'Modern' kitchen is when cooking is shared between men and women: poet

Modern kitchen is not about having many electronic gadgets, but is about the cooking shared between men and women, as modernity is a concept, of how we think and preach, said award-winning Indian poet, novelist and academician Nabaneeta Dev Sen.

She was delivering the key-note address at the two-day seminar on World of Kitchen organised by Dr T M A Pai chair for Literature, Manipal University. It is an unanswered questioned whether kitchen is a place where women reign or feel imprisoned, said Sen and asked if it makes any difference the ‘prison’ is dark or bright.

She said despite everything, kitchen is a beautiful place where fabulous food is prepared. It is a laboratory where the experiments on various ingredients, vegetables, spices take place to come up with a new taste. Kitchen is a unique place where the creative imagination plays a decisive role when the new recipes appear.

Kitchen has achieved a respective place in the agrarian society. Rural women sing their hearts out here. It is also a place of depression where the suicides and sad accidents occur. It is place of nourishment which also drains a woman of her energy under the burden of being dutiful to her family, she added. It is in the kitchen that financial status of the family is reflected, observed Sen.

Kitchen activities intrudes into the privacy of thoughts as women spend their time thinking and planning for tomorrow, which is the similar to bottomless well. Kitchen has been a subject for several poets, Sen said.

Renowned theaterperson  Arundhathi Nag said kitchen literature has enormous metamorphic meanings. Exploring her past, she said kitchen was her only refute and a place for meditation in the darkest moments of her life. She said kitchen is the area where life nurtured her and enabled her to encounter many tribulations.

Manipal University pro chancellor Dr H S Ballal said the sustenance of culture and art legacy is essential for the future generation. By 2020, the girls should be brought into the mainstream of the society. Although the concept of kitchen has changed these days, the girls should be educated and empowered, he said.

Music with kitchenware

Sukanya Ramgopal, the country's first woman ghatam player presented a music concert along with her four disciples including woman potter Sumana Chandrasekhar.

Kitchenware, such as earthen pots, glasses, pans, salt and sugar tins, small-sized wet grinder, wooden churner, stone pot, lagan, an Indian utensil common in Muslim households, a colander, Mora, spoons, plates and bottles, were used to produce music. The event, which went on for more than an hour, mesmerised the audience.

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