Do breakfast meetings play a role when it comes to working from home? Finely Chopped Covid-19 Lockdown Journal 20

Celebrating the 20th instalment of the journal over some rather Bengali French Toast

The power of breakfast

"Please make sure that she has a glass of milk and 5 almonds every morning."

I am not sure about the math behind this number, but these were the very precise instructions that my mother in law gave me before she left our house the day K and I got married. A simple affair at the family court beside the Asiatic Society in south Mumbai. It was an immediate family thingie. Frugality for us is not a new concept. K and I did not see the point on splurging on our wedding. Our party of 10 (or was it less) went to the (now shut) Starters and More at Churchgate for the buffet lunch before we all headed back to Bandra on the way to our apartment at Khar. Stopping on the way to take wedding photographs at a photo studio at linking Road.

I would religiously buy almonds from the Khar station market on the way home from work in the days that followed. Hersheys chocolate milk (imported back then) which she would add to the milk. A rare indulgence. Packaged milk. Tetrapack. Nestle and Amul. 'Slim.' K stuck to her mom's instructions for the first couple of years or so I think before she stopped. She is not a breakfast person.

I always was one. The one thing that my mother was very keen on that stayed on with me even after I left home. In my PG at Bandra, I would have bread and jam and a glass of milk and Complan. I thought back then that I needed nourishment as I was living away from home and most of my meals were had outside. The breakfast fare at my PG aunty's was rather glorious and featured freshly made pohe, paratha, samosa, idli vada, dosa. Albeit not on the same day. I was too Anglicised back then as I was fresh off the boat from Kolkata and bilet born at that. The menu of bread and jam was to my specifications. My PG (paying guest) digs was vegetarian.

There was a short period when I had moved into our first rented apartment before we got married, after which K moved in too. My mom in law had given a toaster and an electric stove and I used them in my bachelor pad to make myself a breakfast of toast butter, pork salami fried in butter and fried eggs before I left for work. This was around 18 years back and I had possibly not done a single cholesterol or blood sugar test till then. I was in my 20s.

Baby Loaf with his friend in the #FinelyChoppedKitchen. This eggs cage was sent
Goila Butter Chicken on their anniversary. I kept it for some reason. Turns out it was waiting for him

The working from home edition of the #FinelyChoppedBreakfasts

I work from home now and make my own breakfast every morning. I go to the kitchen and see what is there and rustle up something. Breakfast usually involves toast and eggs in some form. Boiled, scrambled, fried, omelette. Or together, as the French toast, or what we call deem pauruti in Kolkata. A savoury dish.

This has been my story for the last couple of years. Way before the lockdown.

It has been close to 4 weeks of the lockdown in Mumbai thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic. As I told K the other day, this has been the first time that we have spent so much time together since the time we were dating. At the same place!

Baby Loaf swipes in

Another day in our lockdown journey

K has been working from home because of the Covid-19 Lockdown. Her day starts with her work calls and zoom calls and they have kept the tempo on at work over time. That is when I begin to get breakfast ready.

Baby Loaf settles in for a post breakfast snooze. He normally has two breakfasts by then. One between 5 to 6 am and the other around 7 to 8.30 am. On hearing the sound of activity in the house, he gets up and trundles his way to the kitchen. On most mornings, he watches as I make breakfast. This is our time together.

I always explain what I am doing to him. Imparting important life skills hopefully.

Setting the rhythm for the the day

I offered K a bite from the breakfasts I made in the initial days of the lockdown. She had it instead of saying no, unlike what she would in the past when I did so while she was heading out to work. This time she said that she enjoyed it.

Which is why I now make a portion for her along with mine for breakfast. A smaller portion no doubt, but it is an improvement from being a no breakfast person for life. At my end it just means making an extra slice of toast. Using both yolks from two eggs and not just one or none. Pressing the button of the Nespresso machine twice. And a bit of patience and planning to ensure that we both eat hot breakfasts. .

We sleep late and start our days late. Which means that we can rarely sit down for breakfast together and no, not even weekends are leisurely during the lockdown. At times K is on her calls by the time I am ready and I surreptitiously slide in a plate to her. At times she finishes her call while I am settling down for breakfast and joins me before she gets down to the next call and before I head to my desk to write. After cleaning up the kitchen of course. She runs the dishwasher later.

And that is how we begun the practise of having breakfast meetings to start off our working from home lockdown days. A breakfast that sets the rhythm for the day that follows.

The menu featured French toast today. The Bengali way. Which K has learnt to love post 
the lockdown. The Parsi in her could not reconcile to the idea of a savoury one earlier.

Time to count our blessings

What we call the 'Buddha Lounge'

What are the good things that have come into your life thanks to the lockdown? Think hard. Doing so might help you feel good in a way you had not thought of.

I want the share something that I read yesterday, before signing off. It made me realise that our future is going to be shaped by the causes we make now. An encouraging thought during these uncertain times.

“If you want to understand the causes that existed in the past, look at the results as they are manifested in the present. And if you want to understand what results will be manifested in the future, look at the causes that exist in the present.”
From ‘The Opening of the Eyes (II), Nicherin Daishonin’ (wnd-1, 279)

This is the 20th instalment of my Covid-19 Lockdown Journal. I hope you find them interesting. To me, it is a way of reliving the early days of my blog when it happened to be my daily diary.

My Bodhi tree garden
Might be of interest:

  1. Link to the Finely Chopped Covid-19 Lockdown journal posts
  2. Story of our first kitchen
  3. The Baby Loaf story
  4. French toast
  5. My PG aunty's story