Monday, April 04, 2016

C for Cook

Bleary eyed and still sleepy, I tried ignoring the door-bell. Once. Twice. By the third ring, I realized it was a relentless pursuit that I couldn’t wish away by burying my ears in the pillow. I pulled out my cell phone that was reflecting an unholy 6.40 am. Cursing all and sundry, I stumbled out from under the quilt and got myself to the door, only to see someone all dressed up standing outside, ready to barge into the house. It took me a minute to figure out who that was and when I did, my reaction was not one akin to grace or pleasantries. That’s Push, who entered our lives two years back, Push who doesn’t go by the time on the clock or the date on the calendar, Push who feeds us every day now.

“Aaj kya banaun (What shall I make today)?” is the first question I am thrown at by Push first thing in the morning. “Make some music and some cake, and a story to go with the flow,” I am tempted to say. Controlling the sarcasm and the irritation, I remind myself I need food for sustenance as I rummage in the refrigerator for something, anything, that I can dump into her hands and get back to sleep. Then she follows up with “Yeh kitna banaun (How much of this should I make)?” I bring out the measuring cup to measure out the lentils and then count out the veggies and the green chillies… And, by then, sleep has bidden me farewell, and I am left standing all alone with Push, Push who doesn’t want to be bothered by minor things like measuring out and making standard food for two grown adults.

I walk into the kitchen after Push leaves, to retrieve the outcomes of her battles inside. It truly is a war zone, like the ones they show on Troy and Bahubali. Serving dishes lie on the side counters, covered not closed. Bottles of masala precariously hang on to dear life from the edges of shelves. The stove looks miserably bloodied with chilli powder and tomato puree. Water drips from the tap in slow motion, singing paeans to the warrior princess who was battling inside. And the cupboards – aargh! The cupboards! They are all open, every single cupboard door is open, as if someone was escaping for dear life and had no time to reign in the mad horses. As opposed to her name, Push doesn’t push anything shut. She follows a completely open door policy, and would do exceedingly well in any new age company embracing an open office culture.

And, every single day, as I walk out of the kitchen with my breakfast in hand, I ask myself, “Why do I put up with her?” But, I know the answer to that one even before I finish the question. She turns up on time (unearthly early though that is), every single day. She doesn’t take an off, unless I force her to take a holiday for a festival, or because she is ill, or just because I need a break from her. And, her integrity levels are highly abnormal for a normal human being, so much so that I can trust her with a big barrel of mangoes and know that every single one of them will be accounted for no matter how many days pass. Although, I am sure they will all be rotten by then as she would have stored them in the cooler and not shut the door!

P. S. This post is the third in the A-Z blogging challenge series for April. 

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