Lots of people do lots of stuff to cool off or as an outlet for the emotions or simply just because they like it or are passionate about it. To serve the above-said purposes the thing which I do, other than writing this blog, has to be cooking, or to be a bit specific, Baking. The major issue that comes with having baking as a hobby is that it demands a hell lot of ingredients and machinery, which one simply cannot have in a hostel room that is not even big enough to accommodate two people. This again was a great reason that Specs & the City came up, but baking still reigns supreme when I am home.
The oldest origins of how it came to this have to be the fact my aunt bakes great cakes and whenever she baked at our house it was fun to watch and assist her. Me and my siblings used to always buzz around her doing bits and stuff, and also try to learn how she does it. Soon we started to be the player rather than spectators and then it became a sibling-activity kind of thing. We used to bake something once every fortnight or so I guess. The whole regime was never too much about the end product. It was more about the teamwork, the trial and errors and most importantly batter-licking. Some cakes were touched by the Annapoorna Devi (food goddess) and some can be said, to have been excreted by the Devil. If I could make out a memory type video or something out of these sessions it would somewhat resemble those Paper Boat advertisements. On second thoughts, I should send those guys this idea positively, who knows maybe they might make a drink out of cake batter too.
Anyways time flew by, and with growing up came studies, different priorities and different ways of passing time. Consequently, baking kind of took a step back, the circumstance being accelerated by the fact that our only oven got busted, and those cookers and microwave thingy ain’t no baking in my opinion.
I started to bake again at about age of 15, thanks to a brand new oven. The only difference was, now it was more of a solo activity rather than a full family industrial line-up.
I had to say, baking reached me in ways I couldn’t imagine. Baking is an art of opposites. It’s so easy yet so hard, so random yet so precise, so rebellious yet so methodical. It somewhat reflects what’s inside me, a huge bunch of extremes somehow coexisting in a teeny tiny body ( which is quite huge in real life).
Well the baking started, it was going all right except for one thing. Somehow nothing turned out okay, cakes were either flat, burnt, raw or all. It got me a bit frustrated because I cannot pinpoint what possibly I was doing wrong. Well the answer was no less peculiar, turns out the day I repaired my old busted oven, the typical round oven, and started using it, things just got back on track. My babies came out of oven all spongy and aromatic, which lifted my spirits a lot.
The cakes were, so to speak, an epitome of perfection. I believe that the years of love and memories that vested in that oven was what made every cake, baked in that oven perfect. At least that is what I think, totally ignoring all tech stuff that people say like how actually my old oven had mild all-round eating and more volume. there was a rather funny thing I heard recently, “truth is actually what you perceive it to be”. This piece of advice help me stay true to my stupid, non-scientific theory.
If you are a middle class Indian, then the time of 11th and 12th basically defines the minima of your life. the IIT-JEE, medical and other “white collared career” examination exert a tremendous pressure, which if not handled well, Hollows out the happy, hopeful and human soul out of your Earthly vessel. That is where baking came for my rescue. Be it vanilla, chocolate, marble, dump-n-stir, strawberry or some other weird fancy cake, making them was now the best “me – time” I could have awarded myself. With occasional help from others for all the menial jobs and the aftermath clean-up, everything I did was on my own. Everything about it is enchanting, be it measuring out ingredients, the whirring sound of mixer or the careful demoulding of finished product. It transported me into a wholly different world of peace and calm, letting me think about the most important person in my life, me.
Living in a country with no dearth of festivals and a quite a social life, there never were dearth of reasons to bake a cake. even if This little advantage helped my little activity fit in, cause no cake ever went waste and plus I got the chance to share it with lots of people, without me being tagged as “obsessive-baker”. Fun fact, I never ate much of what I baked. It is never just a cake for me, it is my expression of love, my way of showing that I care for you. So yeah if I or anyone else, bakes a cake for you, you are special to me or that person. Not to mention what you mean to me if I bring it for you, despite the fact, travelling with a temperamental item like that, on the route I have to take, is a real drag (sense subtle targeting anyone? me too!). I consider myself as selfish, but a good type because I can do anything for my happiness, and oddly enough my happiness is vested in seeing the people I care for be happy. So this and overweight issues combine is the reason that I do not eat most of the cake I bake, but yeah a few pieces just for myself are necessary, after all Self-love is also something right!!!
So do you guys have some activity, which speaks to you, speaks for you and make you feel everything you want to just the way baking does then do share it here.