STAGE 1: The day we bought a microwave oven, my mother read the oven manual thoroughly and arranged for a demo from a trainer of the shop to get herself familiarised with all the functions of the oven.
STAGE 2: Immediately after its arrival, the oven stole the limelight from all other electronic gadgets/equipments in our home, be it, our new plasma television, or the new treadmill, or the split A.C etc. Mom excitedly would show the latest ‘hero’ of electronic gadgets to all the neighbours and relatives who walked into our home.
She donned gloves and baked pizzas, grilled sandwiches, cooked idlis and curries in the oven. The entire kitchen process happened within the 4 walls of the oven and she became the expert of microwave cooking The stove took a ‘back-burner’ and was shun to the attic of the kitchen.
STAGE 3: Weeks later, she still used the oven but only to re-heat the left-overs of the previous day and recycle them the next day.
Usually I and my dad try to go for extra helpings and finish the items that day itself, lest my mom refrigerates the left-overs and presents the same items the next day also, which we manage to gulp down without grumbling but with long, sad faces.
Before the oven, my mom used the stove but finding it little cumbersome to heat on the stove, she would mostly give away the old food to the maids. But with this oven, my mom found re-heating easier and quicker. I and my dad found ourselves eating stale food every other day and mom would take a lot of holidays from cooking. How we would curse the oven then!
My mom reasoned with us that ‘conventional cooking’ is the best, and cooking the food over the flame rather than using ‘some rays’ enhances the taste of the food. The stove was dusted clean and put into use.
STAGE 4: When my mom resorted to conventional cooking, the oven lost its identity and the real reason of its existence. It has been many months and now my mom uses the oven, only as a cupboard to store her purse or to hide things from us.
Once, my neighbour brought expensive calorie-laden cream chocolates. My sister ate only them and skipped food. My angry mom hid the chocolates safely inside the oven. My sister searched the fridge and entire house but she never was able to guess the hide-out place.
STAGE 5: Lately, she thinks the oven is very bulky and occupies too much space on the kitchen platform. It won’t be late before my mom banishes the oven into the storeroom alongside the miserable and neglected equipments such as vacuum cleaner, electric kettle, electric roti-maker, toaster etc, all of which lay idle, rusted and redundant, leading a futile existence.
My mom has a fad of buying every modern gadget and is amused in it for a few weeks, then her transitory interest diminishes and the poor gadgets are ordained to rust in the murky corners of the storeroom.