While scrolling through my new FB avatar stickers, I hit upon the perfect match. Couch Club 2020. As I feel pleased and vow to live my avatar life, spreading myself on every square inch of the sofa decorating my living room, my thoughts moving at the speed of my fingers flipping through choices on Netflix, my morning happiness is short-lived. No prizes for guessing, the happily ever after is only an illusion. The universe has never failed to interrupt my dream of indulging in nothingness.

Toiling in the kitchen makes for my daily ritual. And no, I am not complaining. I love cooking and consuming fresh, zero preservative, wholesome food. And while I have plenty of friends who perpetually complain the most tiresome job is to think the menu through, I have other troubles to face. Three people can be quite a handful when it comes to food cravings.

The Marathi better half craves a Vidarbhi treat. But a one pot meal of vangi bhaat with side accompaniments is quick to come to my rescue. However, the youngest member of our Pride is a particularly picky eater. She pushes down lunch in silence, expressing dissatisfaction, putting up a stoic face. I sense trouble in paradise but decide to follow ignorance is bliss. But just as I am about to enjoy my very last morsel and drift into an afternoon siesta, she opens her mouth,

“What’s for dinner?”

I seriously gape at my last bite and go speechless. Before I can defend myself in any way, the older one makes it to the table too. Now we have a real problem. While the 8-yo favourably leans towards Italy, and drools at the thought of bread and pasta, the 12-yo craves for Bombay style Chilli Cheese toast. For once, I am glad the father of the girls is busy on an office zoom call and does not get to add another item to the wish list. I have a mental argument over the amount of cooking, being on the leader board on the national average in gas consumption and think about the next episode of Masaba Masaba. I still find myself in shock.

Torn between living upto my Couch Club 2020 sticker reputation and satiating my little monsters, I take the road not taken. Post lunch, I lounge on my couch, kokam sherbat in one hand, poured in a wine glass and enjoy Jamie Oliver’s videos on baking. As I get carried away by his kitchen herbs and his nonchalant cooking style, I secretly feel like the defending champion of the Couch Club label.

P.S. Until a couple of years back, I would fret my kids showed no love for food. But now that my genes are at play, I am not sure pride is the first emotion that comes to mind. I think I understand my mom more than ever now. Those priceless hours of labouring in the kitchen for sheer love, giving in to all our demands. True then, what goes around, comes around.

If I watch any more videos, I may have to order a take out. Time to get the ingredients ready. I have a junior chef assisting this evening. The kitchen is going to get super messy. But who says messy kitchens are no fun? After all, a couch never feels better than after a day’s work when my body says Ouch!