I am the automatically designated cook of the house. But I am a reluctant kitchen dweller. With such a mindset, I try to do my best here, for surely my children depend on me to provide the nourishment of the three meals and the two snacks per day.
When we were newly married I was rather hopeless. I think the heights of my culinary expertise was dosa and chicken curry. And cloyingly sweet desserts to round off the meals.
Due to a very strange and roundabout arrangement, we had two ladies come to cook us breakfast and lunch. One of them, was the better cook but only spoke Kannada. The second lady could speak questionable Hindi, so I could communicate in a manner of speaking. I am not sure of our communications now in hindsight, for they never exactly cooked what I requested.
That first lady made us comforting ragi mudde and curries, unprompted. She was from the village close by, a tall wiry woman. In the beginning she was even unfamiliar with the gas stove.
When we had our baby, she would come to bathe the little one. She would sit on the low footstool, gather her saree around her knees, and put up the baby on her legs. A massage with oil and a warm bath, the usually crying newborn would look up at her blissfully.
With a confident smile, she would speak many things in her language. I would not know what she meant all that time. A first baby at the start is a startling experience. Amongst all uncertainties, her coming in the mornings and bathing the baby was a comfort.