The greenery which overflowed with its enthralling colours in the perfectly tucked plate on the dining space had the slightest impact on my daughter’s face. The rather boorish and tasteless articulation gave me thousand reasons for stirring my guilt which was not an onus till she made it explicit.
The splendidly cooked green leaf spinach kofta and the peas laden rice was a highly delectable and nutritious meal (as a mother I considered it to be best ) but the ever so pertinent phrase “why don’t you try something different” is so blatant sometimes from a 7-year-old.
Well I reply back “well, master chef the food bar is researching and exploring everyday to bustle your taste bud, but all in vain.”
She smiles back and resumes her insipid journey of eating the given meal with arid enthusiasm.
I had failed again arousing her taste bud sensation (for vegetables) or maybe she had failed again.
The journey continues. My food bar goes on with its sordid tales of venturing into new recipes hiding the real colours and shapes.
A few of the vegetable have such a dejected fate; I am responsible for their mournful state. Their family members curse me a thousand times. Among them a few of them needs special mention who are sacrificing their lives every day … the mournful melancholic carrot has lost her special blushing attributes, she has been crushed, crumbled, squashed, squeezed to the extreme, the beans have a rumpled tale too, well the brinjals and the cauliflower have a harsh life… being crushed everyday into pieces by that grinder fellow.
The innate beauty gifted by God to these little things fades into the utopian island but yes I still feel victorious for my accomplishment (though it’s fleeting feeling ) I wait for that moment when her majesty would take that elfin morsel and pray to God that those crushed little things don’t have any identity but to my utter dismay, her microscopic eyesight is so overpowering that the finer miniscule particle of those colourful beauties catch her glance, might be some floating in an around the “ Daal”, a few lying meekly in some of the remotest corner of the “parantha” or “Roti” and the tit-bit grains of a few tomatoes or onion just sailing across.
The ever so gruelling task of many parents who have fumbled a couple of times “Rocket science engineering or manufacturing a sub marine can be an easier task.”
No matter how much the moral lessons go on and how much the little ones are all ears but the practical session of feeding a child is a gargantuan task for mummies.
Every time the junk bite wins the battle. It’s not about the poor old beauties (the green produce) but it’s all about the mother’s battle. The everyday saga of crushing these fellows with her gruesome knife and grinder, mixing them, ravaging, mashing them to pieces is not any easy task and then comes the final blow of feeding these creased souls. The mother goes on with the crusade. And her voice sings a sweet tune
I know one day
You will see
Those beauties as they were
And ask your mom
“I never knew carrot looked so red
And cabbage so green
The tomatoes were so blushful
And the peas so blissful
I realise mom
What I had missed
But I am all so happy
You had fought the battle
With your undaunted spirit
And I stand in glory.”
Ronita-Maitra Bhandari is a free-lance creative writer who writes for various sites and blogs. She has also done a certified course in “Positive Parenting” from U.K. She is a mom to a 7-year-old and loves nurturing her greatest resource, her daughter. Apart from writing she is a nature lover and gets energised wandering around green patches. She believes family is a treasure chest and children are those precious jewels in the chest who sparkle to illuminate lives. What else would one desire to live a rich life?