Being Women

Maa Ke Haath Ka Khana : A Woman’s Guide to Protecting Herself

We are so obsessed with our moms and the food she usually cooks for us. But for how long? And for how many years? Doesn't it get boring with the age and expectations around. Is there any way to get out of it? Read this humorous story of a Mom who learnt to protect herself from such requests and demands.

My mother often tells me the story of her friend, Sandhya, who got married off right after they passed their 12th boards, into a huge, conservative joint family in the village next door. 

“I cried a lot for her”, Ma says with much passion, “but then Sandhya was an extremely hardworking person, highly skilled at housework. So, in my heart, I knew, she’ll manage to take care of her massive joint family somehow, at least better than most girls her age.” 

But apparently, when Ma went to visit Sandhya at her shashur bari, a couple of months after her wedding, she was in for a surprise. Sandhya looked ravishing and well-rested and chatted with Ma for quite a while without being disturbed, other than her mother-in-law throwing her some dirty looks. 

“Wait, I’ll make some hot muri for you, I know you love those. But shhh don’t tell anyone, okay?”

She told my mother. 

Apparently, Sandhya had formulated a strategy from day one of pretending complete ignorance and incapability in terms of household work. So, her in-laws still took care of everything like they were doing before she joined the family. They’d criticize her and whine about her to others, but she didn’t care.

“As long as I don’t have to do any work, I’m good.” she had said nonchalantly. 

Ma was quite impressed. Not only was this woman hardworking and highly skilled, but clever as well. 

Ma was so impressed by her friend’s strategy, that she remembers this story and experience in great detail till today, though she eventually moved to another town and lost touch with Sandhya and haven’t met her in decades. And surprisingly, she now appropriates it in her own way. 

These days, every time I ask her to cook me something in the most tenderest of my voices (which can even melt ice caps without global warming), she’d simply feign inability or come up with the most creative excuses to avoid cooking.

“Ooooh that recipe? I completely forgot how to make it.”

“You now cook better than me, you’ll hate my cooking.”

“Oh no, the eggplants here are not as juicy, the baingan bharta won’t come out well!” 

“And N (your husband) cooks so wonderfully now, you two can never go back to my simple recipes.”

She’s coming back to Bangalore this weekend and I casually told her, “Ma, once you’re settled in, you have to make me your fabulous egg curry! I miss it.”

She immediately snorted in derision.

“You know the recipe already, you do it. I’ll die soon, what will you do then? Better to practice perfecting it while I’m still alive so that I can tell you what you’re doing wrong before it’s too late, isn’t it?”  I haven’t met this Sandhya person, of course, but damn you, girl! You don’t know what you’ve done!

By Sanchari

She is a writer and artist, currently based in Bangalore. Her writings (fiction, non fiction, translations etc.) have been published in various magazines, anthologies as well as different online platforms, over the years. Her interest in feminist literature, coupled with her experience of being raised by a widowed single mother, deeply influences both her art and her writing. She can be contacted at

Facebook Comments


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Social Media

Most Popular

Get The Latest Updates

Subscribe To Our Weekly Newsletter

No spam, notifications only about new products, updates.

Veda's Exclusive

Get Ready to Turn Heads with Our Stunning Sarees!