Posted by: Tanmoy Chakrabarti | April 3, 2010

My culinary skills

I have been very busy at workplace since the beginning of this year. Last month has been especially hectic. As the market opens up, more and more clients require our services which is very good. However, as market opens up, people who wanted to make a move to different jobs, they also move out which is not so good. Therefore, it is a mix of good, bad and being busy. As a professional one can only work hard and hope to be rewarded and recognised. However, being busy at work in New Zealand cannot be equated to being busy in India. Here, neither do I stay back late at office, nor do I come on weekends. More work just makes me a bit tired of the computer which in turn affects my blog.

Anyway, to assume that during this period, I have wasted my time (doing just office work), will be wrong. I have actually ended up learning something new. Cooking!

I was never an admirer of either food or cooking (Bengalis normally eat a lot which they call food admiration!). In fact, as in Bengali families where we don’t allow people to grow their own preferences and try and impose ours onto them, many from my extended family complained about my food habits and later lack of my culinary skills. My parents never forced anything on me and because of that they too received criticisms. Things like – “oh why don’t you teach your child good eating habits”, “why does not he eat a lot” etc etc. Nobody bothered that as a child I was more or less fit and created less trouble for myself and my parents. As I grew older, those relatives and some new ones complained about how wasteful my life is because I don’t know anything to do with kitchen. Many assumed that I am one of those males who just order food at home and sit and eat – essentially being a rascal when it came to treating women at home. This was an image of mine despite people who cook for me, certifying that I am not such a person. Anyway, Indians are weird and Indian extended families are weirder.

However, soon these things will become a thing of past. I have always believed there is nothing unattainable to a human being. If we are physically capable and interest, we can do everything. Keeping this mind, I started to get involved in cooking. I started cooking normal household recipes and nothing extraordinary. So far I am quite successful in preparing meals and they taste good (thankfully!). I would be lying if I say, I find the job tremendously exciting. Let me get this clear, I have no intention to invite a lot of people and cook for them to show how good a cook I am. However my involvement makes a few women who matter silently very happy. I feel good that way. As far as I am concerned, I like creating something new and learning something which none expected me to learn. I am not complaining and want to get involved in the process most of the days.

There is nothing in this world which we cannot do. We have to just determine the moment when we try it out. This is what my Ma has taught me. I just determined my time to try out my culinary skills as now.



  1. Good for you, Tanmoy. Alas, cooking is something I’ve always been determined not to learn. And have managed to do happily without these 47 years. Being free and lavish with your praise of cooks helps, I’ve found out!

    As for ‘there is nothing in the world which we cannot do’, I don’t want to irritate you by making a huge list of just such things… I only want to confess that the older I grow, the more there seem to be things which I at least can never do. Maybe I am too old already?

  2. Atta boy! I like the fact that you learnt to cook because you wanted to, not just because someone else said that you should. Indian extended families are weirder…true to the last punctuation mark!

  3. nice..i enjoyed reading wat u wrote!!

  4. It was good reading your writing. As a 19 year old bengali girl i dont know anything about cooking and i am least interested in the actions of kitchen but as you have rightly pointed out that extended families do create problems. But its good that you developed your culinary skills only for your sake and not for others.There’s nothing wrong learning something noble.

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