Quote 9: Paul Valery

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04/11/2016 by Siddiqui Fayesal

I can swing this in my writing direction and make it a metaphor for my failed state as a writer, but I’ve decided that this post won’t be another writing whine.


It’s the first thing that came in my mind when I read this quote.

I don’t cook, but I’ve had enough girls (my mum and three sisters) surrounding me who preferred cooking over other forms of therapeutic discourses, that I can write about it. I can write about it, no doubt, but don’t expect a MasterchiefTM experience. Hell, I’m iffy on the number of teaspoons in my cup of tea. I can’t make tea, but I can survive if I have ingredients.

Anyway, folks at my home turn to me, like NEVER to ask if the salt pepper combination is right, or whether the pungent flavor is because of more chillies or less salt; because there is a difference. My dad is awesome at this. He not only knows that something is off key, but also knows what went wrong! Use the wrong milk, simmer it a less or use high flame and he’ll throw it in your face. Not the food, of course, just the fact that he knows. The only thing I can ever say is whether it’s like the usual or not. I can’t even tell that with enough conviction. Although, I’d whine like a millionaire in a cramped local train.

What I love about the entire process of cooking is that it’s a little like magic. You have ingredients that look different and taste different and it all comes together to become something entirely different. I have tried my hands at making a meal only once. I burnt it to a black mould in the middle of the serving plate, but that was the first time and, in my defense, it tasted okay.

My eldest loves cooking. We have a large extended family and my mum has an over the top gregarious personality. She calls over people a lot of times, but if the folks number more than 6 or 7 (apart from us) we’d contact our local caterer. So, my eldest. She loves cooking. When she was newly married, she once cooked an entire meal for close to 15 to 18 guests! She got the math right, which was the most obvious of conclusions to draw.

What most people didn’t actually speak about was how she got the taste right; the salt, the pepper, the texture of the rice and the thickness of the gravy. Just enough spices, just enough chillies and just the right amount of everything. She was not surprised by herself, but her in-laws were pretty much awed.

But, then, I suppose it happens when you like it as much as her. My elder hates cooking. That doesn’t mean she screws things up; she’s good. But she doesn’t look forward to it.

I love the idea that if you really screw up, you can usually pin-point the reason. It’s always, I must’ve cooked it longer than necessary or the dish goes better in a flat bottomed pan with a low flame and an occasional stir. It sounds amazing.

I really will try my hand at cooking really really soon.

Whoever wants to accomplish great things must devote a lot of profound thought to details

Siddiqui F.

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