‘Men don’t cook’ is a fallacy. ‘Men can’t cook’ is a puerile whine. ‘Men must not cook’ is unintelligent. ‘Men can cook’ is similar to what harmony, rhythm and beat are for music. This chorus of not wanting men around in the kitchen because they cannot cook is as funny as the Congress shouting itself hoarse that BJP cannot govern the country.

Men in the kitchen are what consultants are for organisations because it is the final output that is always on their mind. They have been watching every process closely and know where and why the assembly line wobbles. They know when a pinch of salt was an aggressive pinch, a grudging pinch, or a princely pinch – and what is vital is that they know why it shouldn’t have been that. They know that the art of cooking is a part of their genetic make-up and is probably the reason why they love sitting on the kitchen slab as they watch their wife chop, grate, mince, fry, sauté, cut, or peel. The kitchen slab has anyway been their favourite place ever since they were born.

To watch a dish being cooked isn’t the same as cooking, right?

Wrong. As wrong as someone declaring that men drive well and women cannot. Haven’t you seen men doing exactly what the woman sitting next to him or even behind says and on reaching the destination, murmur, ‘Thanks for driving us all to this place, my lord.’ The man is only thanking the woman for the driving skills that she has displayed through words. So why not be graceful enough to thank men for all that they do in the kitchen. After all, it is men who keep saying ‘I think you’ve forgotten to sprinkle salt on the salad’ or ‘How about some ground roasted cumin for the raita?’ or ‘Let’s air fry instead of deep fry, dear’ or ‘Why not order pizzas tonight?’ I know this is exactly what happens in every home and without this help meal-times could have a lot of groans and ‘not again!’ as the most preferred phrase outside the kitchen. Men are happy that their advice has been taken and they happily set the table for lunch or dinner or whatever it is and beam as consultants do after they have advised the company to sprinkle some more salesmen all over or have made the CEO add their pre-cooked strategic add-on or have enthused the accounts honchos to use the latest technology to announce a fat-free (Oops! I mean an incentive-free) year as the company needs this healing touch. The consultants make sure that each of their advisories is infused with a lot of ‘the future is bright if you stay with us’ kind of lyrics accompanied by music of course.

Consultants thrive in our times and so do men who hop on to kitchen slabs and drive the kitchen queen to cook up a great meal. Talking of driving, let me also say that cooking, like driving, needs skilled interventions or nightmarish things can happen… haven’t you heard of single men dozing off while they were at the wheels, or women in the kitchen hiring surly maids to cook uninspiring meals? Come on, men are necessary in the kitchen and I don’t mean men like Jamie Oliver or Gordan Ramsay or even our own Saby or Kunal who start knifing vegetables at the slightest pretext and stare hypnotised at bowls with everything organic and gluten-free… I mean men who can hop down from the kitchen slab and kiss their wives every few minutes and open cupboards to pass the masalas that they are asked to hand over. Well, sometimes taking the liberty to suggest: ‘how about some oregano in masur ki dal?’ After all, the kitchen is a place always in need for innovative solutions.

So yes, men can cook as well as women can drive or consultants can run organisations. And men in the kitchen are the kind of music that women look forward to. Let any woman deny this.

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Men in the kitchen are like consultants for organisations

Men in the kitchen are like consultants for organisations

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This blog post is inspired by the blogging marathon hosted on IndiBlogger for the launch of the #Fantastico Zica from Tata Motors. You can apply for a test drive of the hatchback Zica today.

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Arvind Passey
27 January 2016