A Combination for a Lesson

Year’s back I had travelled to Thekkady in Kerala for a two-day vacation. The first day went in touring the city and watching the traditional art forms. It was more laid back and interesting at the same time. The second day however was packed with a lot of adventure. We visited the tiger reserve and opted for a full day trek in the forest. We had to travel on rafts to reach the other side of the forest and start our long trek into the wilderness. I was very excited that day. I had just quit my company. This trip was the much-needed break I wanted after all the politics and disappointments at work. Anyway, I was finally happy to be away from the city life lost in the jungle beauty. The tall trees, the rough paths, families of animals and birds watching us from afar and atop, buzzing insects, the clean air, the dirt free land and the uncontaminated water was so refreshing and magical. While admiring the beauty of life on the way, I found a lot of elephant dung. These were not just the normal excreta. It was supporting a new life – tiny white coloured mushrooms (which I presumed to be poisonous). Still, watching them made me happy for some reason. It (the Mushroom ) sort of told me that no matter what your situation in life is, how terrible your surrounding is, or how empty everything is – there will always be a positive thing coming out of it. Good things can come from the shittiest of places so never lose hope.

Mushroom growing on the elephant dung

Get me that Potion!

Writing is hard (as a matter of fact, a lot of things in life is hard) and that’s what I have learned over these few days. I looked at my posts today. They seemed monotonous in tone and lacked experimentation. I didn’t have anything interesting or exciting to narrate and that is what’s bothering me. Am I boring or has my life been boring all along? It cannot be the latter because I have had so many ups and downs in life just like a lot of us. May be I just need to tell my experience or a story in an appealing manner?

I haven’t actually been a fan of writing. Gosh there are so many things, which go into getting a ‘wow’ post or an article. For example, you need to consider the flow, the grammar, the takeaway… Phew, it’s a lot of effort. Once it’s out, you start biting your nails waiting for the comments wishing most, if not all, to be on a positive note. I have experienced this during my days as a trainer and I respect authors a lot now. I wonder how they do this? Do they have a secret potion, a Panacea that transforms their abundant thoughts into inspiring words? May yes, may be no. But you know what…no matter how hard something is, we must always give it a try and here I am. Just like my mom keeps telling, ‘make an attempt and don’t worry about the result. You will have a satisfaction at the end for trying something rather than wasting your life or time’.

The Egg and I

Eggs are an important breakfast and dessert item in many households across the globe. Many of close friends join this list, loving and eating eggs in the form of omelettes, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, poached eggs, spicy Egg curry, egg sandwich and so on. Though it’s easy to cook, pack and eat, my encounter with this tiny ingredient was a nightmare.

Months back, I watched a season of the Masterchef Australia (my favourite cooking show ever) and Taste UK on T.V. There were many contestants and among them were three or four Indians. I was surprised. I mean an Indian cooking on an International TV show didn’t make sense to me. We Indians love spices, a restricted list of meats and a whole lot of vegetables. Though our country is so huge with many states, each differing in language, people, culture and mainly food, the cooking is so different – tangy, sweet or spicy. The levels vary but you can expect to get these tastes at an Indian home. Looking at the other contestants, I didn’t think these guys would make it as a winner since they had no experience with a different cuisine (except for a few basics). Nevertheless, I was keen to see their growth.

My takeaway from these shows was experimentation. So I thought I am going to start with making an omelet or a spicy egg curry. I started with buying a carton of 60 eggs (just to make sure I have enough) and watching a zillion videos online. I knew the other necessities for an omelette – onions, tomatoes, green chilly, peppercorn and salt. I was excited and employed my four senses to test. The cooking was easy and the result appeared good for a newbie. I called my husband and he was happy to see my effort. Like the contestants waiting for the verdict, I kept staring at him, watching him swallow the first bite. He looked at me and said ‘I am proud of you. You tried something out of your comfort zone but please don’t do this again’.

(In case you are wondering, I am a vegetarian. And after successfully experimenting with a hundred eggs, I can now make an edible and tasty omelet without tasting it)

The ‘What’s’ of an Immature Adult

It has been a while since I exited the city to seek shelter in the arms of nature to rejuvenate myself. This topic would often exhibit my whining ability to my friends and family. There is always an unavoidable circumstance so the cribbing is constant. Many a times, I have often been tagged to posts such as ‘holiday destinations’, ‘places to visit in this monsoon’, and ‘101 places to see before you die’. As a good reader despite knowing the consequences of clicking the link, I enter the page, read through the contents, absorb the key pointers, go awestruck by watching some of the fabulous images and finally get excited to plan a vacation. Anyway, after a brief period which comprises of talking and chatting online for a few hours, I mellow down to dismay in the four corners of my home and the Cacophony of urban life.

Despite the blues, I have been to a couple of religious trips. From travelling to some of the iconic temples in Tamil Nadu to the historic temples in Karnataka, I have remained spiritually sane and connected to my religious roots. It has been enlightening but I still have the urge to spend a few days for myself, with myself or with someone likeminded in an organic place. But the question I ask myself is ‘what am I going to do there?’

  • Am I looking for a physical activity like trekking, river rafting, para gliding or so?
  • Am I looking for a mental activity like meditating in an ashram?
  • Am I looking at discovering something like Po finding inner peace?
  • Am I looking forward to a day where I could lay on the grass in a forest listening to the mumbles of its dwellers?
  • Am I looking forward to spend a few hours at a spa like my many friends?
  • Am I hoping to capture some spectacular images for myself or for the world?
  • Am I, Am I Am I… Ah, the questions!
  • Finally, will a few days trip continue to charge me for the remaining days of my normal life?

Interestingly, I read a post today by another blogger on her experience as a traveller. She shared an insightful thought on ‘how you should not get deceived by the amazing travelling images of people on FB/Instagram because every ‘wow’ picture has a story’. This story could be of a person slogging for hours at work, juggling between their personal and professional commitments and maintaining a mental balance to remain motivated. It carries many tears of loneliness and desperation for a change so everything that glitters is not really gold.

The need to go out mostly comes from people’s stories – some genuine but most of them superficial. I, for example, a lot of times get jealous over others showcasing their glammed life and their conquered travel plans every time a picture is up and when a trajectory suddenly displays who is travelling where and with whom online. Everything looks incredible but it lacks a story. I am unsure if the experience revived them but I do know that travelling should be a fun experience. Given that, travelling should also be educational and instrumental in grafting your life and inspiring someone else.

Reverting to my final question: ‘Will a few days trip continue to charge me for the remaining days of my normal life?’ if I were to go on one – well, it’s a no. The trip will always be a memory. I might learn something new over the stay like a tradition, a culture, the people, a cuisine, and the history behind the place in general or a monument but honestly that isn’t going to keep me refreshed throughout when I am back. I might look forward to a new experience in the coming months but that isn’t going to keep me positively inclined daily either. So how do I encourage myself? Should I:

  • Write a post daily to improve my writing
  • Read others posts to educate myself
  • Enroll in a yoga class to keep myself flexible and physically fit
  • Cook a new dish, perhaps a healthy one
  • Register for a piano lesson and get certified
  • Head to the local botanical park and study the animals and birds there
  • Improve my photography which could include wildlife, landscape, motion, or portrait
  • Join an organization which matches my interests to help those in need like old aged citizens, challenged kids, animals or nature
  • Share awareness on health and women safety

I could do few of these or everything. Just like how the sky is limitless, there are numerous ways to feel energised. We just have to find the ‘What’, the ‘Who’ and the ‘How’!