Thursday, July 20, 2017


“I told her once I wasn’t good at anything…
She told me survival is a talent.”
― Susanna Kaysen

I think, an important life-skill – let me call it ‘survival skill’ – every individual has to learn at a very young age is: cooking!

Now, by ‘cooking’, I do not mean that one should be a fine Chef and must know how prepare a lavish spread. I only mean to say that one should learn to prepare some decent food for himself and for those who live with him…

Many men – even some women - take some sort of pleasure in saying, “I don’t even know how to switch on the gas (stove).”… or, “I know only to boil water or eggs”… or, “I know only to make an omelet” etc. Someone never thought it was important to inculcate that ‘value’ in these men and women at a very young age… I said, ‘Value’!

For many young boys and girls, circumstances make them learn the basic cooking – tea, coffee, snacks, rice, rotis, dal, vegetable or some non-veg dishes. Yes, when you are driven to the wall, you learn to survive… Thanks to your circumstances, you learn to cook: Your mom or wife, on whom you depended for your food, suddenly falls sick, get hospitalized or passes away… You have to go abroad to study or work… You are newly married and sent off to your in-laws’ place…Your Company transfers you to another city and you can’t take your family… so on. Now, how will you manage if you do not know basic cooking? Eat out every day, everything – breakfast, lunch and dinner?

In a couple of days, Life will make you learn how to prepare some basic food to survive. And, you ‘will’ learn it, unless you are so indifferent and careless… A young boy, one of my dear students, has just left for studies in Australia… A mother of two young ones, who are very dear to me, is presently in an ICU… My thoughts go to them. These young ones have to survive… and, they will… Life will make them learn this important survival skill… cooking!

After all, there is no greater university than Life itself, right?


Pic.: Samir Shirke

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