Monday, January 24, 2011

Dilemmas Of A Domestic Diva

I know a lot of people who are career-oriented and ambitious. But unfortunately, due to some weird wiring of my system I don’t fall under that category. So here I am – The Domestic Diva.

I do appreciate the fact that you all out there are busy saving the world from the aliens or educating today’s brats to be responsible citizens of tomorrow or playing dice with stocks and shares or simply writing software for the next model of the mobile phone that I am using now or even pretending to work and reading my blog (Ha! Caught you!). But on behalf of all the domestic Goddesses out there, I would like to state here that we have our own share of dilemmas too! Cynical? Well wipe that superior smirk off your face and read on mon ami(e):

Dilemma No. 4: Which idiot designs the cobblestone pavement encircling the supermarket to be sloping?!?!?! For those of you who know me, I am a poor little petite lady. I find it almost impossible to manipulate a shopping cart loaded with about 2 weeks’ worth of groceries against the slant of the land. It is an uphill task (pun intended) all the way! I step out of the mall and hang on for dear life to my cart, lest it rolls away and bangs into a car or worse on some unsuspecting soul. Recently I was pushing and prodding my way to the taxi stand without much success. A kindly Good Samaritan offered to help and helped me till the taxi. But while I was loading the stuff into the trunk of the taxi, the taxi driver blew his horn and turning, to my horror, I saw my cart rolling down the pavement. Dropped the bags in my hand and grabbed my cart. Thank goodness I was not holding onto the eggs basket! Sheesh!

Dilemma No.3: My nephew plays a game in Kindergarten called Wood, Paper, Scissors. Well I ask you- Wood, Plastic, Glass?? I am talking about chopping boards. Sometime back I was advised to use wooden chopping boards instead of plastic. But on a recent visit to a friend’s place, I saw him using a plastic one. He is in the catering industry and so what with him being the man in the business and all that, I posed this question to him. Isn’t a wooden chopping board better to use than a plastic one? Because if you notice on your plastic chopping boards (if you use one), there would be many grooves and cuts formed while chopping whatever it is that you chop. Which probably means that you add a few particles of the plastic too alongwith your chopped stuff, right?
Well turns out that all major hotels use plastic chopping boards-and what’s more they even have them colour coded-Green knives and green plastic boards for veggies, red ones for meat, blue ones for seafood, yellow ones for ready-to-eat things like cut-up fruits and so on. It seems that since wood has pores in its surface, juices/water from whatever we are chopping may seep in and the dampness would serve as an ideal ground for bacteria and germs to breed.
I am guessing that glass might be a good option-but then if you are endowed with butter-fingers like me, chances are you would break the glass AND prick yourself with the glass pieces too! Not safe! So finally I just decided to settle on wood anyway. I figured that with the high temperatures involved in the Indian style of cooking that I mostly do, all bacteria should be effectively destroyed. Better than eating plastic I presume.

Dilemma No.2: Can somebody please, please, please teach me how to use the can opener?!?!?! I have been trying to figure this out for the past couple of years all to no avail! (Shut up! I am NOT dumb!) Wahhhh!! Back in my childhood, we never had any can openers at home. I remember my mom holding a sharp knife vertically on the rim of the can, hitting it with a hammer and going around the whole circumference of the top of the can. If you lose your patience mid-way and try to pry the half-open lid-stop right there and don’t waste your energy. That approach hardly ever succeeds-you will probably end up with a bent lid, half the contents stuck within the can, not to mention scraping your finger on the serrated edges of the can. Trust me I have given blood all for a few yummy drops of Milkmaid. You got to go the whole damn way! Or they could just stop producing cans which need can openers and instead just manufacture the ones which can be opened by pulling at the hook on the top-like Coke or Beer cans…Sigh!

P.S: Hey BG, if you are reading this I remember that you had written something about this on your blog a long time back... But I couldn't find it now....

Dilemma No.1: This exalted position goes to the ubiquitous question “What to cook for the next meal?” There are innumerable cuisines around the world and a zillion dishes to make. I agree. I could cook that dish that I was thinking of trying out for some time now. Only I checked my pantry (or the fridge) and the one important ingredient for this particular dish is out of stock. Well okay…then let me cook this other dish-oh wait! Somebody (or the other) doesn’t eat this vegetable/meat. Fine then what about this one? Oh no! Not that! I just made that a few days back! Apart from all that, it should also be nutritious and healthy and tasty all at the same time, not too oily or cheesy, not too much of sodium, not too sweet, not too bland, should not require too much effort or money, should not be boring and repetitive, should be different but not too adventurous, should not contribute to the ever-increasing waistlines and love handles, should appeal to the eyes and nose as well etc etc etc!

