I was chopping onions on the wooden chopping board. Prior to using the wooden board, I had been accustomed to a plastic one. I soon realized that I had been chopping off pieces of plastic with the sharp brown knife and the pieces often found their way to my bowl of noodles or in my vegetable curry via the pan where it was fried or the pressure cooker where it was boiled. Once, my friend saw me cut onions when I was making Binod uncle’s wai wai and felt pity for my degrading health. Voilà, he handed me the wooden board that I was currently using as a testament of the strong bond of our seven-year long friendship.
I was not skilled enough to chop onions as fast or as thinly sliced as the top chefs like Santosh Shah do. It always took me a few hours to chop the onions. Every onion needed to be carefully cut with the utmost precision in order to maintain the same size of each piece. The task needed focus, dedication, and passion. It needed everything you would have written in the cover letter for your first job. Think of all the words KP Oli would boast about himself, if given the opportunity, and you would need all those character traits for the job.
One chop. A few seconds of analysis on shape, size, and quality. Another chop. Another analysis. The next chop. A smaller-than-normal chunk. Yeet it away in the neon green trashcan.
You might think why someone would ever have the need to cut the onions in such a particular fashion. I have no idea myself. The order came from the top – maathiko aadesh.