Wednesday, November 08, 2006

My Multifaceted Amma

As I sat back on yet another day, figuring out what I have to cook for lunch, the monotony of the routine was killing me. I was filled with the same question once again What do I cook today that is something totally different? Internet and suggestions taken, I would attempt something that beat the normal items. But sometimes, when there is no time to experiment, and you just want to finish up with something, the end product has to be something usual. That was when I thought, how mothers at home can come up with different things every day. Remember, they cook everyday. I still remember the time at home, when I used to grimace and swallow, if an item that was made a couple of days back was made again. Why can't you do something different? Is it the same thing again? I would eat it up as if my mother had committed a grave sin. The best part at home was that it was not the question of a single dish, but a minimum of three dishes was compulsory. Rasam, Sambhar and Curry was the norm of everyday. Any slight deviation from the routine resulted in an additional dish like Kootu along with the other three items.

I remember those days when I used to call up home at about 8 or 9 in the evening, and inform my mother that I was going out with friends for dinner. There were days when I used to take a couple of them home without even informing her. The response on both the situations used to be the same, the typical OK, without a frown or grimace. I never realised how the extra food got adjusted on both the occasions. It was a mystery and it still remains a mystery to me as I juggle and struggle with my cooking. Thankfully, it is a good experience in the sense that it makes me realise the importance of getting good food at the right time. I think one of the toughest jobs Indian women have is to maintain a household and put up with all the tensions, and end up pleasing everyone at home. Had I been half as organized as my mother, I am sure I would have been much more productive in my work. My college days are something that I have to write about. I had my college bus at 7 in the morning, and by the time, I left the house, I was filled with lunch in the morning. Yes! Lunch it was. Apart from that, my tiffin box would get packed with something different. Of course, then I used to shout at my mother for being so overprotective and caring, and for spoiling her health. But then, it used to fall on deaf ears as usual, and I used to end up having all the delicious items she made. By the time, I returned from college, my evening snack used to comprise of something totally different.

As I write this entry, I am reminded of this wonderful quote that RK Narayan, through Chandran comes up with in the Bachelor of Arts, Mother is a sacred commodity. It is a commodity whose value we don’t realize as long as it is with us. One must lose it to know what a precious possession it is. I can't think of a better quote than this to summarize her.

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