Have you ever seen a kid who finishes every single item on the plate, without wasting even a teeny tiny bit of food? Ate everything whether he/she loves it or not? I used to be that kind. Smaller kids were often asked to sit beside me during family gatherings, to learn ‘The art of eating’ from me. There was even this one cousin who sat beside me and copied every move of mine, just like a monkey.
Now, you may ask why I was so keen on finishing everything on my plate. No! It’s not because I was thoughtful of the world’s hunger, poverty, and other colossal disasters. But because of something which my amma (mother) told me once.
This happened a while ago when I was around five or six years old. My family was attending a relative’s wedding. The wedding ceremony was over, and we all moved on to the most interesting part of the wedding – ‘The sadhya’. For those of you who don’t know about the Kerala sadhya, I will give you a brief idea. It’s an elaborate banquet, in which about 24-26 dishes are served on a banana leaf as a single course. Traditional Kerala weddings and festivals are incomplete without the sadhya.
Getting back to our story; the sadhya began and the servers started setting out the dishes one by one onto the banana leaf. I got so overwhelmed seeing all of them and told my amma, “Ammaaa, I cannot eat all this.”. Then pointed to a few curries which are not my favorites, and continued, “I don’t like these. You can move it to your leaf.”
Just like any other mother would, my amma too said, “No dear. They are very tasty and healthy, and can make you super strong,”
“NO! NO! Move it to your leaf.” I screeched.
With a smile on her face, Amma asked me, “Why would I move it to my leaf? If you don’t want it, you can leave it there.”
“But, I want my leaf to be clean once I finish! How can it be so if I don’t eat everything?” I whined.
My amma couldn’t contain her laugh. She asked, “So if you don’t like something, you will just get rid of it by giving it to others?”
Instead of replying, I just looked at her with my puppy eyes, to melt her heart, and lure her to take the food away from my leaf. She pinched my cheeks and continued, “If you didn’t want it, why didn’t you say no while serving? So now that it’s on your leaf, you have to eat it. You can’t pass your responsibilities to others all the time.”
I kept being stubborn and asking her to remove the dishes. Then, my amma said, “OK. I won’t take it, but I can give you an idea to help you eat all, and to have a clean leaf at the end. Eat the dishes you don’t like first. Once you start tasting the ones you like afterward, the bad ones’ taste will slowly fade, and you can pleasantly enjoy the rest of sadhya.”
That sounded like a great idea to me. And, that’s when I started finishing everything off my plate, no matter what. Although she said that just about the sadhya, knowingly or unknowingly, I am following that mantra for everything in my life. I complete the jobs that are harder first, followed by the ones I love to do. I try to tick off the tasks that make me dread or tired, to be left with things that bring happiness.
From preparing for the harder subjects first for exams to looking into the time-consuming issues first at work, I followed this principle for everything. And, it always worked perfectly. Even now a stay at home mom, I make an effort to finish the time consuming and backbreaking jobs first thing in the morning. This way, at the end of the day, I get some time to relax and enjoy some quality me-time, read a book, write a blog, or just scroll through Instagram.
So, What did you learn from all that I babbled? Let me summarize it for you:
- It’s your life. Take control of it.
- Say No, if you are not up for something.
- Sometimes you end up falling into crazy things anyway, and it’s OK.
- In such cases, take in the good things and move on.
Sometimes in life, there will be situations that you didn’t sign up for. But, look for the positive aspects because everything you come across teaches you something and helps you grow. If you tried your best and couldn’t attain the expected result is a whole different thing. It happens, and there is nothing wrong with taking second chances.
And, of course, You are a brilliant soul who knows that poison is not to be eaten, but wiped out clean from your plate. I need not mention it explicitly that useless and toxic things need to be chucked right away from life. Always feel good to get rid of unwanted things in life. Why would you spend a single more second on something you cannot tolerate, or does you no good? Agree?
If you have reached this part, thank you for reading my post. I hope you found something helpful. Also, feel free to share your thoughts, and any pieces of advice you think will help me and other readers in the comment section below.
P.S. – During sadhyas, there are these over-enthusiastic servers who pour dishes to your leaf, whether you want it or not. When you try and finish something you are not fond of, they assume that it’s because you are loving it. They immediately land in front of you to serve more. What will you do then? You cover your leaf with both the hands and shake your head vigorously, and say “NO CHETA(bro)! NO! I don’t want it.” Why? Because it’s your damn leaf and you decide what should be on it. Got it? Also, brilliant people don’t make the same mistake twice 😉