Random Lessons From Life

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While posting my daily quote on Instagram today, I realized that we are in the last 100 days of the year. 2019 has moved with the speed of light but not without leaving behind a few lessons. Over the last month or so, I have been looking at life closely and the people in it. A few incidents that occurred and the situations that I got into, taught me a lot about life. Most of you might find this post silly, but this is something that I had to get out of my system. These incidents had a huge positive effect on making me a much better person. So, here we go.

The Art of Curd Making:

These days I hate the taste of milk, but curd is something I love! I try to have it atleast once a day to cool my system. I normally buy packets of it from the grocery store, but one day I decided to make it myself at home. I boiled fresh milk, let it thicken for a while and added a spoon of curd as the starter. I left it to set overnight. The next morning, when I checked it, the curd had not set! I let it be for a few more hours, but nothing happened. The milk had a weird odor and couldn't be used, so I had to throw it all away. I went through many YouTube videos and cooking blogs and checked where I was going wrong. Turns out, I was doing it right! After a second trial and another failure, it hit me that probably the starter I was using was not right. I went through a few more videos and in one I heard that the chances of curd setting using store brought curd as a starter, is pretty minimal. That is when I read up on how to make the starter at home, using milk. Turns out that if you add a few green chillies with their stalks intact to a small bowl of milk and leave it overnight, it sets into a form of curd that can be used as a starter. It worked brilliantly for me! I have stored this starter in the fridge and have made homemade curd about five times now. Thick, delicious and fresh! Once I got it right, it felt so easy.

What did this teach me, you ask? Apart from patience, I mean. It taught me that sometimes the way we start things might not be right. We still would want to do it and put our heart and soul into it, but it might not work, because we didn't start it right. So, when we look back at such things, we need to look at it from the start and not just the immediate past as to what could have gone wrong. Be it anything, as long as it has the right and a strong start, it will work out. You obviously can make changes along the way as well. Of course, this might not apply for everyone, but it did make sense to me in more ways than one.

I already warned you that this could be a silly post.

Pure Source India:


My husband and I recently bought a couple of diffuser pots and reeds for home from Amazon. This was from a company called Pure Source India. We actually set up our entire house by shopping online! Right from the furniture to other basics, we bought it all online. But none of those big buys made us feel as good as this small buy of diffuser pots. We order from Amazon on a daily basis, but the package this came in was different. No, it was not a fancy wrapper. This package came with a note from the company, thanking us for choosing their product. Just look at that message above, how can it not bring a smile on your face? Normally, I would have frowned at the English or would have probably ignored the note altogether. But, I found this so genuine and heartfelt that it melted something inside me. This made me want to give them a good review on Amazon.

As humans, we are quick to take to social media to complain about a service or a product that did not match up to our so called standards. When it does, how often do we leave a good word? Honestly, I myself haven't done it until now. I do occasionally talk about good service provided by a brand or a company, but I have never reviewed a product on an e-portal site. Good or bad. That note made me feel something that I haven't felt before. I have been trying to implement kindness on a regular basis and it now comes naturally to me, but there is no harm in taking it a notch higher right? Small companies like these might thrive on word of mouth or reviews and if we can contribute to their success in any small manner, why do we hold ourselves back? Irrespective of how many orders they get, if they have been kind enough to leave a note for you, doesn't that show how happy they are that you placed an order with them? Maybe it is time we tell them how happy we are with their products. From now on, I am going to try and review the products I buy online as and when I can. For all I know, it might just make some one's day.

No, this is not a sponsored post.

The Happy for me Cab-driver:

I live around 5 kilometers away from my workplace and I take a cab to and from work everyday. It takes me under 15 minutes to reach work and this is a huge factor that contributes to why I love my work so much. Last Friday, as I boarded the cab from home, I noticed that the driver was quite chatty. He was talking to me about his life and how he chose Uber over Ola and why. We quickly reached my office and as I was getting out, he asked me if the place he had picked me up was where I stay on a daily basis. When I said yes, his eyes lit up and he said that he was happy for me that I do not have to travel much for work. I do not get stuck in signals, nor do I have to pass any major junctions. I know I am blessed and this man was so happy for me. He went on to say that he has ferried women traveling to the opposite ends of the city for work and has heard them struggle with cooking, household chores and children. He also said that he is proud of women who head out to make a living and it makes him respect them even more. But, he also understands the hardships they have to go through for this. The traffic in Bangalore doesn't make it any easier. He said that he was glad that at least for one woman, life is easier.

