Tuesday, June 17, 2008


When I was in high school, my Mom introduced me to the wonderful world of ghazals.
And it opened a whole new area of expression of all my teenage angst.

Mom had a really really old diary (dating from her jawani) in which she had written a number of ghazals, and then she would sing them. She often used to sing them to me too, as we both sat in the balcony on hot and humid evenings, the usual electric power cut happening.
(She's got the most amazing voice ever).

As I sit here missing my husband,
these lines from that old diary wafted into my mind (after probably 15 years of hearing them)

"Lamhe lamhe mein basi hai teri yaadon ki mahak,
Aaj ki raat to khushbu ka safar lagti hai..."

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Cooking...Aur Mai?? Kabhi Nahi

And no amount to Pan Pasand is going to change that, unfortunately. Yes, its official-
Indian men are proud of the fact that they can not cook!!

Why one should be proud of lacking a serious life-survival skill is something I just can't understand. Though I should add a disclaimer here- a lot of the men I know cook, and cook really well. But among the ones who don't, what I hate is this tone of pride that they can't cook. So it goes-

Cooking... aur mai?? hehe... kabhi nahi...

(one can almost hear the undertones of- me male, me great, me never stoop to cooking, me has wife to serve me)

It started with me talking to a friend (in India) yesterday. His wife had ordered some Chinese takeout, as she did not cook that night. So I told him that he should have cooked if she did not want/feel like it. And his answer-
Mai to cook nahi karta kabhi (and what infuriated me was that rather than be ashamed of the fact, he was so happy about it).

Then he shot back- So does your pati cook?
Of course he does!! (and my pati cooks a mean chicken curry, but I had the feeling that this guy would die of shock if I told him that me (a woman) eats non-vegetarian food. (Gasp!! Thud!!!)

(No, this is not an assumption, earlier in the conversation he had asked me whether I eat non-veg, and when I said no, his exact words were "Chalo shukr hai, kam se kam non-veg to nahi khaati")

On second thoughts, maybe I should have told him and done his wife a huge favor.

Cooking, in India, is so considered a woman's job and domain that it does not even enter a lot of men's realm of thought that they can actually do it (do I hear another Gasp?
Great :)
I wonder why, because it is simply an essential skill to live- no good, bad or anything connotations attached. Maybe Indian men are so unsure of their masculinity that they are afraid of even venturing into the kitchen. But here, I am over analyzing- I am sure that cooking is so far from their view of the world that it does not even enter their thought processes, ever.

Here's to all the men in the world who cook. Pan Pasand for all of you!