By Youthika Chauhan
It was a hot and weary day, and Mintu ran out of his school bus and bolted towards his home. The scorching sun, the bag on his shoulders and the water-bottle around his neck – all these together could not slow him down as he excitedly ran the distance. Even for a seven year old, he was extremely energetic. The gleeful smile on his face, even after a long day at school with classes, PT sessions and long journey home, made him stand out from all his friends. To an outsider, the run may have appeared strange, even worrisome, but to his mother, it was no surprise at all. She waited at the window from the moment the bus honked and saw her son head home.
She knew it was Rajma Chawal, Mintu’s favourite food that had ignited the exhilaration today. To add it, the school was to send all primary grade students for a picnic the next day. It was a big day for Mintu, and hence also for Ma. She had made a mental note to wake up an hour earlier the next day and prepare aloo paratha in her schedule strewn with several other chores. She was very tired herself, even as she wiped Mintu’s sweat-speckled face with the pallu of her sari as he entered home. But all the fatigue vanished as she saw Mintu devour into his favourite meal.
When he cutely asked for some additional rice and rajma, Ma felt the pride of a gourmet chef being addressed as ‘Cordon Bleu’. The effort was worth all its while! The next day as Mintu hopped into the bus and waved ‘bye-bye’, Ma was anxious of letting him go so far, yet the excitement on Mintu’s face made her smile. ‘Mintu will make me proud one day’ she thought as she walked back home and immersed herself in household work.
Some other place, some other time…
Mr. Mohan Sharma, senior consultant at a leading auditing firm had returned home late in the night after a long day fraught with client meetings and project planning. As he took off his coat and loosened his tie, he found mother waiting at the dinner table. Heaving a sigh, he walked towards her. It was pointless asking her to sleep early, for she would invariably wait for his return before dinner. Age and health had rendered Ma too weak to cook, but dinner with her son was still special although ordered ‘online’ these days. She had been waiting drowsily, but with a start, she began to serve the delicious meal to Mohan. Despite her picky and traditional preference for food, she ‘approved’ these meals, for they were ‘cooked at home’ not ‘manufactured at a restaurant’s kitchen stations’ or ‘processed in bulk at factories’. Mohan reminded Ma about his early morning flight abroad the next day. Ma knew about this already, though the trip was scheduled at a short notice. In Mintu’s absence, she quietly packed the extra parathas and pickle from the home-delivered meal and placed them gingerly in Mintu’s hand-luggage for the next day’s journey. ’How can one be too sure about the food even in business class flights and five-star hotels?’ she thought. As the company’s luxury sedan waited for Mohan the next day morning, Ma was happy. Her ‘Mintu’ had indeed made her proud in many ways.
The role that mothers play in our lives cannot be emphasized enough. From birth to sustenance, the role of a mother manifests itself in many ways – through her support for our needs or by her simply mere presence, she makes a world of difference. When it comes to Indian mothers, it would not be wrong to say that a desire to feed their child endlessly and indefatigably is ingrained in their DNA. Nothing can satiate a mother more than seeing a full plate, mottled with a variety of sabjis, dal, rotis, salad, achaar, chutney, rice, dessert (you name it!) being gobbled up by her child.
One wouldn’t be wrong in saying that cooking and feeding is a job that has a 24 x 7 work-duration (not just a 9 to 5 job), no holidays or salary but all the responsibility, yet probably gives more ‘job satisfaction’ than any other profession in the world! Few things in the world can match the joy of being served ‘ghar ka khana’ at the dining table with their loved ones. While the present day lifestyles in cities may not always permit this luxury, there are ways coming really very close to it!
Mother’s love is unequaled and unparalleled and shall always be, but home-like cooking can always be ‘at your doorstep’ whenever you wish! Since last couple of years, Holachef has been successfully satisfying hunger pangs of its customers through home-style yet creative dishes from around the world. The experienced chefs understand the cravings of your taste-buds and needs of daily lifestyle. You may be at work, looking for a quick light lunch or at home with family planning an elaborate three-course meal or with friends, looking for drinks-and-appetizers – there’s always an eclectic selection of meals waiting to be served at your doorstep! This food you will find here is sure to make you feel ‘at home’.
The wide range of dishes can make anyone take a walk down the memory lane and perhaps all the way to their childhood home, almost in their mother’s lap. And what could be a better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than by indulging into some typical home-style delicacies? It may be chhole bhature for some, for other others it may be aviyal and rice, for some daal baati or biryani – you will find it all here! Just take a dip into nostalgia and gratitude to the one who brought you to this world – and celebrate her role in your life – the role that could only be played by your Ma, Mom, Amma, Aai, Ammi, Baa or anything else you call her! She is special, and so is the day – and so should be your meal, befitting the occasion of love and praise – so celebrate it gastronomically!
About Youthika Chauhan
Apart from being a passionate food connoisseur, Youthika is a qualified food technologist and a nutrition expert. She writes as a hobby and has been a regular on Quora for food and related topics. Her writing experience extends to being the editor of a newsletter, UDAAN, which reaches to about 4000 alumni from her institute each year. Youthika is a regular customer of Holachef.