''Here is the wounded chief of the Third Punic War?. Talk to him.'' He said.
''What's up? Where are you now?''
My wife, over the phone:'' We just had an awesome sea-bath and now waiting for food at Taj Vivanta's restaurant.''
Oh God, they're in Goa, taking long walks and tasting all the exotic food they can grab. Blessed souls! She's enjoying with our daughter's family.
The formidable prospect of making a maiden Sambar in my life gave me a sharp shock and it was not visible for her being at the other end of the phone in India. Thanks to the Sambar Masala Powder and its magic spell and smell turns any worn out rubber slippers into Sambar! Stepping up the initial smirk bloomed at her face my sister-in-law said to me that my Sambar deserves a top star. I know, it's not that deep from her mind but just a thanksgiving for my dropping her to her office and picking up from there. It's no different from her comment that I drive very well when I know that it's possible only when there are no vehicles and signals on the road.
What I infer from the experience I've just had is a good cook invites others to eat and finds solace in his efforts in doing so. I remember having tasted a few dishes bland and insipid just because they do not have a flair for cooking but are forced to invite for dinners just to repay for the tastes they had at our place. Many of the items were tasted like warm cardboards. But there were some tough species who ordered food from out well in advance and conveniently transferred all to their own utensils to show that those are all home made. A question or two could easily make the cat out of the bag in such cases.
To put it in a nutshell, it was just reifying a concept which had been believed to be impassable for me so long. Usually dilatory in work habits, I wonder how I got accustomed to this art that requires extreme patience and research.
In my childhood days there existed a misconception among the male highhandedness and children that only ladies cook. Or rather to say that it is their duty and theirs only to feed the rest of us in the family. Of course there were exceptions for men only when they prepare big feasts. That also was based on a 'generally accepted belief ' that ladies are unable to handle 'wholesale feasts'. If a male is found to be with his 'daiiy cooking affair' within no time he would have been notorious that he's a good-for-nothing guy only to be fit for kitchen slots. Maybe because of that low-graded status quo we never offered our helps to moms in their chores. Instead, we used to fight with her if food has not been provided on time or a bit less in taste. Looking back to those days is indeed painful as we never understood the sweat and toil she had gone though in bringing us up, especially in a time of no cooking gas or stove.
Come hell or high water, a day or two in a week henceforth would make my wife free from her toils by me as a dedication to her prodigious skills of cooking I had been enjoying all these years.
But I do really feel like I'm that unfortunate cat who happened to land on the proverbial hot tin roof, when in the kitchen, and walking a thin line in the dead of a summer!