PLOT: 2.5/5 CHARACTERS: 3/5 WRITING: 3/5 OVERALL: 3/5
“A girl who cannot even cook for you will obviously not take care of you… It is not just about cooking. What she feels about cooking reflects her attitude. She is lazy. She is disrespectful. She is not a giver.”– Tanvi Sinha, Marriages are Made in Kitchen
Looking for a short and quick read on my Kindle – which, by the way, is the best way to quickly fall asleep and avoid the dreaded mobile phone in the process – I stumbled upon this book by author Tanvi Sinha.
Marriages are Made in Kitchen, the title screams relatability for a majority of married Indian women. Even though the cover didn’t excite me one bit (it is drab and boring! and when it comes to book covers, I can be a bit superficial), I decided to pick the book up based on the blurb and the anticipated relatability factor.
What to expect?
Expect a short story that is just over 50 pages. Expect a book that narrates the story of a young couple who are both professionals and as a newly married couple, are caught in the dreaded COVID lockdown.
Expect a book that brings to you the regular after-wedding drama and the reality that sinks in once that golden honeymoon period is over.
Expect a book that is very high on everyday relatability, especially when it comes to married working women who are trying to ace that delicate balance between personal and professional work.
About the author
Tanvi Sinha became a chartered accountant, even though she wasn’t great with numbers. But she had a talent for writing and started sharing articles and blogs about women’s issues and relationships.
Slowly and steadily, her blog gained followers, and she won many awards, which gave her the confidence to publish her first book, “Dance to My Tunes.” The book has short stories from a woman’s perspective, covering various topics. Tanvi’s writing is simple, and she hopes her stories inspire others to write too.
The story as it goes
Medhavi, a young and talented lawyer, who also topped in her studies at NLSUI is gearing up for an arranged marriage.
As a modern working woman, she strongly believes that cooking is an overrated and unnecessary skill imposed on women. She feels it isn’t fair for women to be expected to be excellent cooks.
On the other hand, Akash doesn’t really care about his future wife’s cooking abilities. All he wants is a loving partner in his life.
But when the wedding bells finally ring, will they both remain steadfast in their convictions?
Their story begins with an arranged marriage, where they are brought together as a couple. They are still in the early stages of their marital journey when the sudden COVID outbreak occurs, leading to a lockdown.
This means they have to stay at home and work remotely. With no housemaids, cooks, or food delivery services available, they are faced with the challenge of managing everything on their own.
In the midst of this situation, Medhavi finds herself struggling to balance her responsibilities at home and her professional work. She is overwhelmed by the immense pressure to keep the household running smoothly.
Meanwhile, Akash longs for affection and a sense of love in their relationship, hoping for a sign that their bond is strong. Not to forget, his nagging mother is always reminding him of his nai dulhan’s many shortcomings.
Amidst these trying circumstances, the question arises:
Will their marriage be able to endure the hardships brought on by the pandemic?
Will they find a way to overcome the obstacles and emerge stronger together?
Marriages are Made in Kitchen touches a raw nerve when it comes to contemporary marriage relationships. At the outset, the question of cooking, cleaning, and other house chores may seem like a trivial one, but anyone who has been in a similar situation would tell you otherwise.
While the modern working woman is expected to catch up on her professional degrees and get her corporate career in line, the expectations on the home front remain the same as they were a generation ago.
This is where a clear shift in thought process and grooming is required. Then there also comes the question of society, relatives, and in-laws. In the end, women are mostly on the receiving end.
Though the story takes off on a completely different tangent than the one I anticipated, it is a humble exercise in reminding us that marriage is complicated, and there can be no right or wrong answers. Sometimes different approaches might work for different people, and that’s okay. Sometimes, it means sacrificing a little more, and that is okay too.
As Medhavi’s friend Shalini likes to remind her friend, “Love is a verb, Medha darling. Marriage is also a verb. It is something you do. Every day. For the rest of your life!”
Marriages are Made in Kitchen follows a pretty simple and linear plot, with bits of drama introduced by the way of in-laws. It aptly portrays the usual trajectory that follows every marriage, somewhere between two extremes and two opposites, the couple finds a common path.
It is a sweet little story, and to repeat it once again, every bit relatable. Read it if you like everyday stories that are woven around everyday characters and everyday topics.
Cannot wait to read it? Buy your copy of Marriages are Made in Kitchen using the link below.