Lessons From The Sahara Desert

December 17, 2008

Following my repeated failed attempts at finding an employer foolish enough to pay me to waste their time – there is a dearth of stupid people with money these days – I have finally succumbed to the clutches of household chores. I have embarked on this seemingly impossible mission, for me, to learn to cook edible food without severely damaging the output and/or severely damaging the human being who would eat the output.

Today was my first lesson, in the hot sweltering kitchen located in the Sahara Desert, as it felt to me. Much to my mother’s and several other people’s surprise, I was the one who initiated this experiment of attempting this feat much beyond my reach. It’s close to noon and my mom finds the groggy me broaching the subject of keeping myself occupied in this terrible bout of unemployment. Sensing a rare opportunity to trap me in this ‘you-need-to-learn-to-cook’ scheme, which was hatched by the whole family the day I was born, she suggested that I finally make fruitful use of this sabbatical by learning something (read: cooking). No way out, and I surrendered.

Little did I know we had to start the process pronto, like, then and there. Abandoning the book I was reading, I rushed to the Sahara Desert answering mom’s holler from the deep inferno. The smoke billowed, it obstructed my view, my lungs convoluted with my deep coughs and yet I marched on and finally found mom. Beaming with pride, mom adopted the role of a gentle nun teacher and proceeded to explain the intricacies of the functions that go into making a dish that is fit to be consumed by a human being.

After half an hour of chopping, cutting, kneading, simmering (food and us), tossing, frying, sprinkling and dropping all the utensils atleast once (by me), two dishes were ready to be served with much flourish. Fried potato and some bhaji I don’t know the name of. I just blindly, yet diligently, followed mom’s gentle instructions, and memorised them too.

How did I find the whole experience? I would have to say, brainless. I was bored with all the cutting, chopping, et al. However, the end result did make my chest puff up with pride, notwithstanding the fact that my involvement was robotic in the whole process. One thing that needs to be improved is that there is no entertainment in the Sahara Desert. The need of the hour for us, liberated womenfolk, is to introduce the concept of TV being installed in the Sahara Desert.

Yes, this is what I learnt from my experiment today. TV in the kitchen is the new need.

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