Blend it like a Thali

July 20, 2020 at 11:46 pm 20 comments


Every late evening, before retiring for the day, my mother would boil a litre of milk, allow it to cool under the fan that is set to rotate at the highest speed and then do an obnoxious act of pouring a scoopful of butter milk on to it. The mix is then closed with a lid and kept aside overnight. The scene of adulterating a pot of pure, creamy and soul nourishing cow’s milk that I could, in those days, drain down in one single gulp, with a highly pungent, sour and almost spoilt liquid was, for a ten year old, insensible and intriguing as it was equally revolting. It could be, I thought then, a sort of a ritual to ward off the malignant affects of an evil eye rather than a procedure to manufacture the daily supply of dairy products for the family. The pot would have invariably vanished the next morning by the time I woke up only to re-appear with a fresh litre of boiling milk in the night!

The realisation that fermenting the milk is an essential process in making the curd had to wait till the chemistry teacher dealt the topic at the high school, but the lesson learnt was much deeper than about the chemical process involved. It let me realise that anything that is pure and intrinsic in nature is by itself of limited value and only when it is blended with other lesser substances, often with opposite characteristics, that it assumes higher significance and purpose. The curd and thereafter the butter and the ghee would have been impossible without the milk blending itself and allowing it to merge with the inferior butter milk just as the finest ornaments could be crafted only on the gold that is mixed with copper. The pristine white paper turned priceless only when the dark ink is smeared over it to create the finest literature that a million readers would behold and treasure. Without the paper let go its fairness, it would still continue to be pure and without blemish, and also blank and empty. Many a fine textile are created by blending different fabric, each supplementing the other to make a composite whole that give expression to many delicate attires.

And when it comes to the blending of different flavours, the Indian platter, the Thali, is the richest example that caters to the demands of every taste bud and yet nutritionally complete and wholesome. The six tastes of sweet, hot, bitter, sour, salt and pungent are lavishly experienced  separately through specific dishes while the whole meal is delicately balanced by the sequence in which they are savoured. And when the last morsel is finished, the feeling one derives is of complete fullness and satisfaction, a gourmet’s delight! In nature too, the most beautiful scenes are reserved during dawn and dusk, when the day’s light blends with the darkness of the night, to spread a panorama of visual splendour. Just when the first rays of the impending sunrise splash on the sky, a celestial display of a thousand birds fluttering jubilantly on the coloured landscape is a sight to behold. And with the first brush of darkness, the vast aerial canvas draped in myriad hues turn serene, filling the hearts with peace and tranquility. 

And during these days of the pandemic, it is the capacity to blend new skills with traditional wisdom that would help one survive and emerge stronger in every department of life. While discharging office responsibilities, the tactic is to seamlessly integrate the conventional method of work with the online interactive meetings that would ensure continuity at job. And at the personal level, it is the blending of household chores, recreational activities and creative endeavours that would keep us in fine fettle. The teachers are blending their delivery with online learning tools to supplement the chalk and talk method and the brick and mortar businesses are seamlessly integrating with e-commerce model. Religious services are delivered on Goggle Meet for the rituals that are conducted physically and payments received via bank transfers!. That’s blending of the most innovative kind!    

The age of blending has indeed arrived and is here to stay…and the future is of those who embrace it willingly!

Yours

Narayanan

Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: , .

Guru Dakshina When everyone enjoyed a good cough

20 Comments Add your own

  • 1. marymtf  |  July 21, 2020 at 1:58 am

    Im not sure I’m reading you correctly, but I like being an individual. I admire other individuals, or not depending on their actions. I don’t judge them, otherwise. If recent mob behaviour is an indicator of what I can expect from blending, I don’t intend to get used to it.

    Reply
    • 2. chapter18  |  July 21, 2020 at 8:58 am

      Blending here is meant to bring different, even contradictory, aspects together to create a wholesome experience which is not possible in parts. It extends to individual, social, behavioural and even economic dimensions. Thanks 👍

      Reply
  • 3. sudrakarma  |  July 21, 2020 at 3:29 am

    With the literal blending of voices from all over the world, we’re made wiser from the experience. Beautiful analogies, Narayanan.

    Reply
  • 5. rmariagn  |  July 21, 2020 at 11:21 am

    Nice analogy of the spice of life with food.

    Reply
  • 6. Anonymous  |  July 21, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    Life is blend of different tastes

    Reply
  • 7. Anonymous  |  July 21, 2020 at 8:32 pm

    Absolutely true . Well written Narayan. Can see you’re enjoying writing on your blog now

    Reply
  • 9. debjani6ghosh  |  July 25, 2020 at 8:55 pm

    Excellent article. I liked all the analogies you used, especially, that of the paper. In its pristine state, it remains white but also blank. Only when it is smeared with ink, it is of any value.

    Reply
    • 10. chapter18  |  July 25, 2020 at 9:00 pm

      Thank you Debjani..

      Reply
  • 11. Shobha Iyer  |  July 31, 2020 at 8:44 pm

    beautifully written….
    well articulated blending ✍

    Reply
    • 12. chapter18  |  July 31, 2020 at 9:48 pm

      Thanks…also for sharing

      Reply
  • 13. Blend it like a Thali – Thoughts of Sho  |  July 31, 2020 at 8:45 pm

    […] Blend it like a Thali […]

    Reply
  • 14. Nalini Ashwin  |  August 1, 2020 at 5:12 pm

    “anything that is pure and intrinsic in nature is by itself of limited value and only when it is blended with other lesser substances, often with opposite characteristics, that it assumes higher significance and purpose.”

    Wow!! I had never thought of this. I mean, its everywhere around us. Still we fail to see this.

    Deep way to look at this.

    Liked this very much 👍

    Very well written post 👍

    Reply
    • 15. chapter18  |  August 1, 2020 at 5:17 pm

      Good to know you liked it.. thanks

      Reply
  • 16. Veena S.  |  August 5, 2020 at 8:38 pm

    Lovely blending throughout the well written article. The finale of blending with technology in the pandemic is great!

    Reply
  • 17. asthaisha  |  August 16, 2020 at 11:06 am

    Very well written 🤩👌

    Reply
  • […] Blend it like a Thali — chapter18 […]

    Reply
  • 19. nedhamson  |  June 27, 2021 at 11:30 pm

    Reblogged this on Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News.

    Reply

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