I saw households where all one ate came from the market packaged in a polythene wrapping, from morning breakfast to snacks like samosa, bhujiya, pakoras, sweets and their accompaniments like chutney, sauces or achar. All these things were homemade till I left home! I also shopped and ate them, but the home taste was missing. And after so many years, I still rely on home made snacks vs the readymade things available in the market – each home vacation (or someone coming from home) ends with huge dabbas of favourite snacks being carried in the luggage.
And similar is the story with woolen clothes, I did not own a single piece of machine made woolen piece till 6 years back, everything I had was hand-knitted – single knit, double knit pure wool – by my Masi. Every winter started with the discussion on the list for the season – is it going to be a regular sweater, or a shawl, or a cap or if she is in a really generous mood – a long coat. And then came the colours and the design – crochet or knit, cable or straight. And last winter, I went back to those hand-knotted sweaters again, matching them with the hand-knitted shawls, my favourite being an old double-knit cardigan in burnt orange which was my Mother’s and then handed over to me – the warmth of the sweater could not parallel any layers of readymade stuff – or was it the warmth of love?
And so, I continue to live with the cultural shock at my own terms – home made snacks and hand-knitted sweaters. There is more such small stuff wherein I prefer the homemade luxury (inspite of the hard work and long gestation period) vs the readymade convenience of buying from the market.
Maybe more on this later,
June 23, 2010