“I used to have apartment neighbors who were Indian, and they constantly cooked. So my apartment smelled of heavy oil and curry — non-stop!”
This comment appeared below a blog post on ‘disturbing neighbours’. [In camera: The comment, instead of offending me or rousing my patriotic fervour, generated some vicious delight in me. Reason: It gave me – the kitchen-lazy – one more reason for often abstaining from heavy cooking.]
If she decides to write a letter to her neighbour, it might
look something like this. Perhaps I can produce this letter to my husband next
time when I smell the demand for a spicy/oily dish. ;)
Dear Indian neighbour,
I am your apartment neighbour. I live with my husband and son in the apartment right above yours. We have never met face-to-face and I don’t want such an encounter to take place anywhere in the near future. Getting perplexed about what I am up to?
Hope you are fine and had your lunch. The latter part of that sentence was absolutely irrelevant and could have been edited out because I actually KNOW you had it. And I KNOW you had an equally elaborate breakfast too, early in the morning.
Don’t mistake me for a spy. I don’t peep or eavesdrop into the privacy of the neighbours. Nonetheless, believe it or not, ever since the day you moved in, I have felt your presence, day in, day out – through the smell that leaks out of your kitchen invariably before the mealtimes.
I have some doubts which, I hope, you would deign to clear.
What do you people incessantly cook – fry, roast, pop, sauté, and that sort? Why does it always have to smell of oil? Do you add spices liberally to each meal – even to your breakfast? Don’t you ever go out for a meal?
Sorry to poke my nose (yes, nose!) into your affairs, crossing all the limits of propriety, but can’t help it. These are genuine doubts, because our breakfast is never more than toasted bread, scrambled eggs, boiled vegetables, fresh juice, milk etc, none of which lets out any sort of smell.
Of late I have encountered some serious problems because of your gastronomic endeavours.
- I have started confusing my apartment for some Indian restaurant because it (literally) smells like one.
- My curtains, sofas, bed – everything transports me (figuratively)
all the way to India, through the ‘spice route’.
- My guests seem to take a whiff of that lingering smell the minute they step in and I know they too can’t feel ‘at home’, just like me.
I feel I have to write to you at this time so that hopefully we can resolve this
matter and it does not have to go any further.
“Going any further” means:
Unless you invent (asap) some technology to suppress that offensive odour that emanates from your kitchen daily, I will have to SUE YOU FOR POLLUTING THE NEIGHBOURHOOD AND DISTURBING ME CONSTANTLY!
Hope you got my point.
Do you feel your cooking is actually posing a nuisance for your neighbours?
This is what I feel: One man’s food, other man’s
Solution: Invite your neighbours at least once to savour the exquisite Indian cuisine (of course with less oil and pepper, please). Then watch ‘pollution’ transform overnight into irresistible ‘food’!