Can an empty stomach be the cause of all world problems? Is food the solution for all ailments? Food for thought, for sure!
Indian mothers have this default setting that simply does not permit any member of the house to traverse its threshold on an empty stomach or without sufficient ammo/food boxes to wage the daily battles outside!
From as far back as I can remember, my mother, grandmother and I am sure all mothers in time have been torch-bearers to the concept of ‘Food‘ as the key to almost all ailments and travails.
Me: (Bawling) I want that dress…
Mother: (Whips out snacks from her bag and stuffs into my mouth)
Me: I can’t do all this homework!
Mother: (Swiftly hands me a plate of hot dosa and chutney)
Me: I didn’t get selected to the throw-ball team.
Mother: (Triumphantly bringing out Custard-jelly-icecream)
Bro: My headache is just unbearable!
Mother: (Ladles extra helping of everything)
Father: I am going to resign, can’t take that Ba$t@**’s nonsense anymore!
Mother: (Laying out the dinner, scurrying to fry his favorite papad)
Brother and Me: (Arguing and fighting)
Grandmother to Mother: Go fix a big bowl of curd-rice.
Me: Ah, finally packed everything for my trip!
Mother: (Comes in carrying a large food hamper) Just squeeze this in.
Yes, the one-stop solution to all aches, pangs, sufferings and ailments according to these dear women was/is/will be FOOD. Yes, our family deity is Devi Annapoorna (Goddess of Nourishment)!
If this treatment didn’t work, they just repeated the dose at frequent intervals.
The biggest marvel is that, at most times it worked like a charm. The foggiest, crankiest, gloomiest and angriest of moods vanished when the stomach was assuaged, leaving behind a happy burp!
These geniuses actually formulated: Anger is directly proportional to Hunger!
For higher, more complex problems, the treatment included adding more hours of sleep and extra time in the loo! EAT, SLEEP, $H!T and sing All Izz Well! A tiny infant does only these three things while his Mum probably sings the same song to him, and guess what? He is the most content being!
This miraculous trinity therapy could put to shame the best of the minds from the medical fraternity. Maybe we never really outgrow our infantile needs?
I can assure you, I was pretty annoyed at having to bear the brunt of these ‘quacky’ remedies that they offered me, whenever I went to them with the mountains of troubles I faced in my growing years. My retorts and hit-backs were frequent, but they did tend to lose steam once the traitorous hunger demons were appeased!
I could never fathom why womenfolk spent hours sweating it out in the kitchens and it irritated me to no end when I imagined myself doing the same. I swore that I would spend as little time cooking as possible when matters rested in my hands. Haven’t I got better things to do with my time?
Me: Here, pack it in. Your lunch, short-break and tidbit boxes are on the table.
Kid: Oh Ma! Do you think I’ll starve if I don’t eat one day? Anyway I have enough stored fat, (no) thanks to you, to tide me through! I don’t need so many boxes. One or even none is fine.
Me: Yeah, I know. Still just keep them. If you don’t want to eat, it’s okay, bring it back.
Kid: (Rolling eyes, stuffs the boxes in)
Me: (Smiling, knowingly)
My Mom: (Smiling, smugly)
Yep, we womenfolk do have the key to all human afflictions and world problems. Maybe if all the angry people in the world went out on a full stomach, fights wouldn’t even happen! Talk about Hunger Games and all! Chicken soup anybody?
A well-fed world is a happy world!
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Published here earlier.