Strong and bright yellow curls of sunlight poured through the window panes. The room had lit up, and the warm sunshine and sapphire blue sky outside were tempting. I had just sat up on the thick bed sheets. The chills had been running through me all night, and did not leave me alone then. I tried to curl up under the sheets again, but thoughts of a delicious dish jolted me right back up.
Slipping my arms into the warm sleeves of three shirts and a fleece, I headed out into the bright morning. Passing through the corridor and down the steps, a delicious smell wafted from the kitchen. But I kept walking.
I descended down to the main road of Old Manali, with the Beas River flowing by. My eyes and stomach drove me towards the line of roadside eateries and restaurants. Steel cutlery swung and scraped against blackened tumblers, flipping fresh pancakes or stirring soup and porridge. I stopped in front of a small café whose owner was yet to light his gas stove.
I already knew what I wanted to have. I gave the order and sat at a table by the steep road. The café owner proceeded to boil water in a pitcher, and tore open packets of instant noodles. He broke the noodle cakes and gently slipped them in the simmering water. The spicy masala was sprinkled with equal ease and diligence.
I satisfied the initial phase of my hunger by the delicious aroma that filled the small wooden hut. My nose fulfilled about forty percent of my tummy cravings. As the owner served the plate of hot noodles, my mouth watered before I could clutch the fork. Curls of steam floated up from the yellow strands of wheat. Low-fried scrambled eggs were entangled in the mesh of slippery noodles. I looked down at them for a few seconds like a new-found love.
As I put the fork through my lips, the spicy flavour burst inside my mouth and I sighed. Then I slurped up all of it in a matter of a few minutes.
Maggi in the mountains is the best feeling. Period.
P.S. – Maggi is an Indian company of spicy instant noodles.