By Gouraja Parelkar
The earliest memory I have of food may sound heart wrenching to you. I remember myself trying to escape my grandma’s clutches as she pinned me down, and force fed spoonfuls of bland shredded chapatti mixed in milk.
Okay so let’s get the facts straight. Texture: Vomit like. Aroma: Curdled milk/ Curd gone bad. Color: Oh! It’s the color of a rainbow… Uh… all colors of a rainbow mixed together to create dirty, nauseous white.
On a scale of one to ten how do you rate this epic cuisine. Zero. I really wonder if my grandma totally lost her culinary skills which lead her to prepare something so obnoxious.
Probably, this was one of the many reasons that lead me to total indifference towards food. In the times where children of my age would gobble whatever was in sight, I ended up thinking that eating food was a task. I had moved my mom to tears when I took the first sip of water after spending the entire picnic day refusing to eat or drink. Nevertheless I was a plump child making my mom appear a liar lying about my food antics. She thought she failed miserably at parenting owing to the fact that she was a working mother. The doctor’s reassurance that your daughter is fine was the only thing that saved her from going insane.
I don’t exactly remember when the moment of redemption actually occurred. But I vaguely remember as a kid crying to pieces for a reason I couldn’t decipher (toddlers = cuckoo.. well, sometimes!). To stop me from crying my mom hurriedly gave me an omelet and it suddenly dawned upon me. I realized the comfort food had to offer. Then I do have a vivid memory of mangoes. The heavenly taste made me realize that trying out food is so worthwhile. However, I did not give in to its charm immediately.
For a while I continued my whole set of antics from emptying the glass of milk into the wash basin to throwing dal rice out of the window. But gradually as seafood took an important position in my life I realized that I had to end this war.
By pre teens I had transitioned into being an average eater. By teens I had turned into a good eater as per my mom’s standards. And by adulthood, as you would expect otherwise, I DID NOT transition into being an overeater.
Today, I love to savor food but not binge on it. You may say, “Oh you anyway never liked food” but that’s not the case. I do end up visiting food websites (okay, Holachef to be precise) even though I don’t want to order anything that day. I do drool over a Popsicle when I see a colleague relishing it. I do go crazy when I hear sentences like “Let’s have Thai curry”, “Let’s cut some mangoes”, “I have made fried fish” and so on.
Now, after all these years, at the end of a tiring day at work, I go home and end up seeing my toddler relishing a bowl of shredded chapatti and milk. “Pati” and “Du Du” as he calls it. I am left astonished as he finishes it and asks for more. Hey you grandma, he is my kid and he eats this horrid thing with delight. At least this should make you feel proud of me.
About Gouraja Parelkar
An avid music lover and a voracious reader, Gouraja is a thorough Mumbai girl since Mumbai is her native place (her surname says it all). She is a microbiologist, a qualified dietitian, and a content writer who currently works for a E-learning company. She loves traveling and aims to visit all the beaches in the world when her pocket and time would permit. She has recently taken over to cooking since her toddler son is a total foodie (trying to devour whatever is in sight)!