The US government is proposing a bill to ban the pressure cooker, following its usage in the recent Boston marathon blasts. Many among you will say that it’s the right thing to do. If you say so, then you are definitely not an Indian. And if you are not an Indian, you will not understand how deeply rooted is India’s connection to the pressure cooker – it’s actually akin to challenging our identity. We swear by it, we depend on it and we absolutely love it. Pressure cooker is at the hearth of each Indian household. Mind you it’s not just people living in India. It’s the biggest asset of every Indian – living anywhere across the world.
I remember when my cousin brother was leaving India for good, pressure cooker was one of the first things to be packed neatly into his suitcase. Reason – well the minute he arrives in the US, he can at least cook khichdi (a preparation made of rice and lentils), my aunt argued! Khichdi is comfort food for us Indians, and what is better than comfort food in a foreign land. And khichdi is best prepared in a pressure cooker! Bingo! Thus, the pressure cooker went along with my brother!
A pressure cooker also accompanied me when I was leaving India. I had a tiff with my husband when I pressurized him to carry the pressure cooker. He argued, there is no point carrying so much weight and paying for extra baggage because of the pressure cooker – well it weighs a lot! But my arguments won and yes, I’ve my prized pressure cooker sitting and whistling to glory in my kitchen today! I feel so relaxed, it’s like I have something to fall back upon!
Pressure cooker is our lifeline, at least we, the Indian women, swear by it. You may ask, in this age of better household appliances, such as the rice cooker or microwave, why still use this obsolete cooker that whistles so much. Try reasoning that out with an Indian woman! She will come up with umpteen advantages of the pressure cooker. For instance it’s the quickest way to cook your meal – your lentils, rice, etc. They will say things like ‘my mother has been using it, and it’s an integral part of our kitchen’. It’s so easy and convenient, with two whistles, I know my dal is cooked! It lasts you a lifetime, maintenance is really low, she will look at you with pride, like a child who won a medal at the school sports day!
Although many of us have rice cookers, microwaves etc, in our kitchen today, most of us still hang on to our pressure cooker. It has not lost its importance over the years. It’s a long lasting commitment, a connection that goes beyond words that we have with this appliance.
While we condemn the Boston blasts, we do not want to say goodbye to our beloved pressure cooker.
Long live the pressure cooker!