So here goes my attempt to redeem myself with a catch up... Cheers!
Crossing the Java Strait as I fly to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Melbourne, where I began my journey this morning, my tummy is tight with knots, cramping like it always does when I am anxious. The aches in my stomach are no doubt the result of my recent incessant pondering over the notion of “home”, a matter that has been plaguing me since dinner last night.
On our way to our loved relaxed resto-bar Bimbo’s in Fitzroy, I could not help but want to take in all of Melbourne’s surrounds for the last time in 2010. I am not afraid to admit that whilst I have shared a love-hate relationship with the city of Melbourne over the span of this year, I could not help but feel a pang of sadness for a city that has definitely grown on me.
Days melded effortlessly into weeks and months with my time spent cooped up hours on end in the confines of Italian kitchens cooking up countless pastas and risottos, yet an undeniable connection with the city has triumphed over time. Melbourne despite its weary transport system and at times nonchalant people have snuck under my skin and won me over, especially because of the work-hard, play-hard ethos. And, I would be a fool to pretend for even one second that the city’s teeming restaurants, vibrant food markets that spoil one for choice, along with the continuous spirit of celebration that looms in the air has played no part whatsoever.
The question of who the reference to “our” refers to above may have arisen. Since April of this year I have become accessory to an Australian man of Irish-Maltese parentage, and he has completely and utterly captured my heart. Ok, I can assure you there will be no gushing and mushiness; I am simply bringing matters up to date as it is no secret that I have been MIA for some time now.
While we scoffed down $ 4 ultra thin wood-fire oven baked pizzas topped with oh so delicate flavours of smoked-salmon, spinach and mascarpone contrasted by a more robust choice of lamb, feta and rocket leaves, washed down with a local Cab-Shiraz, I think both Danny and I silently gave thanks for the time we have enjoyed together over the last six and a half months despite my work weeks averaging 50 hours! Beyond the belief that we are soul mates, we have become best friends and loyal partners, confidants and gastro-aficionados. We have managed to build a bond that feels airtight, bolstered by the resounding success of our once-upon-a-time spontaneous plan of moving in together and now added to us being us, we have a home to show for it, together.
Having had an abundance of intimate moments – just the two of us, I only assume it must be natural for me to feel slightly frazzled at the prospect of going back “home”. “Home” to the first and only notion previous to Melbourne of being “home” – that is Bangalore, India tomorrow afternoon.
Tonight I break my journey with an overnight stay in Kuala Lumpur, enjoying time with me, myself and I – symbolic of the interim period between my “new” life with Danny in our Melbourne home and that which separates me from my family and childhood rooted sense of home back in Bangalore.
My trip home has four main reasons. Number one and two are big, fat, Indian weddings, one within my extended family and the other my dearest, best friend Swetha – the first of my girls to get hitched. Of course, Christmas celebrations with my family, for which Danny will join me in mid December rates number three. And last, but not least, time for reflection, to figure out what 2011 holds for me career wise? I have been toying with the thought of going back to writing full time, or perhaps delving into events management, menu planning, or some kind of role involving travel and food, but basically putting cooking on the back burner for a bit and using my Gastronomy Masters and my Chef Certification in conjunction, somehow to get back to some of my original goals I had in mind when I first embarked on my journey Down Under.
Apart from spending time in Bangalore the next two months hold exciting travels too, with trips to Hong Kong end of this month and to Sri Lanka to usher in the New Year.