The silence after the Zoom presentation.

Achcha nahi bana kya? a question I often faced from mom, a phenomenal cook, while eating. My response, a distracted ‘nahi theek hai sab’ while busy with whatever I was reading while eating. She would stand around, watch me eat before getting busy again.

In early 2000, we shared a study we had done on #homemaking with our client #Whirlpool – ‘Women find homemaking thankless’. What hurt women the most was the lack of acknowledgment for their cooking. In Indian culture, cooking’s connection with the homemaker’s identity being sacrosanct meant it is the last thing to be delegated to the house-help.

Not expecting overt acknowledgment, women drew satisfaction from a family member eating an extra chapati! Maybe that’s why moms just silently watch family members eat.

I resolved to acknowledge my house help’s cooking, while wondering if it would lose its value if done each time. 15 years later, I can tell you she is just as delighted after a compliment for a meal, snack, tea or coffee. It never grows old.

Sometimes, after a #presentation when there is that window of complete silence I can relate to how moms feel!

Having been on the audience side, I’ve been guilty too, sometimes out of plain laziness. It’s time to make the second resolution!


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