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Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

How to Cook Popcorns?

How to Cook Popcorns?

8 mins 8.8K 8 mins 8.8K

Have you ever seen anyone making popcorns? How astonishing it is! You cut the packet, tear a part of that, and separate them forever. The beginning of a beautiful journey starts with a bruise. Well, all that is a writer’s style, but I will not focus on the bitter part. Instead, I would go looking for a pan. A dark black pan, so dark that all those scratches of the past are not even visible because black absorbs all. No sign to show and no one to explain to. Then, I will find some oil because science overpowers emotions and water never blends with oil, and so are the tears. After all, tears mean nothing but just a few drops of water containing some salts. However, I would love to keep a biologist out of the scene because they can describe tears in the most exhaustive ways which even a writer cannot. For a writer, these tears can be a part of pain, sorrow, happiness, joy, victory, loss, or just a few other stupid human feelings. But, for a biologist, no! For him, they are either reflexes, or psychic, or … I don’t know, how could I? I never took biology as my major in school or college.


Coming back to my popcorns, I have the ingredients. Now, I could start cooking. I put the pan on the flame of burner of the gas stove.


Oh! The heat, the rising temperature, the brimming emotions, trying to show and turn red.


Alas! The color of pan was black. The scorching heat was also unable to show the red color because we all know that black absorbs all. The pan was still burning with fire but nothing because black absorbs all.


However, I had to cook my popcorns because that’s what we do, no matter what we cook. We keep on cooking irrespective of the circumstances. I needed to know if my pan was ready so I did not just see. I took my hand close to the pan. Once it was close enough, I closed my eyes and took off my guard. I let the heat from the pan reach my palms and to move. The heat set a charge through my body and brain, and all I could feel was that heat. In no time, that radiating heat from the pan was the only thing which I could feel. I realized one fact- sometimes, black cannot absorb everything. It has to let some things, some heat to go. Well, some things are just not visible, but they cry a lot to be felt. The heat from that pan was also desperate in that same way, and the moment I realized that it was hot enough, I poured some oil in that pan. Why? Because water does not blend with oil nor the tears. How stupid I was! I thought that the pan would start crying and out of the fear of it getting wet from those salty waters, I poured some oil.


I don’t know, but for some reason, that pan was not that hot then. I think my oil stole some heat from it. However, one thing I knew for sure that I was ready then to move on with my cooking. I poured the corns in the pan without any further delay, gave it a swift stir, and closed the lid. I guess, sometimes, all we can do is close the lid because that is the best option to cut from that horrifying past, from that unsecured tomorrow, and from that pan.


I waited a moment thinking that something would happen. A moment passed away, but I waited. Another moment passed but I still waited. Yet another moment passed, but my hope didn’t wave even a tiny bit. But the next moment inflicted a pain on me and I thought of what could have gone wrong? I was curious and exhausted and a little broken too, but then I saw at the covered pan. The pan was still getting heated up with the fire still burning, filled with rage to its very core. Just I was about to lose all my hope, something happened. A popping sound! Suddenly, I was not worried anymore. Not worried about the hot pan, the burning fire, the oil flowing restrained by the boundaries of the pan itself, or the corns which I poured. Rather, I was enthusiastic about the popping corns.


Oh! Another pop! Following was a yet other pop, two pops, and then three pops.


In just a few moments, the kitchen was filled with the noises of those corns popping. With every popping sound, my heart beat was pacing up to the limit of just getting a freaking heart attack. However, those echoing sounds started to drop down. Those innumerable echoes started to transform into a few pops.


Three pops! Two pops! One pop! A silence of second or two and there it was- a small pop again, and then nothing.


Those echoes stopped and I could listen the air once again flowing in and out of that kitchen, the eeriness of that kitchen was unfathomable. How different a place looks in different situations, isn’t it?


I immediately came to my senses and pulled up my other hand to the burner knob and gave it a twist, and in just the blink of an eye, the flame was gone. All that time and then it was gone. Oh my dear lord, bless that moment when I turned that knob. But that pan was still silent. I was wondering how could that pan still remain silent. Well, I don’t know the reason but I once again forgot about the pan. Wow, I never know the reason!! Well, the knowledge of the reason was not important, I guess. I opened the lid and that eerie air grabbed the hand of that fresh smell and took it away in just a spur of seconds right before my eyes. It was so fast that I could not see but little did the air know that sometimes perceiving is not just from the eyes. Some part of that air and that smell graced me as if trying to say ‘thank you’ but with a little bit of moistness. I peeped in the pan and there they were lying, all beautiful and white.


I held the pan with both my hands holding tightly as if either I was holding it so hard not to let it go or choking it so hard not to let it go. It was confusing and I was not even able to understand a bit of that moment. I raised the pan and flipped it slowly to transfer every single bit of the prepared popcorns into the plate. As always, the pan was silent. It was so silent as if the sound was also lost in its black color. After all, black absorbs all.


I was happy because, finally, I got to eat the popcorns. I held the pan one last time with more force than I applied till yet. I took the pan to the sink and my tight grips turned into open palms. Without thinking twice, I dropped it right there. The pan fell with a thumping sound but I didn’t notice because I was so hungry. I was still looking at my popcorns so deliciously put on the plate. I took my hand to the tap stuck just above the sink with my black pan in between them.


Funny, isn’t it? How we change the quality of things in just a few moments. Till that pan was on the flame, for me it was ‘the pan’. However, when my popcorns were prepared, suddenly, that thing became ‘my pan’. What to say? These are the questions for grammar and language experts and I am neither.


I once again turned a knob but this time not to set a flame but to open the gates holding the desperate waters to leave and break the limits. Eventually, those waters started to flow, gradually, covering the distance but my eyes were still on my popcorns. In a fraction of a second, those cold waters hit my pan.


Aah! The sound, that excruciating sound, rising up, replacing the eeriness of that air. I lost my connection with my popcorns and started to look at my pan and the steam rising from its core filling up the kitchen. I took my pan up and peeped into it again.

I never knew that my pan could speak, and this loudly. I never knew that my pan was this hot that it could fill up the entire kitchen. I never knew that my pan had the power to blend water and oil making oil to look like tiny drops of tears floating all over its black surface. I never knew that black never absorbs anything. It just stores everything and releases them at the right time in the right way. However, I gently put my pan in the sink again for it has to get cleaned up because it has to support to cook once more, get in friends with the flame of that gas stove once more, and has to cry once more. As far as I am concerned, I have to leave back everything to that same kitchen and end this story because I have to eat my popcorns, which in itself is another story.


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