Skip to main content

FEED ME!

I don't know how many people know this, but I love food. I love food rather more than is healthy, as a matter of fact - I'm far too often guilty of emptying an entire bag of chips over the course of a couple of hours. Because I come from an Iyengari household, where the question "What should we have for dinner?" has only two possible answers - chappati or rice - I've also had to learn to cook. That's okay, though, because I love cooking.

My love for cooking began when I was six or seven years old. I used to spend all my time hanging out with my grandmother, and it's from her that I inherited my love of cooking. I'd follow her everywhere she went, and a large component of "everywhere she went" was the kitchen. I'd follow her there too and chat with her, in my usual garrulous fashion. Aside from the occasional admonishment to stand back when she was lighting the stove or dropping something into oil, she let me stand right next to her while she cooked. It was only natural that I should begin to emulate her, and within a short while, I was cooking up my own "dishes". I place the word in quotes because what I cooked wasn't meant for human consumption, per se - raw chappati dough in chilli powder-flavoured water was a particular favourite of mine, to make if not to eat. At the time, one of the major impediments to my progress in the culinary world was that I was not allowed to use knives or the stove. I soon came up with a way to circumvent this, though: I took up baking.

Until the age of ten, I wasn't even allowed to preheat the oven without supervision. Under my mother's watchful gaze (and with her constant aid), I churned out a succession of sponge cakes, tarts and other baked goods. The first time I chopped vegetables or used a stove by myself was at a baking class I attended. I added to my repertoire, among other things, cookies, bread and casseroles. I was also allowed to use the knives and stove at home, but still only with adult supervision. My ability with a knife was also, as you may expect, somewhat limited. I didn't lose any fingers, but I couldn't do much more than cut anything placed in front of me into, say, quarters at best. It was still a few years before I moved on from baking to actual cooking.

Fast forward a few more years (and a somewhat expanded menu). I had grown tired of pizza and focaccia bread, and I took up cooking food in a pan on a stove. I began with simple stuff, pasta sauces for penne mom boiled for me and such. My mother was still my faithful assistant - meaning that she would do most of the work and give me the credit. Even so, I loved it, and the food we made turned out okay, so everyone was happy.

Cut to the present. I cook a few times a month, usually by myself. I still get mom to boil pasta, because I can never seem to estimate how much pasta a person will eat (rice is another of my little hang-ups). As a rule, though, I can make a full meal on my own, and even get the salt and cooking times approximately right!

Cooking has been a hobby of mine for quite a while, and I certainly hope it will remain one when I have to do it every day. For now, though, I hope you will excuse me. I hear the rustle and crinkle of a chips packet, and I am in need of my daily calorie fix.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Exam Fever

As anyone currently in the twelfth will tell you, with varying levels of dismay, the final exams are right around the corner. Parents everywhere are seizing their children's phones and taking time off from work. Panicked screaming ensues at intervals.


I don't believe there's a person on the planet who genuinely enjoys exam season. Actually, I take that back - there's no one in India who enjoys exam season. Partially, I think this is our own fault. Exams are the most important things in an Indian student's life, so parents seem bent on bottling up all the worry and concern they have about their kid's education and allowing it to spew forth in a torrent of "No more video games!" and "Delete WhatsApp!" commands during the two months surrounding the exams. Small wonder, then, that at 17, I believe the purpose of exams is to seasonally blot the sunshine from otherwise happy lives.

This whole exam fever thing does have some upsides. Okay, one - it…

No Good Place To Do Mutra Visarjan In This Country...

At least, that's what Chatur Ramalingam seems to think. However, many of our fellow Indians seem to disagree with him. According to them, there are nothing BUT places to do mutra visarjan (for all you poor, masochistic folks - ah, I mean, non-movie-going folks - out there, mutra visarjan means urine expulsion). In case you haven't guessed already, we're going to be talking about one of India's most widely criticized and even more widely practiced issues - public urination.

I'm not exactly saying that it's our people's fault - I mean, come on, we have so much urine-related cultural history! Just in the past 50 years, we've had people who've used their urine for everything from watering plants to drinking it (I believe that some people also flush it down their toilets. How wasteful of them). Besides all the historical precedents, however, we also have some more practical reasons for peeing wherever and whenever we feel like.

If you've ever seen a …

Learning to Learn

There's an interesting concept that's gotten a lot of traction over the past couple of years called "meta learning".  It's a term coined by one Donald B. Maudsley, who defined it as "the process by which learners become aware of and increasingly in control of habits of perception, inquiry, learning, and growth that they have internalized". Translated from Sciencese, Maudsley is talking about how we figure out ways to become more efficient at learning new information.

HR managers (you know, those overpaid dimwits you complain to about your coworker stealing your lunch?) like to call it "learnability". Most people with real jobs don't call it anything at all. In reality, though, it's an extremely useful thing to understand, together with the techniques you would use to get good at it.

Myself, I'm a decent-ish learner. Mostly, that's because I've had to learn things on my own quite often - I had to teach myself web design, app…