People say writing is therapeutic. While some enjoy the planning process, for some it is the actual writing that is relaxing. To put up word after word and string them into a sentence and to communicate the idea stirring in the mind is a wonderful experience indeed. And then there is a good majority who say reading is therapeutic. To travel across the world, across time and sometimes even into the future, within the comforts of your armchair is definitely relaxing. Some say driving alone on a highway is extremely therapeutic and so is coloring a book and listening to music. Then comes the Foodie Brigade who say that cooking a meal is extremely therapeutic.

Long story short, everything is therapeutic. (And I’m already annoyed by the number of times I’ve used that word here. Sorry!).

Have you ever given a thought about why we look forward to a therapy? Normally we look for ways to destress or divert our minds from pressing issues which make us anxious. So it’s ideally taking a break from all those negative, anxiety-inducing thoughts. So, how do you find something that works for you and provides the much-needed relaxation when you’re looking for a break?

Two weeks ago:

It was one of the most hectic weeks at work. I’m normally off in my corner working on some assignment or the other, with minimal human distraction. That’s the best part of my work. So when all of a sudden I had 10 people pinging me, calling me and standing by my desk and giving me 10 different tasks, all marked as high-priority (duh, how you can have 10 high priority tasks!) all through the week, it was extremely stressful. And to top it all, coordinating with people across different time zones and the getting work done from others, all the same time, drove me crazy. After ending that week with a 20-hour working day, I felt I needed a break. I needed to do something therapeutic.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but one thing was clear to me. Any activity could be therapeutic as long as you do it with your utmost concentration. When you’re trying to desperately forget something, you somehow end up giving all your attention towards it. There is a scene in the movie Inception where Joseph Gordon Levitt asks the other person not to think about elephants. Naturally, what’s the only thing the other person ends up thinking – elephants! So the best way to divert yourself from a thought is to deep dive into another thought – and give it all the focus you can.

There are people who cook while talking over the phone or talking to someone or while watching TV. There are some who barely notice what they’ve added to the cooking pot and look at it as another item to be checked on the list of tasks for their day. And then there are some who get transported to a different world; the kind of world you see in advertisements.  There is a happy vibe around and they lovingly look at the dish they’re preparing, talking to the food and trying to understand what it conveys. They look forward to experimenting with their culinary skills and can’t wait to get back to the world that makes them happy.  A world that makes them forget the travails of a monotonous routine.

Just like those happy people, I wanted to get lost in another world altogether. I wanted to experience how it would be to forget about every single thing (even that stubborn pimple that refuses to budge) and dedicate all my attention to one single activity. I immediately knew what I had to do – food was my savior. The same evening, while getting back home after shopping our hearts out, Mom and I felt it had been long since we devoured some chaat. I decided to cast away all my diet restrictions and go for it. We quickly made plans and stepped into Kailash Parbat- enough said!

There is a special place in heaven for all those who sprinkle extra sev even without you asking for it. It was a foodie’s wonderland. We ordered a chaat platter and had a club sandwich – which is by far the best sandwich I’ve ever eaten. I’ve been to Kailash Parbat before but tasting chaat after almost 6 months made it all the more special. With every bite, I could feel goosebumps all over because it was freaking awesome amazing! In most places they are stingy with the sev or their sev is too thin to be asking for more (only known exception is Shree Mithai). But that evening, it was perfect – the right balance of the sauces to the right amount of sev (how much is too much?) and the right amount of crispiness in the chaat platter. And that sandwich, OMG. I normally don’t eat anything without meat, but when I say that this veg sandwich was the best ever sandwich I’ve eaten you should understand how amazing it was. The bread was perfectly toasted with the right amount of mint chutney and mayo and the filling was just about what one could eat – neither too much nor too little. It was a perfect 10/10, so perfect that I don’t even know if there is a word to describe how perfect it was. I can’t believe how happy food makes me.

Not that I need to mention it again, but now you know what my therapy is.  When I’m around food, I don’t have to worry about looking for something to attain Inner Peace. Food is magical. It makes me forget everything. Just like Remy from Ratatouille it makes me think of the flavors and amazing combinations and teleports me to another world. That’s because while they are some who eat to live, I live to eat!

Featured Image Courtesy: Pixabay