A few days back I went to a fancy restaurant with all my relatives . The menu card was given, and there was a huge discussion with lots and lots of arguments. Everyone was pulling others legs about how he ordered something fancy on the menu, but on arrival which turned to be a disaster. And there, I was sitting, as a silent spectator watching all the hallabulla over the food. Finally they all came to a conclusion and ordered for the dishes.
After a long wait, the food arrived. I was about to dig into it . “WAIT..” I heard someone yelling . “Wait , first let me take a picture .” It was my niece. She then proceeded to hold out her phone and started taking pictures of each dish. Rather than eating my favourite dish while it is steaming hot, I was forced to sit back and wait until she got the best angle of each entree. On finishing she smiled as if she’s on the cusp of greatness doing some sort of world service.
“Tweet before you eat.”
This is all the youngsters of this tech age do. In olden days , when you ate a good meal , you would describe it to your friends on the phone or in person. But now, a picture is worth a thousand words. Posting a plate may be a quick and easy way to share the fine details of an incredible meal or a memorable meal.
There used to be a time when the family used to say prayers in the dining table before the mealtime. Now posting on Instagram has become the pre-meal routine. I read somewhere that about sixty million photos on average are uploaded to Instagram everyday.
All these incidents and posts made me nostalgic about my childhood. We never visited restaurants. Today it has become mandatory for every family to visit restaurants on Sundays. The weekend getaway for most of citysters is mostly a movie with dinner at a restaurant. But my parents didn’t take us to restaurants . When our tastebuds longed for something spicy and hot , we bought paranthas and chicken ‘Salna’ from nearby roadside hotels. (Which were very famous in our hometown Sivakasi). Speaking about movies, going for a movie would be an extravaganza. To attain that, we had to bribe my mom by helping her in dusting and cleaning the house on Sundays.
The other time , we get to go to restaurants (actually they were not restaurants, they were just hotels) were when we were on road trips, which we often took. They say , it’s more about the journey than the destination. Likewise it was all fun to travel than the destined places, which were mostly temples. We had our breakfast , and lunches in the famous Arya Bhavan, Modern Cafe or Vasantha Bhavan.
The knowledge about food to us was extended not more than to dosa, poori , chapathi, Biriyani or meals . Now the choice extends from burger, pizza to Sushi and satay. Our children often go to renowned bakeries and choose pastries. But I still remember a cyclewallah bringing buns, puffs, butter bun, and coconut bun. We used to rush with all eagerness to get for an evening snack . In summer the sound of the icecream vendor “paal ice , cup ice , cone ice…..”was such a boon . Paal ice was our all time favorite. When it’s raining , we crave for food and mom made us sundal , Bajji or vadai, on which all the four of us would relish with such a happiness. Bringing home my friends was a ritual.( my house was very close to school.) My friends came home for drinking icewater. Mom instantly used to make something for them. Their all time favorite was my mother’s tomato rice.
Rose milk and rasna were always waiting in the refrigerator for the guests to arrive. Not to forget the famous ‘Kann mark lemon barley.’ I remember an incident. If any guest arrive to my home , I used to welcome them well even when at my young age . Once when one of my friend’s mother came home I gave her cool drinks and welcomed her . When she went back, she was in all praise for me ,it seems. She asked my friend to learn lessons from me . The next day my dear little friend was quarreling with me for being nice to her mom.
Coming back to photographing foods, a few tips. A lot of people like neatly arranged food on table to photograph. But I like more natural look., perhaps your phone, car keys,city map or other elements like this may enhance your picture. A captivating title and , of course , hashtags add beauty to the picture. Once the picture is taken , Instagram helps in the work of editing.
The next time you visit a restaurant , don’t forget to “Instagram ” your food. Sometimes it is fun to follow the new age craziness.