Thursday, July 27, 2017

A piece of cake

I have read that how you eat a slice of cake shows how much discipline you have, whether you start with the icing and leave the rest or eat it slowly savouring its delight. Some eat the icing first, those who like the showy life and leave the rest behind while some eat it slowly deliberately enjoying it fully in a Zen Buddhist fashion, the best and the worst in the same fashion. Might appear like a crude philosophy of life but these are some thoughts on baking red velvet cakes for the last two days. 

Like most of the Malayali public, I met the red velvet cake through the popular Malayalam movie Premam. In the movie, the hero wins the heart of the girl he marries by introducing this new variety to her. There were a few set of things that the films made into fashion- pimples, long unmanageable curls, bragging ala the professori mode, the narrative of having more than love affairs or failures or the song Malare,  it is this variety of cake that became so popular thanks to the film. 

When I went for attending the cake baking class, I found this variety to be tedious owing to the addition of food colour, which is cochineal red. Now, almost an year later and many other experiments later especially on Valentine's day for colleagues (who unfortunately are guinea pigs and foodies) I thought the time for the Red Velvet Cake has come. The result is an amazing epiphany into the long journey of cake-baking, battling fears about succeeding and finally feeling that thrill which comes on watching the tiny hands fighting to finish off my red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting. What appears as a piece of cake is in fact a long journey in the learning curve though!

Wind of Change: Menstrual Leave for Women Employees

There were so many traditions that women had to follow especially during pregnancy and periods. In many countries such as Japan, Indonesia, Italy and South Korea, menstrual leave is made part of the employee rights. Now, two companies Culture Machine in Mumbai and Mathrubhumi in Kerala have announced period leave for women. While doing a write-up on ecofemme, I had put it on share across whatsapp groups as well only to get a negative feedback from a colleague saying that you shouldn't post these in groups where there are men. My perspective was that it was a general post (more an armchair philosopher post too) about reducing your carbon footprint. Hope the ladies will also become broadminded to understand that there are men too among activists and that women are not to be bound up in cultural taboos any longer especially if you have no fear talking about your periods or pregnancy or desires.