Life is full of accidental discoveries. A lot happens when you’re not expecting anything to, than when you’re spending every living minute awaiting some miracle to unfold. Sometimes you find what you’re looking for when you least expect it. And sometimes, you stumble upon ideas while on the pursuit for something unrelated and experience a Eureka moment. Life has its own way of surprising you!
I’ve been baking for 5 to 6 years now and I’m good at it. Getting the cake out of the pan used to be a challenge. Thanks to google, I found simple ways to get the cake out without damaging the structure. One of my friends suggested I get a cake pan in which the base and the side rims could be separated when you want to take the cake out. I wasn’t quite sure I wanted another pan just for this reason, considering I’d already figured out ways to achieve what I wanted. One of my pans had a handle of sorts and that helped turn the pan upside down. So I let it go.
When I started baking in Sydney, I got a pan similar to the one I had in Chennai. One evening I asked my husband to take the cake from the pan as I was attending to something else. He did it in a second. I was surprised and kept asking him again and again if he had taken it out without spoiling the edges. He looked surprised.
He said he used the lever on the side and the base and the side rim separated and took the cake out. I was shocked. What I’d assumed was a handle, was actually a lever of sorts which when pressed, would separate the base of the pan from the sides. I felt like an idiot.I realized that the pan I had been using in Chennai also had that option, but I’d thought it was just a handle. All these years the solution that I’d wanted had been staring right on my face but I did not see it. And I call myself a decent baker! Anyway, despite feeling stupid I was happy at the discovery and wondered how easy it would’ve been had I just found out what the handle was for.
You win some, you lose some.
Back home in Chennai, I used a study table to iron my clothes. I use an ironing board now and I struggle to get used to the narrow surface. I would always complain about the iron board not being comfortable to work on. My husband did not understand what could be wrong because he seemed to be comfortable with it and I used to wonder how he managed to iron his shirts. Since there was no other option, I continued to sulk and iron my clothes. I usually pick my formal wear for the week on Sundays and the iron them one-shot to save precious minutes every morning.
A few weekends ago, while figuring out the best way to iron my shirt, It suddenly dawned on me that I had to move from one side (front) of the shirt to the back and then to the other side (front). I was awestruck. I’d not been using the edges like they were supposed to be. It seemed so simple but I wondered why I had a tough time figuring it out. It is still a challenge to iron my blouses and other tops but now I can iron my shirts like a pro. I guess the inventor of the ironing board couldn’t bear to see the way I was using it and somehow dropped the idea on my head.
I’ve found myself amidst such accidental discoveries quite a number of times. Some of them make me feel proud of myself. Like the time I found that adding tamarind chutney instead of tamarind paste, by mistake, gave a good flavor to my sambhar. And the time I couldn’t find a paper to clean my keyboard and my sticky note did a fabulous job for me. While on other days my enthusiasm wouldn’t last long and I’d wonder why it took me so long to figure out what the entire world knew. Like the time I found out my iron box had a steam press option. I’d feel slightly stupid but I’d be happy to have figured it out.
Despite the results, what I like about these moments of serendipity is how they make me feel. That sudden realization, that adrenaline rush, that eagerness to share the news with the world, that pinching-yourself-to-see-if-it-was-for-real-or-a-dream moment when you realize how amazing you are. I savor such moments and enjoy the time with myself before reality sinks in and when others say, ‘You didn’t know about this?’. Those happy vibes would usually last the entire day and make me feel good about myself. I’d console myself saying calling something ‘simple’ is subjective. After all, there is nothing more amazing that being the reason for your own happiness.
So, what is your best accidental discovery?
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