Yesterday I came across something in my News feed that infuriated me:
A restaurant named ‘Second wife restaurant’. Quoting from their website:
“Second Wife is one of the fastest growing food tech companies in Bangalore. For great food and good times. Second Wife cooks like your wife and may be better than your wife also. Experience our taste and quality of our food a wide range of vegetarian and non-vegetarian delicacies with distinct aroma and flavour achieved by carefully blending a host of spices and condiments.”
Assumption : Sole purpose of a woman is to cook for her husband!!
Men, if you want warm, home-cooked food spend some money and get a cook!! Not a wife.
Women of this generation probably manage to get some help. If not someone who cooks all meals, then maybe some one who helps in chopping, slicing, dough making extra.
But what about the generation of our mothers? How much of their time have they spent in the kitchen?
My mother loves cooking. She is awesome at it too. I have tried to keep cooks unsuccessfully. Sometimes, she doesn’t like their hygiene, or taste, or timing. She stands in the kitchen throughout while the cook works directing her. She says if she is standing in the kitchen, observing and instructing a cook, might as well do it herself! She also says that the time she spends waiting for her, she can be done by then. Also, even with a cook, most nice things which she would prefer to cook herself!
I on the other hand, can let go completely. Being a lazy person, I can comfortably sit and do nothing, while the cook does her job. As long as she washes her hands, washes vegetables, rice properly I am okay with compromising on the taste. Because in return, I get my time! And it is worth it! I would rather spend that time reading, writing, jogging, gymming, watching Netflix or even doing nothing!
I cook once in six months / three months. When there are guests over. Or when I try out a new recipe from the internet. When I have the time. When I have nothing better to do. No matter how well I cook, or how great it turns out the maximum that can happen is someone will eat well and say, “Very nice!”
To do it every day, from scratch, for a lifetime is just too much!. Whether you can afford help but you still choose to cook (or even if you don’t have an option) it is something that you do all the time with a lot of time and effort!!
I remember having a barbecue party at my cousin’s place in Singapore. We had ordered some continental chicken appetizer. My mother and aunt had mixed their Indian spices along with that chicken and managed to make an awesome biryani out of it on a very short notice!
Once biryani was served, we started eating without even bothering to say that it was good! We, however had not failed to applaud the men who had set up the barbecue! After some time, when my Bhabhi started eating after feeding her kid, she said how nice the biryani was. My aunt said “Oh thank God! No one was saying anything I was wondering how it came out. I was looking at Tanu’s face, when she took the first bite..”
Sometimes my mother tries a new recipe, spends an awful lot of time on it and gives it to me in my tiffin I love it. I think of texting her but I forget because I am busy at work. Sometimes even once I reach home I forgot to say anything. Sometimes I remember only when she asks. The amount of effort and time that goes in procuring the supplies, planning, cooking! Oh God! And thankless children don’t even remember to acknowledge!
Men often say things like “Mera bhi credit hai, mutton main laaya, wash kiya etc” or some variation of that. And we find it cute also. Lazy, annual cooks like me get a lot of attention for their one time special recipe!
But the ones who do it, all the time it is really a VERY difficult thing to do on a daily basis, for a lifetime! Nobody will say to you everyday that the roti, chawal, daal, was good.
I know the post started out bashing the expectation that women should cook. But let me end it with gratitude for the ones who do it every day of their life! Thank you, mom, aunts, grand moms, sister, cousins and everyone else who does it! I am sure you are not thanked enough!!