Tuesday, February 23, 2010

“Food is the best way to a man’s heart” goes the famous saying, but I understood that it is true even for women only yesterday. I was invited for dinner with a couple of my friends. The host’s mother had come from Kerala so she thought it would be nice if we all had dinner together.

The cooking was neat and simple by her mother, but the happiness that it brought each time I took a bite is boundless. They had kept Garlic Bread and Salad as starter. After tasting the more kootan and avial I regretted why I gave space for the worthless Garlic Bread and ghaspoos in my stomach. Cherishing the good food all the way till now I got into thinking what would one call good food? I was always fascinated by different cuisines and whenever I went to a new city or country I wanted to try the local food. But this never gave me the happiness that I realised yesterday. A number of my friends are great cooks and they make tasty dishes but eating their food never brought me even closer to the ecstatic feeling that I felt yesterday. Then I realised it is all not about who cooks but how they cook.

When I say how they cook it does not mean, if he/she is putting the right masalas or boiling the things for the right time, but it is more about what they want to give to the diner, (that means me). A lot of us when we cook, take care that we make a perfect food and concentrate more on putting the right quantity of ingredients more for getting praises for the taste and richness of the food, than for the humble cause of satisfying others hunger. But when our grandmothers and mothers cook, they are not looking for our good words of praise but to see the smile that comes when the hunger is fed.

Without realising that the food our mother serves each and every day is what is making our day, we complain that her cooking is monotonous and go out for eating. When we get tired of eating outside and come back to our mother’s food we fail to acknowledge her efforts properly. Even though my mother’s cooking is a bit bland ;) (My complaining nature has yet surfaced again), I never realised what made me come back to eat her kootu and kali time and again. I salute all the mothers and people out there who have been following the policy of only give and expected nothing in return. Also my thanks to the aunty who cooked for us yesterday, but for her I would not have realised what is the meaning of good food.

Ananthi Sankaran

PS: Thanks to Avin for patiently correcting my blog :)