Musings on fathers and fathers-in-law…

veggie wrap veggie wrap

HELLO, uncle!” says a cheery voice.


“How are you, uncle?” (voice drops an octave)


“Is… (one of our daughters) at home?” (slightly less confident tone!)


Any of you who has daughters will recognise this conversation – the classic father-of-a-daughter vs any guy who seems to be getting too keen!

From being a dad who taught his daughters to sing Jim Reeves’ “But you love me Daddy” as soon as they started to lisp to learning to tolerate their various guy friends was a huge step for hubby! Tolerate is the word, anything beyond would be… impossible! I keep reminding him that he was in the same position once vis-a-vis my dad but his explanation for that is a breathtakingly cocky, “But I was a good guy… always!!”

And so say all the rest of the dads… of daughters!

My daughters were born into a family which hadn’t had a daughter in… sixty years! My father-in-law, quite sure that I’d give him a granddaughter, told me that I could have any gift I wanted from him provided I had a girl! “What if it’s a boy?” I asked – since I didn’t have any clue at all about what the baby was going to be – no, never had any instinctual thing about the gender of the baby that moms-to-be are supposed to feel!

“Then you get nothing!” was his unequivocal response!

I laughed and went off and had my baby – a daughter and sure enough, the minute I was back on my feet, he bought me my very first set of my own wheels – a 2-wheeler – wheels which gave me more pleasure than almost any other gift I received!

The minute I got the bike, I took off – sans licence, sans RC book, sans insurance papers and went round and round the block, which I did not realise had a police station on the way!

Some smart cop must have been watching – I got caught on my third chukker and since I wasn’t even carrying a purse, I couldn’t pay the fine! Promptly had the bike impounded and sheepishly went back home in an auto – ignominy compounded by having to borrow money to pay the auto! Pop-in-law was the truly the top of the pops – not a word of censure or blame, paid the auto and came with me to the police station to retrieve the bike and later told me that all he felt was relief at seeing me get out of the auto in one piece!

Dads or dads-in law – they’re the very best!

Like this happy fusion of East and West – Lebanese and Thai married by an Indian roti in the middle!


Make large rotis – tawa-fried (pan fried) with a few drops of oil on each side. The oil ensures that the filling does not make the roti soggy.


  • Purple cabbage – 1 cup – shredded
  • White cabbage – 1 cup – shredded
  • Onions – sliced very fine – 1 medium
  • Apple – sliced into thin pieces – 1 – any crunchy apple will do – no woolly ones!
  • Capsicum – green or coloured – 1  – cut into thin strips


  • Roasted peanuts – 1/2 cup
  • Green chilies – 1 or 2
  • Sugar – 1 generous tsp
  • Salt
  • Raw mango (if available) – shredded – 2-3 tbsp
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Fresh mint leaves – 2-3 tbsp

Pulse everything together in the mixie – till the peanuts break up a bit. Do NOT grind fine.


  • Boiled chickpeas – 1 cup
  • Garlic flakes – 4-5 large ones
  • Thick yogurt – 1/2 cup or juice of 1 lemon if you don’t have this. But yogurt makes a creamier hummus.
  • Green chili – 1
  • Salt

Whip everything except yogurt up in the mixer to a smoothish, slightly grainy consistency. Add yogurt and pulse for a few seconds.


Mix salad dressing with the vegetables.

Smear 1 tbsp of hummus all over one side of the roti. Place 3-4 tbsp of filling down the centre. Fold over. Keep doing till you can feed my army!