Some years ago I was sitting with some business colleagues, sharing and supporting each other in our individual challenges. One person asked, what is your goal, what do you want, what is your vision?
As we went around the table, people shared their dreams – a certain number of clients, a level of income, growing the business in a new area, closing off unprofitable ares, the need to overcome arguments with business partners.
My response was, I know that whatever comes for me is right for me. I want more than anything to be able to cope with it, and to handle it well, whether it is success or failure, problems or enablers.
I was castigated for not having goals. I was accused of being “too Hindu” (!!??). It hurt most that that comment came from my dearest friend in the group. I was told that I would not get anywhere without goals. I felt belittled, cast out and rejected by this group of people that I had trusted deeply.
I do have things that I want. I want my business to be successful. My family to be happy. Those around me to feel loved. I want to ease the pain of anyone around me for just a moment, to remind them of their strength, courage and possibilities.
My life journey is clear. I know the endpoint. But I do not want the road from here to there to be smooth all of the time. I want to be tested. I want to fail and do better next time. I want an open heart and love for all. I want to give acceptance. And all of the faffing around the edges, all the cooking and photography, all the work and its stresses, the intellectual thinking and analysis, the number of facebook likes, twitter followers, flickr visits, new dishwashers, music collections, all the worry over such trivial things, that is all it is, just trivial. My life is a journey to realise and manifest this, to focus on the right things, to let go of resistance, judgement, frustration. To shine just a little in someone’s darkness. To lean on my own spine and not depend on others for what is rightly my responsibility. To melt into the unknown.
And what I know, so deeply, is there is no good or bad, no permanence, no worldy success, achievement or failure. What can feel good might be bad, what feels like a tragedy might be for the best.
Pema Chodran says “Life is like that. We don’t know anything. We call something bad; we call it good. But really, we just don’t know.”
All I want is to melt into the not knowing.
I am so grateful to my friends for letting me have it so strongly on that day years ago. It helped me to clarify what my life is about. Love you all.
I have a dear friend, a doctor, gardener, father, teacher, and much much more. Recently he gave me some drumsticks for his garden. His wife and he had picked 12 dozen or more of them! I have read a lot about drumsticks but never seen them, and they are very rare in Australia. I was delighted to get them. I decided to make Enjoy Indian Food’s Drumstick Kadhi. Make sure that you check out her recipe.
Kadhi is a slow cooked yogurt or buttermilk dish, thickened with besan (chana daal flour, chickpea flour) which is later tempered with spices. In Indian recipes the terms “curd”, “buttermilk” and “yoghurt” are used almost interchangeably. You can use buttermilk especially if you are after that little sour tang that buttermilk provides. If you are using yoghurt, look for unsweetened natural yoghurt, eg Greek Yoghurt or yoghurt from your Indian grocery. We think of curd as being something a little different to yoghurt, but in Indian recipes, yoghurt can generally be substituted for curd. If it appears that the recipe requires a thicker yoghurt than you can find, just hang the yoghurt for a while, allowing the moisture to drip out.
Drumstick Kadhi or Shevgyachya Shengachi Kadhi
Source: Adapted from Enjoy Indian Food’s Drumstick Kadhi.
Prep time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins
Serves: 3 – 4 people, depending how you use it
1.5 cup yoghurt
2 cups water
2 Tblspns chickpea flour (besan)
salt to taste
0.5 tspn sugar (use white if you can, to maintain the beautiful colour of the dish)
1 – 2 drumsticks cut into 10cm pieces
1 Tbsp ghee
0.5 tspn brown mustard seeds
0.5 tspn cumin seeds
large pinch asafoetida
0.5 tspn turmeric powder
0.5 tspn of fenugreek seeds
2 sprigs curry leaves
2 green chilies, slit near the tail, so they do not burst in the oil
2 tspn ginger, grated
From the Yoghurt Series
- Blueberry Shrikhand
- Cacik: Turkish cucumber and Yoghurt Mezze
- Kadhi – Yoghurt Curry
- Tender Eggplant
- Thick Thick Yoghurt – how to make
- Using Thick Thick Yoghurt
- Thick Yoghurt Tahina Dip with Herbs
- Yoghurt and Rosepetals
- Yoghurt, Feta and Mustard Dip
- Moru Sambar (Buttermilk Sambar)
- Spinach Pachadi