Saturday, July 26, 2008
Little drops of water
The homily of yesterday (20th July) struck a chord in my heart. I have ranted, raved, cursed and done all the usual things many of us do about the ills that plague our society and how powerless we are to do anything about it. Feeling powerless is one thing but apathy as to why bother is a terrible crime. Anyway coming back to the homily based on the gospel of Mathew, the preacher Fr. Abraham SSP said “be the leaven for the bread or a mustard seed”. He proceeded to tell how little tasks make a big difference, like a smile or a word of comfort to the needy or sometimes the mere presence to grieve a sorrowing person… the list if endless if only we choose. The words of a favourite hymn goes “ … It only takes a spark to get a fire going, and soon all those around can warm up in its glowing…” Simple isn’t it?
Strange how a simple phrase like “Thank You” can mean a lot to some. You may have seen the Munnabhai series of movies where the protagonist hugs a sweeper in appreciation for his service of sweeping the floor and changes a grumpy old man to a new being. I had a similar experience today (July 22nd). As I was parking my bike a worker of the Neel Metal Fanalca (the conservancy partner of Chennai Corporation) was raking the leaves on the road and she glared at me when I made to park near her mound of raked leaves. I waited patiently for her to remove the leaves and when I had enough place to park I said a “Thank You” from habit and proceeded to park my bike. The grumpy lady’s face turned from incredulous surprise into a full smile and she looked positively radiant, her smile was so infectious that it caught on to me and I smiled at her in return and moved on.
While on the topics of smiles and thank you’s, never try to be stingy with either of them in a restaurant; even worse if you should try to mistreat the service there, you may actually get some special service from the team. The waiters are not above spitting in to your soup before it lands on your table. Beware.
Finally a toast to the elixir of life; water. I remember taking a tag where I had mentioned that my favourite drink is water and more specifically cooled water from an earthen pot. I cannot think of any other drink that can give the same kind of exhilaration and satisfaction that a humble glass of water can give. To drink water you don’t have to be a connoisseur and you don’t have to be an expert who swirl, sniff and chew on their varied beverages before coming up with bizarre descriptions for the taste that they have experienced. Water can match and be a wonderful accompaniment to any and every possible form of food and you do not have to embarrass yourself when it comes to say matching wine with food. There are but four (I cannot find any other) ways to serve water hot / warm, cold / chilled, room temperature or simply frozen. Like I mentioned before with food I prefer naturally colled water with that distinct earthy flavour at all times though experts advocate warm water with food to aid digestion. All the glorified colas and other beverages are simply glorified sweetened and flavoured water which if drunk warm would be worse than many medicines, but still will not dispel thirst and even worse they can reduce the potency of the digestive juices by reducing their temperature. So colas with food is not just silly and self defeating it is also unhealthy .