SOME ARE JUST SO WELL HIDDEN THAT YOU CAN NEVER FIND THEM

It started when I was in Shanghai. My husband was deputed for an on-site project and we were there with our 1 year old baby. Thankfully, my son was that small that I had a lot of spare time for myself. I was searching the Google Baba about some online work from home options, when I found a site which was offering cash prize for some creative writing contest. I thought let me give it a try. I was an above average student, but somehow I used to score top marks in creative writings. Thanks to my English teacher, Madhu ma’am, who always used to encourage me to write in a prolific way.

“That was years back”, I thought, and so was sceptic to participate in the contest. “Participating is more important than winning”, my mind told me and so I decided to write.

The result was out and I was shocked to see my name as the winner. I was thrilled and so started participating in other competitions as well. Though I won many awards and prizes, I stopped writing once I was back to India.

After a couple of years, basically after the birth of my second boy, I was weaving the vicious net of depression in mind, when my childhood friend, my sister Prabhjot coaxed me to start contributing as a blogger. I was hesitant and my confidence level had drained out. But, she reminded me of my hidden talent- my writing! She made me recall the articles and poems I had written and bingo! I started writing again and continue to do so. Writing, which was my hidden talent, is not​ hidden anymore.

In the words of Susan Gale, “Everyone has a hidden talent, some are just so well hidden that you can never find them.”  I am glad I was able to find mine!

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!

EXPLORE YOUR HIDDEN TALENT – YOUR PASSION

Hidden Talents….

The toughest part to excavate through your soul and find out who you really are or want to be. Talents are buried under the depth of your heart and it takes the time to be up and flying.  Talent is the natural attribute that we are born with. At times we just know we are on it, and at times with lots of ups and downs before we make it happen.Some times it happens that we knew it all the time, yet never thought or even opted it be a talent in us. A talent can be anything and everything that lets you be what you ever wanted.  

A possible way to tell you or discover your inner most talent is to find out what gives you the joy or the feeling of being yourself. I had come a long way exploring what actually takes my interests on a toss. I was someone who was completely lost in everything. At a very young age, I thought I wanted to be a dancer or a singer. Dance is a part of me which I believe in performing when my heart is at the best. Since I was an out of shape person, the confidence in me was bashed all the time. Yet thanks to my friends who thought I could perform gracefully. In a group, I adorned the talent I always loved. But with age, I had to dig a hole and immerse it into the deep dungeons of my heart, where I stored what I always loved. Even though it keeps peeping out at times to remind me that I can do it. Whenever music is on, my feet are always in a tapping spree, that invokes the real me. Like a butterfly out of the cocoon, I dance my way though.

Like other girls, I was never great at embroidery, stitching, painting, or something that really put the girlish side of me bright and notable. I wanted to be more like a tomboy. I thought manliness was something I could escape into to let myself stop thinking of my talents.

Later the urge to be an explorer struck my mind which led me to be a software professional.  To my surprise, the job never gave me anything other than losing all my confidence. Hence I discovered being a software engineer was never my talent. I could be average, but being average is not being talented or to be something we enjoy the most. 

Motherhood brought me into something I enjoyed in the course of time – That was Cooking. I loved the way the mustard spluttered as I put them in the oil. The fragrance of curry leaves, the smell of tea leaves, the baking aroma of the cakes and much more. I felt the joy of presenting my dish to my loved ones and seeing them cherish the taste of it. Cooking brought me into another world of joy, which I still pursue. 

Later with my boredom creeping into my mind taking away all the joy, I discovered that I could blog. Even though my language was not that great, I blogged. I posted articles which were just my rambling thoughts. Earlier my thoughts were the ones which I kept communicating to my heart, later I penned it down. It was a new revelation to my own self. I was admired and appreciated, which very well boosted my confidence. Slowly as I moved on, the writing became a source of income to me. Becoming a freelance writer, I explored that my imagination was far beyond what I thought it was. 

From nowhere to something was a great change. The joy was profound and I was enjoying every bit of wilderness I could write down. Gradually my writings turned into poetry, which was indeed a new beginning for me. Writing lets me be more passionate towards my life letting me explore more about expressing and even improvising my language. 

Finally, I felt all the talks I used to do with my heart all the time, became the source of projecting the new me to the world. At last finding out the true me became a source of my confidence. I reached the point in my life where my passion meets my job. Truly I adore being a writer. Exploring my hidden talent was close to impossible if I had no one to share my love and interests. Many factors became the reasons for my discovery. 

Alas !!  I am a happy writer. 

MY “HIDDEN” TALENT

For as long as I can remember, I have always had the gift of feeling what others do. Whether it is an emotion or something physical, I can sense it. At least that is how it use to be. Now, even through the medium of social networking, chats and such, my “talent” or gift seems to have gotten even stronger.

