Monday, June 04, 2007

My Dear - 48

To the one I'm jealous of

I cannot remember when I came across your blog first. But I do remember that I was instantly captivated. The photographs were stunning and the recipes really delicious. You had me hooked. I was in awe and to be honest, a tiny bit jealous. You see, for the past eight years or so, for as long as I’ve been married, I’ve struggled with cooking. One day, I was the one being fed. And the next, I was the one doing the feeding. And the transition happened so fast that I barely had time to come to terms with it. What was worse, I did not even have a choice about it. No, that’s not entirely true. I didn’t allow myself the luxury of choice. I didn’t think I could employ a cook or do a take away or allow the husband to take over. That would not be the right thing to do. After all, cooking’s a wife’s job. To forsake it or to hand it over to someone else would tantamount to abandoning my family. And tell me, what good wife would do that?

And so, for the past eight-something years, I have struggled at every single meal time. The conflict between my heart and head would reach such dizzying levels that it have caused many a culinary warfare in the household. I would look at women like you and your legions of admiring fans (almost entirely women, why?), your impeccable kitchens, your elaborately pain-staking recipes (so much soaking, peeling, grinding, stuffing), your boundless enthusiasm for things like onion seeds and wonder what was wrong with me that I don’t enjoy it as much? You know, when I read your blog, I hear my mother-in-law’s voice. I hear her saying, “What have you been feeding my son? He’s lost so much weight”, “Bread is for the invalid and the toothless”, “So, what did you make for Srirama Navami?”, “In our house, we make kuzhippaniyaram for varalakshmi nonbu”, “No wonder the grandchildren are so thin. That’s what happens when they eat cereals for breakfast”.

Please don’t get me wrong. What you are doing is fabulous. You’re getting people excited about food and that’s great. But you reinforce the guilt that is always lurking, just below the surface. I feel inadequate when I read your recipes. Like the Big God forgot to put in a crucial part while creating me. And now there’s a big idli-shaped hole in my soul (btw, I have never made that wretched thing in all these years!)

Again, please don’t mistake me. Your food is lovely and my secret wish is to be invited to a dinner party at your house someday (though I think I may’ve ruined whatever slim chances I had, in the last 5 minutes). But I really wish I could take a short-cut and jump straight to the end-results. May be I should try a take away for dinner tonight.


Blogger Shyam said...

Aaaah, that just about says everything I've wanted to say...

1:59 AM  
Blogger desi witch said...

never left a comment on your blog before, ammani. but have always been an avid reader. something about the lines "One day, I was the one being fed. And the next, I was the one doing the feeding. And the transition happened so fast that I barely had time to come to terms with it." compelled me to write & let you know that I enjoy your blog.


2:04 AM  
Blogger Neha said...

aaah! been there, have not felt the guilt yet, but yeah, been there :D

6:48 AM  
Blogger Bhavani said...

emandi.. em chepta? neevu enTHa blog-la cheptava? banta-llu pani chesundhi baryalu kadamai-lu

pallamanti pullakuramanti emanti NTR-antee?

ippadikku-lu dosai-KOODA pannatheriyadha oru maami-lu

Glossary : banta- kitchen-lu, pani-workk-oo.. barya-wife-u

12:32 AM  
Anonymous mumbaigirl said...

Been there, been there! Still there many times.

2:33 PM  

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