Cooking is therapy. It gives me space. It gives me control. And it gives back. Well, most of the time. I’ve heard people describe the drudgery of cooking up something everyday. To me, it’s all in a day’s work. But I hate deciding what to dish up for every meal.
A common scenario at home:
What do you want for dinner?
Every day, every meal. That question gets the same response. Rinse and repeat.
Soon we began arriving at no-go situations, mainly because there is only so much pasta that I will eat.
Let’s order in from Delicacy. OK!
Let’s order Biriyani from Savoury. OK!
Oh, it’s 1030 already. Can we make Maggi? OK!
I am making rice. Let’s see if we have curd/tomato paste/puliyogare paste/lemon Like a good South Indian family we always rely on rice to save the day!
The Technology of Love
When you live with a tech enthusiast, love manifests in mysterious ways. And deciphering that love becomes one of your top tasks. One day when this cooking-time charade was on, my tech support announced, I am going to fix this problem once and for all. Make a list of everything you know how to make. That didn’t take long. I already had a list on the fridge for emergency reference. I fleshed it out to add mundane things like bread and eggs. Some of them were staples but others were pretty far-fetched.
Abracadabra! And the next thing I know, there is an app on my phone. On opening, it shows me a dish, let’s say rice & sambar. And below that is a button that says NO! It’s the most emphatic of my responses. If I click on NO! I am shown a different dish. And so on. I got to customize the colour and font and I got to name the app. It’s called What’s For Dinner? After all, I do have a valid lifetime contract with my tech support. So now, when I can’t decide on what to make, I look it up on What’s for Dinner?. For tech support, this is a major efficiency booster. And I am just thankful I don’t have to eat pasta everyday.
If you are interested in the technicality of it, it’s a simple html web app that also works offline once your data is uploaded. It lets me add to the list if required.
The Love of Technology
Left to my own devices, my phone is never with me and my laptop is mostly for Netflix. I am tec savvy by marriage. My tech know-how, which is a lot more than I care to admit, is all by association. Hashtag modesty never kills. Simply by being in the same room as my tech support, I have seen how technology is only a tool. It can make lives easier in small yet significant ways like What’s For Dinner. With equal ease it can read your messages or spy on you. Though Signal has just caught the popular imagination, I’ve been on Signal since their original release in 2014. Why? Because it’s the only way to text my tech support. Hashtag talk about compromise. Signal is an end-to-end encrypted messenger (and call) service. It’s become popular in the post-Trump world for fear of state surveillance. Popular social services like Facebook and Whatsapp also use Signal’s technology now. Signal encrypts your messages and calls so that only the intended receiver can decrypt and receive it. In case of regular messaging, your service provider can read your messages. We just assume in good faith that they don’t. Hashtag this much buddhi where I will store.
By extension, I am no longer surprised by many tech support behaviours including covering webcams on all laptops, using VPNs and having double passwords for everything. I could set off a cold war just by sharing my password with my brother. My tech support is definitely weird. But so am I. We are just a geek and a nerd getting by in this world. I think it’s something in the food.