Where this comes from or why this was given to me, I have no idea but it has helped me and a few others over the years, get through some very difficult times. I could meet someone for the very first time and just by looking into their eyes, I can tell how their life has been.

With Social Media it is a bit more difficult since most of the time we cannot see the person on the other side of the monitor, unless you do video chats. But I rarely use that form of communication.

When I first met one person in particular, I immediately got the feeling that here was a good man but who’s life had not been easy in the least. It was just the “vibe” I got. It wasn’t until some months later that I learned of some of the things he had gone through and was still going through in his life. I think I scared him a bit when I just blurted out one day, “I know that something is wrong in your life, in spite of the cheerfulness you are showing in our chats.” He got very quiet and then asked me to explain what I meant. All I could say is that it was a “feeling” I was getting that all was not well in his life. It took a few more chats before he finally opened up to me and admitted a few things that I had guessed at. In that moment the connection between he and I grew even stronger and is still very strong to this day. I have established this connection with many on Facebook in the last few years.

I also have used this talent with people at work and a few get a bit uncomfortable when I walk up and ask if all is ok. I get the “fine” answer and the “why do you ask”. I look into their eyes and tell them gently that I know everything is not fine. If we have time, I will take them off to the side and encourage them to talk. I listen quietly until they are done. The whole time they are talking, I will place my hand on their arm or shoulder and just listen. Many times that is all that is needed to help them get their thoughts in order and they always feel “lighter” after talking with me. Sometimes they will ask my opinion. With a short prayer to the Creator, asking for the right words, I will tell them what they NEED to hear not what they want to hear.

Not too many people know just how strong this “talent” of mine really is. Many get uncomfortable with the subject as they do not understand it. Not understanding leads to fear and suspicion so I usually keep it to myself.

DON’T HIDE THEM!

Something which is hidden ought to be discovered and put to some use, because you never know the hidden jewel might be the brightest of all!

We all have talents inside us and some of us have a package of talents in them. Discovering them and putting them into some good use is the ultimate goal.

When I was about 11 or 12, i.e. during my ‘tween’ years I started watching people closely just as all other kids do during this age. My closed circle included only my family because my friends shared the same position. So I used to watch my family members closely. My older brother was at his teens and he already had developed his interests on various things. Singing was one of them. He would play loud music and sing along and he would write down the lyrics. He was pretty good at that. Watching him do this I started singing too and within no time I fell in love with music. I would listen to the beats and try to sing along and wished that my voice would someday be like one of those singers whom I used to listen. The passion developed and with time I started singing at the church on Sundays. Later when I went to college, I joined the college choir and had one of the most amazing experiences visiting other colleges and churches and singing in front of them. I count those moments very precious in life.

But the sailing was not always smooth. There were times I did not justify songs (as I am not a trained singer)and was depreciated. I felt I am not a professional and I should quit singing in front of the crowd but some things give us so much  pleasure that quitting  them makes our lives void. So no matter how bad a singer I am or how good I am I choose to follow it and I still sing at the church and am appreciated by my family and friends. Over the years I have learnt more about music and singing and I thank God I didn’t give up just because at times I sounded off beat.

So here’s the message for you guys out there, “You might be good at something but you might not be sure about it. Don’t hide it! Let go and see where it takes you. Of course the initial stages where your talent is just developing, it will be difficult but with time it will all fit in and not just fit in, but bloom if you give it a chance. May it be cooking, sewing, singing, dancing, writing or anything else, don’t hide them within you!”

“Your talent is God’s gift to you, what you do with it is your gift back to God.”

HUNT THAT TALENT MINE

Yes, every person has a hidden talent. Hidden talent does not necessarily mean an ability or natural instincts to be the best in the world. Hidden talents could be like: a natural ability to sing melodiously, dance happily or read voraciously. Everyone has some or the other thing that they can cultivate (work on) to develop their quality of life. Yes. Theoretically speaking, humans are a complex species with a storehouse of talents. The skills of a person are shown only on exposure to favourable situations. So, since not everyone gets favourable circumstances to express their talent, there are some abilities that remain “Hidden”. This is true practically too. We have seen reticent people perform well in front of an audience etc.

To make it easier for your talent to find you, you must try doing things that fascinate you. Do those things more often. If you realise that you can do a particular thing effortlessly and efficiently, understand that your talent has found you! If you enjoy doing a particular thing and people around you like you doing it too, you have figured out your talent! If you get into a state of creative flow when you do something, and you start getting public references (appreciation and praise) about you doing it, realise that you have found out your Hidden Talent!

