Man with a Pan


Man with a Pan

Illustration: Mandar Mhaskar

The kitchen is the new garage.

While this sounds exactly the sort of profound statement that if left unexplained would lead to me acquiring a reputation for wisdom and a devotee list of celebrities, here’s what it means. Men are going into the kitchen in ever-increasing numbers and not just to get themselves a beer or forage for chocolate. But to cook! And they seem to have the same attitudes to the whole cooking shtick as they have to cars and careers and tools and gadgets and boy toys. Which means that they bring to it a sense of adventure and competitiveness, the desire to live slightly dangerously and most critically, the attention span of fruit flies.

Men, especially Indian men, have always understood the concept of cooking and cleaning, just not as it applied to them. The law that men cannot cook and clean at home was set down in a divine edict in the Vedic era. Even though other wonderful things from that era seem to have disappeared without a trace, for e.g. Vedic surgery and Vedic aeroplanes, this one was thankfully preserved in its purest form, thereby ensuring that the typical Indian man reached the 21st century without having any idea whether rotis grew on trees or bushes.