Unbelievable but true.
Most days I am at home around lunch time and most days the menu is decided by the men in the house namely the father in law and the husband. This method was devised not because of lack of imagination on the part of the women who actually ran the kitchen but because we wanted to ensure a fool proof method of ensuring that the meals were to the satisfaction of the men who graced our table.
So this morning I ran out of the house well after my husband’s lunch was packed and told Bayda the Bai to keep it simple not realising that since Father-in-law was out of the house, the meal at lunch time would be so simple as to actually warrant my dipping into the pickle jar. My father firmly believed that a pickle on the table was an insult to a good cook for a good meal didn’t really need a pickle to spice things up. This was the reason my mother never served a pickle on the table and only made it ritualistically to be distributed to all her friends. Thus having never eaten a pickle with my meal, I didn’t even know how to eat a pickle!
But today I learnt that without a pickle one could literally starve. I also learnt that if there is no man on the table, the food can be simply appalling! All that I had to eat was two cold phulkas, a small bowl of cold, tasteless broad beans and a glass of washed down buttermilk ( i.e buttermilk got after churning the butter). And that was it! I was simply aghast. When I asked Bayda why the meal was so awful she coolly stared me down and said ” But you wanted it simple!”
I am now convinced that women are down right lazy and motivated to work only if directed by a man. When there is a man about the house there is a different kind of buzz – take him away and it literally falls apart. Housekeeping gets short shrift, cooking even more so and given half a chance the women would literally loll around in bed revelling in the thought that there is nothing to be done……………..