How to Answer the Mother of All Questions: “Beta, Khaane Mein Kya Banau?”

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How to Answer the Mother of All Questions: “Beta, Khaane Mein Kya Banau?”

Illustration: Juergen D

I

t’s a Saturday morning, I’m hungover and seated grumpily at the dining table waiting for a steaming bowl of poha to cool down. The minute I put the first spoon in my mouth, my mother manifests out of thin air and startles me with the one question every Indian mother since the time of Gandhari has repeated ad nauseam, ad infinitum: “Beta, khaane mein kya banau?”

Both mama and I know very well that said query has been the cause of some stellar arguments, but mothers don’t give up, do they? After every breakfast comes the question, “Beta, lunch mein kya banau?” After lunch, you are asked, “Beta, dinner mein kya banau?” and post dinner, the question arises once again – this time about breakfast. On weekdays, I spend most of my waking hours in front of a laptop at work, but there is no respite from this barrage on weekends.

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