It was a showery morning – a morning demanding assorted fritters with coriander-mint chutney.
I kissed my seven-month-old baby who was smiling while wandering in his dreamland. Then, I kissed my hubby who too was relishing his morning sleep.
I had made up my mind to prepare fritters for breakfast. My mouth was drooling even at the thought of piping hot fritters dipped in spicy green chutney. I had not eaten these oily fatty delicacies for about a year because, during pregnancy, I couldn’t even bear their smell. And after delivery, I wanted to reduce the bags that were hanging on all my sides. But today, I wished to keep cheat day.
Without making any noise, I left the bedroom and freshened up. After offering prayers, I started preparing breakfast.
Firstly, I ground the spicy chutney and then readied the batter. I chopped onions, potatoes, cauliflower, and spinach.
Meanwhile, my hubby too woke up and was ready for breakfast. The moment I put the oil for heating, I heard my baby’s cry.
Every day, he wakes up after 11 but that day, he woke up at 9:30. I think the smell of fritters tickled his nose and woke him up. Whenever I hear him cry, I forget everything and just dash to him. The same happened that day. I forgot to turn off the gas burner on which I had kept oil for heating. I just ran to my wailing baby.
I changed his wet nappy, comforted him in a pram, and took him to the kitchen with me.
The moment I entered the kitchen, I saw my hubby, who can’t even fetch a glass of water for himself, striving to fry the coated veggies.
Though he was incredibly nervous and scared of doing so, he was still making an effort which took my heart away. That was such an Awwww moment for me that I wanted to hug him. But, controlling my urge, I told him to get ready for his office or else he would have got late.
The baby was drilling his limbs in the pram and I turned my face away from him towards the kitchen slab.
The moment I saw hot oil, fear gripped me. I was tensed for my child. What if accidentally, even a drop of oil fell on him. My anxiety coaxed me to take him to his grandma so that she could take care of him while I prepared breakfast.
The moment I asked for help, my mil lost her temper and started scolding me, “You should learn to wake up and finish the work before your child wakes up. He is your child, your responsibility. I have my work to do. If I will sit taking him in lap, who will do my work“This was the first time after those 40 days’ postnatal period that I had asked her to take care of my child because he had woken up earlier than his usual time and this was what I had to hear.
I said, ” It’s ok if you don’t have time. The pan had hot oil in it and I was worried to keep him in the kitchen with me, that’s why I asked for help”
She said, “As long as your kid is small, can’t you control your taste buds”
She didn’t refuse to take care of the child but the way she reacted said it all, so I took him away with me.
It broke my heart that day. How could she say all that for a child she had herself prayed for from God?
I had both my awww and ufff kitchen moments on a single day.
I didn’t feel like preparing fritters anymore. My husband went to his office without having his breakfast. I too didn’t have my breakfast but like an obedient, sanskaari daughter-in-law, I prepared and served breakfast to my mil.
As long as a daughter-in-law doesn’t conceive, she is being forced to conceive and when at the behest of others, she conceives and gives birth, the child becomes solely her responsibility. I was shattered that day.