what my best friend taught me- a story about koftas, sheermals and never really forgetting.
My childhood best friend taught me many things. Most of these things appeared insignificant at the time but little did I know, each and every single thing was engrained in me- in ways I never realised.
Amongst many things that I learnt from him, one was the correct way to eat koftas (Pakistani meatball curry). He explained to me how one just one kofta is never enough for one roti. Most importantly however, he taught me that it was a cardinal sin to eat koftas with plain roti. It is almost as important as breathing to eat koftas with sheermal (a sweet thick roti that melts in your mouth).
One day last year, I gave in and made my father drive to Saddar and get sheermals for everyone. I sat with my mother and sister on the dining table, refusing to start eating the steaming koftas infront of me without the sheermal. So we all waited. My father arrived twenty minutes later and my angry mother reheated the koftas. And then, with the sheera from the sheermal sticking to my fingers I took my first bite.
It was heaven. No, I am not exaggerating, it really was everything he had described it to be and more. Now every time my mother makes koftas, sheermals are always on the table. It was not just a habit for me, but also for my entire family.
Today my mother made koftas again and as usual a sticky sheermal awaited me. I did put two koftas on my plate, but I reached out for the normal roti. The last time I spoke to my best friend was five months ago today, and me eating that sheermal was a way I was still connected to him. There is a world that exists in which him and I are not best friends, and here, it would be a cardinal sin to ever have koftas with sheermal again.