In over 33 years of loving each other and 31 years of living together, Vaani and I have never cooked together. Which is, I have never attempted learning cooking. 😊
Now, with the COVID-19 lockdown situation, for the first time, I found myself hovering around the kitchen and asking Vaani if I could learn to cook from her. It sure was a bit unusual as I asked her that; I couldn’t believe that I was ready and willing, finally, to learn cooking!
But there has to be a first time for everything, right? Plus, apart from being my BFF, my soulmate, Vaani is also a great teacher! So, I told myself, “let’s go do this”!
I made half an adai last evening for dinner – spreading out the maavu on the tawa. And this morning I “understood” how a vegetable korma is made – I chopped the veggies, stirred up the gravy and basically soaked in the entire process. I even ran my understanding through our daughter Aanchal (who herself loves to cook) in Singapore and she signed off in approval!
I am very amused that I am doing this. I have always been the housekeeper at home. I find cleaning a deeply meditative practice where I engage wholesomely with the process of cleaning up, dusting and polishing surfaces, often doing the dishes too. Even so, somehow, I have always postponed the idea of learning cooking. I have learnt to make filter coffee some months ago. But being with Vaani in the kitchen and watching her cook, assisting her and learning from her – well, that happened for the first time today!
And I am lovin’ it!
On a spiritual plane, this “event” reiterates to me that everything happens in its own time and at its own pace.
There’s one more learning on offer here – from the overall COVID-19 situation. If you think about it deeply, it is forcing the whole world to sit down in one place and just be. You see, everyone has been so conditioned to running amok, imagining that if they don’t hurry, if they don’t rush and grab whatever they think they deserve, they are going to miss the bus or that something grave is going to befall them or that they will lose some thing. So, everyone has been on this spree, this crazy race to become. Become more visible, become richer, become more recognized, become more successful…which is everyone has been trying desperately to become someone else, to become better than the other…everyone, in some way or the other, has been on this becoming trip. In the past decade, social media has only fueled and grown this frenzy, this becoming angst. And then COVID-19 comes along and, in less than a quarter, shuts down the whole world and is forcing everyone to be.
Isn’t it amazing? Don’t you see what’s happening? The whole world has surrendered; it has been forced, in fact, to capitulate – to jump off the becoming treadmill, to being home, just being!
It is possible that many find the transition from “becoming to being” a very difficult one to make. But let me tell you this, from our own lived experience, just being is not complex. It is simply being present. It is all about bringing your full attention to whatever you are doing. It is only when you are present, in the moment, in whatever you are doing, that you are non-worrying, non-frustrated and non-suffering. It is only then that you are happy despite your circumstances. Now, just being is an art – you have to train your mind to be that way; this is what Vaani and I have learnt through living with our bankruptcy for 13 years now. This is the quality that has helped us to live fully with what is – not complaining about what we don’t have, but celebrating whatever we have!
And it is this choice to just be, in this COVID-19 lockdown scenario that is expected to last for a long while, that led me to embrace cooking – a space that I have consciously avoided getting into for over three decades now. This gives me one more beautiful reason to be with Vaani and to learn from her. I hope to learn quickly. And I also hope to soon raise a toast to Life and to COVID-19 for giving me a new, immersive experience to thrive on!
Note: AVIS and Vaani are the happynesswalas. They believe their Life’s Purpose is Inspiring ‘Happyness’! They are going through a fascinating, Life-changing experience – a crippling bankruptcy!! If you would like to invite them to inspire your team(s) or explore other opportunities, please look up: www.avisviswanathan.in and www.avinitiatives.co.in.