After yesterday, and a name, at last, for my blog

I’m worried about how controversial this post will get. But I never said every single post would wonly be about food wonly? Did I? Food and cooking lead me to think about other stuff, too, you know. Only human. So here goes:

My mother stood up for me yesterday. Can’t describe the incident here, but I do want to say that I’m proud and happy, greatly reassured and strangely slightly calmed by it.

Nevertheless, there are  these thoughts still swirling through my head. About motherhood. And me.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I love watching TV. Especially food shows. So today I watched Rachel Allen Home Cooking, Hairy Bikers: Mum Knows Best and Family Food Fight. All about cooking at home, and for/with family, and hairy bikers (oh dear) and motherhood-and-cooking-and-history-and-creating-all-together.

Before that I had an interesting time finding out from my sister her experiments in cooking for her new home, new family.

I also posted something about food and Mother’s day and my Mum, and that led me to think of all the mothers I know, who are dear to me – not just amongst family or of friends – but also those amongst my friends, my peers. The number of mothers in the latter lot is increasing, and how. Especially this year, it seems.

Please don’t get me wrong. I am very happy for all of you, who are so truly dear to me. But after all of the stuff described above, I’m left feeling a little sad. Okay, a lot sad. And also (dareIsayit?) very very left out, slightly cheated even. Why? You see, the thing is, I don’t just want to be a mother. I AM a mother. Inside. Also a householder, and a committed and loving lifelong partner.

I’m a lot of other things, too, undoubtedly important – as my own true support systems (friends and ideology) keep reminding me. And of course, I do know and believe that it is not  and should not be the aim of one’s life to be any of the things ‘listed’ above. But it’s NOT about that.

It’s about who I know I am, at the very core. Oh yes, I’m also a fighter, and a planner, and a learner-teacher. But the most core part of my core is simply made of the loving madness, the morantic fool-ishness of being a lover-mother-artist-householder.

And I know it’s polemically problematic that I’m a woman who is recognising herself/identifying as a nurturer. But I’m not generalising. In fact, I’m rad-queer feminist, against the generalising and have written/discoursed/argued long and loud for the last 20 years against certain concepts  – especially of ecofeminist theorising – precisely for saying all women/biological females are essentially nurturers. That’s bs, of course. (Ecofeminists shouldn’t mind that, should they? It’s organic!)

There’s no ‘essence’ (as a concept) that can be applied to many, collectively. But it can (and perhaps should only) be applied by an individual to oneself. And I’m saying this is who I am.

YES. YES, I’m also ‘strong, independent, working for a living, educated, well-travelled’ etc. etc. (ad nauseam). I know I have a lot of good stuff in my life. Great stuff, actually. Nobody appreciates it all more than me. And nobody gets angrier than me, either, when asked why I haven’t ‘got’ (?!) for myself things like a marriage, or a terribly high-paying job, or higher academic qualifications or even got an interest in any of these (like a ‘good husband’ or a Ph.D.). But that still doesn’t mean anyone should ignore or dismiss who I’m saying I am. Doesn’t mean I couldn’t possibly want anything else apart from what I’m already fortunate/privileged enough to have. 

These things cut both ways. Watch out, working ‘single’ woman-nurturer. Don’t get cut out altogether.

(I really want to investigate further the larger socio-cultural process of manufacturing and forcing this dichotomy on contemporary working women’s identities in particular. Need to read and write more about it, in a separate space perhaps. But must. This post is (a) on a food blog and (b) focusing on my individual issues with this in my own life and relationships. So we’ll just continue with the latter now.)

I read a lot of food blogs, too. I just want to be one of those people – planning menus for the family balancing tastes and health and fun and time/work schedules, being with the person I love & sharing everything for good, finding out what is my children’s favourite of my cooking. I want all of that. 

And obviously I can’t have it the way I want. At least now. (Again, watch out. Hairy biker-heart breaker on the loose. Also socio-development-sector-in-which-I-work on the loose, & out of control, totally. And a largely lousy world that means one can never stop struggling. Not yet, at least.) I also accept that I can’t have these things now. Fine.

But what’s really sad is almost no one seems to believe me about what I want/who I am. Some people think they know for sure better than me what I will want soon enough/eventually/in the end (?!), which apparently will be none of the said things. I don’t care whether anyone’s right or wrong about this. I just care about why people won’t just accept that this is what I want. Especially when most of it’s quite obvious. Am I invisible/inaudible?

And FYI, some of these things I’ve wanted for years now! I’m ready for all of it. More than ready. As ready as anyone can be. Why shouldn’t I want and be eager for it, then?

Anyhow, let us move on to non-angsty things. I’ve settled on a name for this blog. Or is it a title? Whatever.

It emerged from a spaced-out, unintentionally funny moment a few days ago when I was trying to say ‘tiffin carrier’ and it didn’t come out quite right. Gave everyone around a good laugh. And almost immediately made me think about my South Indian roots, my fantas(t?)ical but continuing desire since childhood of actually working with food for a lifetime & living, and the punny, filmy ishtyle.

Here it is. I proudly yet shyly present to you my newly-named new blog – ‘Tiffin Career’. How you like it, frainds? 

One Response to “After yesterday, and a name, at last, for my blog”
  1. Arpita says:

    I louve the blog!! 🙂 So happy to see it materialise!! Going home some time soon so will try some of the goodies here 😀

    Psst.. i think its quite alright that the soul speak happens.. for how can emotion and cooking be separated anyhow.. who you are pours into your it cooking or painting..and of course I know you deserve very rightfully all you ask for..and one day, i know, it’ll happen love.

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