November 2nd, 2014
I have been constantly looking for inspiration to get me back into the kitchen for so long now. I stopped baking awhile ago, and this concerns me a lot. I have been cooking since I was thirteen, but sometimes when you turn twenty-one and you have a big decision to make, sometimes, just sometimes, you end up making wrong ones. But, the real strength is when you get back up and show life that you are capable of a lot more.
Despite cooking, I have an immense love for fitness. When this year started off, I joined a new gym. It was a wake-up call for me, because I was amazed to see that my body was capable of so much more. I was so happy, going in and out to the gym, lifting heavy weights, doing HIIT cardio, cooking healthy food for myself, and fatting dishes for others (devilish, right?). I was content with where I was at. But then, my degree ended and I had to think what I wanted to do next. Well, in my defence I knew I had to go to culinary school, Le Cordon Bleu Sydney campus (because my aunt lives there and I love my aunt!). But it was a butt load of money, and on top of that I was misguided. I was told that since I have a BBA, I cannot opt for culinary school because that would mean changing my field and there were chances of rejection for my visa. Blah Blah Blah. So I dropped the idea of going to culinary school all along and decided that I will pursue my MBA and later, when I start earning money, join Le Cordon Bleu. But, I had someone waiting for me, and this was time consuming. Still I crossed my fingers and left it to fate.
As months went by I knew the MBA was not what I wanted and Le Cordon Bleu was something I couldn't get. I was shattered. I had to make a million new choices all over again. I was back to square one. But do you know who wrecked it? I did myself. I had made wrong choices and I did not follow my heart. I knew deep within that an MBA would ruin not just me, but a lot more. No matter what family and friends said I knew deep inside that I wanted to go to culinary school. One thing led to another, and I gathered my thoughts that haunted me in the night and asked myself, “Mallika, is this the life you want?” A straight out answer came, “No!”
And so I decided to follow my passion and I hope it opens new doors for me, new opportunities. And most of all, I hope I have made a sane decision.
The month of October was so bad to me. I had lost complete interest in food, my diet and to top it off, my gym. I had become irregular. I had stopped working hard. My trainer was mad at me. I had lost interest in everything, including my life, my relationship and my family too. Guess who showed me the way? One word, God. I am an Agnostic person. I am a Sikh (yeah, we constitute 2 per cent of the population but we rock!) Anyhow, our holy prayer is called ‘Nitnem’ or ‘Path’, and it is said to bring about a positive attitude towards life accompanied with spirituality and inner peace. I was able to achieve this by reading and learning the deep meanings of lines written in the Gurbani (our holy book). I learned that the future is already by planned by God, so need not worry and have faith. Faith in God. Faith in life and in the fact that everything falls into place; all you have to do is have faith. The bad that had happened taught me a lesson. I learned that this is how life is, what happened to me even though was a really tiny, but, I learned, and I learned a lot.
This past week, I was watching this beautiful movie ‘Julie & Julia’. Oh how wonderfully inspiring it was. I just loved it so immensely that it inspired me to get back in the kitchen and cook; because that’s what makes me happy. I feel food understands me. I feel a deep pleasure in mixing a blow of ingredients to put up a dish together, reading a recipe, watching a cooking channel, essentially anything to do with creating a dish.
I love cooking like I love dogs. The both bring out the best in me. You treat them with love, and they will love you back, all the way, a lot more than you can love them. There is just something comforting when you start cooking something, you add in your ingredients (love being the most special one), stir it, wait for it to reach perfection, smell it, taste it and finally present it to your loved ones. Whenever I serve food to family and friends, I find myself staring at them as they put the first morsel into their mouth, waiting for their reaction, in my head I am like “c’mon, tell me how it is?!” And hearing the words ‘delicious’ or ‘yummy’ or ‘you outdid yourself’ is just the most satisfying reward of all, it leaves me with a big smile on my face and even a bigger one in my heart.
After watching Julie & Julia the other day, I had to find a mentor for me to (like Julia was Julie’s mentor). I wanted to be like Julie Powell in the movie. I could relate to her in so many ways, big and small. And so, I stumbled upon, as quoted by Verve, ‘The first lady of the dessert world’, Pooja Dhingra. I had been following her instagram page for quite a while now and had meaning to buy her book ‘The Big Book of Treats’. Just as the movie ended, I bought it at Amazon, and a day later, I have read it. The story, the recipes, everything, I can pertain to it. I can connect to the world where cooking with love gives immense pleasure to the eater and the creator of it.
The sizzling sound when you add an ingredient to a hot pan with butter is music to my ears, the homely aroma that fills the house when the cake is finished baking fills the air with sweetness, and scrumptious chocolate lava cake topped with icing sugar is a heavenly sight and a mouthful of it is the most satisfying for my taste-buds.
So, today, as this book lies beside me, I vow, to follow my heart, trust this journey, love life, and not complain.
And most of all have Faith, Faith in the weird methods of God and Faith in me. Because the mess will always clear up, the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle solve in the end and love for the ones that mean the world to you and a passion that you treasure, despite all odds, will remain in your heart Forever. So, when you are lost, you just have to search inside.
Because, where there is a whisk, there is a way. Ha-ha.
P.S. I will be sharing recipes :) xx