Disclaimer: This article will be a bit counterintuitive
“Nothing compares to my mother’s cooking,” most Indian men stress. It’s alright if they say it before getting married. But they continue it, nitpicking about how their wife’s cooking isn’t like their mother’s cooking. And, it’s maddening considering Indian men don’t exclusively eat their mother’s cooking just like everyone else. Intha singam pasicha kandathum sapdum velila aana mother’s cooking nu wife ta lecture edukkum (This lion eats whatever shit outside when hungry but takes lecture at wife regarding ‘mother’s cooking.’)
This makes many Indian women swell in pride and bask in sons’ love and at the same time, it hurts younger Indian women. Mothers-in-law instructing daughters-in-law that milk should be boiled this way only – “That’s the way my son likes.” If I was the daughter-in-law, I’d be like, “Ean? Enga veetla maari ponga vecha pal pongamaaten nu adam pidikuma? (“Why? If I boil milk my way, will the milk be obstinate and not boil?”) Really, this is very annoying. At coffee shops and Starbucks, the son drinks coffee without a squeak. Eat what’s served at restaurants and stalls quietly. But, come home and it’s, “Your cooking is not like my mother’s cooking.”
You know what, your dad would have loathed your mother’s cooking because it doesn’t taste like his mother’s cooking. Your son would love your wife’s cooking because she’s his mother. It has nothing to do with cooking. It’s only got to do with what you’re fed, both in the brain and body but mostly in the brain. It’s conditioned that nothing that a wife cooks or does is comparable to a mother’s cooking and deeds. This is obvious because this issue only crops up when the wife cooks.
Nothing Magical about our Mother’s cooking so beat it.
The term ‘mother’s cooking’ exists for nothing but to make women feel inadequate and also to assign traditional and stereotypes to women – that cooking is a woman’s job. This is evident and the proof is all around us.
Mother’s cooking is glorified as such to keep sons under their mother’s spell, to enslave the son in the name of love. And, then, the sons expect the wife to be the other mother, cook like the mother, take care as the mother, if can wash butt like the mother. And, this is only an Indian phenomenon – Indian men not outgrowing the Oedipus complex.
It’s an uphill battle to wean Indian men off their mothers’ tits. They think they are being devoted to their mothers when all they are doing is being childish, destroying their marital life and the life of the women who had the bad luck of marrying such ‘babies’ pun intended.
Yes, many Indian men know how to cook (and it positively doesn’t taste like their mother’s cooking) and even do housework – no doubt about it because they work/study away from home and mom. But, once home, these guys won’t even wash their own plate – their mother does it. But, gloat, “I can cook and clean and I’m a guy!” And, after marriage, all the housework burden falls on the wife, including cooking. Cooking after settling down for most Indian men is a recreational activity, not a housebound responsibility – the mess they leave after cooking is the wife’s/women in the house’s to clean up. So, mother’s cooking is a nuanced dissection.
Mother’s cooking is a trap.
I asked my mom once if she likes cooking and she flatly said, “No.” When I asked her why she cooks anyway, she replied that as a woman, if she doesn’t cook, she’ll be labeled a bad woman and worst, a bad mother. She also said I cook better than her. I was listening to her quietly and she came to the point correctly, “It is not a matter of liking cooking or not. If you need to eat, then learn to cook. Of course, you can eat out but health and affordability are important factors. I don’t cook that well. You’re better at cooking than I am. But, you can survive if you know cooking, whoever you are. Didn’t your dad learn cooking when I separated from him? Exactly like that.”
So, get over the mother’s cooking already. Everyone cooks differently so appreciate the difference and stop imposing “My mother’s cooking and my motherly love” on the women you marry. It’s unfair. Your mother is your mother and your wife is your wife – exactly how your mother can’t be your ‘other wife’, your wife can’t be your ‘other mother.’