Friday, November 9, 2012

Cooking Pride

One of my biggest passions besides Indian Cinema and writing potentially damaging things about my loved ones on the internet is cooking. Growing up in a middle class family also means that both of my parents are always out at work, therefore I am delegated with the task of taking care of the house and feeding Harold. I don't enjoy the household chores part but the only saving grace, the jolt of colour in the dull monotony of chores is the cooking part.

At nine years old, I was already being taught how to cook rice and by the age of twelve, I was able to whip up a decent (eatable) meal. Every time when I watch Junior Masterchefs on television, I do nothing but openly scoff and say things like, "The only reason they can cook at such a young age is because they are from a middle class family with middle class parents. I could cook the same thing they are cooking at their age and nobody said I was gifted!"

"So full of resentment," Star rolled her eyes at me one evening, and then continued to be fixated on the television screen; some white kid was making prawn curry and sweating at the same time because the gravy was too spicy.

But in truth, the joy of cooking is nothing compared to the joy I get when I see my loved ones enjoying the food that I cooked to the very last bite. I cannot explain this in words, only those who cook can understand the warm tingling sensation inside. This is also why I find women who can cook a tad bit more special than those who refuse to. Like my second cousin Kate, who has this warped feminist perception towards women and cooking. In short, we don't see eye to eye.

"Why must we women learn how to cook? So that when we get married, we will slave in the kitchen? Hell no!" she butted in between the conversation between Harold and me at a family gathering a couple of days ago. We were talking about how Harold finds women who can cook really sexy.

"Do you know that it is bad manners to barge in a conversation without asking for permission?" Harold spat; he does not like her any much more than I do.

"And besides, who ever talked about slaving in the kitchen? And what is so bad about cooking for your husband and children?" I rebutted.

"It is degrading and disrespectful towards a woman's self worth. We are so much more than being in the kitchen for hours whipping up dishes after dishes day after day, months after months, years after years, until we die. And we achieve nothing in life while doing it!" Kate spat back.

"Kate, what is so degrading about feeding our family? That is a gift, to able to provide sustenance for your family members, your husband and children. That is not something all men can boast of doing. How is it degrading? If anything else, it is empowering, limitless empowerment if I may add," I rebutted again.

"Well I just believe in equality between the two genders, and cooking is but just a sorry excuse to demote womenfolk in the equality game," Kate relentlessly tried to prove her point.

"Of course women and men are not equal! Not all men can go to work and have a full time job, go back home to finish up the household chores and still cook for the family to eat by dinner time. So yes, women and men are not equal and definitely are not in the same league. When did I say they were?" I said, calmly this time. Smiling sweetly in fact.

Awkward silence.

"Kate, if you are a shitty cook, just be honest about it, we won't judge you. But don't try to win an argument with Harry, that's just plain stupid," Harold laughed.

"Whatever," Kate muttered and walked away, face red with anger.

"Can your girlfriend cook Harold?" I asked when Kate left.

"I don't think so. But she makes up for her lack of coking skills in other departments, if you know what I mean," Harold winked.

"You are a filthy pig," I said, throwing the tissue paper box at his face.

"What did you boys say to Kate? She said to me that you boys bullied her!" my mum asked worriedly, walking towards us.

"She said she doesn't find the idea of cooking the least bit interesting and won't even try to learn cooking. She says it is degrading," I explained.

"What is she going to feed her family then? Her fake eyelashes eh? Stupid girl," my mum scowled.

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