Some memories... my parents had to host a lot of parties at home as the army tradition used to be and the preparations for the party were really amazing. Entirely home cooked. Ma would cook a 7-8 course meal, all by herself. Start early in the morning and cook through the day. Then would come the doing up of the house, the best crockery, cutlery and table linen. Papa would come home and personally clean all the crockery, especially glasses and dry them so that there was not a drop of water on them and they were sparkling.
The army being a very hierarchical and socially evaluative setup, these were non-negotiable in the overall scheme of things. This tradition continued even after Papa retired, just that the food was not always home cooked after Ma passed. After Papa passed, we didn't have any "army dinners" at home, and we got quite casual and informal about things.
Until today, when some army friends of ours are coming over for dinner and I found myself going through the same preparations. An army officer is visiting the home of another. The flag of the tradition we learned needs to be held high.
Papa, Ma, thinking of you. You taught us well. And yes the meal is all home cooked.
By Sunanda Brahma
Guest Author and Market Research Specialist
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