“Well! It happens always, whenever I am preparing something, Mayank has to come in and check how the preparation is going on, what spices are being used, whether chicken masala has been used in the gravy or not! and obviously his expert comments on my dish. That irritates me boy (are you listening?).
But suddenly I realized my school days when I used to throuw tantrums on my Mom on her lunch box preparation- would like to share with you that sweet memory.”
To me papa was my best friend, idol, guide and my favorite chef in the whole world. Gudiya and I carried our lunch box to school. I was very picky about my food and would through tantrums if I didn’t have what I like in my lunch box.
Mother would wake up early to ensure everything is done on time so that we are not late for the school. Papa often helped her in preparing the meal that would be packed for us. It was predictable that if mother cooked the meal it would be anything of the likes of parantha with pickle or chapatti with some vegetable. The last thing I wanted to see at the lunch time in school was lauki ki sabji (bottle gourd). Yuck.
Out of the two cooks in the house, papa definitely would take the crown of packing our lunch boxes with interesting and tasty things like vegetable sandwich and kawa (a flavorful dish prepared by adding spices to chapattis made the previous night).
There was magic in papa’s fingers. He could prepare lip-smacking dishes by using minimal ingredients. My favorite of all was spiced chapatti with sauce. He would lovingly make the chapatti roll for his princesses and make sure that the sauce spread evenly throughout. Yum.
It was a great sight to wake up in the morning and discover that papa is preparing the school meal for us. On the other hand, I would turn a little sad to find that mother in the charge of the task.
Gudiya was indifferent from this circus of who prepares what for the school lunch box. She had no particular demands for what went in for the meal at school. She would finish the lunch every single day, even on the day when mother had packed the dreaded lauki ki sabji.
Sometimes I wish I could get the childhood life back (excluding that lauki part).