Pickles, sugar and pepper..!
MANY years ago while do ing my Masters in Litera ture, I had a professor who taught me linguistics. This good man from a Brahmin family had done his studies in England and very often told us stories of life in that country where he had gone to study.
“For the first few months!” he once said, “I could not eat the English food! It was bland and tasteless, and I was a vegetarian. Then one day my mother sent me a bottle of pickle and packets of pepper. After that every meal became a delight!” Today, as I think of my Brahmin professor and his love for pickles and pepper, a question comes to my mind, “Did my professor eat only pickles and pepper?”
No, he mixed the pickle and sprayed the pepper on the meals which were already there! The pickle and the pepper when added to the lunch or dinner made it pleasurable!
What would have happened if my good professor decided he would only eat pickles and pepper and nothing else? Sounds silly doesn’t it? But often we are all as silly as that! We want to live in a world of fun!
We want to live in a sensuous world of bodily pleasure, till we get bored of that pleasure and search for other excitement and more excitement! A son of a friend, once told me how his uncle lost his sense of taste after a brain surgery, “You should have seen him,” said my young friend, “He emptied a whole bottle of pickle onto his plate of rice because he could not taste the pickle!”
Are we like that uncle who cannot taste? Do we continuously try to live in a world of pleasure, shirking our work?
Do we get up in the morning and instead of thinking how to spend the day wisely, think instead what new pleasure we can give our body?
And like that uncle in the story, we start introducing newer and newer pleasures into our day, till finally we begin to empty the whole pickle bottle into our life and yet there is no taste? What should we do? I remember when my daughter went to Seattle to study, she phoned me and said, “Daddy I have started liking coffee! But I like it without sugar!”
“Without sugar?” I asked surprised. “That’s when you taste the real coffee!” she said. Yes, it’s when we start emptying the pickle and pepper into our lives, when we stop sugaring our daily routine with pleasure that we start finding joy in the real essence of life!
Put a little pepper, a little sugar into your lives but don’t live a life that is only pickled pleasure because then your craving for excitement will stop you enjoying your day..!