To Be or Not To Be

A little kingdom I possess,
Where thoughts and feelings dwell;
And very hard the task I find
Of governing it well.
-- Louisa May Alcott.
...........hmmm....that more or less describes my situation !!

~A Wise Man Said~

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
-- Aristotle

Friday, May 17, 2002
I've tried my hand in the kitchen many and many a times; though the following account (written a while back) gives an exaggerated idea of my lack of skills in this area, it's still pretty close. :(

Cooking in the making

I’ll marry a cook and I’m quite decided about it. No, I’ve not fallen in love with one, its just that I have no other way out. That’s what my mother tells me and that’s the conclusion I’ve come to myself (after a lot of pondering, I do assure you). I’ve tried my hand at cooking, not once but many times (It was well worth a try, considering the alternative) and can’t say that I came out wiser in the process nor did I come out with anything better than I got in with.

My brother has such a voracious apetite, that if not for him, I wouldn’t have dared to make so many attempts. I would have liked to think he loved my creations, if I hadn’t been gifted with a sense of taste myself. The minute he knew I had taken it into my head to concoct something (It was the easiest thing to know, I couldn’t be secretive about it even if I tried), he would have to know if it was something that would particularly interest his palate. It was no use use telling him that he would have to see it to believe it (or rather I would have to first see it to know what it was, I couldn’t trust myself to churn out the real thing), but if I intended that anyone should ever see it, I had no choice but to tell him and hope that he wouldn’t be too sorry if it didn’t match the exact description.

There are occasions when you have to realise the importance of certain people and how hard it would be to get by without them. At other times, you could ignore them or avoid them or tell them what you thought of them, but not at these times. And these were those times when I had to be sweet with my brother, though I must say he tried as much of my patience as an Aloo Kofta. Here I was, planning to impress everyone with what a lovely Nariyal ka Halwa or Burfi or Chikki I had come up with (depending on what it looked like) and there he was, trying to pour cold water on my aspirations (and could it really matter to him if it was Halwa or Burfi or Chikki as long as it was sweet ?) But you couldn’t tell him that, especially if you expected him to do the honours when the time came. (What if something got burnt and it wasn’t sweet ?). The rest of the family would be more anxious than excited over my projects and tried to keep me away from what they called “Wild Schemes”

My Mother hoped she could gently initiate me into the art and with time I might be as good at it as she herself was, but she never got beyond the initialisation. She couldn’t bring herself to trust me with anything more complicated than peeling the potatoes or stirring the batter. I wondered she didn’t think of anything tamer than that.

Days flew by, then months, then years and I graduated from potatoes to cucumbers to pumpkins. I was told that stirring was supposed to be a consistent method, no matter what you stirred. Here the matter rests and I’m ashamed to admit that I’m rather daunted by the future.

I do believe we’ve reached an age where the men are supposed to be as busy in the house as the women, but I can’t believe there are too many of such liberal minded men. Luckily, If I do come across such a man, and happily, if he does agree to such an arrangement (for the sheer love of me ! ), what if he weren’t competent enough to take on such a heavy responsibility? What if he hadn’t been trained in the art of cooking and worse still, what if his training had not flowered beyond the bud, like mine?

No, I couldn’t risk that (love or not). I must find myself a cook and be done with it. After all, he might not turn out to be a good husband, but as long as he could turn out a good Kabab, I could hope for blessed relief ! !