Like a quick meal that you make yourself, yes, yourself, standing in the kitchen, looking for items, finding none, finding some, maybe it is not something you regularly do or maybe you do it regularly but always in a rush, you add a pinch of salt after applying butter or vice-versa, the heat is too much or too low, you fix it, but after slightly burning your fingertips, and when this meal makes you wait, oh, for howsoever quick it is, it still needs time, you think of brewing a hot cup of tea or coffee, hustle and bustle, tin-tin-tinaa-tuk-tun-tunaa, and the quick meal along with a hot beverage when tasted and sipped, you feel full and good, it is a buttery sweet moment.
You suddenly also start to feel confident about life in general.
Oh, but when you return to the kitchen after finishing the meal, the anxious shelf, the sticky stubborn utensils and crumbles all over the place stare at you in cold anticipation – now or later, late evening or tomorrow morning, my turn or roommate’s turn, or, or, or the maid’s?
You suddenly feel late, like it is only the washing dishes and cleaning shelf bit that stands between you and the attainment of your dream.
If you very often do the cleaning part too, not just as a chore, your cooking abilities will bloom, like a wild vine that climbs and trails wondrously without worry, much more than it does when you stick to a rough routine like a straight, pruned plant in a plastic pot.
While a plant even in a plastic pot is rich, full of warmth and it rules, we tend to limit ourselves to a routine too easily, especially if it is comfortably dull.
Kitchen work is all about exuberance, love, patience and meditation that serves best when mixed with prudence.
Cooking and cleaning is a complex task; your kitchen is no less than a PhD student’s lab, yet truly welcoming, forgiving and accepting.
Anyone’s progress happens only gradually and is incomplete without the cleaning part.
Steadily, if you keep going, you’ll learn when to add a pinch of salt, before or after applying the butter, without burning your fingertips.
And you’ll get used to the tricky teasing waiting part, you’ll know it adds great value, and you’ll see, when it’s time, how grandly patience prepares a rich dish.