Published first by The Nation
Raise your hands everyone who is a part of food forums! Glad I can see the entire country rising like a bright sun to this. Okay, a few still have their heads drooped in embarrassment thinking if the society will still accept them. It’s alright. Get yourselves checked in on the soonest possible basis. Better late than never.
Sadly, or gladly, I am obsessed with food. Obsessed might be an understatement, so let us replace it with possessed. Yes, I am possessed by food. Be it having it or making it, yours truly dreams it all and all time. So it was but natural for me to be in every food forum in every nook and every corner of this God created world. And since it is mandatory to have a never-a-dull-moment kind of life for all living beings, I have never been able to stop myself from observing and commenting. Food is believed to bring together (or maybe glue). So I have also come across some of the most amazing people in my life through these forums for the sake of common love for good food – and also traced hatred for some people who annoy every drop of my flesh and blood. I also shamelessly confess to gossiping about them every now and then with my foodie friends. Yeah guys, foodies gossip about foodies only.
And you know what! We have always been able to manage to hide our hatred away. But today is the day! Now or never! It’s alright if you don’t pick the hints because we know you won’t.
Self proclaimed kings and queens
Yeah, there you are! These self proclaimed kings and queens do not wait for us peasants to come and like their posts. They are self sufficient, self reliant to boost their morale and spirits. Oh apologies if that is even a consideration as the royals are on a pedestal already. Not only do they refuse to acknowledge the presence of Tom, Dick and Harry on their posts and choose to reply to only the chosen ones – let me make a confession and run away: many times your food is not even what your family agrees to eat. Run Saadia run!
Self invited guests beating Fevicol
Any post, I swear any post! These self invited guests will not only like your post but also instantly jump to comments like ‘akailay akailay’ or ‘I am coming over.’ For a moment even you start wondering if this is any of your distant relatives your mother never spoke about because of her differences with Phupho. But no, these chaps are a league of their own and not even related to their own relatives. But yeah, how dare you have those waffles alone and not invite them? I mean how could you even think of this.
Working more on captions than the food itself
Reviewing a restaurant with an array of words makes sense. It makes absolute sense as just saying ‘good food, must visit’ doesn’t help the ones who are intending to take their friends for the first salary treat there. But creating a mountain out of a molehill is so mainstream, so lame. Creating apparently cute but fake stories is also among the top trends. ‘My three year old made this cake.’ Aah well, at the age of three I couldn’t manage a fork and spoon together. Yours is a Michelin Star chef already. Slow clap!
The television, pakora, door and grill cakes
For the love of God, Jesus Christ, heavens and the poor audience’s sanity can someone please elaborate this obsession with all the odd cakes? All hail the sugary fondant that has set the entire baking industry ablaze with this so-not-worth-eating and only-good-to-look-at cakes. As if these customized Game of Thrones Jungle scene, including all the pythons and monkeys, all the Chanel and Herms bags, were not enough, this world has taken this to another height of craziness. Ladies and gentlemen, here we present to you the Compressed Biryani cakes with real candles too. Don’t forget all the mindless hashtags that come for free with delights like these.
Ms/Mr. Know It All
You can just not ignore them. You just can not even if you try to. These exalted beings know it all. From every restaurant in every town to tips on keeping a Coke tin away from your children, they know it all. From tips on curing the heartburn to making Shub Deg, these masters know it all. Just one tip from yours truly please: make sure you do exactly what they suggest not to do.
Not your cup of tea
That cup of tea even in front of your neighbour’s terrace attempting to ‘capture’ a picturesque location. Damn it, your tea is white and your photography bland. This might even extend to a pakora, a banana, a slice of apple or maybe a kidney shaped croissant leaving you wonder if it’s a child’s first guide to food and related accessories. If photography is not your cup of tea, please refrain! Adding salt to the injury even the food they cook is also not their cup of tea. Stop glorifying your khichri looking biryani please.
Fake smiles and fake likes
There should be an official ban or limit on hearts and flying kisses icons in comments. This disease is definitely more feminine than masculine. Women who haven’t even known each other claim their unprecedented love for each other by the virtue of these emoticons that have made their lives even more ‘loved’. From hearts of sorts to kisses and hugs of all shapes and sizes, you might want to bang your head into the wall after reading this.
Many times a simple food platform presents a scene from some battlefield. You just need to post a bad review of some home based baker and see the magic. Around 376 comments from not just the client and the baker but also all the neighbouring countries reminding you of the crow being halal or haram by Spanish ulema until… The admin’s patient oozes and the post is turned off for commenting. Good riddance!
Stalkers gonna stalk
Here I am not even quoting the frandshippers who will send you a friend request or a message in the inbox the moment you dare to post anything. This is to draw your attention towards your secret admirers who tend to keep a record of all your posts and will mention any of your old forgotten comment from last year to run shivers down your spine. Not only this, they also recognize you from your Facebook profile picture and will not refrain from quoting it when you review the restaurant where they saw you.
Although I can still go on and on till the end of this day and the beginning of new but after stuffing myself with burritos and tacos till the brim of my nose I surely deserve a nap.
Moral of the story: Even if you sense these folks from a distance of 123 light years, just run! And never return!
Written by Saadia Ahmed
A Dubai-based blogger hailing from Lahore, she is a jack of all trades. Bilingual writing, oratory, activism and coaching are a few to mention in her list of appetites