MY PERFECT WEEKEND
Kajal Maharaj, actress, TV presenter, dancer
For Kajal Maharaj, it’s about food & family
I am a simple girl at heart,
so my perfect weekend is one where I am surrounded by my family. Spending quality time with the people who are nearest and dearest to me is all that I could ask for. Priceless moments that make my heart sing. This is what it looks like …
I usually wake up very early
and sleep late. I am raising two little men (aged four and three). Even if you wanted to sleep in for a bit, you will get poked in the eye or jumped on to wake up early. They will be yelling, “Get up, the sun is shining!” (even on a cloudy day). There will be lots of chaotic movement before you even open your eyes.
On my perfect weekend,
we will all take a moment to snuggle in and sleep in for a bit. A way to let the world pass us by as we appreciate the quiet time together and magically sneak in a little rest from the rat race of our lives. Would it be possible for me to sleep in for the entire weekend? Hmm … it certainly would be if I didn’t love food as much as I do.
On my perfect weekend the boys would wake up to the sound of eggs frying
and the smell of a breakfast braai. Fresh fruit and orange juice will be laid out on the table. Health and fitness is a big part of our normal weekends, which see us at the gym in the mornings, but on our perfect weekend we would certainly indulge in homemade Nutella pancakes.
With our tummies full,
we would bundle ourselves into the car and make our way to the Drakensberg. As proud KwaZulu-Natal lovers, we enjoy family holidays in the province. My parents and siblings would join us for some time out in nature, among the beauty of the mountains. On our trip, we would without a doubt be playing nursery rhymes in the car. Little triangle sandwiches and samoosas would be packed for padkos.
Upon our arrival we would be indoors,
and would light a fire. We would sit around the fire sipping hot chocolate, planning our next international escape, maybe taking it back to Italy (it is no secret that I am itching to go back to Italy) or Greece. We would delegate someone to take control of organising that break in the future. There would be a lot of laughter, as we enjoy each other’s company and look forward to the next meal.
My parents would unpack the biryani
that they spent an entire day preparing. The most delicious biryani ever with poppadoms, salads and CocaCola. Let’s be honest, for us, no weekend is complete without this mix.
We would then go on a family hike.
Packing lots of conversation and — you can see the pattern here — food.
I love being surrounded by trees.
It’s very peaceful for me. It grounds me, yet makes me feel so light and free. Absorbing all my anxiety. Nothing feels quite like the fresh air, the open starry night and the peaceful silence of the countryside.
While the kids nap,
the perfect book that I would read is Shonda Rhimes’s Year of Yes. This year has certainly been a year of yeses for me, where I allowed myself to be more open, to say yes and to not let fear and insecurity hold me back. Oh, and let’s not forget the opportunity to soak in a nice hot bubble bath.
Food, as you can see, is an important part of my weekend.
My brothers would make burger patties and handle the braais; my dad would whip up a pot of fresh lamb curry on the outside fire; my mom with her signature biryani (I am beginning to get really hungry typing this out); and decadent desserts would fill the weekend — homemade cakes, chocolate volcanoes, minty cheesecakes and death-by-chocolate brownies, all baked by myself.
The perfect weekend has all of us together —
living, laughing and leaning on one another. Letting our hair down by remembering what is really important, the people standing by your side, family.