Anyone can cook?

Chef

“Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.”

Anton Ego, Ratatouille

This lockdown has served as an inspiring cooking school for the elites of the Instagram society. Chefs have emerged from the debris of nothingness to conquer the web traffic with their gastronomical stories and posts.

Personalities that were struggling to put forward a decent pack of noodles have turned into baking masters doling out chocolate cakes, custards, puddings, pizzas, pancakes and much more!

While these items look visually appealing under the extravagant filters, and that is what Instagram is supposed to do, we cannot comment on their taste or flavors. But hey, that is showmanship either on television or social network. It is one thing to have an imagination and expectation from a certain Rishabh Pant and another seeing him face a decent attack. Then again, maybe all this cooking stands in good stead as they prepare for a married future!

Well, you might ask, why am I reacting to somebody cooking at their leisure? In my defense, I am used to watching my feed fed by the brilliance of Gary Mehigan, George Calombaris, and Matt Preston. Wait, that is it! Isn’t it? Suddenly this year we have to deal with the newly found judges on my favorite show Masterchef Australia; just like this feed from the self decorated chefs.

I can no more see George dissecting a dish and present it beautifully in three plates with a grace of a figure skater. I can’t see Matt draped in colors that could put any Bollywood production to shame. I can’t see the brilliance and delight of Gary when the contestants deliver a cracker on his advice.

With all due respect (not sure how to quantify that yet) to the new judges, I miss the brilliance I was used to. A non-refinement that is hard to adjust to among the many adjustments we are making during Covid19.

I know, I know. Change is good. It keeps you on your toes. But just for this while, just for a bit, I would like to relax and enjoy the things that I loved just the way they were. Including the crapy food that my dear Instagram elites were used to making – regardless of how delicious it looks now.

For anyone can cook, but not everyone can cook!

Missing the fellows!

Making Lemons!

When life gives you lemonade, make lemons! And life will be all “whaaat”?!

– Phil Dunphy from Modern Family

As it stands though, any lemonade available has been sucked out of the lemons by life! And any minute reminiscence of life leftover from before the pandemic has been threatened by the social onslaught from Masterchefs of Instagram and Facebook.

Much like Indian cricket is defined pre and post-Ganguly era, we may end up defining life as pre and post-pandemic era.

There used to be a certain joy and sparkle announcing a WFH, now it’s like sentencing someone for rigorous imprisonment. For people working in information technology, though I barely qualify for the same having spent 8 years in pharmaceuticals, working from home is like checking emails. A part of their job. And yet, I am finding it extremely frustrating as the hours get longer and it becomes difficult to take any timeout from work.

But it is not the same for everyone. While there is tremendous hate-building up among people against the Chinese government, over 1 billion people still can’t resist killing time on TikTok. As a drug TikTok seems to be more effective than Salman on Eid or hydroxychloroquine on Corona. For a nation that increases its death count overnight by 50%, China seems to be in complete control of the situation. It’s like watching Dhoni playout 6 overs on a trot knowing he can come out triumphant in the end. Just maybe we get up to a news tomorrow that Chinese scientists save the day with the cure on Covid19! Everything needs to be planned precisely, like Dhoni.

While it’s all depressing on TV, its slightly better being on the phone with friends who don’t understand the cheat codes available in Ludo. Life is always a hack after all. How much do we lose before we are able to hack our way through is the only terrifying question?

And I hope a Phil Dunphy would be able to answer that even if it means making lemons from lemonade.

PS: Phil Dunphy is a character from the Web Series Modern Family, who seems to have all the answers.