Not just a pressure cooker

shining in silver hue

a rounded belly full of stories

holding secrets of ages aplenty

she sings to my lady

and she rushes to her service.(Not well cooked? oh, yeah, needs two more whistles, I guess!)

The versatile and supremely talented pressure cooker is indeed the star of the Indian kitchen. From ‘biriyani’ to the humble ‘dal’ to ‘kheer’ anything and everything in the kitchen has to be touched by the holy belly of the ‘PC’.

I was so impressed by the fried rice that my pressure cooker cooked the other day, that I sat down to relish it with salad and pickle even as it was piping hot.(I believe in self-help first!) But then I got to think with reverence of ‘her’ without whom we are helpless vassals in the kitchen,our most trusted commander, our lady-in-charge, the Pressure Cooker.

I was not surprised therefore,  when I came across quite a few short films on the same theme on youtube. A Kannada short film -Pressure Cooker by Vinayaka Kodsara is a grim reminder of how ambitions can kill families and relationships.

A Tamil short film of the same name is about the pressure a school student faces before his board exams and how his father sits down to explain and make him realize the importance of not giving in to the tension that builds up in day to day life.

I must mention another beautifully done film starring the erstwhile tele star ‘Pallavi Joshi’ of the ‘Mrignayanee’ fame. The story is about a middle aged housewife who is looking for change, some attention and a more meaningful life even if it is by changing the pressure cooker at home.

The Pressure cooker is a much abused metaphor in the day to day conversation in the Indian domestic context with a range as wide and meandering- starting from academics to spirituality to the grind of modern living- nothing captures that feeling of build up of pressure as does the ‘PC’.

So as long as the ‘PC’ rules my kitchen, my life is sorted. So should yours be! Just don’t forget to let go off the steam sometimes!



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