Shopping List

by Mathangi Krishnamurthy

Raspberry piI think I want a Raspberry Pi. Computers are getting smaller and smaller, as is everything else in my life. Tenure, income, hope, knowledge, and certainty. Perhaps a computer the size of a credit card will remedy this bleak picture. Perhaps the ability to wield confidently this sign of the new age will renew mine. Also, it travels rather well, and it might even bypass airport security. For surely, one has to get everywhere fast, and first.

I'm pretty sure I want myself ice cube molds that make round ice. Then I will be the hostess that they all clamor to, in search of the perfect whisky glass with the perfect artisanal globular ice. It's all the rage in Japan, I tell you. I know, because I have been there.

Yesterday, I realized that all that is missing in my life is an Aeropress. Do you not know what the Aeropress is? It's that thingie, the one that extracts coffee with the least amount of loss. The one with the breakthrough method, for coffee under the best conditions, the best temperature, with the best aroma, the best…you get the idea. It even comes with instructions in eight languages, testifying to the universal need for coffee. And most of all, coffee without bitterness. Really. I think of the countless hours spent at nameless American coffee shops, slurping dishwater in the name of caffeine, and I think to myself, that this is the bargain you make with adulthood, where life sucks, and only coffee will make it bearable, but it's alright because one can afford an Aeropress.

Hibiki ice

My refrigerator does not automatically defrost, and hence the need for aforementioned ice molds. But now that you mention it, what I think I actually need, is a new refrigerator, one of the new models that they claim you can plug into your home, and help manage the lights, and the grocery list, and the children. Also, it will no doubt possess gloriously smooth and tinkling ice-trays, the kind that will do away with the need for ice molds, unless of course, one were to need artisanal ice.

While we are at it, could we add some Tupperware to that list? My kitchen is out of boxes.

Last week, I espied a stone grinder. I have always wanted a stone grinder. Every cook worth her name knows that the trick to good food is to stone-grind spices, to slowly tease out flavor, and let them roll into one another, in a rich, unknown, unpredictable mélange. The pestle of said stone grinder also works really well as a hammer. Or as a massager. Or as a stress buster. So never mind those useless, Chinese Baoding balls, gathering dust on your mantelpiece. Give them away as gifts.

Have you been following the news around the revolutionary Rotimatic? It is something else, alright. In go dough, water, and oil, and out come rotis of perfect proportions and texture. Do you have any idea what this means for my life? For one who cannot mix dough, or roll it out, or manifest the patience to cook it, this is the messiah, the one promise of health and happiness, the precursor to shapeliness, and a perfect waist-to-hip ratio, and good BMI, and glowing skin. Of course, I need to put myself on a waitlist; they couldn't make them fast enough. Hopefully their rotis will come out faster. Also, I am generally a rice eater. And before I forget, someone was telling me the other day that I should check if I am gluten-intolerant. Intolerance is an inappropriate word though. So violent, and such an individualist conceptualization of food and control.

I really should remember before I get caught up in all this roti daydreaming that all on really needs to do is drink a lot of water. Ah yes, I also need a water bottle. I never remember to drink water, so I have a water alarm on my phone. It reminds me to drink water. My earlier version made flush-like sounds on the hour, which were rather embarrassing, and made me want to eject rather than ingest water. This new one plays Beethoven's Fur Elise. Sometimes I get so lost in its mellifluousness that I want to abjure all life, leave alone water and food.

But sorry, where was I? Yes, a water bottle. So water alarm notwithstanding, I think a water bottle would help. And here is the problem, I can't seem to find one I like. It needs to ideally be made of metal, and preferably stainless steel, and not plastic, but also be lightweight and not like one of those water-filled dumbbells one uses to exercise when travelling. But stainless steel is so yesterday, and so socialist. So I suppose plastic will do, but it needs to be BPA-free and ideally, not made in China. And why not China? I'd rather not say. It also needs to have a wide mouth, and not a straw, cause surely I can't be seen in public with a child's bottle. The other day, I also noticed advertisements for clay water bottles; very ethnic chic I tell you, but also rather heavy. And really, ideally, I'd like one in red. Also, have you seen those bottles with built-in infusers? Infused water is all the rage right now; add cut fruits and watch your daily doses of every possible vitamin and anti-oxidant seeping slowly into your water every second of the day. But of course, for this, one needs to drink water.

Perhaps, I am spending too much time on these worldly preoccupations. Perhaps I need myself some books. Of course I need books. I read books. I am not like one of those postmodernists announcing the end of the printed word, and the novel, and all life. I collect them, I smell them, and I pronounce verdict upon them. But perhaps, like Benjamin, I just need to collect more books, and stop reading them. Perhaps, I need beautiful bookshelves as altars to my future erudition. Perhaps, all other desires will end if I focus my energies on being a collector. And listing the books I need. In all their first-edition glory.

But I do need a new notebook to make these lists. And then, maybe, a good old medium-tip fountain pen? How can one make book lists if not in beautiful calligraphy on fine vellum?