And if I am at home, its a food bonanza. The first thing Ma does when I come home is to list all my favourite dishes and draw up a schedule for them !!! By the end of the day, my stomach is groaning in protest , and Ma is showing no signs of relenting. In fact, she's just started and is looking forward to a whole week of cooking some 100 dishes. No point looking to Dad for support. Although he himself eats hardly anything, he gets all caught up in the flurry and becomes enthu about the whole affair and actually contributes his own ("I'll make my special fried rice today!!!").
At breakfast Ma discusses the menu for lunch.
At lunch she discusses the menu for dinner.
At dinner she discusses the menu for the next day's breakfast.
Each meal has at least 3 different kinds of dishes.
There is a brunch between breakfast and lunch.
And a "high tea" between lunch and dinner.
My sister raises a strong protest ("No fried stuff for me...and NO Ma I will NOT have a third helping...Of course its tasty but how much can one girl eat anyways???"). So Ma has unofficially adopted two of my school friends who're in Bangalore and plies them with food every time they come to visit (which is oftener than me!!!!). No wonder Ma is a hot fave with all my and Pree's friends. Its amazing how much food can be cooked in one day and by just one woman!!
So much love, so much affection, so much enthusiasm and care goes into the preparation of each delicacy. Standing and grinding the idli batter for hours.. sifting, mixing, boiling to the right consistency.. baking till its just right.. beating till its soft and fluffy.. stirring tirelessly to make sure it doesnt burn.... who else but Ma could do all this just for the pleasure of seeing others relishing those exquiste flavours, savouring the aroma. She hardly eats anything herself, but fills herself with the satisfaction of seeing me bloating before her very eyes as I take that extra helping which I promised myself I wouldn't take...
There's magic flowing through Ma's hands..and the magic comes from her heart... Love you Ma!!!