Okay fine, you say but why blog about it? I write today because the majority of people in our country still would read my confession and shake their heads in disapproval. The lady of the house in India is the reincarnation of Annapurna. Any deviation is frowned upon.
I saw my friends being taught culinary skills when they reached the marriageable age. I did not try, nor did my mother force me. I was told it adds to the matrimonial prospects. Post marriage, I realised that my qualification mattered little when I was at home. The expectation to
cook well be a Masterchef in the kitchen runs high. I did not relish that but tried nevertheless.
My expertise was judged by the roundness of my rotis and no one asked me how work was(shocker-I am a doctor!) Can you beat it…I was once told to apply ghee on the correct side of the roti. Roti has a right and wrong side? Really? I gave up…it was easier than determining the right side!
I also hate the way food is discussed in households.
‘What for lunch?’ is the question at the breakfast table, discussed in detail with mouthfuls of paranthas. I am given the cold stare if I do not jump in the question of the hour debate. The same is repeated at lunch and dinner as well. Why is it so important to have exquisite three course meals every day?
Why do relatives want to taste what I have cooked when they come over? I am serving you good food, why can’t you just eat it in peace and be thankful? I would have opened up a restaurant if I was so fond of cooking.
Till date, I do not know how much water and how many whistles are needed to cook a dal. I don’t mind that. Why should anyone else?
I work my ass off just like my husband. Why doesn’t anyone ever come over and ask him for a nice aloo ka parantha or sooji ka halwa made by him? I don’t expect him to cook but I don’t expect anyone to expect the same from me too.
The day I stopped being the superwoman trying to balance work and household chores, I discovered time to follow my passion for writing.
So much said, it still doesn’t mean I don’t cook at all. I like to bake and can whip up some sinfully rich cakes but that is my passion. I do it when it pleases me, not as a duty.
I prefer to sink my head in work than my hands in sink full of utensils.
Just as men get tired after work and need time out, don’t women get tired as well? Woman fought with the world and stepped out to walk shoulder to shoulder with her man to share the financial burden but could not free herself from the pressure cookers and kadais that wait for her to come back from work more eagerly than her family!Don’t you think it is time we stopped branding the kitchen as a woman’s domain and area of accountability? After all, everyone eats…should it not be the common zone of responsibility?
Should we not end these gender stereotypes and stop telling our kids to ‘do it because you are a girl’ or ‘don’t do it,you are a boy’ ?
I chose not to stick to them. Today,I go to work, love driving big cars, utilise my time at home to pursue my hobbies and have fun with my daughter. Is it really an issue that I don’t spend my waking hours at home in the kitchen?