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Loss of Taste has Changed the way I Bond with People

For the great Indian families; food is more than a daily essential. It is the meals that bring people together, sharing stories, anecdotes and fights. In fact, in many such Bollywood movies, food has been a big player in establishing relationships and bonds.

The zayka or the flavour of any Indian food item is reminiscent of a memory. The spices adding to the flavours of not just the food, but the memory as well. No two people can make the same masoor dal and that is the truth. Every time you eat a dal you made, you make comparisons with other people’s recipes.

Covid however, has put a break to all this. Not only the extended family interactions have become limited, but people’s tastes have changed as well, quite literally. People now complain of not being able to enjoy food the same way. And well, the food they enjoy has changed as well. Like any other family, my kin is very hearty about their meals. Sabzis and daals are the rock of any relationships. The main focus that the day leads upto is, what do we eat?

But the sad part is, COVID has changed this, especially for me. The intimacy is the same, the bond is definitely stronger. However, the loss of taste has soured my meal time. When talking about Delhi and food, I could go on and on, raving about the wonderful delicacies the city has to offer. But now, even the most scrumptious of dishes taste stale. Imagine eating Paneer Shashlik with the taste of rubber.

The lack of smell and taste has reduced the fun in most interactions. I can no longer appreciate the best of things. I sit here writing this in a five star hotel, where my family enjoyed the meal and all I could taste was garlic. Imagine, spending all that money for lesun and nothing else, not even the 48 hour cooked Dal Makhani.

My mood that could earlier be rectified with a dollop of Hot Chocolate Fudge ice cream, can now only taste sugar and not in a good way. Meals and desserts are very much a part of family life. Meal times is when the entire family sits together, sharing their day and their future. But for me, it has become a time when I don’t know whether I want to eat or not. I plate my food with a lot of excitement and it fizzles out with the first morsel.

A close friend of mine is a wonderful chef, but guess what, I can’t enjoy the lovely dishes she learnt how to cook in the lockdown cause I can’t taste them. She doesn’t hate me for it, but I do certainly detest this. Tori, Paneer, Pasta and Pizza all taste the same to me, tasteless.

It sounds wonderful for all those who want to lose weight. In fact a friend of mine suggested I should eat healthier since taste is no bar now and I don’t mind this bright side. But yes, this is definitely adding to the list of why I hate COVID. It has been almost a year since I recovered, but have I really?

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