angry. I yelled at them and started cooking. Instead of helping me, they were making fun of my mood and laughing.
I finished cooking. We all helped ourselves. My best friend’s cousin and buddy were the first to go. They tried the vegetables and swallowed quickly. The facial reaction was very funny. That cousin then mixed the rice and curry; no sooner he took a big mouthful of food, than he started getting massive hiccups. Tears were rolling from his eyes. My first thought was the food was amazing and hence the tears (😂). He tried to swallow the food, but he could not without water. He dropped the plate and ran to the bathroom. Puzzled, I tried tasting them. I couldn’t. I had to spit the food on my plate.
Reason: I had completely lost my sense of my cooking, and had added salt and red chilli powder 3 times the normal amount. Why 3 times ? There were 2 roasted vegetables and a curry. I didn’t realise what I was doing. My friend. who was watching me mess up the evening, never stopped me. I always wondered why. Perhaps, he was waiting to have a fun.
Of course, I apologised. The best part of the friendship was they could understand the situation; we dumped the food in the bin and went out for a very late dinner.
The hilarious part of the unforgettable experience was his cousin was so upset and never spoke to me, though we were reading at the same graduate school for another 2.5 years.
Our path diverged until we had a chance to speak in 2019! We had a good laugh recalling this incident. Except this gentleman, till date that our gang of 5 still remain as best friends for life.
These failures happen, perhaps for a reason. May be, they help you stay grounded, teach you a life lesson, where in life, we cannot expect every one to forgive us! 😊