My husband and I just returned from a two week trip to Hong Kong and Japan only days ago (more on that next post!).
I was feeling loopier than usual and out of all the things to watch and feel emotional, I was feeling all the feels watching Kobe Bryant play the final game of his career.
Let me preempt everything by saying I’m not a Lakers or Kobe fan. I’m not a fan of basketball, period.
I have nothing against the sport but, prior to my linking up with my husband, the game never piqued my curiosity.
My husband, on the other hand, eats, sleeps, and breathes the NBA and unabashedly bleeds purple and yellow. He is a die-hard Lakers fan and more specifically, he’s a Kobe Bryant bhakta.
He has an infectious love affair with the game, having played competitively in his previous life, it is still, and always will be, a passion of his.
At this point, I have watched numerous games with my husband over the years. With his patience in answering all my questions, I now understand basketball or at the very least, I know the rules of the game.
I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of the sport so much as I can, on a very rudimentary level, appreciate the skill, strategy, and athleticism the game demands.
I say all this to point out that for someone like my husband, so vested in the sport and in Kobe Bryant as living legend, Wednesday’s game was nothing short of a basketball fairy tale.
Safe to say, Kobe’s farewell game touched many on an emotional level.
But even for someone such as myself, someone with zero investment in basketball, Kobe’s final game appeared bigger than life.
To watch someone go out on such an unprecedented bang was certainly entertaining. Yet there was something beyond the theatrics of it all.
In a post game interview, Kobe said he was comfortable to walk away from basketball because no stone was left unturned.
He said he gave his heart and soul to the game and could thus leave without doubt and regret because he had given it his all. And that, THAT sentiment is what stuck with me.
To hear someone speak about living out their passion, for better or for worse, for two decades; for handing themselves over to their craft entirely so to speak is nothing short of inspirational.
All that passion and commitment Kobe spoke of, well, what does that feel like?
I mean, what would it look like if I were to give 110% to my craft? What would it look like to just keep at it and keep at it so much so that one feels there’s nothing more to do or give because they had laid it all out, put the best/most determined version of self out *there*?
What does that look like on the daily in terms of discipline, sacrifice, and commitment?
All this basketball, all this history, this legend – shit! Took me down the rabbit hole of questioning what, if any, legacy I’ll leave.
I also realized I was having a mini existential crisis stirred by a man who had christened himself the Mamba.
Nothing fancy. My husband and I have been craving simple khana since we had eaten out so much on our tours abroad over the last few weeks.
So the goal was simplicity AND to make something purple and yellow to commemorate Kobe’s retirement.
But what could I make? Clearly answering that was more important than answering the other, bigger questions.
And then it hit me: subji. A good, home cooked simple subji. I imagine even Kobe could benefit from some subji with a side of achaar after his whirlwind week.
They’re also purple and I was keeping Lakers colors in mind because, umm, priorities?
Not wanting to self-indulge in thoughts of not leaving a legacy (gulp), I instead turned to the kitchen and ended up creating two yellow and purple dishes.
One is gobi (yellow!)-aloo (purple!) and the other is besan omelette (yellow!) with spicy mashed aloo (purple!).
She shoots, she scores!
Existential crisis averted. For now.
Want more Mamba?
Inspired by the Bollywood golden oldie Kabhi Kabhi, I’ll soon be selling this image as prints and t-shirts so you can be a Bollywood baller!