Family is like a root of the tree. It supports you, it nourishes you and enables you to stand tall and face all the storms of life. Indeed family occupies a very important role in every person's life. We Indians are known for our joint family system, a concept which is alien to other cultures.
I had a keen interest in cooking since my childhood. I remember as a child the kitchen set was my favourite toy. I would cook so many dishes in my imagination. I simply loved being in the kitchen. I would have loved to spend most of my time in the real kitchen. But back then my entry into the kitchen was forbidden as I was too small. I was being told that I may get cut or burn my fingers if ever tried experimenting in the kitchen.
With age I graduated to being the help in the kitchen. So I was given the task of peeling the vegetables, sifting the coriander leaves and at times even cutting them. Back then cooking was not looked upon with respect. Cooking was a woman's task. A man was not supposed to spend rather waste his time in the kitchen.
But still my grandmother encouraged me to brush up my culinary skills. No matter if you are a man or a woman you should at least know the basic cooking which would prevent you from dying out of starvation. She would say. So with my grandmother's encouragement I was given free hand in the kitchen. I learnt all the traditional dishes from my grandmother. She taught me the art of making mouthwatering recipes without any measurements. It was just all by judgment. There was nothing like one cup or two teaspoons in my grandmother's kitchen. It was all on the basis years of experience and she gifted me with her fruits of experience as well.
It was only because of my grandmother's encouragement I enrolled myself for the course in culinary sciences. There I was taught many other dishes. I had never tried my hand at baking. But here in this school I was taught to make world class cakes and cookies. I was taught how to correctly fold the napkins, how to arrange the dishes. Cooking was indeed an art. It was much more than cooking two minutes instant noodles. I learnt international cuisines as well.
My interest in cooking took me to the overseas. I cooked in the international hotels and gave the expatriates taste of my grandmother's flavours. I got an opportunity to host a cookery show which went on to be a great success. Thereafter I wrote many books relating to cooking. I got everything name, fame and fortune. I wonder whether a mere degree in arts or commerce would have helped me to attain all the possessions which I own today. I am really grateful from the bottom of my heart to my grandmother who always encouraged me to follow my heart. Food sustains all beings. Then how can cooking be devoid of any respect. She would question. I am happy that her prophecy turned true and today cooking has got the respect it deserves.