The curfew cuisine diaries from Sri Lanka, presents Kumar
They say behind every successful man, is a woman. But behind those who thrived during the lockdown in Sri Lanka, there is a person like Kumar.
Kumar became a part of our lives 13 years ago. He cooks for us. He drives for us. He does our marketing and when we need him the most (which is most days of the week), he vanishes. Don't ask.
For those of you who have been under our roof for a meal with us, Kumar is, and has been, the constant. For those of you following the Curfew Cuisine Diaries, Kumar would explain my comment in John Coleman's post. We actually don't have to step into the kitchen to do a thing. And yet, we enjoy very, very interesting dishes. All we have to do is point Kumar in the right direction and tell him what to do.
Kumar's grown for each and every one of those years he's been with us. He's been with us around the country. We've sent him on adventures abroad. He's had his own dramas in search of love - but he's always been a part of our lives.
He is the one person who runs our home. No butler, no majordomo, would ever step into his shoes, because he is appreciated, despite having a rebels streak a mile (or more) wide - and that is what we revel in. Admittedly grudgingly at times.
Kumar's career in cooking started many years ago, when he was a 'gofer' in an all night "kade" (which is a small road-side eatery that specialised in feeding truckers and travellers on long- distance routes). Joining us years ago, Kumar began a long journey, towards a mutually beneficiary relationship. We look after him, he looks after us.
Looking after our Grand Uncle in Trincomalee. The trip would have been very different without Kumar!
The master of Godhamba Roti (read earlier post on Flour Power). Early training pays off. Note - the professional way he "flips it".
Being Sri Lankan, we follow some traditions - our New Years (yes, we have two of them - the Western on the 31st of December and the Singhalese and Tamil New Year in April) each has a specific lot of foods that have to be on the table. The one common thing is milk has to be boiled until it overflows from the utensil it's boiled in. Kumar has been with us to make this happen - by default almost.
Lockdown without Kumar would have been unbearable. Survivable, yes, but waaaaay harder than what we went through.
Kumar, for all his strengths, has yet to blossom. To bloom. Blame it on the education system in the country, or whatever, because Kumar's biggest weakness is language. He's inventive and resourceful - but he still needs guidance. Guidance which we give him in a daily basis.
Maybe he'd spread his wings and fly - we truly hope he does - but until then, we're happy to have him with us, as part of our family (despite his faults!) and hopefully, be the wind beneath his wings, today, tomorrow and for the foreseeable future.