Of people who ‘never get headaches’ and cooking by engineers!

“I’ve never had a headache in my life”  – everytime I hear someone say this (psstt… most of the time, it’s the husband!!) I want to hit him right on the head and then ask – “Aiyo, you poor thing, you’ve got a headache?!”

Being of the ilk of those whose head has ached from childhood due to causes like:

  • too tight a ponytail (tied by dad, when mom was on night duty at the hospital!)
  • before a storm – everytime the barometer falls – like a dog or a dolphin or something – my head is sensitive to the weather!
  • eating ragda-pattice at wayside bandis
  • my best friend and I had a fight
  • teacher yelled at me

…you get the picture? this statement gets under my… hair… every single time!

Some years ago, when my older daughter Arch was in the throes of studying for her 12th standard exams, she got into one of those zones – “nothing is going into my head… i’m going to fail… i’m going to get a big, fat zero on this exam… waaanh” kind of zone! I was at work and she called me to moan. The unsympathetic mom that i must have appeared to be, I told her to lay off the books and watch a couple of episodes of “M*A*S*H or ‘Rio Bravo’ and all her troubles would disappear! Usually a sensible girl who takes my advice, this time she decided to go cry on her dad’s shoulder – he was home that day. Some background is needed here – my husband is a complete ‘engineer’s engineer’! When I was teaching him to cook – over the phone as he was in another city, he called me every two minutes to ask for the next step in the process – the size of the pan, the amount of oil, how hot it should be and so on… I was busy trying to to do something really important – like finish my Agatha Christie (jes kidding – was trying to teach Kanch Math – which will try the patience of god herself!) and not in the most patient of moods… finally, the fifth call comes in – “how many mustard seeds should I put in the tempering for sambar?”!! Huh?! Keeping my patience but deciding that this must stop – I told him seriously – “twenty six” – and bought myself precious minutes as he sat and counted out twenty six mustard seeds! Later I went online, found a site actually called “Cooking for engineers” (no kidding!) and sent it to him! 

You get the picture of the engineer? Well, when Arch comes crying to him saying that the stuff on Psychology that she’s studying is way too deep, our man (engineer man!) valiantly steps up – “let me read it and explain it to you…”

Five minutes later, I get another call at the office – “Amma, Appa says the space between his ears is hurting. Do you think it could be a headache??!!”

Yes, I do! And it is! Her dad has attempted to read two short paragraphs – about ten lines in all – in her Psych text and promptly developed the first headache of his life!

Not so hardhearted after all – I did make him stuff to cure his headache when I came back home… there are foods that are good for headaches, truly and this combo is developed based on those… though hubby had developed his own solution by then – which was two stiff ones and a nap!




  • Watermelon – chunked – 1 cup
  • Cucumber – sliced – 1 cup
  • Soaked and peeled almonds (okay if you have to do it yourself, just drop them in, skin and all!) – 2 tbsp
  • Lettuce – the freshest greenest, crunchiest leaves – a handful – tear them into bits.
  • Dressing: 1 tsp lemon juice, salt, pepper, minced green chili – very little of the last
  • Mint – 1 tbsp- shredded

Mix everything up and eat. While you do, make…



  • 1 ripe banana – peel and chunk
  • Instant coffee (really good quality coffee makes a difference) – 1 tsp OR
  • Filter coffee – 1/4 cup
  • Water – room temperature – 1/2 cup
  • Yogurt – optional – only if you feel like it – 1/2 cup

Whisk everything together with a bar blender or in the mixer till smooth. Sip.

Tie a wet handkerchief dipped in two or three drops of eau-de-cologne and lie down in a darkened room and don’t let anyone ask you for help with their Psychology textbook!