Back in those days in Burhanpur Madhya Pradesh, women were not allowed to enter kitchen or do household chores during menstruation. And being the youngest at our house, the responsibilities often fell on me. I washed, cleaned and cooked on my mother’s directions. Of all things I did, I realized I loved the cooking part the most. For those few days every month, it would be my chance to cook something new and experiment in our kitchen. I still remember the evening when I made Gulab Jamun. I had stumbled upon the recipe in a newspaper and decided to give it a shot. And it hit the bull’s eye in the first attempt! Everybody loved it and I was thrilled! I was only in class VIII then. Little by little, I tried my hands at different cuisines, trying out my mother’s recipes. I think I got really good at cooking, because all four of my siblings only wanted to eat my food! And even now, after having two children of my own, the requests are constant. There are endless demands for Mohanthal and white Dhokla by the kids at my house and for special mutton by the elders. I love to cook and feed people, it gives me a sense of validation.