Ah. Jaded Bachelors that we are, solace lies in the very basic of Maslow's Heirarchy. That of clothing and shelter are solved, but food remains high. Especially after experimenting with varieties. So many of my bachelor colleagues I have seen passing though the numerous phases mentioned below, it seems to be the rule of the era. So many 3/4 yr living alone bachelors I have met who enjoy cooking, usually for themselves, and sometimes for others. So many, who have reached the last step mentioned here, where I am, at the moment.
Living alone brings with it a myriad option of eating. Especially dinner. Lunch is usually in the office premises - either offered by them, or following colleagues footsteps. Breakfast remains a thing unknown, unless you are talking of biscuits with the morning tea/ coffee.
As one begins the sojourn away from home, the amazing freedom of dinner choice flabbergast. Eating out seems the best option. However, soon you tire of it, since all food in every restaurant tastes the same. No matter how big/ small/ unique/ generic.
Soon tiring of it all and the pain of choosing menu daily, the person (s) hire a dabba. A tiffin-box with supposed "home-made" food, delivered at your doorstep everyday for a nominal fee, consisting of a pre-appointed menu.
Of course, the menu gets repetitive after a while. The innovativeness wears off.
Soon like an orphaned child, you switch between dabba's meandering from one 'aunty' to another caterer.
That is the time you decide enough is enough, and appoint a cook. S/he will cook for you, if possible even fetch the vegetables. Sure, it includes the unwanted hassle of utensils which have to be cleaned, and firstly, stocked. But hey! you get food you want, when you want it. If you dont want to eat at home, the food need not go waste, neither is there the hassle to call and cancel, You simply ask your cook to go away! They happy, you happy. Cool? Cool!
Some cases pause at this time, but mostly proceed from here. The reasons are various. For one, the cook is usually a localite, and wil cook as per his/her habits. Not the 'home food' you were looking for. Also, you wil not find those simple elegant foods that you miss from home in this setup.
Of course, you also get to waste a lot of money by their wishes of buying vegetables you dont eat, and even though you need to oversee theircooking once in a while, it is still not like home. And, eventually, it is also repetitive.
So, eventually, most people I have known, have taken the famous task of cooking for themselves. By now its a personal choice, and considering all available choices, to cook for oneself is a pleasure. Everyday is an experiment with something. First time ever of making this, and improving the taste of that! Continental one day and Indian the next. Wild concoctions which would have never seen any kind of light, including gas light, in your home kitches come to the fore.
The best part then remains the tasting of these delicacies, which are dont by the creator, the virtues of which are expounded then to the world in general. Of course, if cooking has to be done for others, it is by will and wish, and good timing. however, for own self, there are no pretentions. A way to ease off the load of the day, a time solely to gratify self, through the most primitive way - the stomach.
When it was said the way to a mans heart is through his stomach, it was "Man" of humanity. I am yet to find an interesting person who did not appreciate good food.
[OK, I amend that. I have to account for sashdude Ha ha, no offense ;)]
So it is that after years of experimenting many a bachelor has found, the next best thing to Mom's Kitchen is My Own Kitchen. I speak for my frnds, my seniors, and by future vision, my juniors. Soon they too will see the light.
PS - who said men dont like cooking? Cooking is an art, a creative enterprise. Especially when cooking for self. Because then, you eat your own mistakes ;) literally. And more men than women love to experiment with that.
So it was that I finished my conversation with my friend after his claiming his food to be the best ever, and comparing notes on pressure cookers (mine has stopped whistling for some reason :( ) and how that can make inferior food types.
And of course, the efficacy or irish coffee over a single malt after a hard days work in a cold cold office and braving the monsoons of India.