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I am a professional and a cook,rather a cook by choice and passion.Cooking is something I fantasise about.When I first thought of starting a blog,a thousand ideas coursed through my mind,albeit,none stood the sands of time.Except for the thought of a food blog accompanied by subtle nuances from daily life and from the world around me!



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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Brown rice Pilaf and the art of letting go!

I have always believed in storing up things. 

As a kid, I would habitually be gifted with little pieces of jewelry, some with colorful beads, some sparkly and shimmery from friends and from cousins who would drop by occasionally. My precious stones found refuge in an old wooden jewelry box, which had been a part of my Maa’s jewelry entourage once upon a time.

Years later, when the weevils bore umpteen holes into the sides of the wooden box, I shifted the jewelry from the box and tucked them away in a muslin-cloth bag, also a gift from a friend. I had stopped wearing them by that time, because I had gone past the age of donning colorful, mismatched plastic beads by that time, but never did it strike me that I could actually throw them away! Once or twice, when I would make up my mind to actually do away with them, something tugged at my heart strings – these were a part of my childhood memories, gifts from people I loved. I could not throw them away; such was the possessiveness that hung onto me for these old, unused trinkets. Somewhere deep inside, I always felt that these were a part of the times that I have lived.

After I left home for my studies, my folks decided to shift base and move to a new apartment that they had purchased. My Maa busied herself in the mammoth task of arranging to move over to a new place. Unfurling my possessions, she came across my muslin-cloth bag with the trinkets kept safe in them. The next time I called home, Maa was on the phone querying me what I would want her to do with them. I felt a lunge again, the same tug that I had felt years ago. But this time, it seemed less intense and less important. I had grown-up and so many other things now needed my attention. An old bag of junk jewelry that was all it was! Without much ado, I asked of them to be disposed off with the next bag of garbage. No space for things that I would probably never ever use, I thought!

Long after that, sitting alone with my cuppa, my mind would often go back to that wizened old muslin cloth bag, protecting my mesh of entangled, colored beads. I would feel guilty of letting go of such a precious thing, a thing I had kept so close to my heart all these years. Somewhere inside, I felt the guilt of betraying my own sentiments.

As the years passed, and I go entangled in the throes of life, I longed for things, for materialistic possessions and started nurturing dreams about these possessions. But as the wise men say, dreams do not always come true. I started realizing and learning that we often need to let go of things in life to have happiness and peace in return. I slowly started letting go of things - it would be difficult at first, but then time started healing it. I started feeling lighter in my head and mind. Maybe this is what peace felt like, I thought.

I managed to walk through the letting-go phase unscathed. It now feels so easy to let go! Often the things you hold on to so dearly, give you such pain and dismay, but letting go of them gives you a new breath. Maybe I started learning it the day I let go of the old bag of muslin, with all my precious jewelry inside it!

Speaking of letting-go, I could not let go of the bag of Brown Rice, however! I had written about it in one of my earlier posts. I had a whole bag of Brown Basmati Rice nestling in my kitchen cabinet and it was eons ago that I made Brown Rice pudding using the rice. One on of the recent weekends, I tried rustling up Brown Rice Pilaf with chicken. Pilaf is a mid-western version of the ‘Pulao’ or ‘Pulav’ that we so often cook in our Indian kitchens. My Pilaf was however a drier version of the ‘Pulao’ and I preferred cooking the rice and vegetables and chicken separately. Cooking the Brown Rice in water actually makes the husk split up and come in the way of it savouriness. So here goes, my version of Brown Rice Pilaf with chicken. Enjoy!