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By Hook or by Cook

I think we both are Tom and Jerry in our cartoon lives, the products of some remnants of the Kurukshetra war. We pick up fights, scheming and plotting against each other at every opportunity nature provides. Even if we are not in the confines of nature, we go scouting elsewhere for issues to disagree upon. His being married to me is just a coincidence.

Take this cooking issue for instance…

Noteworthy points

-My man likes to eat, a lot…and it usually doesn’t come as a surprise when you set your eyes on him.
-He is perpetually hungry.
-He likes fresh (unhealthy) food and would rather eat out than eat yesterday’s sambar rice.
-We can’t afford to eat out everyday, I have sensitive stomach and an even more sensitive bank account.

I took cooking responsibilities way back in our relationship to show off my cooking skills and win the man’s heart through his stomach. Stomach was happy, heart was won over and his mind connived into deciding that I would continue to cook that till I become old and bedridden. At that point, he probably would seek a young nubile maid to take care of his palate.

I like to think I am the smarter species and hence, wouldn’t let him get away that easy. His job was to clean the vessels. I would use 6 spoons to taste and throw them in the sink for him to scrub. I agree it is not an easy job without a dishwasher and dish overuse, but this job still has its perks compared to cooking.

-Washing is not time dependent.
-You could pile up vessels for the whole weekend.
-No need to think about a new recipes everyday and no need to baby sit gajar-ka-halwa for 2 hours.
-Lastly, no freaking skill involved. Ever heard of washing classes? Or the washing network? Or the washing-recipe?

To be frank, it’s a dirty job and Pi was true to his work. Vessels would get cleaned though not in a timely manner. So I cribbed. To counter my cribs, he would come up with stuff like this, ‘ I do so much work in the house like washing all these vessels. All you’ve got to do is whip up some things together and call it food!’

*censored scenes*

That did it! It hit me right where it shouldn’t have! HMPF! I felt I got the raw end of the deal like always and fought tooth and nail to bring a reform in my household. From now on, Pi would have to cook and I would clean. He obviously sucumbed. Any reluctance on his part would have made me go, "AHA!" Nice work Alpha, I thought! *pat on my own back*

That evening, it was nice to just wash a few vessels, lie on the recliner reading magazines and watching ‘Bachelor’ while Pi slaved in the kitchen. Wah wah… what bliss!

2 seconds later,

"Alpha!!!!! Come here quick na… It’s an emergency!" I ran to the kitchen. He looked like he'd been wrestling with a grizzly, "How do you cut these onions without crying? I’m not sure about the mustard seeds spluttering on my face? Do I need protective glasses? What is rawa?"

"Here, let the culinary expert show you the path" I confidently said, deftly picking up the knife and the ladle and before I knew it, I had finished the cooking all by myself while hubby dear was sprawled on the couch chatting with his buddies on international issues such as football.

*censored scenes*

Next day, I came back from work late, but no food was prepared! Very calmly he said that he couldn’t cook as I hadn’t washed the particular vessel he wanted to use! *censored word* I washed it in a huff (took me 30 seconds including the censored word!), went to the recliner to read magazines and watch ‘Apprentice’ while Pi slaved in the kitchen. Wah wah… what bliss!

After three hours, resisting my urge to go to the kitchen lest he would ask me to help, combating with mind-numbing hunger, conjuring up tasty images from the Sanjeev Kapoor recipe book I had handed to him, I couldn’t take it anymore. Finally food!!!

‘Oh wow…beans curry! Yipee! What else, sweety?" I asked with all effusive sweetness I could muster gritting my teeth. Mind you, this was frozen cut beans which he just had to thaw and add spices to.

"Oh, there is frozen parathas to go with it and if you want you could make rice", he states and throws a dozen vessels into the sink, most of them burnt.

*censored scenes*

Third day, I go to the groceries and bring the most exotic kinds of vegetables, vegetables that would require much more effort than just thawing. Fresh Cabbage (cut, dear cut), tinda, colocasia, yam..etc. Serves him right! Till he falls on my feet and begs to reconsider this deal and confesses that cooking is a tough job....*evil bitchy laugh reverberates in the grocery store shaking all the jam bottles*

Hoping to do a pre dinner nagging session with Pi and explain the virtues of fresh produce, I found him nowhere in the house. Tried the cell phone "Alphu baby, Guess what? I am at White Elephant Thai restaurant."

 "Jeez man! How dare you abandon me and start hogging. What about the calocasia you are supposed to make. Get your ass here! People will think we are dysfunctional." I yelled through the phone to make sure those Thai waitresses would know they are not supposed to be serving him Tofu Ma Pao Pad Hak or whatever he was eating.

"What? You forgot!! *sulk* It’s our fifth proposal anniversary day and I was just about to order your favorite Red curry." I could even hear him drool.

Awww...*melt melt* How thoughful! Wait a sec, Proposal Anniversary? What the heck is that? I’m too numb (make that dumb) to even do the math.

S-U-C-K-E-R (M-E).

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