Your hidden talents can surface at any time. All you need to do it catch it at the right place, at the right time or you will live to regret it. Try different things that interest you. Maybe you will be drawn to something that you will know is your true calling. Real life example is yours truly, I initially as a kid loved to draw and do craft work and as per me, I created some masterpieces back then and hung them on my bedroom walls with pride. Would you believe that I know learned embroidery and knitting at that small an age of 9-10? Yes, I did, I made my mother a set of handkerchiefs that were embroidered by me, I made a set of dining table placemats in Shadow work, I knitted a small Baba Suit (a woollen lower, pullover and jacket) for a new born cousin and a Muffler for my father. Then I tried to be the Mozart of my time and tried my luck at Piano, don’t ask me how the poor Piano cried after three classes and I took pity on it by the fourth class and let it go free. It ran away, screaming. Then one bright morning, during Art classes, my then school teacher told me “You have a great voice, you can be a classical singer”, and his comment made me resilient that I would be the Lata Mangeshkar one day until Bronchitis claimed me and I lost that lyrical, melodious voice. But I didn’t give up, I tried my hand at Drama, learning the Nav Ras, performed at few school plays and stage performances. I was booed and told that I sucked at it.

As a teenager, I developed a love for poetry, though however amateur and juvenile they might have been, I was proud of myself, I felt I am Rabindranath Tagore of my very own genre. Years rolled on, and my love for dance bloomed into a passion that made me wanna be the best dancer in India, time for me to be Michael Jackson. Few more yrs passed and I was the Pablo Picasso and Monet of my time as I developed a love for paintings, and trust me, I left no stone unturned. From Glass Paintings to Tanjore’s, from Marble Paintings to Relief’s and from Oil on Canvas to Embossed, I learned and mastered them all. They adorn the walls of my house even today. My mother shows them to every new visitor with pride in her eyes.

Then came the era of the love for flowers, I learned to make flowers from Origami to Quilling and from Stocking to Bread Dough, each one was close to my heart. Today, I do all my fancy packing myself, and decorate everything with my handmade flowers, not just that, my brother got married, and I did the quilling flower work decoration on each invitation card. Would you believe that I learned to Quilling, Packing and Rangoli from YouTube !!! Yes, and this I am telling you because I want you all to know that if we want to learn something, money and resources are no hindrances. Then came book reading, OMG !!! I became such a bookworm, an avid reader who could finish volumes in a couple of days. I realised books are truly a man’s best friend. Portals to another world, another time, another life. 

Next in the line came Blogging and Poetry. Yes, I see what you are thinking, I came a full circle to where I started from. But that is life; it comes a full circle. And while I am all modest about my hidden talents, let me take the privilege to buy you into a secret, not all hidden talents ate useful and noble. Some of them are notorious. Like I developed one for gaming, and Oh Boy! What gaming it was, I smashed all the scoreboards and was on top of each one, from Simulation games to RPG and from Tycoon games to Civilisation, I rocked them all. I had EA and Steam begging me to let go them. My only flaw is, Once I master a game or a talent, I start to lose interest in it. I have sacrificed many passions to my mood swings, but as I told, it wins some lose some. Today I am trying to be a writer, Yes, that is my new found passion or my Hidden Talent you can call it. And I hope that it will turn to something solid, and someday I would see my book sitting on your bookshelves. 

That is one regret I don’t have, that I never tried something that appealed to me. My next target is cooking, I know I suck at it, like big time, but I hope I will be able to manage a day’s meals on my own if I have to. As I said, try different things, and if Plan A doesn’t work you have 25 alphabets left, and if that still doesn’t work use number (in short, stay active), you will find something that triggers your hidden talent. I would be surprised if you are aware of your hidden talent, most people are not even aware whether they have one, much less as to what it is.

I believe most of us have a lot more potential within us than we ever dream we do. The more we play, experiment, and allow our curiosity and playfulness sweep us off our feet often – the more we will reveal to ourselves about our abilities.

How do we know if we don’t apply ourselves? Even if all that happens is you have a perfect time, it is time well spent – you will be releasing all kinds of useful chemicals just from enjoying yourself. You will not know unless you give it a fair shot. I would suggest taking baby steps – wade in a bit at a time and allow yourself to get comfortable there before trying a bigger challenge. If you felt energised and pulled forward, you have likely hit upon a natural ability. If you have to push yourself, stop and play in another way – that instrument, that style, that group might not be the best fit, but another one could be.

If we assume, we can develop the skills to support anything we love to do; we give ourselves permission to try.

“You are unique. You have different talents and abilities. You don’t have to always follow in the footsteps of others. And most important, you should always remind yourself that you don’t have to do what everyone else is doing and have a responsibility to develop the talents you have been given.” 
― Roy. T. Bennette, The light in the Heart

Stay Driven !!!