Jan 24, 2021

The important lesson

 Surprised to hear this? Yes, I'm grateful for the pack of dosa batter and the store-bought idli chutney podi that helped me fix the breakfast needs of my family members this morning. 

Since Mar 2020, I have been cooking every single meal in my home. All meals cooked from scratch, all staples DIYed. It was possible for me to manage this workload for a small 3-member family. In the past couple of months, with more people at home, it was becoming more challenging to achieve the same goal and practice my values with perfection. It was taking a toll on my emotions as well.

The frequency of prep work that I used to do earlier suddenly increased. Batter had to be ground twice a week (instead of once a week). The condiments need to be prepared once a week (instead of once a month). Others eat their meal by looking at the time on the clock. Skipping meals or substitution of regular meal with low effort alternatives like fruits/salads/soups/kanji weren't an option given their health ailments. There came a point where I felt that cooking 3 proper meals and DIYing everything became too much of a hassle.

Yesterday morning, the sink was loaded with dishes to be washed (my househelper was on leave). There was very little homemade dosa batter and homemade chutney podi left. And I had a busy weekend ahead with a few commitments to be met.

I poured out my frustrations to K. He then patiently explained to me, "The universe is showing you how the things you practice/preach is difficult to implement at all times, especially for people who live in a large family setting."

I wanted to stick to my values all the time, even though the situation at home and the outside world have changed quite a bit. Pre Covid days, eating out 1-2 times a week would give the much needed break. Now cooking 3 meals a day, 7 days a week, more members, and without any compromise on the quality is becoming too much to manage. K also told me, "It's okay if we buy a few items that provide convenience and give you the much needed break. No need to feel guilty. Your mental peace is a priority. Don't be too strict with your food principles" 

I needed to hear this. And I'm glad this experience happened in order to teach me that it is okay to take help from packaged foods on certain occasions. We don't have to feel guilty or beat ourselves about such decisions.

And yes, I'm gonna watch the movie "the great Indian kitchen" soon.

This experience is also making me question the need for 3 meals a day. And a lot more on our present eating practices. Growing up, we used to eat only 2 meals a day. Idlis were made once in a month or during festivals/special occasions.

No answers or deeper understanding on what changed in the past few decades. But I'm gonna hold onto these questions.

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