Some context for what will come next: In Indian culture, the women (Daughters and Daughters-in-law) are expected to cook and take care of the house even if they are working. This has started to change a bit, but many older generations would frown if the women didn’t do that. And another aspect of the culture is that the son-in-law is like an entitled guest since he has married their daughter. So, it is in the parent’s best interest to ensure that the son-in-law is generally waited upon.

PIC – housewife cooking. Copyright has expired on this artwork. From my own archives, digitally restored.

With the above two aspects in mind, let’s start the blog. For those of you who know me, I have defied all the rules of a typical Indian daughter. I refused to learn cooking as I was convinced I would be married off the minute I learned cooking; the younger version of me had her theories on how to survive in the world. And then, of course, I married Adam, and the rules for a daughter-in-law and a man’s cooking are different. So, we have an equal sharing of chores around the house, although Adam will argue that he does most of the work – and my only response is ‘No Comment’.

I am not bossy. I am a leader. I am not stubborn. I am strong. I am not difficult. I am opinionated. In fact I think you are just finding different ways to mispronounce ‘amazing’

Now, my parents know me – like they have seen me grow up, so they know when I am about to spring something when there is no point arguing with me when they should leave me alone. I may have changed and grown since I left the home, but the core of who I am hasn’t changed.

A couple of days ago, at lunch, I started by saying, ‘Adam should spend a week with my Mom in the kitchen.’ And you could see both my parents waiting to see where this conversation was going. I continued, ‘That way, Adam can learn how mom cooks and then cook back home.’ My parents took their time to digest this, and then my dad said very seriously, ‘Adam, you should not do what Anu is saying.’

There is so much in this statement. First, he knows how I will use that skill that Adam has and never cook or do anything around the house again. Right, wrong or indifferent – it is what it is. Second, he is trying to protect his son-in-law against the machiavellian manipulation of his daughter. Just the fact that he knows me and he knows Adam – and his so-called intervention was so cute that we burst out laughing.

This has been the running theme in my life – I always come across as the strong personality who gets her way, and Adam is on the other extreme and goes with everything I say. There are many times when we both play the other role, but our public personas are set.

This blog’s idea sounded much funnier in my head than on paper, but still, this is a nice snippet of conversation I wanted to capture in words. So that in the future, when I come across this blog, it will evoke the same feeling of having lunch with my family – the laughter, joy and the sense of knowing each other well.

How do you capture your memories?

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