Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Cooking Matters!

I love to cook and admire people who can whip up a simple meal at short notice.

We were three guys sharing a furnished apartment in Vile Parle. Eating out every day was not an option, considering our paltry salaries those days. Fortunately, our kitchen was in great shape with a gas connection, cooking vessels and crockery. The other two guys could cook a bit as well. So it came to pass that I joined the group initially as a modest helper, cutting vegetables and laying the table, and gradually moving up the “value chain” to become a cook of sorts!

I used to come back from my summer holidays in Kerala with ruled pages torn out of old exercise books, in which my aunt would have laboriously written out recipes in her schoolgirl scrawl. The recipes would be tried out by the three of us, often with interesting and sometimes inedible results.

Meena is a better cook than I ever will be. She is one of those slow, methodical cooks who take their time first assembling all the ingredients and then sequentially following each step, right up to its final completion. The results are always predictable and, rarely if ever, disappointing.

The problem however, is that she hates cooking.

According to Meena, it is easy for men to say they love cooking, for they do it maybe once or twice in a month and that too, when they are in the mood. It is different for a woman, because you are forced to cook virtually every day and thus it becomes just another chore and hence, boring and monotonous.

Maybe she has a point. Maybe.

Anu, bless her young soul, loves cooking. She is also very creative and is not afraid to experiment. Sometimes we print out a recipe from the Internet and both of us get into the kitchen to try something daringly different, sprinkling rasam powder on Maggi noodles, for example. Of course, we are creative souls who by nature, tend to leave the kitchen in one big mess by the time we are done, which is frowned upon and acidly commented about, by the mother!

We have learned to take it in our stride.


uno qandam said...


i read this and get vivid images of nigella lawson, padma lakhsmi and you all at the same time. is it the matter of the post - food? is it my fertile imagination? Or better still, is it a portend of things to come.

For your sake, i hope inshallah, that it is the last option. all the best on the culinary journey.

maggi noodles and rasam powder??? - shudder, shudder!!!


Syamala said...

lets try something next time when i am there with you. I too had some experiences like what you managed to get. Eventhough Syamala cooks well, she feels very bad if one of the kids doesn't like the taste. Yes, working women will have their additional burden at home even if we try to help them out.

RM said...


I found it very much like me as my first experiment left my mom screaming although she is a very patient person and a good cook. I feel this had got to do more with the persons liking, some love to cook and some hate - each have their own reasons but I am not changing myself for what others think so much so that if you ask my son what he wants to become -impromptu is the answer "Cook" obviously my wife goes mad!

Will try and experiment next time am in Town!


Thiruvengadam said...

Reading this brings an instant smile. Wonder how many men would hv gone through the same experience. But not me. My better-half considers me a quite a good cook and often cajoles me to help her out in her kitchen. But I am a bit moody or lazy to be precise to get into predominantly Ladies' area.

Yes, I couldn't disagree with the comment that we men do like cooking bcoz it is once in a blue moon thing for us.

Would love to see more such hilarious anecdotes.


Ravi said...

I actually enjoy cooking and am adept at it,..initially took it up as a hobby after my divorce plus having Rohan full time with me meant that I had to cook and now I am adept at it.

My skills are not restricted to just Indian food and also encompass baking pies etc :-).

Cooking is relaxing and a passion with me, my wife of course has no complaints with this arrangement.

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Stepping Sideways... by K. Radhakrishnan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.