RICH(121) Stories

Microstory 118 Practice

I asked my younger daughter, “Please tell me when are you going to practice dance”? My wife and I were in the other room and we could hear the shouting from the Dance teacher who was taking online dance classes. I was listening intently if my daughter’s name is coming up or not. In fact, I asked my wife, “When does she practice”?

It was a throwback moment when I remembered that teachers used to ask us to stand outside the class if we have done anything mischievous or did not do our homework. In today’s boundary-less world parents are outside the walls peeking and observing what’s going on in the class.

Contrary to what I was expecting my daughter was cool but I was developing cold feet. In fact, my wife was telling me now that we are living in a boundaryless world we know how you behave with your office colleagues on the phone when you are in that office space. That comment made me realize that I have to practice awareness of boundaries.

Microstory 119 Magic

I was in a Webex call and it was my turn to speak and explain. One person messaged me that he can’t hear me. I tried to figure it out by changing my settings and continued.

Again the same voice repeated I can’t hear, could you please fix it at your end. I was getting a little anxious. Before I could do anything, there was a chorus of voices which said, “We all can hear him, the problem is at your end, you have to fix it?” I shared this incident with my wife and she remembered a nice quote that I could instantly relate to.

This quote by the famous poet Ghalib talks about a prominent mistake we make as humans. In this quote, Ghalib says that “he kept on making the same mistake throughout his life, he kept on cleaning the mirror whereas it was his face that was dirty.” So, instead of trying to change external situations and repeating the same situations again and again, try to change your internal state and see the magic !!

Microstory 120 ‘Reason’able

It was one of those days. I got up and saw that the kitchen was not cleaned and I knew in my mind that I was tilting to leave it as it is. Normally my wife cleans the kitchen in the night before and loads everything in the dishwasher. That day it was not to be. I noticed that I had to first unload and load as well. The very thought brought down the morning inspiration.

I prepared the coffee and then in a matter of time I decided to clean the kitchen and load the dishwasher. What changed in me. I wondered. I realized that I had slept well and therefore I had the energy to push through that period of discomfort. As they say, motivation is a product of energy, reason, and small steps. I did not wait for any reason, I just did it in that instance. Sometimes reasons are not reasonable.

Microstory 121 Tribute

I remembered my paternal grandmother the other day when our cook made chutney. She used to say that even if there is rice and chutney it is good to go. If we had unexpected guests who had come from a long way and it was lunchtime, she would go to the kitchen and start grinding coconut chutney. The sound of the ammikallu (pic below) that she used to make it in, still resonates with me.

Ammikallu is a Malayalam term that refers to a traditional kitchen tool used in India to ground spices. It is a stone grinder used in Kerala, India to grind spices extensively used for cooking foods. It is a flat, rectangular-shaped stone with a cylindrical stone pestle.

The smell of chutney made me remember that favorite combination of rice and chutney. I missed it so much. Our children had never seen this and I thought it is a great opportunity for me to show it to them. My wife didn’t quite enjoy the taste of chutney with the Upma our cook made but when we switched it to rice it was a treat and the aroma itself was just enough for me to remember and talk about my grandmother. There are certain things in life which make us remember certain people – how they made us feel good and how they fed us as well.

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