Friday, September 25, 2009

Of Fire Alarms and Maids

On my penultimate day of this US trip, I decided to make dosas for breakfast. Normally I would have made oats, or poured milk over cereals, but this was out of extra love for DH who is going to be alone here for next 2 months, since I am leaving this weekend.
So long story short, dosa batter was lousy (the dosa batter that the Indian store @ Chicago stocked was way inferior to what we used to get in desi stores in Dallas). After couple of sticky, broken to bits dosas, I finally made a round thick one – similar to set dosa. After I sat down to eat, and had barely finished one, while browsing the net, the fire alarm went off. I had forgotten to switch off the hot plate!! The greasy pan was smoldering; the kitchen chimney fan was still working but couldn’t suck the smoke out. I turned it off, opened the windows and contemplated about the futility of desi cooking in American kitchen.

Another day at a friend’s house, I was heating (Note: not making!) frozen Nans and Parathas, and had forgotten to switch on the chimney. Within minutes, the alarm went off. He later told us that the same thing had happened when his parents had come visiting. This guy goes to office and his mom decides to make parathas for breakfast, oblivious to the instrument of fire alarm. As expected the alarm went off, and the guy was telephoned. He instructed on phone to switch it off. Later (since desi cooking can’t be without fire and smoke), this guy wrapped the fire alarm in layers of cling wrap!! The cooking resumed without any hassle, however maintenance guys on discovering the ‘preserved’ fire alarm, did sent across a notice of fine.

I am glad that for the next couple of months I can cook without worrying about smoke and fire alarms, and that I don’t even have to cook and clean back home. I am back to India....where maids/household helps are so quintessential!! They say living is easier/better in developed countries. I vehemently disagree to that. Living is so much more convenient in India. Everything gets done on, plumbing, milk, vegetables, and heck! even currency exchange and routine blood tests. There is a home delivery/service for every single thing that you can think of, and every work (except your job, of course) can be outsourced. Cooking, cleaning, washing, ironing, you name it ; you get it done! Even your religious obligations are outsourced, I have learnt!

The only trouble I have is of traffic and driving on pot holed roads. But that is not so tough baby!

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