When a CA dons the Chef's Cap!

Cooking and you? 
What did you say you mop the floor and wash utensils? Really? 
That's so not like you. 
You are not that homemaker kind at all. 
The corporate honcho, Career woman, how can you possible do all this? This was what I have been hearing since ages. From colleagues, friends, to unknown random people. In fact when I was still young and at high school I used to help at times with household chores like cleaning utensils and I would often receive that look of unbelievable surprise from people. The girl who stands first in class, who is always immersed in books is washing vessels. That's surely made up. 
Years passed but people's attitude did not change. I had graduated from school books to CA books and was now working with a reputed Investment Bank as a qualified Chartered Accountant. What would u think would have happened? 
Eye balls popped out, people almost choked on their breath and some opened their mouth like a fish - I was married one day and I proclaimed that I cooked for my hubby and me. So you don't have a cook? Are you saying you come to office at 8 am after cooking breakfast, rotis for lunch and still manage to look chic, with matching earrings and lipstick all in place. I would just smile and tell them yes I do all of this and it is indeed manageable. 
It wasn't easy though. Prior to marriage my culinary skills were negligible. All I could make was rice and dal, tea and egg. As soon as my marriage was fixed I enthusiastically took out my favourite pick diary and wrote down easy recipes which my Mom had been wowing  us with over  so many years. First came the breakfast dishes like poha, sabudana khichadi then main course which includes various kinds of dals ( I was amazed how the ordinary dal could take so many forms) sabjis like ladyfingers, cauliflower, beans, peas and then our all time favourite chicken and prawns. I hardly tried out these before marriage as all my time after office was spent besotted with the man of my dreams . 
So there I was after marriage in my own kitchen, with new pots and pans and my pink diary. Come on you can do it! I said to myself and made my first ladyfinger sabji with dal and rice. Thankfully it turned out palatable. Slowly and surely I was making progress I got some new recipes, tried out different veggies and non veg dishes. I am thankful to my hubby who always ate whatever was served without creating any fuss. 
I developed a flair for cooking and though earlier my time after office hours was spent browsing the net or glued to the idiot box, now I would don my apron and start and start preparing dinner which would be a wholesome meal most nights with a veggie, rotis, dal or a curry and rice. Weekends as well I usually cooked at least one of the day and to my own delightful surprise I never found it boring or tedious. Of course things changed once the baby came and  my mother who now lives with us handles the kitchen with me just chipping in for odd jobs. My time post office is spent playing with the little one, feeding her which in itself is a Herculean task with a toddler and then putting her to sleep. I have lost touch in a way with cooking but I am confident that the art is not lost and a few days in the kitchen, I would have remastered my skill.
 It always irks me how easily we judge people just by their outward appearance. There comes the lady in a business suit or a smart one piece and stilettos - the career woman, I pity her family. Her kids must be hardly getting time with her and her poor hubby. How do we know what she does in her personal life, how much time she gives her family? How can we arrive at the conclusion that she is just into her career and neglects her family?
 And there is the housewife -good for nothing. Really. Give me break .she is worth so much more and how can you just judge her by her clothes, the money she earns or does not earn. Just because she is a stay at home mom doesn't mean she is incapable of earning her bread. I have known of super qualified and smart women taking a career break to raise their kids. 

Not just experience, but even statistics say the same. Take a look at some of the startling figures that the Nihar Naturals #IAmCapable survey conducted by Nielsen India reveals:
a. 69% of men agree that their judgement of women is based on their looks.
b. 64% of women agree that the judgments passed on them have affected their ability to reach their true potential.
c. 70%of women agree that majority of judgments on women are from family members or friends rather than strangers.
d. 72% of women agree that working women face more judgments on their looks or their clothes than housewives.

Think it's high time that we stop boasting of being a modern and liberal minded society and if we claim we indeed are one, let's break these stereotypes and stop judging  people. Also it's important as women who usually bear the brunt of judgement that we shake off these senseless comments and not let them deter us from exploring new possibilities, taping opportunities, donning  the chef's hat and  and the MacBook in the other hand as well. Yes we are capable of so much more and let's start by believing in ourselves first. Sky is the limit but to reach there one needs to take those first steps. So let's resolve to stop judging and put our foot down against being judged as well. 

"I’m breaking stereotypes based on appearance by sharing my experience for the #IAmCapable activity at BlogAdda in association with Nihar Naturals.”

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