Sunday, February 03, 2013
These days as I observe myself closely I notice certain tell tale signs of ageing--and I realise that just like Mummy acquired certain character traits of her mother as she grew older--I too am acquiring hers.Cooking has always been something I enjoyed--and that is what I had in common with both my Grandmas--paternal and maternal---- for they both enjoyed Cooking too.With my mother and mother-in-law it was a Passion--and both had discerning taste buds--they would dissect every Food they tried out---ferreting around to find each and every Ingredient used!!Sudhir's sisters--Kunda and Suhas as well as my sister Ritu possess this same Passion--and it used to amuse me earlier--but lately not-- for I find myself straying into their Territory!!
Thanks to Ritu I too would watch these Cookery Shows on T.V. with her---for it is interesting to see different styles of Cooking employed the World over.It was by chance that one day I stumbled upon 3 Indian Cooks---Marut Sikka,Aditya Bal and Vicki Ratnani on an Indian T.V. Channel called NDTV Good Times.All three have a passion for Cooking but while Vicki dabbles in Continental and Fusion food it is truly fascinating to watch the other two--specially Marut Sikka cook.His Recipes are simple and easy--uncomplicated but if followed to a "T" produce amazing results!!I have been hooked onto his Show for well nigh over a month now--and have been trying out some of his Recipes.I love cooking old,traditional and authentic Indian Cuisine---modifying the Ghee used in most to suit my Diet.Maybe that is why the fact that he uses the traditional methods to cook as far as possible appeals to me!!The fascinating Vessels and Utensils he uses are another attraction---these are so wonderful that they have me drooling--specially the Pans he cooks his Rice in!!Unfortunately they seem to be pretty old--he must have scoured the old Bazaars of Delhi,Hyderabad and Agra to get these----for they have that wonderfully antique look of the Pots and Pans both my Grandmas owned!!Just today I visited my sisters-in-law--both of them are each other's next door neighbours--so it is very easy to visit them at the same time since they literally live side by side!!However they too were a bit taken aback by the vehemence with which I discussed the Recipe for "Mutton do Pyaaza" which I cooked to perfection last Wednesday.I seem have found my rhythm again for frying the Spices on slow heat for hours on end--and trust me it does add yummyliciousness to the Dish!!Only one thing--the satisfaction of achieving a perfect result of the Recipe takes the edge off my appetite and I end up eating plain Pickles and Indian Bread--for I'm too stuffed to even taste whatever I've cooked so laboriously!!
It is not just this--it is also many other small nuances that are changing me.Mummy would have the T.V. going full blast all day--she'd watch all her favourite Programs and their re-runs all day long after she became confined to the house after 2003.This confinement was more mentally induced than any physical reasons.She had visited my cousin Meera in Hyderabad and while there caught a very bad Chest Cold.This made it difficult for her to walk to catch the Flight back to Mumbai--and maybe the ride in the Wheel Chair changed her outlook altogether---and she slowly began letting go!!As her moving out of the house for her daily errands decreased her weight increased--till she was really pretty overweight.I am scared that I may go her way--and maybe that is why I try to keep myself busy and as far away from the T.V. as possible!!Besides my high is my Computer--specially going onto the History Sites--for these truly fascinate me immensely.I'm surprised when people tell me that they find History boring--for to me there is nothing more riveting and spell binding as a Subject.However---I've also learnt painfully over and over again that too much Knowledge is not a great Conversational Gambit!!
These days I'm beginning to like my own company---and any diversion of Routine is getting to be troublesome!!My mind is now settling down to the new routine--as i rush about getting the entire house in order.There are still Sudhir's papers stored in the house which need stowing away properly---and also weeding through stuff that I can safely give away is hard to get rid of--for I suffer from pangs of guilt at getting rid of perfectly good stuff--but unfortunately not needed any more!!Ritu tells me that I better stay away from acquiring any more Pots and pans--but those are so very lusciously inviting--the brilliantly coloured,Die Cast Ceramic coated Sets in different sizes which are displayed so very invitingly on the Net!!It is really hard to resist their lure--and here too shades of Mummy surface--for she too had loads of Pots and Pans of various shapes and sizes--Copper,Brass,Steel and Bone China---which became a headache for Ritu to dispose off after she died in January,2010.As far as I know these are still stored on Mummy's Loft--wrapped in Newspapers and stuffed in Gunny Sacks!!!However I wouldn't want to wish this on my daughters after I go!!