Wednesday, 19 May, 2021

Do Your Chores

Kabita Devkota

When Kyuhyun, a member of the Korean pop group Super Junior, was first introduced to his band mates, they tried to throw their weight behind him and also tried to scare the newbie. They asked him to cook Ramen, a Japanese food dish. It was easy enough - boil water, open the Ramen pouch and put the contents in the boiling water and stir in the seasoning. It is ready to eat in two minutes.
But poor Kyuhyun burnt Ramen and the pot. His older band mates forbade him from cooking ever again. Years later, Kyuhyun confessed that he had burnt the dish on purpose. It was because if he had succeeded in doing it, he would have had to make lunch for the rest of his life.
Feign ignorance, make mistake intentionally, shirk responsibility and finally mission get accomplished! Not many are privy to this knowledge. Or maybe they are, but are too dutiful to go through with it.
Funny anecdote that I would like to relate about a story similar to the one mentioned above. Many years ago when I shared an apartment with my friend, she insisted she was rather inept at household chores, especially cooking. I pitied the girl and took her under my wings. As per a new routine, she would take care of washing the dishes, and I would cook. One fine evening, we went out, we never meant to, but ended up eating a lot. I was stuffed to the point of being lethargic as we came home. I hit the bed. Few hours later, a smell wafted into my room, smell of something tasty cooking.
As I got up to investigate, it seemed to emanate from the kitchen. When I entered the kitchen, I saw my beautiful friend bent over a dish she was preparing, something of pulao. She felt my gaze, turned around and smiled. “I got hungry again so I made this. Do you want some?” I declined and went back to my room feeling utterly duped. “Well, she knew how to cook all along! Ha!” Hence forth, our routine changed. She and I divided the cooking responsibility to alternate days. Years later come to think of it, her cardinal mistake was cooking the meal herself, she should have kept the bit going and ordered food from outside.
These ruminations are the culmination of an online forum post by an American lady I came across recently. It’s too good not to quote in full. The woman writes, “When I was a child, around six years old, my mother gave me a responsibility of unloading the dishwasher and put the dishes away. I didn’t want to do that. I thought if I break the plate on purpose and pretend to be incompetent, maybe my mother won’t make me do this chore anymore.”
“I thought what the consequences of breaking it would be. My mom would be very mad and disappointed. I would also be breaking something that she bought. I came to the conclusion that it is better to do the chore the right way even if I didn’t want to act like I am incompetent and make a fuss over it. I did the chore”.