WHAT’S THERE IN A NAME

When I was about 10 years old, my parents and I happened to attend a wedding ceremony at my native place. Owing to the fact that we had visited our native after years, family friends and relatives – old and young were swarming from all directions to my parents. I had seen some of them when I was a kid and I could instantly recognize their face and recollect the names. The air buzzed with greetings and exchange of pleasantries like how it happens in a typical get-together. In the end, when the ceremony was over and it all fell quiet, my mom exclaimed, ‘my, you do remember people!’, at that very moment it dawned upon me that I really am gifted with this quirky but extremely useful talent, and that is remembering names of people around me.  

I catch the name of a person in the first meeting and almost never forget it. When I was in college, it took me less than a week to remember the names and faces of my fellow students in a class of 70. Now when I’ve tread into the real world, I’ve retained the names of my peers and seniors since the very first introduction. And not only that, I could think of countless instances when my friends have come to me asking the name of a senior in THEIR team which they had once mentioned to me but is now evading their mind palaces. I oblige every time.

Remembering people’s names might sound like a trivial feat prima facie, but it has greatly helped me in building my social skills. As the saying goes “A person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language”. So, nothing warms someone up to you as much as when you address them with their name (with a smile on your face, of course!). It increases your likeability. It makes people feel valued, and this can a long way in building a harmonious relationship with them. Also, not to mention, it reduces awkward encounters by several times. For someone in a profession like journalism or a client-facing job like sales and marketing, this is the best skill to strive for.

I believe I’ve successfully proven that remembering names is a crucial skill. Just think of my elation when I realized that this is the hidden talent I possess!

FOODICTED

Out of all the pleasures in the universe, there is a pleasure that stirs up my senses, refreshes my insides and satiates the hunger bubbling in me literally. The pleasure that is derived from the joy of cooking and primarily the love for food found its way into my heart a very long time ago when I was just stepping into the shoes of my teenage self. That I was a big-time foodie was known to me much longer than ever but I became a food addict when I discovered that the path to food heaven lay in learning the tricks of the trade of cooking. Initially I was of this thought that I would cook only to fill my belly but gradually I just couldn’t figure how this guilty pleasure became a passion. I would call this definitely a hidden talent as not many people are aware of it except a few of those who have got a taste of my handiwork.

Years ago my first cooking stint began in my kitchen where I was preparing for my final Home Science practical examinations, the final accomplishment of which I am still proud of. I passed with flying colours and praises alike thus giving me a boost to explore the possibilities in the world of food if at least at home. I started with collecting recipes for all kinds of cuisines and dishes and there were times when my dear mother brought out my talent in front of people visiting our house by entrusting me with responsibility of the kitchen along with my sister. There were innumerable things that I didn’t know about and which were impossible to learn just by looking up recipes. I learnt a great deal from my sister including the cooking time, standing time, and which ingredient goes with what, and the art of making the perfect round chapatis and a lot more. The basic knowledge is always an igniting factor which stays inherent even if you experiment with your cooking.

The art of cooking is not easy to master. One needs to be aware of the texture, the palate and the technique of cooking to be a forerunner. Lately I have shifted my focus towards baking which is again a higher form of art. I feel mesmerized by the smell of baked goods and therefore the venturing into this field. Again it involves science, perfect measurement of ingredients and time. Well, there can never be a perfect baking or cooking if there is no love involved. To me, cooking is an expression of love. The cook brings soul to the recipe and that is how it transforms into a piece of art. Learning about different styles of cooking, different cuisines and ingredients has really helped to create praiseworthy dishes. I get high just by seeing the food in my pan change its colour and exhibiting the fascinating aroma. The joy that I see in people when they bite into the dish that has been made gives me a delight that has no bounds.

However I have not been able to channelize my energy in this direction because of professional pursuits and there is a dire urge in me to go forward with what I love more than what is ideal. I nourish this dream to serve happiness, love and peace in bowls and platters but I still need to prepare and learn a lot to make that happen.

I believe in this statement that no one is born a great cook but is made by doing. You may burn yourself, cut yourself … yes that has happened to me several times but it is by failing miserably that you learn to rise up. Cooking to me is more than ingredients, recipes and cooking it is more about harnessing imagination, empowerment and above all creativity. Well I would like to thank my forefathers for discovering fire which is indeed one of the best things ever discovered. It has made my life worth enjoying! But besides playing with fire I am learning the freezing technique as well. A time arrives when all you want to do is what you are mostly interested in. Finding out what you are passionate about and tremendously staying interested in it is what makes you a go-getter. You truly need some TLC for yourself if you need to contribute the same amount to the masses. Let not your talents stay put in your closets and as far as budding chefs and cooks like me are concerned I would leave you with this dialogue from the movie RATATOUILLE, “Anybody can cook, but only the fearless can be great”. Bring it on!

TRUST AND DISCOVER

“Your talent is God’s gift to you.

What you do with it is your gift back to God”

It becomes harder to believe, as you constantly grew-up hearing, “you’re good for nothing” and your emotions compel you to believe – “you are scum”.

        My career scores are average!

I have no idea about art and music!

I’m not good looking!

I’m not good in sports!

I don’t know how to pen thoughts!

Even a bull is better than me…

Somewhat this was my journey from “tween to twenty”…

Until you get a turning-point in life you can’t discover the new road and can’t experience how well you can drive!

After getting to the turning point, I met many new people in life. Some were better than me… some were just like me… some were not better than me.

It was the evening of 12th February 2015. I was in a malady and so was my friend with hers. As she shared her situation, I tried to encourage her though it was quite tough then. Our chat ended with a note from her – “okay… I will… You are really a champ dear… I know you are not in a good state but still you are encouraging me… thanks.”

As you comfort others in affliction, God will comfort you through!

It’s tough but POSSIBLE. Be courageous and know that God is with you when you walk through the valleys of death and the high seas of life.

I love to inspire people with morning messages mostly from the Bible. But I didn’t know that, I could even write!

It was 10th January 2016. I meet the Candles man “Chiradeep Patra”. While on our way back from church, he asked me, ‘what do you love to do?’ One of my replies was, ‘I love to share my life with people and love to inspire them with good morning quotes as most of them are away from me.’ Immediately he offered me to write for Candles Online. Though it was a good offer, it was like jumping into the river without the knowledge of swimming. I just prayed, took courage and said, “let me give it a try” and I wrote my first article – “How Good Is Our Mask Of Pretence?” Now inspiring people through writing has become a part of my life. I feel ungrateful to my Highness without doing the part of this heavenly task daily.

You might not have a bag of talents but trust me, “He has fearfully and wonderfully made you in your mother’s womb and has ordained your days. He has assigned you with a purpose. Trust him just as you are, take the courage and be passionate to invest your hidden talents for the heavenly cause.” (The Bible)