This man, I have met only once in my life, I probably will never see him or board his cab again, made me feel so nice about my life. I sat and spoke to him for a good 10 minutes even after reaching my destination. He said that he had just finished a night shift and was headed home to sleep. I asked him to eat something before getting some rest and he tells me that I am one of those very few people who speak to him nicely. Apparently when he tries to make conversation with a few passengers, they just ask him to stop or just do not respond. Why do people do that? Someone is helping you get somewhere by doing their job, how hard is it for you to be nice to them? I have noticed many people just walk out of cabs by banging the doors shut and not even bothering to thank the driver. Why do we do that? Is it a matter of status or some of us are just built that way?

I thanked him and walked to my office, not before telling him that he made me feel really good about my life that day. He smiled, thanked me and drove away. I would not forget this incident for a really long time.

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The person who said "Life is the best teacher" knew what he/she was talking about. Everyday situations teach us so much about ourselves, about life and everything else in between. I'm happy to have been in all the above three situations. I didn't know it back then, but I do know now that it did change me for the better.

What is the best lesson that life taught you?

16 comments:

  1. I loved this nuggets of life post and the lessons you shared. You know cooking gives me do much joy as it does to you. But it comes with its own failures. Like you mentioned, sometimes we don't start right not things fall in place after multiple trials. Yesterday I made a quick pressure cooker chicken curry that the kids loved. I was so thrilled. First try and it was perfect. 😊

    You indeed are blessed to be starting so close to your workplace. I see my husband struggle through traffic daily and it breaks my heart. I am glad that a cabbie noticed it and felt happy for you. How often do we feel happy for others? And yes why can't we be more courteous to others saying please and thank you and smiling?
    I do regularly share reviews of things I liked. Like you mentioned, we somehow only share a bad experience but sharing a good experience is a shot in the arm for the service provider. Kindness indeed makes life richer and worth living. Loved this post!

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    1. Thank you so much, Rachna. This one came straight from my heart!

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  2. I loved reading these Soumya. I think we get so obsessed with the bigger picture that we often forget the everyday blessings in life. Like you, I have met several cab drivers who were really nice to me when I was travelling back and forth with M as a baby. I think we focus so much on the negative that we forget that there is so much to be happy about. As always, your post makes me want to think about what's important in life, unapologetically :)

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    1. Thank you, Naba. We need to count our blessings day after day :)

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  3. Such a lovely post Sou. I've had less trouble setting curd, but I love the method you've shared here. I am going to try this when I head back home.

    I love the diffuser from Pure Source. I've enjoyed using it. I think I saved the note for a while. I've reviewed some, but I don't think I reviewed this.😑

    I have always enjoyed cab rides for the fact that the drivers feel free to talk. I enjoy conversation and it takes around 30 minutes for me to reach either way. So, be it auto or cab, I've enjoyed talking with them. I'm glad you stay so close to work Sou. That's one prime reason, I'm still delaying getting back to work.

    Such a lovely post again. Random acts of kindness is always appreciated. You are amazing.

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    1. More often than not we tend to postpone an act of kindness, we should do it instantly lest we forget later. I tend to do this too, so this actually is a note to self.

      I'll never work at a place that I need to travel far away. It somehow is not how I would see life to be.

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  4. Such lovely snippets of the blessings we are showered with every now and then. I guess we just have to open our eyes and look.
    Life may not be hunky dory always but it’s our inner perspective that makes a world of difference.
    Love your tenaciousness to make the curd at home. And why am I not surprised? That’s so you. ♥️

    I’ve had some of the most unique conversations with my cabbies wherever I’ve lived or travelled. And I do hold them close to my heart. I once met a cabbie in Manila who put me in touch with this lovely person. We went on to become good friends. ��

    Thank you for sharing these nuggets of wisdom. I’m sure all your readers will benefit from these reminders.
    And no they ain’t silly at all, you silly bully gurl. ����♥️♥️

    Big hugs and big love!

