If not, we’ll both die of either food poisoning or starvation.

Okay, I exaggerated a bit. Maybe even more than a bit. It is true though that my cooking expertise is limited to tea, coffee, pizza, dal-rice and Maggi. Anything else that I try to make usually turns into a complete disaster. After a few ill-fated attempts, my roommates forbade me from entering the kitchen to do anything but wash the dishes. During the three years that we shared a flat, they took care of most of the cooking. All of us agreed that I was simply not made for a life in the kitchen. But that doesn’t mean that my food will kill.

Before my parents set me up on a date with your son, I was totally against the concept of arranged marriage. It was my firm belief that I would never find the kind of man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with through this system. Exactly one hour after I met your son, I realised that I was wrong. Because of my parents’ anxiety about my biological clock, I found the love of my life. We are a perfect match and I couldn’t be more grateful to both sets of parents.

Don’t tell me how he deserves to come home to a hot dinner.

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That being said, a married couple cannot survive on love alone. We cannot eat love for breakfast and drink affection in place of tea. Lovebirds need nutrition too. And I know that traditionally the wife is supposed to be the one cooking and providing nourishment to the family. But if your son wanted the traditionally perfect woman, he wouldn’t have picked me. I am someone who breaks a lot of stereotypes, including the one where despite being a woman, I detest cooking.

See, the thing is we could try surviving on takeouts and microwavable meals once we are married but that’s not exactly a healthy alternative, is it? So, someone has to cook. And since all my meals have the potential to end up being health hazards, it will have to be my dear future husband who does all the cooking.

Please don’t start with how unfair it is to him. Don’t tell me how he deserves to come home to a hot dinner. Chances are high that I might not even be home before him. I work longer hours. Also, if your son deserves to come home to a piping hot meal, so do I.

Well, marriage is nothing if not a partnership.

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By now, you are probably filled with regret about bringing the two of us together in holy matrimony. I am well-aware that I am not the ideal daughter-in-law you dreamt about. But your son loves me so you have no choice but to accept me.

I have been lucky enough to fall in love with an incredible man. You have raised your son well. He is kind and compassionate. He respects me and treats me as an equal. So, he has agreed to cook so long as I handle the dishes. Equal distribution of labour, eh? Well, marriage is nothing if not a partnership.

Now, we finally come to the whole point of writing this letter to you. I have a huge favour to ask of you. If your son is going to be preparing all the meals, he has to first learn how to cook. And who would be a better teacher than you?

You’re an excellent cook, ma! I am sure my fiancé also carries this gene. Please teach him how to cook? It’s a question of his happy married life after all.

With immense gratitude,

Your Future Daughter-In-Law.

Author: Maitreyee Mhatre


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