When we first got to London, I waited for our cardboard boxes to arrive so I could breathlessly pull out the cooker in all its glory. In the silent apartment complex that we live in, the cooker blew its whistle so loud that I thought the neighbours would be scared. But the cooker is the third member of the family here. We depend on it. I know no other reliable way of making rice. I have no idea how my mother maintained the same cooker for years. We ruin a cooker every six months.
The demise of a gasket sealing ring or the safety valve comes with its own heartbreaks. But over time, each cooker develops its individual pattern of communication. Some blow whistles like front benchers in a Kerala film theatre, and some continuously hiss – leaving you to guess if you should now reduce the temperature or just switch it off. Your first few dates with the cooker are reduced to finger crossing, second guessing and confusion.
But back to the issue of prestigious institutions. How many pressure cookers make one Prestigious Institution?