I’m beginning to cookfixiate. Climbing down from office straight into the kitchen gave me reason to think like that. My tech consultant called, ‘You need to sort out the author’s categories better.’ ‘I’m in the kitchen, cooking mutton qorma.’ ‘At 10.30 am?’

‘Yes, there’s a dinner at home today and I really don’t know what am I doing in the kitchen on a working day.’ Wicked cackle – ‘Oh, that’s the housewife in you breaking out.’ The onions were turning pink and sweating. ‘Huh?’

‘No, I think you are the ultimate housewife werewolf!’


‘The housewife in you gnashes and tears through your working woman skin every once in a while…’

‘Yeah right, mister.’

‘That is true lady, every few days you remember you have a home, husband and kids and you fight with them, bumble around in the kitchen, make sure your staff hates you – that is what the ultimate housewife is.’

A couple of splutters later, the call is disconnected with too much pressure on the red key – just making sure he isn’t hanging on listening to my instructions, ‘I need the kebab masala pulsed in the mixer now.

Just last night I was talking to one of my authors. ‘Why have you put me on speaker phone?’ he objected. ‘Because I’m trying to set a cheesecake while talking to you.’

‘Oh, multi-tasking and all that…’

‘So that I don’t have to cook during the day and it doesn’t eat into my work schedule.’

‘Aah, very professional and all.’

The truth is that I did spend the entire morning between kebab mixtures, desserts, roasts and qorma. Just to keep up the pretence of being professional and all, I’d kept my lap top on the dining table and kept scrolling down emails on my blackberry, relieved that no important mails had come in. There was more joy in scraping the last teaspoon of whipped cream to top the twentieth shot glass which was layered with digestive biscuits, mango puree and the cranberries waiting to be sprinkled over, all powdered and brushed lightly with castor sugar.

The menu for tonight is rather strange. A small group of friends are invited but very diverse in their taste so it’s a mixture of some sort.


  • Savoury cheesecake (chicken salami)
  • Savoury cheesecake (mixed herbs and bell peppers)
  • Stuffed cucumber (thai peanut and carrot mixture)
  • Surajmukhi kebab
  • Malai Chicken Tikka
  • Sev Puri
  • Cheese platter
  • Nachos with kiwi salsa and roasted tomato salsa

For the main meal :

  • Mutton Qorma
  • Pepper Chicken Roast
  • Panchratni Dal
  • Spicy Baby Potatoes
  • Sauteed Corn
  • Stuffed Green Chillies
  • Stir Fried Veggies
  • Mango Broccoli Salad
  • Lettuce Pineapple Walnut Salad
  • Garlic bread
  • Moti Roti


  • Vodka Chilly Cheesecake
  • Mango and Cranberry Fool
  • Apple Tea and Turkish Coffee to wash it all down

It is so much easier to be a literary agent.

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