ART AND CULTURE

Entering the kitchen for the first time

I have been there for ages. Running in and out of the room, searching snacks, nagging mom to cook my favorite dish, shouting out loud and calling other family members when dinner was served and endless memories of tasting food that my mom used to experiment on. I was familiar with that place but that day, it felt something different. Excited, nervous and above all happy to convince my mom to let me in for cooking.

Growing up and watching mom cook was a delightful sight for me. Those tasty food items she cooked for us was what I always admire. I also wanted to cook and gain appreciation from others as my mom always does. Whenever I used to play “House Play” with my friends, I used to enact the role of a mother and used to cook imaginary stuffs on that tiny household kitchen set with different colorful plants and pebbles in it. Sometimes asking mom to lay down on bed and act like an ill person so that I could serve her some food that she had already prepared as if I especially made it for her.

I vividly remember that day. A ten year old girl was learning to cook for the first time. That day my grandparents had come to visit us and my mom was cooking Roti and Aalu Daam as my grandpa loves that combination a lot. My mom warned me that it was a difficult task and promised to teach me with some easy recipe like noodles, fried eggs and so on. But I was stubborn and insisted her to let me in. Rather than learning to cook, maybe I wanted to impress my grandparents and after a lot of tantrums, my mom agreed.

At first, I was asked to cut the boiled potatoes and other vegetables which was pretty easy for me. Till that time being, my mom prepared the flour dough for making roti and taught me to give a round shape to the lump of dough. She did it with an ease and within a minute, a perfect circle shaped roti was prepared. “Oh! that’s easy”, I thought. But when I tried, I made a triangle, square, octagon, hexagon, and every shape that I had learned in my geometry classes, except circle. After lots of attempt, I had a severe pain on my wrist but couldn’t succeed. I was disappointed. My mom looked at me, smiled and said “Good Job! You will learn soon. Don’t worry.” I just smiled and was silently praying for that day to come soon.

I couldn’t do more due to my wrist pain so, my mom completed the remaining work. She even cooked those irregular shaped rotis of mine and served each to my family members. I was embarrassed for a moment but all of them appreciated my attempt. Later, my grandpa called me and offered some chocolates and said “Next time you should prepare those rotis on your own for me. So, practice hard until I visit you next time.” I just smiled doubting on myself and couldn’t say anything. From that day to till date, whenever my grandparents pay us a visit, I am the one to prepare some round rotis and aalu daam for them on my own.

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