When I Decided To Take My [Lack Of] Cooking Skills With A Pinch of Salt

Posted: June 27, 2017

OK, so I am not a good cook. Does that decrease the importance of what I can do? And isn’t cooking a skill that everyone must learn, woman or man?

“You? You’ll never be able to cook,” said one of my friends with a smirk. “I mean, look at you, you know the latest fashion trends. But, cooking?” She nodded her head and stepped out of the office cubicle, chuckling to herself.

What I am about to share is certainly not fiction. But, it’s a strange way we often pull each other down instead of helping one another.

So, it was one of the best phases of my life. I was working for one of the top media houses in Pune. While I went onboard as a timid designer, I soon improved my skills to be at par with the senior-most in the house. But, indeed! That is certainly not enough for our judgemental society.

Lunch time was always a hurried affair but often most looked forward to. And, I dreaded this hour.

The moment my tiffin was placed on the table, it was common to hear taunts that ridiculed my cooking skills or lack of it and also brought attention to my interest in fashion. Because, according to the ladies around me, my tiffin box was too perfect for me to emulate and fashionable women certainly cannot cook. After all, I couldn’t cook to save my life, and here I was lucky to eat delicious home-cooked meals. Oh! I think I forgot to mention the ladies taunting me couldn’t cook anything delectable either and often resorted to ready-to-eat packets when their house cook went on a leave. Did I also not mention that my tiffin box was often devoured leaving almost nothing for me at lunch time? Well, talk about having your cake and eating it too! Only, it was my ‘cake’ in this instance but gobbled up by someone else!

Now, don’t get me wrong before you start the mud-slinging and give me stern stares. “It’s good to share,” etc. Yes, I remember all the lessons taught in school. The moral stories. But, hey! I thought it can also be a two-way process?

Over time, I did pick up all the essential skills I needed to make nutritious food.  And no, it did not clash with my interest in the latest gowns or the newest stiletto design. The anger and fear I felt against cooking slowly disappeared. The kind of tension that was built up at my workplace always made me think this was one of the impossible tasks ever. But, with time, I realized it’s all about how well you practice. It’s also about what you learn from your experiments. And no, I did not begin with square-shaped rotis if that’s the cliché you expect.

That brings me back to the same thought this evening. One’s professional achievements hold little value as compared to the obsession our society has with cooking. Or should I say, women, who can (can’t) cook. Cooking is an essential skill to know. But, tell me, aren’t the ones who holler about it, the same ones who spend the least time in the kitchen? So, ladies and gentlemen, can we let it rest a little bit?

Think about it. As for me, I am off to make my evening snack. It’s not perfect. But, I am fine with that.

Image source: By bandita [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons, for representational purposes only.

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A wordsmith passionate about all the creative things in life! Artist | Beach Lover | Style Hoarder |

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