Using Chutney, My Father Taught Me How To Stand Up For Myself

Posted by Harshitha Ravi
November 17, 2017

The torn hot noon sky swerved into the dilute yellow red combo carpet to welcome the rain which was about to drop down with no occasion and invitation. My tender mind believed that it was mandatory to hang out with my family in summer vacations shouting and screaming with fun and joy. The hot sunny weather had slightly arrested my dad’s health which I could not understand as a 10-year-old.

It was I who compelled him to take us out in the evening to celebrate our summer holidays. As a proud father of two daughters, he never wanted to disappoint us and promised for a long walk to food street which had plain food. But it was always my innocent mother who tried to convince me by false promises of making the later summer days more colourful. I never really trusted her after the age of eight. But I did not want to go to Food Street to have idli-chatni followed by obbattu or a V.B.Bakery’s badam barfi, finally ending up with the mirinda masala at the corner shop of the street.

Food Street is one of the busy streets in Bangalore with variety of food shops on either sides which serves only veg food. The break less and breathless conversation of people on the street played a music like dry crushed leaves rolling all around.

The only reason i did not want to go to Food Street was the chutney offered by a man on the middle of the street. (Idli-chutney is south Indian food). The chutney with idli was so well matched, but didn’t travel to the end of the idli’s life, resulting in a shortage of chutney. My dad always forced me to step up and demand for some more chutney, which I hated to do. It always embarrassed me to carry my half-done plate in midst of people who stood with no plates but full of hunger waiting for their orders.

My sister who is twice my age went to the person and asked for more chutney, and got some green chutney. She then asked for red chutney with a cute smile on her face. My dad always insisted that I follow my sister me, as she was brave enough to ask for things that she wanted. He strongly ordered me not to be blown by my mom who never neither demanded for idli nor chutney. With no option left for me, I cursed him and went into the crowd. I stood before the server with my plate raised and mouth shut, wanting him to understand my need and came back to dad with a false mask of pride.

My father always pushed me to do these things even though I’d get irritated, just to make sure that I demand my rights in society once I grew up. He wanted both his daughters to be independent and he made it possible through these small things in our Sunday outings. He taught us a lot in life with just a spoon of chutney and a piece of idli.

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