Okay I hear you say, "Well these are common to both the working and the stay-at-home women!" But then the working woman can always say "Well I am too busy to worry about such trivialities! I have to think about stopping the sky from falling down and the earth from caving in!"
On the other hand, what lame excuses could we domestic divas give?!?

So there you go! Now don’t you agree that the life of a domestic diva is as bad as braving rush hour traffic, handling pesky customers, uncaring co-workers, irritating bosses, ever-shortening deadlines, impossible targets and uninspiring projects!?! All I can say is ….. You’d better ;-)

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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Classified Info ;-)

Haaa Sundays! Sundays were always lazy days for me back home. Everyone used to get out of bed a little later than usual and are relaxed without the hustle and bustle of the weekdays. Since both my parents were working, the weekdays usually go in a blur and even Saturdays are busy days with some chores to do and errands to run.

So come Sunday, the house seemed lively with people, noises of Sunday programs like Aratai Arangam, Top 10 Movies, Swaptha Swarangal drifted in from the neighbours’ TVs , the vegetable vendors and fish vendors would come calling at the gate with their loud, hoarse voices and by noon the pressure cooker whistles, signaling that amma has made some tasty dishes for lunch and the whole house was filled with a mouth-watering aroma. I used to hover around the kitchen, waiting for amma to offer me a bite of this or that on the pretext of checking the salt ;-) Afternoons were filled by a siesta and evenings were spent at Church. Once night fell, there would be groans of “Oh tomorrow schooooll!” or “Office tomorrow!”

But after moving here, the whole spirit and tradition of Sundays has been sadly lost-because Sunday is a working day here :-( Boohoo! Also since I have to do the cooking, it is not as satisfying as eating amma’s food… My parents are planning to visit us next month and I am eagerly waiting for them! Am sure we will have a great time! Yeah!

Anyway coming to the point, I didn’t mean to write this post as an ode to Sundays. Actually with the Sunday edition of The Hindu newspaper, come a load of supplements, one of which is the classifieds paper.(Yeah and you thought I was going to share some secret with you ;-)) And of particular interest to me was the Matrimonial section. I always used to read it on the sly lest my parents thought that I was searching for a groom for myself. Nay that was definitely not my intention. Rather I always found the matrimonial ads interesting. Some were weird, some were snobbish, some were silly and some were outright funny! One common thread that was present in almost every ‘Bride Wanted’ ad was “Wanted slim, fair girl”! So what about chubby, dark-skinned girls??! India and its fair-skin-favouritism! I suspect that I became biased myself after reading countless such ads-no, not towards fairness but away from it! In fact, after my grandma met my husband for the first time, her first comment to me was “Payan konjam colour kammi…”, meaning “The boy is a little on the darker side…” Okay….So?!?!? Didn’t you notice anything else worthwhile for God’s sake!?!? If only you had opened your eyes, you could have seen that he is also tall and slim and healthy and that he has a great set of teeth and a charming smile!

So yesterday, I was flipping through some magazine when I landed on… you guessed it! classifieds again. Reading the ads there I honestly did not know whether to laugh or cry. Here are a few gems. I am typing them exactly as printed, with my comments in italics:

Wanted Bride:

Hello Girls! Are you searching for honest, sincere and trustworthy smart guy? (Well who isn’t? BTW one of your strengths is definitely not written english!) I am loving, caring and highly romantic guy 32 years searching for good-looking, slim and sincere girl for long-lasting relationship. My hobbies are music, watching movies, dancing, long drives, going to sea beaches (Um..Really would like to know if these”sea” beaches are different from “ocean” beaches?!) and hill stations. Girls willing for committed relationship reply with their details and photograph at: urluversa***@********

Okay firstly the email id sucks big time! And do you also like to do the laundry, wash the dishes, take the girl for shopping, cook, lend a listening ear to all that the girl talks even if they might at times be frivolous?! Because all the activities that you have listed seems to be for a “fun” relationship not a “sincere and committed “one!

Handsome teetotaller businessman desires an extremely beautiful, fair, slim, honest, affectionate, passionate, committed, elite, sophisticated and fashionable female, not interested in issues. (Whew! This person is living in la-la land!)

Handsome, tall young boy travelling worldwide like Kerala and western culture (!), romantic, sincere, caring seeks pretty girls for lifelong relationship or acting on movie/modeling (What is this? Orae kallula rendu maanga?!? Make up your mind dude! )

And this one from Situations Vacant:

Lonely businessman seeks unencumbered, clever lady assistant. Who can also assist in business. (“ A clever, unencumbered lady assistant for a lonely man who can also assist in business?!” So exactly what job is this ad for?!?)

Having said this I know that there are also many sincere advertisements placed in the classifieds. It is upto us to sift and sieve and separate the riff raff from the genuine ones. I really wonder, did any of these jerks above get what they advertised for?!?



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