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    1. Thank you my dear Pixie dust! <3

      Cabbies are nice to talk to and I enjoy seeing different perspectives day after day. I'm glad the post did not turn out to be silly, after all.

      Love!

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  5. What lovely words of life experiences you have shared here Soumya; all very astutely as they are incorporated with your opinions and feelings.

    The curd setting was brilliant though I loved the tutorial for the same on Rachna's blog and have great success via it.

    I agree with you about appreciating and writing positive reviews or genuinely passing on word-of-mouth praise for products/people/companies we have found to be worth the money. I try to leave reviews on Amazon when I can- it does feel good to praise and say thanks to the service providers

    The cab guy was amazing as I was reading through your eyes. But to answer your question- I am one of those who wouldnt have chatted with him much after he would have asked if thats where I live. I would have shut up after that as living single, I get crazy anxious when someone makes this query. Rather I just like to be careful as the city I live in has many a gawar men - everyday someone or the other on my TL posts about something that happened to them in a cab/coffeeshop or bar.

    All of this raises my anxiety levels and I am uber careful of sharing info with cabbies. I dont mind them chatting but dont like personal questions at all.

    Loved the post for all its chattiness and how it made me think so much :-)

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    1. Thank you my dear Shalz! <3

      My anxiety sky-rockets when I talk to strangers, but my antenna is always on guard. I live in a closed community, so I don't mind telling people that I live there. The building, the house number etc will remain a secret. We can't trust every cabbie, I often cancel bookings when the cab driver is new or has only made a few rides. Something doesn't make me trust such men. I'd love to start seeing female cabbies too, that will be such a huge boost for us women to travel.

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  6. What a wonderful post Soumya. Those life lessons are valuable. I struggled with setting curd too but then Rachan's recipe worked or me. I get the starter curd from a dairy. I really must try the chillie thing. I've heard about it earlier, must try it.
    Oh and I do leave product reviews on Amazon, specially the good ones. I also regularly answer queries that Amazon forwards me.
    What a sweet interaction with the driver. He was such a perceptive and kind soul! Few men would appreciate the plight of working women, specially when they were struggling too. I mean after a full night shift he had the heart to feel for another person, that's surely special. We're often so wrapped up in our own little world, in our own problems that any kind of chatter seems like an intrusion. That's how we lose out on valuable interactions.

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    1. Oh the starter was such a mess for me, but when I made it myself, I realized how simple the whole process is. I did this before Rachna's post, so I commented on her post saying I wish I had found her post sooner :)

      We need to lift our heads from our phone and look outside and at people for what they are.

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  7. Enjoyed reading your snippets from everyday life, that make it all worth it! It could be a small revelation or learning like the curd-making, the thoughtful personal message from an online seller or the good wishes of a total stranger, these are all probably trivial happenings but still they add so much value to our mundane existence. Yes, one needs to smell the roses along the way!

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    1. Thank you, Kala. As long as we get wonderful reminders like this, I'm sure life will be good :)

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  8. What a beautiful read this was Soumya. Lovely anecdotes from life. Who would have thought that green chillies would do the trick. I have never heard of that before. Will definitely tell my mom.
    I have recently started leaving good reviews on ebay as I too never left any reviews before.I mostly rely on reviews to buy things and I think it's very helpful too.
    The driver was so sweet. It's wonderful to chat with them and know about their life too.

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  9. This post had me smiling and feeling all warm inside this Saturday afternoon. I am so happy for you, when you're able to not just observe the kindness around but let it sit with you and then put it in writing.

    That bit about people complaining about a service is so true. I've observed it so often online. It's why I try not to complain in public. If I have a problem with the service provider, I take it up with them one on one via private message or DM. How hard is it to do that?

    The cab driver- may be always be blessed as should you :)

    I've largely scaled back my blog hopping, Soumya, due to various reasons so apologies if you don't see me around here too often. But I do love you, your writing and even if I drop in just once or twice a month, know that your blog ranks among my favourites of all. Always :)

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Care to leave a word or two? Thanks for dropping by :)