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What's cooking ?

-Arati Gurung

As we all chomp on the roast, sizzlers and chillies, everyone at the table starts talking about Cooking. The girls in the group show off their feminine side by confidently talking about recipes, and the men add in their modern side by admitting to know how they're done. I keep quiet, I like to listen and watch. There's something similar about this scene and oddly funny too.

I'm not keeping mum because I have nothing to say. I can cook. I might not cook chicken the way half the nation does, but the way I cook is healthy and eatable and sometimes even plausible. I choose not to claim 'I cook this and that, and this is how it's cooked' simply because the cooking at home is done by my mom. I am only an occasional cook.

All my years growing up, I've sat at such groups where that very topic has brought about those very expressions. My silence at such conversations would result to my ridicule for not knowing how to cook even at 'this age'. I had tried defending myself earlier on – but lately I don’t. Just because someone doesn't cook the way you do, doesn’t mean they don't know how to cook. I would be the butt of cooking jokes and tagged 'the one who doesn't know how to cook'. I knew how aalu dum is made, but unlike others I wasn't confident enough to announce that I can cook it any day. I said it like it was; it was the truth.

Initially, I would be amazed by those who said they cook on a regular basis and that they knew how to cook everything on the menu. The feeling was equally amazing when years later during conversations with their mom's, I would find out they never cooked at all.

Why all that lie? I cannot understand.

I conclude it by thinking honesty is not everyone's cup of tea.

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