The soothing fragrance of melting butter and aloo parathas waft into the veranda.My stomach starts growling and I am overcome with lust-lust for food.
I shirk away the desire to tuck deeper into the blanket and step out,determined to grab the best bite.
I am visiting Anu and am often found opening and closing lids of containers in search for goodies in her spacious kitchen.
Anu’s kitchen is a treasure house. From mouth-watering laddoos to deliciously baked cakes and cookies, it’s a true foodie- haven.
Such is the fame of her laddoos that little children who visit her ask pointedly, Aunty, where have you kept the laddoo, eyeing the unassuming steel dabba on the dining table.
Anu was never the regular I love cooking types. In fact, she never ventured into the area hitherto lorded over by her miss perfectionist- the mom-who-knew-it-all.
It was her child who awakened the sleeping master cook in Anu. When the doctor declared that the bakery items were responsible for the white spots on her pretty little cheeks, Anu started to dish out some mouth watering home-made snacks.
For someone who hated cooking, Anu started to love rolling round laddoos of every kind. From wheat flour, to gram flour to sooji,any thing and every thing came out looking round and delicious in the form of laddoo at her home. Her little one’s ‘awesome !’ was the only reward she waited for.
Whether it was protein deficiency ,cold and cough or anemia or a disgruntled mother-in-law or a grumpy child that was the knotted issue of the time, Anu always found a laddoo-cure for every situation.
Even as work at office ate into her time Anu still tried and kept herself at the task.
While teasing her super -woman aspirations, I genuinely wondered why someone would not spare some time for one self and give up cooking, that most taxing of all wifing-mothering-homing duties.
I was about to embark on another session of worldly wisdom when Anu looks misty eyed, her face turned to the ceiling to mouth these pearls: Life is like an aloo paratha…those bland edges add to the taste, so don’t fight, succumb to the harsh realities of life!
While I go scrounging in her kitchen, you try making sense of that!