Sometime in February, my cousin Rajesh called to ask if I would be ready to shoot for cookery show. At first I couldn't believe what he asked me and thought that he is just trying to pull my leg. But when later he told me the details, I understood he wasn't joking. The reference had come through Soori Etta (elder brother in Malayalam) , who is very well known to Rajesh. He has already done a shoot for the channel. The channel people were to come again for another shoot and they had asked Soori Etta if he can arrange for a shoot of Brahmin special cuisine. And when consulted with Rajesh, he had me in his mind and agreed then and there. Rajesh told me, the channel will intimate at least a week before the shoot. I didn't give much thought to it thinking there is no guarantee that they will come and since it is not a direct call from channel, I wasn't sure if it will happen. And told myself that in case it happens, I will have time to think of the dish and other things.
Cut to 28th May, 9:00 PM. Rajesh called me to ask I will be ready for the shoot the next day. The shoot will be in my home town, which is an hour travel from my home and should be there by 10:00 A.M. The call came when it was least expected and I had to tell him what I will prepare. The first thing that came to my mind was Uppittu and he, after consulting with his friend and confirmed it.
No instructions or guidelines whatsoever. I was left to decide on my own. I wasn't very sure if the crew will wait for the whole cooking process. Since I didn't have any of their contact numbers, I decided to go by my instinct. I prepared the dough and the filling and made 4 Uppitu before hand. Reached my home town by 9:30 loaded with all the ingredients, bowls etc.
Soori etta came home to check if everything was ready. He suggested that this one dish alone may not take more than 15 minutes of telecast time, so I can prepare one more dish. The time was already 11:30 a.m. The shoot was expected to begin by 1:00 PM. After some discussion, decided on Pulingari, which was special to Puthucode village. The next hour went in getting things and doing the necessary cooking for that.
The shoot was organised in our ancestral house. I was very happy that the shoot was held there where I have lived my childhood. We had a joint family system and the house was full of people and activity. And now, my father’s youngest brother stays there. I am happy that at least the house is retained as such. The channel people came at 2:00 p.m. They just let me go ahead. No instructions from their side. The anchor, Vijay, who is to engage me with his questions, during my cooking, asked some basic questions about the recipe. Both the dishes were completely new to him. The first few minutes, I was very conscious. But later on, when I started to explain the recipe, I forgot all about the shoot and was so engrossed in cooking and the conversation with the anchor. Anchor, Vijay was very spontaneous and lively. During the course of the shoot, he asked me about my blog.
He was very much surprised to know food blogs are very active. All in the entire shoot took 2 hours. The experience was new and I very much enjoyed. I expected to be more nervous. But I could pull it off much better than I expected. And once it is telecasted, it’s for the viewers to decide how well I have done it. It will take more than a month to telecast. I have never imagined myself on a cookery show. All thanks to Soori Etta and my cousin who were instrumental in getting the opportunity for me. The shoot was for the cookery show titled, ‘Swad’, a weekly show in Jai Hind channel (Malayalam) on Sunday 12:00 PM.