That eighteen hour long journey chocked me like death ! Billions of nightmarish thoughts have been creeping across my heart for the last eighteen hours ! Pursuing higher education in an alien country where I have NOBODY was an ignorant, douche-like decision. (didn’t listen to Mom as I was adult enough to make all the horrible decisions I want). Now my over-zealous self will have to deal with a smelly 60 year old sailor dude who I’m going to be homestaying with for the next six months.
Hungry, paranoid, horrified, terrified with aloneness I finally landed in Australia in a bone crushingly chilly, rainy morning. My host, 60, white, grey bearded gentleman with a pair of glittering, kind eyes winked at me, smiled, picked me up and drove me home. He smells like ocean.
Soon after parking the car, he asked me to water his backyard garden. “But it’s raining”, I frowned speculating more upcoming weird, untimely orders.- “Well, fetch an umbrella and water the garden!”- serene brutality of his voice lured me instantly.
There were these gorgeous cute little heart-shaped slightly prickly skinned fruits all over the garden smiling at me. Perfect smile. Love at first sight ! Cloudy grief that choked my mind went away when I started picking Strawberries.
A breakfast doesn’t get any healthier, prettier. Freshly picked Strawberries and scattered baby Spinach just plucked from the garden!
He takes every bite solemnly, mindfully. “Eating is like praying”, he would say, “When you eat, you don’t stuff your body, you cleanse it.”- I sensed, felt a beautiful, enigmatic, electric power running through my heart and soul. – “Did you know that you have a contagious smile?” – I joined the conversation which would continue for the next six months.
While taking a stroll around the house I quietly shed a few tears over my parents and friends who are now lightyears away. Moments later, my eyeballs popped out of sockets in disbelief when I found sun-kissed, gorgeous, vivacious, radiant, dazzling Dill blossoms at the front yard. I fell in love rightaway!
He served me sautéed shrimps for lunch. One bite and I immediately sensed that belongingness. Loneliness puffed away. Warm, perfectly tender, slightly sweet but spicy enough shrimps along with fresh veggies traveled down my throat. And a soul-deep joy swelled within my stomach.
Devein, clean, pat dry 1 lb jumbo shrimps (12-16 pcs). Marinate them for 1o minutes with pinch of salt+pepper+crush red pepper, dash of olive oil, splash of freshly squeezed lemon juice, 1/2 tsp freshly chopped Dill. (Parsley/Thyme can be used instead.) Saute them in high heat for 3 minutes each side. Serve with your choice of salad/vegetable/rice.
Effortlessly plain, unscrewed-up simplicity.
We took a walk on the shore. I saw him hugging the sea and feeling the sky and how he let his soul & spirit fly.
I locked my eyes in the setting crimson sun and sipped into Spinach soup. For the first time in my life. Never imagined good old spinach could make such a wonderfully comforting, creamy, nutritious rendition! A little hint of milk, some pleasant touch of garlic, olive oil and the bright green hue of the Spinach took my breath away! How I adore the picture of the sailor-man putting warmth, light, happiness, hope, love, sweetness, charm into the soup pot !
Ingredients: (Serves 2)
Heat oil in large saucepan.
Sauté garlic, onion, celery and potato for 5 minutes.
Add broth and milk. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
Stir in half the spinach, cover and simmer for 10 more minutes. Cool slightly. Transfer soup to a blender. Add remaining spinach and blend the hell out of it until smooth.
He took care of me, fed me, and healed my daunted, haunted wounds on the very first day I set my lone-voyage. He was the one to keep my rocking boat steady on the troubled water. And it’s because of him I was drawn to a lifelong affair with fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables. Also, till today Arthur didn’t disclose my sweetest secret to anybody: how BIG of a crush I had on him from the moment our eyes met ♥