Guru Purnima – 3 Lessons I’ve learnt from food

I haven’t had a permanent teacher in my life, someone to constantly look-up to; I believe in taking life lessons from every person that I meet or interact with, the work that I do and all that I experience while traveling, reading or even watching a film. But, in the past few years I’ve realized that I’ve had a constant teacher around me – Food. Whether I was cooking, eating or talking to friends, chefs and fellow food bloggers, there was always a lesson to take away; at times to make me better at what I do and at times to help me realize my own potential. Here’re the lessons that I’ve learnt from food; as an eager eater, enthusiastic cook and a professional food writer.

1. What we eat is what we become
Now, I don’t mean you’ll become a big fat pig if you eat bacon. What I mean is, that the food absorbs the energy of the cook and when we eat that food it gets transferred to us. Around 12 years ago, when I was living alone in Mumbai, I ruined my dinner. That was first for me and I was angry at myself for I had to make do with a bowl of Maggi; I was in a bad mood and an absolute negative space. That was when I realized that the mood you’re in reflects in your cooking. I spoke to my mother the next day and she confirmed my thought; it made me understand why her cooking, which was brilliant on most days, would be below average at times.

Recently, when I was interviewing Chef Thomas Zacharias of The Bombay Canteen, he re-iterated the lesson stressing over the point that happy cooks produce great food. And that’s not it; the principle applies on animals too. Research shows that cows produce better milk when they’re bred in a happy environment.

2. We should and must not judge other people’s choices
I had learnt this lesson way early in my life – never judge people based on their choices. I was a hard core meat eater, but was brought up on a balanced diet of vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food. My non-vegetarian dad never made fun of vegetables or called them ghas-phoos and my vegetarian mom never looked down upon the meat eaters. I continued this practice as I grew up, with food as well as life. So, while I might have my reservations about certain kind of food, I would never judge you based on what you eat or what you do in your life.

3. That there’s a universal language
And that language is food. You might not be able to converse with people because of the language barrier, but offer them food and you’d suddenly start understanding them. The way people eat, their mannerisms, their likes and dislikes tell us so much about them. Food is the biggest ice-breaker when you don’t know how to kick start a conversation.

Being an extrovert, talking to strangers doesn’t come naturally to me, but it always gets easier when food is the common topic of interest.

Do you have lessons that food has taught you? Share with me in the comments below because I would love to learn more.

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