At the last leg of the almost 48 hours long train journey from Varanasi to Bangalore we were tired and feeling like deboarding the train as early as possible. Few months ago my elder son got married and I was eager to visit his new home. After having reached his home late in the evening at about 9:30 pm, we exchanged greetings and pleasantries, and settled down for dinner. My daughter in law served us freshly prepared home made food with garma-garam ROTI.
Roti is an Indian home made bread generally eaten by 80% Indians. The special thing of roti is that most of the Indian women can make it nicely. Recipe of the roti is very simple. Take two cups wheat flour pour some water ,kneed a smooth dough. Roll it flat like a disc, then toast it on a pan. Thats all.
My heart blessed Neha, I remember those days when I had started cooking - specially roti. Before marriage I was knowing how to eat only and not to cook. After marriage I came to Hardwar with my newly wed husband a man whom I did not know very well.
In our new home we spend 15-16 days with boiled food, fruits, milk and bread. My husband (poor soul) never uttered a complain about the food I served him. In evenings, his friends used to invite us and fed us a good home made food for a couple of week. 15-16 days later, I made up my mind to cook roti. Those days I had a kerosene stove. It was more complicated than gas stove. The flame could not be managed easily in that stove.
I started from first step. First I collected the THINGS I NEED. Then I took a big bowl and put 2 cups flour in it. Then I poured some water in it. In a great hesitation I dipped my fingers in the bowl as I had to mix the water and flour together. Few minutes latter I felt that the flour was not binding. So I mixed some more water in it. Again I was mixing the water and flour but this time the flour made a paste like formation. I added more flour in the bowl and tried to make perfect dough. .After 5-6 times of adding flour and water, I succeeded in preparing the dough. Though it was not very perfect dough but I thought that I could make roti with it.
Next step- I took a little ball out of the dough and placed it on the platform. Now I was rolling it with the help of a rolling pin as I saw my mother did before my marriage. But the dough stuck on to the rolling pin. I scratched it and made a ball again. This time I patted dry flour on it and tried to roll again. This time the dough stuck on to the platform. Again I scratched it from the platform and made a ball. This time I patted dry flour on the other side also and rolled it. Believe me, this was not an easy task.
I rolled the dough till 1 millimetre thick but it took a shape of Australia's map. One side was thinner than the other side. Next step - very carefully I took the map like structure and placed it on the pan. While I was busy in rolling the dough the pan had become too hot and when I placed the rolled dough on the pan immediately it burnt. After one hour and ten minutes, I could make only 8-9 rotis. On the dinner table, my husband looked at me. I thought that he was asking me "What is this?" I cleared my sweat from my forehead but could not say anything. I felt very low - I was really hopeless! - good for nothing. I had to eat whatever I had cooked. My poor husband remarked nothing but ate quietly.
In the bed I wept silently with two brunt fingers. Few days latter I visited the pathology lab in BHEL hospital, as my doctor had prescribed me for a pregnancy test. The lab assistant handed me my test report and said “Congratulations, its positive." I was walking to my home I made up my mind that whether God blessed me with a boy or a girl I must teach the child cooking. Through my roti making experience I had learnt a good lesson. Earning bread and making bread both are equally important for survival.