Ram and I are at the kitchen island gathering ingredients for making playdough. A task I signed up to do for the classroom holiday party. Ram holds the spatula in anticipation as we assemble all-purpose flour, salt, cream of tartar, oil and water. He stirs them for a few minutes and then whisks away to the living room to make paper airplanes, his latest obsession. I place the vessel containing the mixture on the stovetop and stir it so that the lumps dissolve into a gooey mass.
What I expect to feel at that moment is a wave of satisfaction and fulfillment from having done something right. The kids will play with chemical free dough. I managed to find a way to contribute to the event. Not to mention the excitement in Ram’s voice as he measures, pours and stirs.
Instead what I end up feeling at that moment is a wave of guilt and remorse from having done something wrong. Using food to play doesn’t feel right. It wouldn’t feel right if you have grown up seeing people living in deplorable state or if you have seen hungry kids peddling knick knacks at traffic stops. When you see things like that you grow up having strong opinions . And in my mind, food has a purpose, and that is to provide nourishment.