About fifteen years ago, I began to pay attention to Amma talking to guests about Appa: ‘He is unable to eat food cooked by anyone else for a long time, you know? I know how to make things the way he likes it. I know not to make radish sambar the very next day after making rotis and chhole, because I know it will cause gastric discomfort to him.’
Later, I remember hearing my aunts say the same thing about their husbands – that their husbands are comfortable and happy eating only the food cooked by their wives. Food cooked by others would be eaten too, without complaint, but not with the husband’s heart in it.
I used to find this rather cute – husbands getting so used to their wives’ particular style of cooking that they missed it when it wasn’t available. I longed for that kind of familiarity with my husband’s palate, too.
The last few weeks have been quite busy for me, and I have been extremely held up with work and other things. There has hardly been time to cook properly, and the OH has mostly been eating out or at Amma’s or at my MIL’s place.
Two days back, I woke up on a lovely Saturday morning to him whispering in my ears: ‘I know you are busy, but can you please make something for me today? I am simply craving for the kind of food you cook.’
Both Amma and my MIL are fantastic cooks, but, apparently, the hubby had been missing the little, ‘different’ touches I add to the food I prepare. He had been missing the unique food tastes we have cultivated as a couple. In his words, ‘Even if I am eating outside, I keep thinking how my wife would have made this curry differently and more deliciously’. I could feel he meant it.
Feminism went for a toss. I was delighted.
Lemon rasam, aloo roast and a curry of methi leaves were promptly prepared on Saturday, served with steaming rice, and thoroughly enjoyed.
Life has, indeed, come a full circle.