I was never one to have a role model. Nor did any singular event influence my life (that kind of drama only happens to Abhishek Bachchan, whose life changes if he discovers the complex mechanism of moving his limbs while being able to talk on the mobile phone at the same time!) So, I am not gonna say that my grandmother told me the story of how she was the best wife the world had seen and all of Ekta Kapoor’s good wives’ characters were based on her (and Jane Jetson and Wilma Flintstone also) and how that changed my life and now I am the next successor to that great legacy. Because if she had told me that story, then clearly it had no influence whatsoever on me (really – ask my husband, he’ll tell you).
But she did tell me a bunch of little stories about the stuff you use in the kitchen. (Why, you ask? Because there was a time I used to cook. Cos I liked it, not cos I was asked to.) Unable to see her granddaughter crying buckets of water because she
chopped her finger off accidentally was chopping an onion for the first time, naanisaid, before you chop the onion, put a piece of it in your mouth and chew it. Slowly.
Warning: Do not try this at home/mountains/wilderness/wherever. People will eat your food, but will stay away from you till the time you have washed your mouth seven times with mouthwash, hopped on one leg around a sacred tree, and jiggled your hips to please the dental gods.
It may have been placebo, but for me, granny’s tip worked!
Note: It may have been placebo, because granny had some funny (borderline superstitious) ideas about some food and ingredients. She once told me that if I ate a lot of raw coconut, it’d rain on my wedding day. Partially, because I did not believe her and partially because I wanted it to rain on my wedding day (please look at the name of my blog for further details) I ate coconut whenever she grated it. Despite my best efforts, I got married on a very hot December day. No, the wedding was not in Australia; it was in Kerala. December had defected to a different party that year, that’s all.
Placebo or not, naani’s little nuskha worked for me. When it stopped working, people suggested the fancier and less stinky option – chewing gum (to be chewed while cutting onions. Do not swallow (if you did not already know that, please do not use sharp objects like knives or nail-cutters)). But for a long time I could happily chop onions without ganga and jamuna baho-fying from my innocent (damn right, they are), contact lens waale,short-sighted eyes because I traded tears for a stinky mouth… 😀