…is undoubtedly through his stomach. When amma had narrated her experience as the coy new bride, almost paranoid to serve her husband with her first hand-cooked feast, I had laughed. I had declared haughtily in feminist-air to hiring cooks or ordering food or letting him stay hungry in response to a prospective husband. But upbringing and good judgment had taught me otherwise and here I am almost two years away from wedding bells and all the rest, slogging away in the heat of a kitchen hearth, doling out meals for a foodie partner, who believes a paunch is nothing short of – ‘a sign of prosperity’ ! Bigger the better, isn’t it??
My metamorphoses from a lousy cook (one who couldn’t stand her own cooking) to an edible one had taken a long time. All the inexperience starting with lighting of a gas stove had tumbled over as a rude reminder of my inadequacy. Okra fry turned out like soup, rajma was disrespectful, chapattis like rock and sambhar sweet. Amidst this phase of disaster, almost four years ago, I had made a modest meal of thair-sadam and aalo fry for N, who during that time was neither friend nor more than friend; somewhere in the grey area.
He had thrown loose remarks of the thair-sadam being as tasty as his mother’s and stated the ironically mashed mutilated aalo fry was delicious. I had almost not believed him, but the prospect of being complimented was too overwhelming to counter. I had basked in the words, not because they came from N; not at all. But for that encouragement I needed to further my cooking and having found the perfect guinea pig!
Forty months and after, fifty disasters and five hundred odd successes and later, N and I make a good team at the kitchen counter. I definitely don’t believe that too many cooks in the house can ever be a problem; and as long as one can take over when the other is having a tough day, there could be nothing more comforting.
So today, when N lip-finger-smacked at the dum biriyani (ann’s recipe), which I perfected after around eight attempts, owing to my first experience with meat(chicken in this case) he quips “I can finally say that I married you for the right reason!” Men! I sigh. Clearly their heart is never ever in the right place!