May 27, 2008


My contribution to Sunday Scribblings #112 - Quitting

It's been more than three years since I started cooking food. With a lot of experiments and trials, I can now say that I've become comfortable preparing a meal. But there is one thing which I couldn't master yet, even after several times of practice. It's the art of making perfect round chapathis (Indian bread). I tried kneading the dough using my hands as well as using a food processor. Once rolled, there was never an even distribution of the dough on all sides. I can whip out such unique shapes that kids can learn geometric figures just by looking at them - rectangles, squares, triangles, pentagons etc etc. You name the shape and I can make it for you except the elusive circle!

I tried harder and put more efforts but the focus shifted from Geometry to Geography. I rolled the dough and shapes of Kashmir started to appear. I rolled some more, extended it downwards and made it into a perfect map of India. I knew my husband doesn't really mind the shape as long as the chapathis are soft. But I cannot entertain any of my guests with such odd shaped chapathis. I tried more and in the end, I decided to give up. So what if it doesn't take a perfect round shape? Anyway, you are going to split it into smaller pieces before you eat. After quitting my efforts, I felt so much better. I was relieved from the pressures of sticking to the rules written by someone.

It was some man/woman in ancient times who invented chapathis and might have given the round shape to it. Now I'm changing the conventional habit and giving a whole new meaning and also adding a fun and educational component to the art of making chapathis. Am I not an innovator, I wonder!

Last night, while making my usual square shaped chapathis with not much thought given to shape, I observed that one of them turned out to be a perfect circle with even distribution of the dough. Wow, what an achievement! I smiled to myself but that was just one sample. The chapathis that followed suit were of my usual style, with new geometric figures coming to the forefront. Maybe, I should apply for a patent!

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