Guys, go for eat

Updated: Apr 29, 2020, 10:01 IST | Shunashir Sen | Mumbai

A social media challenge has male celebrities posting videos of cooking for themselves. What's it like to rustle up a proper meal for the first time? A month into the lockdown, three men spill the beans

A pizza that Gupta made with his mother
A pizza that Gupta made with his mother

At 8.45 pm on March 24, the first day of the lockdown, Himesh Reshammiya posted a video where he said, "Aaj main pehli baar chai bana ne jaa raha hu. Pehli baar. Can you believe it?" Some viewers genuinely couldn't. Others wrote comments like, "Next step — how to place a cup in the dishwasher and turn it on." But most people supported the singer making his maiden cuppa at 46, and in the month since, a separate social media challenge emerged where South Indian film stars are navigating the kitchen and posting videos of it (a memorable one shows Chiranjeevi making a dosa with the precision of a watchmaker). But what does it mean for a young man taking initial steps into the kitchen? And what's it like making a meal for your parents for the first time? We spoke to three Mumbaikars to find out.

Mum's the word

Dhruv Gupta

I didn't even know what is what in the kitchen before the lockdown. My biggest fear earlier was all the hard work you have to put in, especially in this heat. Also, what if you take that effort and the dish doesn't turn out like what they show on cooking videos? Nor did I have the time to cook. But the lack of availability of some special dishes tempted my mother and I to start experimenting at home and see if we could make the same things in a hygienic environment. There was also a lot of peer pressure from social media. Everyone was talking about cooking and my entry into the kitchen had a lot to do with that. We ended up making a pizza from scratch, fermenting the dough for the bread for 24 hours. It had a tomato-based sauce and a mix of cheddar and mozzarella, but we went desi with the toppings. It was good and the best part is that people are now asking me for the recipe, but I'm not going to give it to them (laughs).

Dhruv Gupta, 26, garments exporter

A friend in need

Sujan Sengupta

I'm the sort of person who only knew how to make Maggi before the lockdown. There were no fears as such that I had about cooking earlier. It's just that I wasn't really interested in the process. I was definitely more interested in eating the food. But I couldn't let my friend who's also my flatmate take the entire load of the kitchen. So I've started helping him out, and the first meal I made under his instructions was a chicken stew. It turned out well but I would still say that I am cooking only to help my friend out. I don't think I'll be entering the kitchen much after the lockdown because it's not that I have suddenly developed an interest in the process.

Sujan Sengupta, 27, media professional

A home run

Bhumit Gor

I cooked my first ever meal at home in Mumbai during the lockdown, after returning from Chennai one and a half years ago. I had learnt how to cook in Chennai, but hadn't felt the need here before. But over the past one month, I didn't have much else to do, and my mum and dad really wanted me to make a meal for them. So I made pasta with red sauce, a kind of arabiatta. It was store-bought pasta, of course. I didn't roll the dough or anything. But it turned out well and they gave me a thumbs-up. In Chennai, I had started following YouTube videos and was really technical about the process of cooking curries when it came to measurements — two spoons meant two spoons. There were complications, but I enjoyed it and felt that if I can do it, anyone can.

Bhumit Gor, 25, musician

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