Friday - - EDITOR’S LETTER - Mri­nal Shekar, Ed­i­tor Reach me at mshekar@gulfnews.com

While for many, the com­fort zone is a psy­cho­log­i­cal space, for me it is a phys­i­cal one. It’s my kitchen. And I was re­cently evicted from there. It wasn’t a bru­tal act but now that I think about it, there was an el­e­ment of threat in­volved, al­beit sugar-coated – ‘Stay out of here as it’s not good for you.’ I could not stage a full-on protest as I knew the so-called tres­passers, who came in the garb of well­wish­ers, were right, but I did try to sneak back in at ev­ery op­por­tu­nity I got. Of course, I failed.

You see, my kitchen is my happy space, the place where I love to es­cape to, es­pe­cially when the rest of the world feels like an op­po­nent that is out to get me (OK, I’m ex­ag­ger­at­ing a bit here but you know what I mean). I de­rive a sense of calm from know­ing that I am not just the cap­tain of the ship now but have some con­trol over how the fu­ture is go­ing to un­fold as well.

So you can imag­ine my state when I was asked to ab­di­cate my com­fort zone. I have never felt so help­less. (OK, I’m ex­ag­ger­at­ing again.)

It all started with a surgery. Noth­ing ma­jor, just that I was ad­vised two weeks of bed rest af­ter, which was the rea­son why three of my fam­ily mem­bers de­cided to leave their own fief­doms – their re­spec­tive kitchens – and fly down to take over mine.

As I sat around mak­ing fee­ble sounds (groggy from the med­i­ca­tion) ev­ery time the spice rack was not in its ‘right­ful’ place, I also won­dered about the rel­e­vance of a com­fort zone.

How­ever much we un­der­stand that change is the only con­stant, iron­i­cally, there is a cer­tain com­fort in know­ing that noth­ing changes in our com­fort zones.

How­ever much we un­der­stand that change is the only con­stant, there is com­fort in know­ing that noth­ing changes in our com­fort zones

So when it does hap­pen – change in our com­fort zone, that is – it throws us off, makes us anx­ious, stressed even. And for that rea­son, I salute all the kids who sac­ri­ficed time, money and en­ergy sav­ing lives dur­ing the re­cent dev­as­tat­ing floods in the south­ern In­dian state of Ker­ala (page 26). With­out fear­ing for their own lives, th­ese kids stepped out of their com­fort zones – their sani­tised lives – and made a dif­fer­ence in ev­ery way they could.

And I also bow down to them for giv­ing me per­spec­tive.

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