Friday, June 06, 2014

Baking on a stove top

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 Article by Guest Author:- Shaheen Maniar

Some years ago a couple moved into our neighborhood.  They were a friendly and happy couple.   Soon they became the favourite “uncle” and “aunty” to all the children.  The “uncle” is the quintessential food lover.  Luckily for him, his young wife is a fantastic cook.  Exotic aromas always drift out of their kitchen window.  All the kids in the locality know that “aunty” is a great baker because, fortunately for them, she also loves to feed hungry school children – loading them with generous helpings of cakes and bread!!

Sometimes “uncle” potters around the kitchen when his wife is baking and also helps her with her cooking.  Since they spend so much time in the kitchen, it is a big and comfortable place with modern gadgets to help speed the process.  They regularly invest in the latest in frying pans, steamers, poachers apart from mixers, and of course, they have a lovely microwave oven – the pride of their kitchen; as it helps not just re-heat but bake and grill and also cook complicated Indian recipes.

But one thing always intrigued everyone. Though “aunty” had an oven, she always baked her cakes on a slow-fire stove.  When asked about it, she smiled mysteriously and said “that’s how my mom baked”.  One day, aunty’s mother came to visit and was asked why she baked her cakes on the stove.  Aunty’s mom too replied “that’s how my mom baked”.
This, I think, made the husband very curious.  The next week-end, when they called up the grandma; eager to know what the secret was; he cautiously asked her why she baked on a stove.  She answered “My husband worked very hard to provide for his family.  We were comfortable, but we could not afford an oven.  So I baked on the stove we had”.
Since then, he has been teasing his wife about this revelation of the ‘secret’ of the lovely cakes.

But let’s be honest with ourselves.  How many of us do things in a certain way because our parents (read seniors, bosses and predecessors in office situations) did it that way?  They may have had reasons just like grandma above did.  But was that the best way to do it?  How many will experiment with set “systems”?

The adventure is not in the destination – it is in the journey.  But sadly, most of us have made the journey a routine and boring chore.  Unfortunately, we have killed our curiosity and creativity by giving in to the comfort of mediocre familiarity.  Somewhere, in our daily routines of work and home, we have lost our sense of adventure.  And adventure need not be in seeking the unknown in a remote jungle . . . why not just take a new route to office tomorrow morning, and discover a part of the city you never visited? Or walk down an unfamiliar road this weekend – just out of curiosity? Let the journey and not the destination be the happiness.


(Shaheen Maniar is a qualified, Pune based, behavioral skills trainer. She has been training for Corporates and Institutes since 2002. She is a proficient and passionate facilitator; the English language, Business Communication and Presentations being her forte. Apart from training and development. Her hobbies include reading and she is part of various story-telling and social groups.)

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