Would you rather prepare all three meals, or clean the house and do the dishes?

Cleaning is a focussed, one-track mindless work that does not get the credit it deserves, but is it any match for the immensely creative art of cooking?

May 18, 2020 04:59 pm | Updated May 19, 2020 01:03 pm IST

Sweeping grime off floors, picking apart cobwebs and washing vessels can be therapeutic

Sweeping grime off floors, picking apart cobwebs and washing vessels can be therapeutic

After centuries of debating, scientists in white lab coats have come to the conclusion that there are only two proven ways to wash away the sins of your past life. One is to meditate at the banks of the Ganges. The second option: clean something that really needs to be given a wipe down.

Sweeping grime off floors, picking apart cobwebs and washing vessels hold the powers of therapy. As the dust comes off a mirror, you find yourself forgiving your best friend for spoiling the ending of Harry Potter 6, when you were 15.

Because cleaning is that sort of focussed, one-track mindless work that does not get the credit it deserves. For once, you get to switch your brain off. And it is when your mind is at peace, that you allow fresh ideas to germinate.

All modern workouts are pretty much born out of cleaning actions. Except here, you get an output for your effort: a squeaky clean house to bask in. This was my grandma’s pilates.

Take that one step further and deep clean with good music on. Really get behind the fridge, under the sofas, and into your larder. Let the sense of a job well done wash over you, and rediscover objects that propel you down memory lane.

Oh, what a wonderful image of cooking TV shows have built into your head! Here’s the real deal: more often than not, it is going to be you alone in the kitchen, slogging away for an hour at over two dishes simultaneously, creating a mess everywhere, to finally gobble the meal up in 10 minutes. Your secret sauce: sweat and tears — add according to taste.

— Sweta Akundi is a fairytale princess these days: locked in a tower, talking to squirrels, forced to cook and clean

Cleaning is for kids, only absolute legends can cook!

Cleaning is for kids, only absolute legends can cook!

Do you know what is tougher than pilates? To chop onions without welling up. He/she who doth not cry at the sight of an onion’s painful execution is usually The One yogi, living amidst those lesser mortals who, inexplicably, attach meaning to pointless chores like running around one’s house with stained pieces of old cloth.

Does cleaning even stand a chance of getting one over the highly complex, immensely creative, and passionately demanding art of cooking?

What is white and small but has the ability to ruin an hour’s worth of work if you aren’t careful with it? Salt.

Picture this: you take up a job that exacts physical labour out of you. Grating coconuts, slicing onions, peeling carrots and potatoes, chopping cabbages and unwrapping a banana blossom is no mean task; it involves blood (literally, there is a knife involved), sweat and tears (damn onions!).

The job also demands you to work your creative faculties and come up with a method to cook these ingredients into something consumable. The job demands that you use a minimum of four out of five human senses: sight, sound, smell and taste (the sense of touch is also involved if you forget the utensils are burning hot).

And after all this, you drop a tinge extra salt into the gravy and the job will cause you to pull all your hair out. Phew!

Yet here we are. I appreciate my colleague’s acknowlegement of the fact that cleaning allows one to switch off, but is it therapeutic? Hmm. I disagree. The way I see it, and in the template of a famous meme, kids do the cleaning, adults debate the merits of cleaning over cooking, but only absolute legends can cook! Over and out.

— Pradeep Kumar aims to collaborate with locked-up princesses for post-cooking clean-up, to make more time for sourdough

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.