Amongst all this madness, my body literally gives up on somedays. But, the ironic part is, my taste buds never give up. And these taste buds start working even more when I see images of delicacies being cooked in different kitchens on Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.
On one such fine morning, I decided to make pooris and chole to satisfy my taste buds. Now pooris are something that need to be eaten hot, when they are fluffy and inflated. If you let them rest, they become flat and all the charm is lost. I served nice, hot and fluffy poori and asked my husband to come for breakfast. As usual, he was glued to his laptop and he took time to reach the destination, i.e., from the bedroom to the dining table. By the time he came, most of the pooris had become cold and flat. There were just a few fluffy ones left. He instantly took all the fluffy ones, leaving the flat ones behind. I got infuriated and yelled, ” I spent so many hours in the kitchen, shed so much sweat to make this and why should I be the one eating flat ones and why do you deserve to eat the fluffy ones?”.
He looked a little lost and said , ” Oh! I am so sorry, I didn’t do it intentionally. Since childhood I have only been served with fluffy ones so by default I just picked those”. Angrily I said, “Oh is it? Then who in your house ate those left behind cold and flat pooris?”
He stayed silent for a while and said, ” My Mom”.
He then turned to me and asked, ” So, you tell me who in your house ate those flat pooris?”. Not expecting this question, I sat there numb and still. The answer was the same.
I said, ” My Mom”.
I went into a deep retrospection and recalled my childhood days. It was not just about the “Pooris”, it was about everything. My mother would be the first one to enter the kitchen and last one to leave it.
Days and nights, and for years upon years she has just cooked and cooked. But cooked for us, only us. She would make what my father or we, her children liked to eat. Even on her birthdays she would prepare what her children liked the most and on anniversaries she would prepare what her husband liked the most. But never for a single day, she made what she liked the most.
My mom is a granny now, but I still don’t know what’s her favourite dish. Whenever I ask her, she would say, “Oh!, I eat everything.” She would always serve us tasty, hot, delicious food and she would end up eating at last, the cold, the left overs and sometimes even the burnt food. While my heart was filling up with remorse and my eyes with tears, I wondered why an educated woman like her never thought about herself. For once in life why did she not sit at the table before us and just eat what she liked the most and why on this earth did we never pay attention to our women, our mothers.
Somewhere, sometimes we all have taken the women of our house, our mothers for granted. It is time to change, time to think and time to give back what is due to them.
My deep thought was broken by my son’s shouting. He was grabbing a poori. He is too young to have it now so my husband took it away from his hand. He smiled at him and said, “While your mother loves you the most and wants the best for you in life, still she will make sure to also serve you the flat cold pooris because, my son, it is important for you to get your “Poori Lesson” right—respect the women in your life and treat them equally.”
—By Shringi Shrivastava