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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Spoon Envy !!!

This post will definitely be perceived differently by men and women.. not that any post isn't perceived differently.

WARNING : Any resemblence of the events mentioned in this post to real people is purely intentional. But not all events are based on us! This is the collective experience of many families we know!

Let us say for example, that you are a nice indian girl who has recently finished your undergraduate degree and has started working. Throughout your university life you never had a reason to go into the kitchen and meddle with anything there. You were probably being pampered by your mother, grandmother and other senior womenfolk in your home who wanted you to have things that they never could dream of in their lifetime.. and in a misguided way thought that giving you "bed coffee" and making sure you never know how to cook is their way of giving you the free time you need to complete your studies. That is fair enough, considering that the guys dont do any cooking at that stage of their life either.

Let us also say for reasons only known to you and the almighty that you agree to an arranged marriage with a dude who has spent considerable time by himself in a foreign country as a graduate student. The guy tells you that your lack of culinary skills is a non issue because he can teach you everything you need to know !

You scoff at this and show up in the United States/ Australia / UK or whatever it is.. and you find that the bloke while being messy can sure whip up a full service dinner menu in 40 minutes flat ! Intially you have nothing else to do since you are probably on a dependent visa and you decide to one up the guy ! You start experimenting. You walk into the kitchen and see the following things..

Your heart sinks. You vaguely recognize that the small two piece thing at the bottom left is related to making coffee but beyond that the rest could be torture instruments for all you know !

Two things happen at this point.

1. The guy gets alarmed. The only thing you were really dependent on this guy for was his cooking.. now that might disapper with your interest in the kitchen.

2. You get alarmed. Cooking was not as easy as this guy made it appear. Plus you need to put this guy in his place soon because he has decided to make "mysore pak" at 3 AM on a whim !

Step 1 :

You realize that there is a method to his madness.. he has deliberately arranged all the items in what you thougtht was random order. So the minute he goes off to work, you decide to rearrange the entire kitchen in alphabetical order or by jar size. The guy comes home to find that his whole world has changed ! He has entered the MATRIX or something. He wants to make a simple tea with tea powder, cardamom, basil leaves, sugar and camphor and finds that they are all scattered over the kitchen shelf because of their container size.. By the time you locate all ingredients required the tea is burnt ! His will to enter the kitchen has suffered a big dent. (15 / love)

Step 2 :

The ubiquitous INTERNET. You start using up paper and printer fluid in unthinkable quantities because you download and print recipes from sites like bawarchi . You have all the time in the world and all the raw materials at hand. So you start getting better at the cooking thing. You realize that there is something hidden inside you that makes this thing almost second nature. By this time the guy gets doubly frustrated. He cant do anything in the kitchen anymore because he cant find the stuff and now that he has had a prolonged (month or two) absence from the kitchen thanks to your cooking him "a new dish a day" he gets contented. He says "not bad. you are cooking like a chef. I could really get used to this !" (30 /love)

Step 3 :

You are now on top of the world. You got certified as a great cook by a guy who has had his TV parked in "the food network" as his default channel for years. This from a guy who says "when life gives you lemons, make lemon merengue pie!" . A guy, who probably treats sambar powder, salt and tamarind paste with the same respect and regard he has for toxic gases like ammonia , Argon or nitrous oxide at work. (40/love)

Step 4 :

Only one thing remains. You decide to test this guy after a few years of kitchen detachment by asking him to get back to the kitchen. He has gotten used to not having to come anywhere near the kitchen by now and his idea of time at home is to blow raspberries on his daughters tummy and see her giggle with glee. Under pressure and overwhelmed, he double salts the sambar. He is beaten at his own game and a smile crosses your face.. (game over!)

A note to the guy : You might still be given credit for being the first one to teach your lady the very basics of cooking and for being a constant source of encouragement. So go with the flow and enjoy it. But once in a while, no matter how hard it is to find things in what was once YOUR kitchen, whip up a little dish just to keep in touch!

5 Comments:

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 9:14 AM, Blogger carkar wrote...

Thoroughly enjoyed reading this Sundar. Send it to India currents or some bay area magazines, it might get published !!

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 8:05 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

thanks carkar.

i enjoyed writing it .. it was officially censored by my wife before final publication.

:)

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 7:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

Still reading your blogs, and this one tops the rest.

Keep it up!!

cheers
Rajan

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 9:54 PM, Blogger the mad momma wrote...

Thanks Sundar! You always make me smile!!

 
I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 12:06 AM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

I am baaaaaackkk baby!

:)

 

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