When ‘homemade’ no longer means ‘your’ home

He who depends on himself will attain the greatest happiness reads a Chinese proverb. So it comes as no surprise that everything today is ‘Made in China’ ! Unfortunately, no one really loves mass produced factory-made goods and advertisers were the first to realize this. Advertisers are always the first to realize everything. Labels like ‘Homemade’, or ‘Hand Painted’ or even ‘It’s a family company’ allow products to move into a ‘premium’ category. But when was the last time your home, your hands or your family made something (other than money)?

The process of creating by and large is always more satisfying than that of consuming. It does not need to be valuable or even praise worthy. It can simply be mediocre. Vincent Van Gogh once wrote in a letter to his brother Theo;

I do not at all despise mediocre in its simple sense. And one certainly does not rise above the mark by despising what is mediocre. In my opinion one must at least begin by having some respect for the mediocre, and know that it already means something, and is only reached with great difficulty.

These are my attempts. First being the cardamom mava cakes, which I must admit were delicious. Here is the recipe. The perfect accompaniment to a mava cake is some tea and a book. I picked up “Marrying Anita: A Quest for Love in the New India”. Now this ones far from being a classic, very far indeed, but a chick lit once in a while never hurt a soul. I even wrote a little review for the book on amazon.

This was a fun book, and I enjoyed reading it. However, you might be disappointed if you were hoping to find a deeper connection with the author and her life. I believe a lot of the negative reviews reflect that, since after a certain point it is difficult to relate to Anita’s experiences, especially the fact that her failed relationships seem to teach her nothing. Everyone has the right to act silly at any age, but one hopes the wiser ones realize their folly and correct themselves once the moment of insanity has passed. And one definitely hopes to be wise by thirty !

But I like her honestly and clarity and she is not afraid to say it like it is. She does have her preferences; she likes the poor boy from the village who works hard and becomes an artist, she does not like the poor boy from the village who works hard and becomes an IT engineer in New Jersey. But at no point is she pretentious which I find quite refreshing. She has preferences, we all do.

Surprisingly, Delhi seems to be light years ahead in terms of dating if compared to Mumbai. I can imagine smoking and drinking to your hearts content in Mumbai, every day, for FUN. But to do that when you’re here to find a husband? Hmm, never heard of that one! I have yet to meet an Indian woman who partied her way to marriage. What a boring world I live in!

So if you want to enjoy the book, don’t take everything it says too personally. It is about her, Anita, and not about the Indian woman you are, you love or hope to meet !

And finally a painting. It’s a concept called paint by numbers, where the supplier will send you a canvas with a drawing sketched out. There are even little numbers indicating the colors one must use for each section. Takes you back to primary school doesn’t it? Good old days, where the only worry you had was sticking inside the boundaries. Who says painting has to be hard work?

So there you have it. Nothing fancy, but truly homemade :)


21 thoughts on “When ‘homemade’ no longer means ‘your’ home

  1. Of your “three” creations, I like your post the best.

    The importance you place on homemade is perfect. A simple sketch made by a cousin who died a 100 years ago from TB while making the journey from Europe to the U.S. is all that is physically left. No pictures, letters, records, etc… remain.

    Our digital lives are more fragile than that yellowed paper. What seems like forever is written over in an instant, destroyed by a hard drive failure, unreadible in a long lost format, taken offline by neglect or erased from a CD or DVD that set in the sun too long.

    What remains is the spirit of creation, the “remember when” of friend’s and relation’s stories the simple marks on a paper or photos in a drawer.

    This weekend is Memorial Day in the U.S. Good for cookouts, sleeping in, that big sale, and remembering those who have passed.

    • @Scott, that is so well said. Technology has been a great enabler, why this blog would not exist without it! But I so hope it does not replace the “yellowed paper”. Today, a lot of people prefer the Kindle to a paperback. If no one buys paperbacks why would anyone publish them ? :-/ Hope that doesn’t happen !

      Have a pleasant weekend.

  2. Lovely :).
    the cake looks so tempting, delicious lisht and its photo ? more nice .because I can see .
    painting realy very nice :) aticle ka to jawab nahi :)
    Realy very nicely written. do feel lucky to read such wise articles.
    I must say ,one may feel like reading again and again.
    very good writer !

  3. The cake has come out very well – and the blog even better!
    It is indeed one of the most thoughtful and profound blogs I have read.
    Every line so meaningful. Getting wiser by the day…

  4. Preeti,

    Nice article and said so well and crisp…It reminded me of those cards and handwritten letters written to friends and cousins in childhood, paintings on the vase…which is completely digitally replaced…

    A cup of Tea while reading a lovely book or listening to melodious song or a chat with loved ones is indeed so rejuvenating…
    btw liked your painting and the cake ..when do i get to have one…:)

    • Hey thanks so much Shweta :) You are welcome any time ! I’m not sure if you eat eggs, but if you do those cakes are really super easy and super yummy ! And I know what you mean. The little cards we used to make for our friends, family members. I guess everyone now sends an e-card. Its just not the same :-/

    • Thank you so much :) You have quite a few interesting recipes listed on your blog, and I look forward to making some of them, especially the truffles.. ! I didn’t know we could make them at home :)

  5. Loved the pics of the cake n the book. well taken. nice article too reely:) the painting is just too pretty.n you sound humbkle wen u said it was easy but only you have the patience to fill colors wid numbers!! !

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