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Life without a cook!
Kishore Singh |
June 17, 2005
ecause the cook had not taken her annual break the last few years, we had been spoilt into inactivity.
So when she announced she was taking off for a month to go to Bangalore, the trauma set in fast.
"No more parties," said my wife, hours after the news had been broken to us.
"I didn't know we were planning any," I said.
"No, silly," she argued, "what I mean is, no more attending parties while she is still here. So we can save up all the parties to go to when she isn't here."
Like most women's logic, it didn't make sense to me.
But I had no hesitation about staying home for most meals. Clearly, we were not going to be doing a lot of it when the cook was not around.
In fact, it seemed we weren't going to be eating enough, if what my wife was planning was any indication.
"I don't think you should be having breakfast," she said to me, "it just makes you sluggish at work."
"Thank you," I said to her, "but is it all right to eat breakfast as long as I am willing to make my own?"
"Well, so long as you understand that I'm a busy woman who has other things on her mind besides feeding you and your brood," shrugged my wife.
A few days before the cook finally left, she was set to cooking up a storm in the kitchen, meals that would be frozen and stored for use later.
Unfortunately, it seemed none of them were intended for me and the kids.
"That's my diet food," said my wife, swatting our probing fingers away; "I have taken the precaution of catering for my needs, so I hope you won't trouble me for yours."
It was clear we were going to have to fend for ourselves. I saw the children pooling in their pocket money, counting out all the eight-anna bits and totting up the final count.
"That's to order take-away, for when you are at work and there's no one to cook us lunch," explained my son.
"Don't worry about your meals," I said gallantly to the children while I made my wife the buttermilk she is partial to, "you won't go hungry as long as I am around."
"Oh no," said my daughter, "we were rather hoping that you would mind cooking, and so you would give us the money to order tandoori or Chinese, instead of having to eat home food."
"I will give you," I insisted, "nourishing home food, not the junk you get when you order from the neighbourhood restaurants."
"That's good to know," chipped in my wife, "and so long as you are in the kitchen, you might just cook a little extra for my kitty friends who will be coming to spend the day with me tomorrow. And while you are at it, Sarla and Padma are coming for tea today, so you could do a quiche and some sandwiches and leave them for me to serve."
"I think it's unfair," I complained as I did the eggs and buttered the toast, "that you have had the cook make special meals only for you, and now you want me to cater for your friends and our children. Next, you will say you won't do the cooking for my sister and her children when they come to stay with us for a few days."
"I should hope not," said my wife. "Your sister is coming back from a holiday where she has been waited on hand and foot without having to do any work. Now that she's returning, she needs to get her feet back firmly on the ground. And what better way than to make sure she does the cooking for us. After all, we are providing her accommodation for free, aren't we?"