Thursday, 23 May 2013

Jelly Belly

Once upon a time in ancient millennia, there was Caveman and Cavewoman  . Caveman had the physique of a Greek God- perfectly sculpted body, rippling with muscles. Admittedly he looked a bit shaggy – could have done with a nice haircut and shave , but hey don’t complain. Focus on the lean mean body  J

They divided their domestic duties – caveman was the hunter and gatherer and cavewoman sat in the cave waiting for the freshly hunted game and freshly gathered fruits. In the meantime, she fetched water, wove baskets, wove fur coats, tended to the kids. All the food was organic, freshly gathered. Result- All were extremely fit and self reliant . There was no concept of dieting or  gym.

They tended to live together in communities, so child minding was not a problem at all. The women folk took turns in minding the kids. They were no toy- stores ; kids entertained themselves by playing with twigs and branches, fashioned boats from barks of woods , chased reptiles . In the evenings, under the starry sky,  the adults gathered around an open fire , told stories, sang songs. There was no voice of a  rock star  crooning in the background , just the sound of their own voices and  the sound of the wild.


Now here we are , centuries later , living in a world  where technological advancements have galloped in the last 2 or  3 centuries, making this world a hugely bewildering place. If our forefathers were asked to live in today’s world, they would find it very hard to cope with the seemingly countless array of gadgets and devices. 

Now a 'community' has come to  mean a  virtual group of strangers across the world ,sharing the same ‘interest’ on face book . The ‘interest’ could vary from 'liking' the same TV show to anything under the sun

In addition to the technological advancements, the roles of the different family members have changed or evolved  every 50 years or so . Mid 20th century, women’s liberation   movements had the desired effect and that meant that more and more women are going out to work for a living.  So in essence both the partners have become the hunter- gatherers and so now in the 21st century, family life and roles have become very confusing.

 Largely now domestic chores are shared by both the partners ( Some ladies would steadfastly vouch that the husbands don’t help at all with the household chores and the wives are meant to come back after a hard’s days work  to cook a decent meal, do the dishes, change nappies, help with homework , do the school projects ) So all in all , a very fast pace of life .

Putting a decent , healthy , made from scratch meal on the table every day is a huge challenge for most women. No wonder in many countries, pre packed tins of foods , ready to eat meals , TV dinners are the norm of the day . And it’s no wonder celebrity chefs are making massive sales on concepts  like ‘How to cook from scratch in 30 mins or less’ or words to that effect .

Unfortunately I come from a country, where everything revolves around food , and  that too making it from scratch ( no tinned cans of chickpeas for us , oh my the horror if another lady (from my part of the world) had to look into my shopping trolley and judge me by my tins ! No,  instead it has to be made from scratch taking dried chickpeas, rinsing it , soak it  in water overnight , then pressure cook it  the next day  and finally added to the gravy( making the gravy takes another hour of pounding and grinding) Whew! .  

So  any cooking completed under 30 mins is considered a miracle. We can’t live without our main course of rice /rotis , a curry ( veg or meat based) , a veg stir fry , every single day . So the nights  I crack up , I order a takeaway and consequently my  Jelly Belly starts wiggling again .

To put my quivering belly out of its misery , I turn to my stove with a sigh  and start the preparations for the 3 course meal , yet again ....wishing I could be part of the caveman era .