Advertisement
Monday, Sep 27, 2021
Outlook.com

Cooking Women

"What do they cook in your part of the world, anyway? Just potatoes and roti," my aunt would remark. The prize-winning entry in the third Outlook-Picador Non-Fiction Contest.

Cooking Women
illustrations by Jayachandran
Cooking Women
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
One monsoon in the 1960s, my father’s oldest brother died. His portrait hung in a room at the centre of our house, where all the pictures were. It showed just his face, looking up at a camera that had surprised him by appearing from the back. His bumpy forehead was creased with a baffled frown that seemed to ask why his picture needed to be taken. A week later, coming down our red stairs after an afternoon amble on the rain-slicked terrace, he stumbled and fell. The many-windowed room that the stairs landed upon was deserted; the bedrooms that led off it were empty. Twelve people lived in that house, but nobody heard him crumpling at the foot of the stairs. As he fell, one of his hands jammed in the wrought iron banisters.

Four days later, I was born, a month before I was due. There was no celebration, relatives didn’t crowd to catch a glimpse of the new baby. They were shaking their heads over the young widow and her fatherless children. Even Johnson’s Baby Powder couldn’t quell the deathsmell from tuberose, incense and boiled-up deathtime food. My father sat with his...

Advertisement

Outlook Newsletters

Advertisement

Read More from Outlook

'Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh': How King Khan Impacted Women's Aspirations In India

'Desperately Seeking Shah Rukh': How King Khan Impacted Women's Aspirations In India

Author Shrayana Bhattacharya has been investigating women's employment across different sectors and found how, Shah Rukh Khan had an impact beyond Bollywood films.

UP Cabinet Expansion: Half A Dozen MLAs Likely To Take Oath, Backward And SC Fraternity May Get Preference

UP Cabinet Expansion: Half A Dozen MLAs Likely To Take Oath, Backward And SC Fraternity May Get Preference

The number of votes of backward and SC/ST fraternities in the state is very high and that is the primary reason why BJP is giving preference to them.

'Sixth-Time Lucky' For Harshal Patel

'Sixth-Time Lucky' For Harshal Patel

RCB bowler removed Hardik Patel, Kieron Pollard and Rahul Chahar off successive deliveries to claim a hat-trick.

Cyclone Gulaab Likely To Make Landfall By Midnight, Red Alert In 7 Odisha Districts

Cyclone Gulaab Likely To Make Landfall By Midnight, Red Alert In 7 Odisha Districts

Cyclone ‘Gulaab’ is likely to move westwards and cross the north Andhra Pradesh-south Odisha coast around. Wind speeds could reach 75-85 km/hr, gusting up to 95 km/hr, during landfall.

Advertisement