Monday, January 07, 2013

Stuff I think I am realizing about myself - Part 1

Number One:

I don't think I can live in a house with a T.V. again. This is possibly why I am a little uncertain of getting a flatmate or sharing the house with someone. Most people get bored without a T.V. My mother often tells me to buy a T.V. so that when she comes over, she won't get bored. Or the T.V. will be useful to keep the help occupied when they aren't working. (If my mother comes over, she usually has some full-time help with her.) I think, however, that no T.V. is good for me and for people such as me - including my mother and her help - and that basically means everyone. It's high-time we got bored. With T.V., one is not necessarily engaged or even entertained. One is distracted and stimulated. Which is a dangerous combination leading to insomnia and stress and a subliminal agitation that is too under the surface to do anything about. T.V. wouldn't be too bad if one is of a certain personality type. But T.V. affects me deeply. I am almost paralyzed with news and the fear psychosis that it peddles every minute. Also, I detest the fact that it is very loud. Maybe that is why I don't want a T.V. It's too loud. Even when it is shut off, there is a solid, silent, block-type scream that wafts out of that dull, dark, void-type contraption. I think when people get bored, people will sleep. I have seen my mother get a full afternoon's nap or go to bed after flipping through a couple of magazines. The night is proper with a full 8 hours of rest and she is up the next morning, full of verve and vigor (trying to convince me to buy a T.V.) I still don't get a lot of rest but that's because I have 20 cups of tea or coffee a day. Since I cannot give up caffeine, I give up T.V.

Number Two:

I like to cook relishes instead of main dishes. Here is one that I have rustled up with great success. (To give a little bit of a context: My cook is not a very inspired cook. She usually just makes rice, daal, roti and some stuff that looks pale and yellow. It's tasty, even though she doesn't use too much oil. But it looks very blah.) So, the other day, she'd made rice with yellow and red peppers. There was also yellow daal, mainly boiled with some turmeric and hing and a tadka of teeny bits of garlic. I wanted something on the side that would make my palate sing. And nothing overhauls a dull palate like mustard. So I heated up some mustard oil and sauteed full, beautiful cloves of garlic in them. They sputtered in the pungent gold oil, getting charred and crisp in some places, getting softened in some others. I seasoned this with some salt and, while hot, put them over the mound of rice and daal. The cloves that I had used were rather big and I had fried them well. They were perfectly salted and alternated between crisp and crunch and velvety smoothness. The mustard oil lent full flavour and a mundane dish of rice and dal got too tasty for words. Just like that.

Number Three:

I need a month between December and January. The divide between December 31st and January 1st is too sharp a break to merit any kind of sustainable resolution making. The last week of December is a winding down. It's a mellifluous ooze of bonhomie and fuzzy dreams and sweet yearning for warmth. The beginnings of January, therefore, must be the slow, lazy, delicious awakening of a beautiful dawn. It must be more a languorous spread of  light instead of the stern flicking of a switch. I need a transition month. Where I can afford to be fuzzy about my resolutions. I'll try a few out for size, see what fits, what doesn't, what I feel deeply connected to, and then commit to doing it for the rest of the year. So, this January, I am not really working on anything specific. I'll go for a walk when I feel like it instead of pledging 1 hour of brisk walk for the rest of the year. I'll write a page of a diary or type up a quick post when I can. I will not berate myself for not having the discipline to work through 10 pages of writing or something. This month I will flow. Hopefully, I will flow in the right direction.


Hyde said...

You should have been my room mate, I don't have a TV too. :-P

Ranjit said...

While I don't agree with not having a TV around and insist on having one around even when it robs me of sleep, this is so well written! I'm almost charmed into not using one anymore :)