Okay, so today, I am busy catching up with my books and paintings after a short visit in Batangas for the weekend.
Things are getting a little bit crazy both in my personal and professional life that I needed a break and find some time alone. When everyone else would look for a company when sorrow overwhelms them – not me. Most of the time you will find me at the roof, finding some time alone, or run a getaway to my hideaway to recharge and regain my focus. (If you know me well, you’d know where to find me, but definitely not at the Fort.)
COMPASSION – to help you accept others whose ways may be different from yours, with gentleness and understanding, as you move with them or through them or around them on your own way.
I should say that I am blessed to have found people whom I can call my second family through the loving arms of my Indian friends – yes, they are my family. Reasons would rob me of reasons if I will start counting the “Whys”.
India – all I know now is that it’s the sweet, sweating smell of hope, which is the opposite of hate, and it’s the sour. the stifled smell of greed, which is the opposite of love. It is the smell of gods, demons, empires, and civilizations in resurrection and decay (as I was thought). It’s the blue skin-smell of the sea and the blood-metal smell of machines. It smells of the stir and sleep and waste of sixty million animals, more than half of them humans and rats, five thousand temples, shrines, churches, and mosques, and of a hundred bazaars devoted exclusively to perfumes, spices, incense and freshly cut flowers. The smell of India that lingers in my mind – that welcomes me and tells me, “AJ, I’m waiting for you to come home.”
With my Indian friends who consider me as family, I can be just myself, regardless that I am different – from my culture to my thoughts, beliefs, my liberalism (as no ordinary Filipino would think), to the way I move, and way of living, my religion, my language, to the color of my skin, and my look. With them, I have felt accepted and loved, without being judged. My second family accepted me as me, and I think that is what family is all about.
Alright, so today, while I was painting, I was also trying to figure out how to prepare English Breakfast at the back of my head. You see, I promised a friend that I will be preparing one, and I opt to keep my word. It became a little more challenging because I have NEVER prepared or cooked for any of my friends in my life. Wonder why I am going to cook for a friend this time? It’s all because NONE of my other good friends have ever dared to ask me to prepare a meal for them, and here came one who has the nerve to request for English Breakfast – and I am happy to oblige. I am unpredictable, you would never know when I will be doing extraordinary things for you. 🙂
I am a bachelorette. I spend almost 95% of my time at work, thinking of how I would be able to expand my company since that is the reason why I am hired and being paid for. Most of the time, I eat outside or have my food delivered to me at home, enough for me to survive. In short, no time to cook or learn to cook. I have been through two serious relationships in my life, the first man normally cooks for me, while the latter, being a licensed doctor – who also doesn’t know how to cook, was contended that we are together during the “slow downs” and have the pizza delivered and we were okay and happy.
Then again, this afternoon, I was reminded when the mom of one of my good Indian friends told me that, “AJ, at the end of the day, you are a girl, and how lovely it would be if you would learn how to cook, and prepare no matter how simple it is for your man.” and I was like, “Auntie, that is so Indian, and I am not seeing anybody right now.” and she said, “You do not need to have a man to learn to cook, you don’t do it for anyone, but for yourself. Start by learning to prepare tea.” and I am like, “Oooowkey.” But then again, I became too occupied at work and technically ignored her advise.
So today, I told myself, well, I would love to invite my friends at home, and being able to serve them something, which I have personally prepared, not by the nanny. I thought I do not need to start with the complicated ones. Let alone learn the rudiments – let me learn how to prepare chai, but then again, I thought, I am a Filipino, why would I need to learn to prepare chai? That is so Indian. AJ can easily buy tea from Starbucks. Duh?
..,and then again, that thought that auntie said,
“You do not need to have a man to learn to cook, you don’t do it for anyone, but for yourself.”
So, what I did, I messaged one of my sisters in India, Sneha, through Skype and requested her to send me step-by-step process on how to prepare chai, and because she is warm-hearted and thoughtful, it did not take her an hour to send me the steps, but because she is one of the sweetest creations of God on earth, she said, “AJ, imma go show you a demo through Skype so you will easily learn.”
Then my heart melted.
Now you understand why I love my second family so much.
One thing that inspired, and made me try learning how to prepare chai is because I feel strongly about change. I can’t understand why people aren’t just dying to learn, why it isn’t the greatest adventure in the world – because it is the process of becoming. Every time we learn something new, we become something new. And so I have changed. I am no longer the person who woke up this morning. I’m something new because I experienced something new. I have tried learning how to prepare chai. Isn’t that wonderful?
Setting aside what my Indian aunt told me that if only I would learn how to cook, with my free spirit behavior, and liberal mind, a genteel young lady, would make me a good wife. She said, “…and yes, AJ better marry an Indian, ’cause only a man from our race can handle your tough personality, not a Filipino.” and I am like, “No Indian family would ever approve me.” and she said, “Believe me, there is.” Well, I still do not believe her up to this time.
Well going back to Sneha’s demo on how to prepare the chai. It is overwhelming because her mama-in-law, Aunt Neelima, helped her on doing the demo for me to ensure that I will learn to prepare it perfectly. She was holding the pot and showing me how to prepare it, while Sneha was explaining the steps to me. So sweet!
You must have an idea by now why I love my Indian family – and why we term ourselves as “family”. At times I wonder why my friends and their families love me so much. I must have done something good – I think! 😛
I am very happy to share with you all the screenshots of the demo.
Pretty tough to figure out, but I think there is no harm if I am going to try. It makes me more excited serving the parents of my husband to be than my husband to be himself. Nerve wrecking, but I guess it is pretty exciting. Hehe. I remember, when my sisters, Pooja and Padmashree would teach me how to be graceful on serving food and how they would oblige me to practice by serving them, but at the end of the day, I am still a bachelorette, I am accustomed to being served. In short, it was always an epic fail. Prolly in time, when I am ready to surrender, and become submissive, I would be able to perfect it, for now, let me enjoy learning how to prepare the tea.
Right now, the only reason why I giving myself space to learn to prepare chai is because it challenges me, and because I think it’s fun, and yes, I have plans of throwing tea party at my place. That’s it.
Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life. Isn’t that fantastic? A person has risked himself and dared to become involved with experimenting with his own life, trusting himself. To do this, to experiment with your own life, is very exhilarating, full of joy, full of happiness, full of wonder, and yet also spooky. It’s also frightening because you are dealing with the unknown, and you are shaking complacency. You can sit back and say, “Everything’s all right with me, got a good job, got a car.” but then you decide you might change, this may no longer be your value – so you are shaking complacency. Isn’t this wonderful?
Good luck to me on learning how to make chai, and double good luck to me on preparing the English Breakfast, and yet my excitement is overflowing.