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The fairy lights in the hall blinked in the quiet of the night. The large glass windows revealed the last star shine its brightest while a light blue streak stretched and yawned its way towards breaking dawn. In moments like these, I wonder what life is all about. She is breathtakingly beautiful and warm, but she is just a moment. I feel a deep longing in my heart. But I have never been able to name this longing. Is there a user manual for the best way to live this gift? I have always wondered and this has led me to devour a lot of books. A book of every kind that promised to hold the key to my heart.
‘Too many cooks spoil the broth’ as the saying goes and a juxtapose of a lot of information left me even more confused than where I had been. Some books asked me to give up all that I like and dedicate myself to a life of penance and withdrawal. I could not bring myself to do that. Some other books asked me to be ruthless but then again, this also did not go well with my longing. So, where do I stand?
And then, I went to my grandma’s. No, she does not have answers, but being with her is like having a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter night overlooking the hearth of a crackling fire. So I went there.
She was standing in the hearth of the kitchen, brewing something that smelled quite mouth-watering. In the window sill next to the sink, the herbs and flowers stretched lazily as the morning sun warmed them and the light breeze teased their leaves. As usual, she was expecting her sons and daughters for the Sunday luncheon. ‘What a surprise!’ she told me as I hugged her and put the fresh basket of fruits that I had brought for her on the large wooden table.
Studying my expression she asked me, ‘So what is the problem?’
I told her, ‘I have a longing in my heart that creeps up every now and then. I do not know what I long for? When I was younger I gave a name to it, maybe a life without maths, when I grew older, I named it differently, but I have been through all and still the longing remains. I wonder what is it that I want?
’‘Taste this’, she said passing to me a dessert that she had made.
‘It’s yum!’ I said.
‘Did the taste help to erase your longing for a moment?’ she asked with a twinkle in her eye that started to break into a smile.
‘But grandma what I am talking about is deep’, I told her.
‘What is deeper than life?’ she asked.
I was taken aback. Nothing was the obvious answer.
‘When I met your grandfather, I loved him deeply. I still do and my heart still forgives the nuisance of a person that he is. When I gave birth to each of my children and held my grandchildren in my arms, my heart was so full of love that tears naturally streamed down my eyes. When I smell the aroma of the chicken broth bubbling juicily in my kitchen pot, my heart is washed down with a sense of gratitude. The falling yellow leaves that colour my garden fills me with joy. The fact that I have made it to be a grandmother and an age that many people consider old enough makes me realise that I am blessed’, she said.
‘Don’t you think you are old enough?’, I asked teasingly.
‘I don’t go by stereotypes’, she told me. “When I was your age I had so many children. Now they consider getting married in your age too early. I go by feelings and I don’t think an assumed number can define my feelings or behaviour. ‘
‘Set your heart free,’ she continued. ‘Do not think too much, but experience life in her raw beauty. You won’t find time for any longing. Now tell me, did the taste of the dessert erase your longing for a moment?”
‘Yes, it did.’ I replied sheepishly.
‘Learn to taste the dessert. That’s my advice.’
‘Okay, what if I want to create great work and change the world but no one notices my effort or work. What do I do then?’ I asked still not satisfied while trying to name my longing.
‘What would the world be if the sun thought that way?’ she asked. ‘How many times have you seen the sunrise or reciprocated its beauty? Has your behaviour changed the essence of what the sun is? The sun’s light is the only reason why there is life on earth. Do what you need to do. That is more than enough. This is one lesson I learnt from John Lennon.’
I spent a great day at my grandma’s meeting my cousins and relatives, eating luscious grandma-cooked food and after lunch spent time tasting the dessert. When it was time to bid adieu, I felt the longing creeping into my heart. It was then that I remembered my grandma’s advice on tasting the dessert. I opened the car window and decided to feel the wind in my face rather than contemplate things of the mind. Trust me, the longing has since simmered.
Image via Pixabay
A Social Media Content Writer by profession. A writer by heart. A genuine foodie. Simple
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