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!


Blue Bike said...

=) Thanks for the Pan Pasand, it sure would taste much better than any of those foil wrapped dead frozen dry paans of desi restaurants in USA.

Just to add a few more of my people to the brighter side, please consider the category of guys who have to take voulntary retirement from using their culinary skills because of the following reasons:

- In process of creating their magnum opus, they leave behind an incredible amount of mess and entirely change the kitchen layout by shuffling all the jars and stuff. (I've friends who ask me not to instigate their husbands )

- They are terribly slow but would never accept help, it is considered interference by this species.

i149 said...

Now seriously, cooking is not a one off thing to show off one's skills for friends on parties. cooking is a necessary survival skill.. being able to look through the fridge and pantry and throw something together which is healthy and tasty after coming home at 10 pm from the lab is what is real life cooking. naturally, i rock at it.

Richa said...

Agreed! Been listening that all my life.

Once a friend complimented for my cooking skills. Another friend's (obviously male) response was,'hey isn't that natural for you (a female) to be good at that?'

My question: if women are supposed to be natural at cooking, why all the restaurants/hotels have male chef? I think its more natural for a man to be a good cook. We are just burdened with the task for some unknown reason.