My Dear Pressure Cooker,
I am writing to you because you are the one with whom I have spent most of my time. Even now I feel I have a special bond with you. Let me tell you few things, the journey of having you in all the phases of my life…
To be honest with you when I was 12 and I first saw you, I wanted to throw you out. I wished that I will never have to see you again. However, today I thank God for not approving my wish. When I was learning to cook, you (pressure cooker) was easier to learn. So technically it was you who brought the Chef in me.
Do you remember our morning rituals, that 7 am breakfast cum lunch for my husband and children then the boiled food for my In-Laws? 1 pm lunch for them and dinner of course. How can you forget that “dinner will be ready after ONE whistle?” Sometimes I feel what I would have done if you were not there!!!!
I still cannot forget that day when those Master Chef people told me that if I want to cook I have to cook using their vessels. I can’t believe that I accepted it and I couldn’t even qualify beginners round. I cried a lot that day. My mother in law told me to try you for the next time. Magically I passed and also got the third rank at that time. All credit goes to you my pressure cooker.
My mother told me that you fail as a woman if your husband enters and cooks in the kitchen. Hence, I always tried to prove myself by making delicious meals for my family obviously only with your help. I don’t know whether I have passed the ‘Woman Test’ designed by the mother but surely I have failed as a mother. I tried to pass the values and lessons learnt by me from my mother to my daughter. She is a good daughter but at this age (25 years) she still doesn’t know to cook. I wondered at the time of her marriage how will she survive the taunts because of her inability to cook. I cursed myself for not teaching her to cook as I got busy in my professional career as a Chef.
When my husband told me that you are old and your maintenance cost is more than benefit and we should sell you; I don’t know from where the rebel inside me came out and I bluntly refused to the arrangement. We even had a terrible fight on it. Luckily he gave up the thought to sell you. Due to that, we could manage to be together until last year.
However, everything changed from last year. One fine day I was cooking for my son and the phone rang. I went to pick up the phone and I realized that I have put the daal in the pressure cooker and it’s about to get over cooked. I rushed to turn off the gas and there was a blast. . .
Due to leakage in the gas pipe the cylinder burst. Since the receiver was not down my daughter in law on the other side heard the blast. After fifteen long days of staying blindfolded in the hospital when the nurse removed the band-aid from my face; I realized that the blast had made me blind and I will never be able to cook .
After becoming blind I learnt I was now not useful to Sandhya, my daughter in law as a house hold help and was an increasing burden on her. I myself shifted myself to the old age home. Sandhya was so grateful and happy that she never came to meet me there after.
Two months later when my daughter Renu came from her business trip she learnt everything from her brother. She scolded Sandhya and Amit(my son) but sandhya refused to take care of me.
Before Renu came to meet me, Amit called me and told me to stop playing this ‘guilt trap’ on them and leave them alone. Renu came immediately and told me to move in with her.
When I entered her home I realized that she still doesn’t know to cook but Sarang, my son in law cooks really well. This makes me question that ‘Woman Test’ designed by my mother and believed by me. The Generation has changed and so has people’s beliefs. My husband didn’t enter the kitchen in his entire life even to get himself a glass of water. However, my son in law is completely opposite to him. I was a good woman according to ‘Woman Test’ but what did I get from Amit and Sandhya for being a ‘Good Woman’????
I may not be able to see you today. Somehow I feel grateful to you because you have taught me something that my mother could not that the ‘Woman Test’ does not exist. It is all about how equipped are you to overcome your struggles in life, gender has no relation with ‘Tests’ in life. You are the best equipment I had. I wish now I could let Sarang rest and cook food for Sarang and Renu.
While my Grand Son is typing this for me, shattering my old belief Sarang is teaching Renu to use Pressure Cooker.