HaraBhara Kabab and the Fear of Missing Out

Natural light. 24-70mm

A fictional story to illustrate the fear of missing out. 

He had worn a crumpled tshirt, shorts and his favourite slippers.

When she said hello, she noticed. She, on the other hand, was dressed impeccably, as she always was.

They took a seat in the cafe, on a table where no one could hear them. Desis are very efficient eavesdroppers and she knew it because she used to find comfort in the overheard problems of other desis, like the tattoo’d ABCD who was telling his hot date ‘I went to night school and then dropped out.’ while impatiently shaking his right leg.

Love is strange, but ‘like’ is stranger. They liked each other, but not enough. This was a meeting that wasn’t supposed to happen, because she knew all the answers already.

While they were chatting about everything else, her mind drifted. She remembered how she showed up to 3 parties thinking he’d be there. She was afraid to not go, as if he’ll be struck by lightning at the party, while standing on a patio with a pepsi-can in his hand, and fall madly in love with the first woman he sees. She wanted to be next to him in that moment.  She shouted at herself! What if lightning struck him and he turned and saw the maid instead? What if the lightning struck her instead, and killed her? Next time she’ll sit at home and read a book. Even a book on the ‘developmental psychology of ants’ was a better option, she nodded to herself.

Her drifting mind was suddenly awakened by him saying ‘….and you?’. She did not want to be rude, so she changed the conversation to ‘what shall we order’?

She focused her attention on him. He was talking about how he thinks love should feel…..it should feel all encompassing. He wasn’t feeling it, and nor was she.
Now she was angry at herself. She mentally clenched her fingers.
Why couldn’t she have the Facebook life of those loving couples who take selfies with orange juice on sailboats during brunch?
Why couldn’t she have the life of that Facebook friend whose (unarguably the) best husband in the world (as if the other husbands are the worst) gave her flowers and fattening chocolates?
Why couldn’t she have the life of those girls whose lovers took pictures of them cuddling next to the birthday cake that had her name scribbled on it?
She took a deep breath. She found comfort in knowing there were other people who fell victim to the Facebook lie.

The lie that is ‘Your life is better than mine’. 

She picked up the conversation, to talk about her #firstworld problems to project a tough girl image. After all, others have an easy life, don’t they? She clacked about her low profile job in a low profile company, how she wanted to start a scrabble playing workshop, and how much she hates turtles. He had that ‘WTF is she telling me all this‘ look on his face. Her heart told her to stop talking and walk away. But she had come too far. Listening to your own heart is not easy. A mental stethoscope can only be built by meditation and introspection. She kicked herself under the table for not following up on a daily meditation practice.

Soon the food was over. They bid goodbyes. She promised herself she will never take Facebook seriously again. That was her redressal.

She walked home slowly. She wanted to bury her hurt feelings of not possessing what others had in their lives. She took a firm resolve. The only place she could find her happiness is in the NOW, in the present, in the moment.

She threw her purse on the bed, opened her laptop, hesitated for 5 seconds, then typed “facebook” and hit Enter.

The End

The Recipe for Hara Bhara Kabab

If you find in your fridge, potatoes and a green leafy vegetable, you’re set to make this. The masalas are to taste so don’t take them seriously.


  1. 2-3 potatoes boiled. 
  2. 3-4 cups of palak (spinach) (or other green leaves)
  3. 5 tblsp of Bread crumbs and or 3-4 table spoons of corn starch for binding (trust me, just get corn starch. who are we fooling? it works a million times better than bread. I used both.)
  4. Ginger 
  5. Whole coriander seeds
  6. Garam masala, chaat masala, salt, mashed green chillies


  1. Boiled potatoes have to be mashed. Mash mash and keep aside. 
  2. Cut the spinach.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, put whole cumin seeds into it then add the spinach, and let it cook down. 
  4. Add the masalas and mashed green chillies into the palak and let it cook for 5 mins. Ensure all water is evaporated!!! Very important. 
  5. Then add this palak to the mashed potatoes, add the bread crumbs and add salt. 
  6. Add corn starch. 
  7. Make small rounds and flatten them to 1 cm thickness.
  8. Then heat 5-7 table spoons of oil in a pan to shallow fry the patties. 
  9. If its not frying well, you have allowed too much water to remain in the spinach, or you haven’t added enough corn starch. 
  10. Shallow fry for 3 mins on each side, or till its browned and crisp from both sides. Do this in batches
Serve hot with ketchup. Totally worth making for a party. Your guests will love it.



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