I imagined cooking in neatly tucked sari, serving my husband spoonfuls of halwa between oodles of love and seductive glances. ‘Yeh tumne apne hathon se banaya hai’ - was my second favorite sentence. First being - hamari beti sarvagunn sampann hai! I started my ‘Wife-Training’ rigorously. I cooked, I baked, I burnt and in between all that, borrowed my mom’s maroon saree for practice. The low point of this practice regime was not burning, but sweating. Unlike in Hindi movies where - 40 degree wali garmi ho ya 89% humidity, pasine ko Sunny Deol border cross nahi karne deta. Boy, I sweated! It was not at all glamorous for me. Undeterred I pointed finger at my parents. We were a middle class family. We switched on the AC when the entire family was in one room. Else it was a sin. I knew, things would change for better. I will marry someone super rich and handsome - aur 10 chapati banaungi toh bhi ek boond pasina nahin aayega. AC hoga na kitchen mein!
With these dreams, I got married to just out of B-School boy in recession. He was neither rich, nor Salman Khan. We rented a semi furnished apartment in Bangalore. There was no space for a 10 seater dining table. Waise agar woh bhi hota, toh bartan nahi the! In ten days - ‘khana ban gaya hai aa jao’ was replaced by ‘kitni chapati khaoge?’ Then, started the silsila of weird demands. Aloo ke paranthe to hamara mess wala banata tha! I prefer cucumber in bite size. Do you know how to make chole bhature? It was a crucial stage of our marriage. I was taught - Dulhan wahi jo piya man bhaye, and hence, I started cooking everything.
He wanted idlis - I made it. He wanted a cake - I baked it. He wanted to have mess wale paranthe - I made the potato filling 3 days in advance, just to give that perfect leftover touch. This continued for good 2-3 years. Phir shaadi purani ho gayi. Women liberation, naari shakti, feminism and all that social media crap forced me to think. I started writing, and my priorities changed. My increased social media interaction enlightened me. Cooking a four course meal was not important. Taking the picture of food, writing a ‘oh-so-full-of-love’ comment and tagging your husband on Facebook became the norm of the day. This was the modern day version of sarvagunn sampann naari. I followed the new social (media) norms. Now with all this, there was hardly any time to cook. Pressure of cooking was taking a toll on my creative skills. Just when I was on the verge of a writer’s block, a million dollar idea fell into my lap. Darling husband asked for ‘Rava Idli with Stir-Fry Vegetables’ for lunch. Instead of using my culinary skills, I used my creative ones, and served him Dal-Chapati with this on the side, on ‘bite size’ sticky note -
Piya wahi jo sab kuch khaye aur nakhre na dikhaye!
P. S. - Aaj meri wife wali training complete hui!