A Yummy Vellappam To A Seeker

Made Vellappam and kadala curry for breakfast. To all the non-Keralites, Vellappam is a yummy coconutty breakfast dish which is accompanied by another coconut ground curry. Yeah, you are right! our love for coconut knows no bound.

Vellappam is a simple dish if you have the right ingredients ground to a right consistency and a well-seasoned iron skillet. If you are anything like me then the coconut in the batter still makes its appearance in chunks and the skillet is not greased enough. So the appams were adamant to get off the skillet.

Once I fished those chunks of coconut from the batter, fixed my skillet and Viola! Delicious perfect looking Appams were ready to be devoured.

Along with these appams, something else was cooking in my mind. The memories of the Appam.

#Vellappam

  • I, as a kid eating away 10 appams at a time. Didn’t know then that it took time&skill to make these.
  • Sometimes stealing from my brother’s plate.
  • Adding loads of sugar into the batter when my mom wasn’t looking and Dad complaining of sweet appams.
  • Wondering how Mom managed to have 2 iron appam skillets and feed 3 hungry stomachs at the same time. Here struggling with one, my husband who really don’t have an appetite that I can boast of.
  • Remembering that day when I tried making an appam when mom wasn’t around and having burnt the palm of my hand. Oh, the pain is still fresh in the head.

With the remembrance of pain, came flooding all the memories related to it. Now its HastagPain and not Appam anymore.

And this is how our memory works. We all have an experience of this- thinking about a thing makes us oscillate from past to present and somewhere in between we switch from the thing that started this journey to something else.

For me, it was a switch of memories from the appam to pain. There is nothing to worry about because this is how it just works. Although if you are a seeker, you should know the pattern building and smile away from it. A seeker neither strengthens a memory nor weakens it but he just uses it whenever necessary.

But there is always something that the surrounding is trying to teach us to better ourselves in the process of knowing who we are. Vellappam also has something to teach, only if we are ready to listen.

So, here is what the Appam has to say: no shortcuts; put the work; patience- put the heat on med; the rice, coconut should come together with none trying to steal the limelight for a perfect appam. Give it time- the batter needs to be proofed and perfected.

Hahaha, it was fun to write it down. Let’s see how much of these learnings is going to mould me to a better me. Only time can tell ūüôā

Image: Internet

Is Attachment Unhealthy?

Naiva Kincit Karomiti Yukto Manyeta Tattva-vit

The human body is home to trillions of bacteria and viruses but they aren’t harmful until they find the right breeding ground. In the same way, the concept of attachment is already embedded in our system, waiting for the right time to develop.

For it to develop, it doesn’t need¬†a human on the other end. It can be your smart phone or an operating system, like the movie ‘HER’.¬†Watch it if you haven’t. Maybe our future gen is heading there.

Alright, so what is the problem with ‘attachment’?

Side effects are the problem. To name a few Рpossessiveness, controlling, sorrow, aversion, frustration, anger, hatred etc.

Some say what the heck, attachment makes life worth living. Few say attachment is the root cause of all our miseries. Others say it is impossible to live without it. Whatever is the thought process, we still do not have an antidote for the adverse effects.

Besides, the scriptures are not talking about attachment towards a person, in particular, but are addressing us to stop clinging to our beliefs, ideas, identities & thoughts.

We can make an argument that those very identities drives us and how are we to be without them? I agree.  All that we need to do is to realize that whatever drives the body is not us but are just a series of memories. This understanding will slowly weaken the attachments we have towards them.

Why do we have to do this?

If you truly understand whatever you have here is been loaned to you for a period of time including your body, would you not live with that knowledge. Or would you prefer living in willful ignorance?

I know it is easier said than done because we do not even realize. This is how I practice. Starting from my body to the people I live with – I am always thankful that I¬†have them and they help me experience this world but¬†I remind myself that they are there ‘now’ and that they have a life too.

Whatever I do, I engage in it with total involvement and that is when I enjoy the role I play. Just like how we play a video game, we know that it is neither us nor ours but we still give everything to that.

I am still in the process but I am convinced that everything I thought I was is not me. When they(mind, body, identity, roles) are not me, the things or people that come along cannot be mine either.

By doing every activity with this knowledge of who is doing, makes me more human. Giving credit where it’s due, for example – Mind is thinking, Sumi is working etc ;). It may sound funny but if you think about it, you would realize that it is true.

And if you practice, it will make things easier for you and for others living with you. The whole thing would make you more inclusive, happy, livable, prepared and mindful. Try it but always start with self-study.

Srimad Bhagavad Gita:

Kayena manasa buddhya kevalair indriyair api
Yoginah karma kurvanti sangam tyaktvatma-suddhaye//

The yogis, like all of us, perform their duties with the help of the senses, body, mind and the intelligence but only for the purpose of purification and not for attachment.

Naiva kincit karomiti yukto manyeta tattva-vit
pasyan srnvan sprsan jighrann asnan gacchan svapan svasan//
Pralapan visrjan grhnann unmisan nimisann api
indriyanindriyarthesu vartanta iti dharayan//

‘I do nothing at all.’ thus should be the knower of Reality.
In YOGA, contemplate, even while sleeping, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, walking, sleeping, breathing, speaking aloud, eliminating, receiving, opening the eyes, closing the eyes, the knower of Reality understands that the senses are operating in the realm of the object of the senses.