Let It Slide, My Dear!

There are times when you have several thoughts on your mind. You would like to share it with someone and feel lighter. However, at the same time, you don’t want to spill the beans. It’s such a paradoxical situation. While you go to great lengths to keep your secrets from your dear ones, you end up letting the cat out of the bag with a total stranger. What prompts a person to make decisions like these? I wonder. Do people take comfort in the fact that strangers have no contacts with anyone in your known circles while disclosing their worries? 

Have you been in a situation where you are desperate to get some help but at the same time, you want to be totally independent and manage all your matters on your own? At times like these, a person will ask for help but will not allow anyone to extend  help properly. They interfere and interrupt every step of the way. The end result is that frustrations run high for both parties.

Do I need to remind you of those times when you wanted to sink your teeth into your sinfully delicious junk food but instead ate a frugal meal? All the times you wished that burgers and pizzas were good for health. Or why it is that healthy food did not taste as good as junk food? 

Life has some paradoxes here and there. One time or the other, we run into them. We have to deal with them whether we like it or not. I don’t have any pearls of wisdom to share for these distasteful moments. All I can share with you is what my Dad told me when I was a child, “Let it slide, my dear!”. Take a deep breath. Do the best you can and let the frustration slide.

Misadventures With Home Remedies

In an earlier post about Indian Home remedies, I had written about various home remedies that were passed down in my family and how much I relied on them. They are like the first aid for health conditions until I can visit a doctor. But, my road to learning the home remedies was not an easy one. There were quite a few misadventures before I learnt to tell the difference between useful remedies from quack remedies.

I clearly remember one such mishap that my sisters had while growing up. One of my sisters had a severe acne problem and she was desperate to try anything to cure them. One day, in a women’s magazine, we read a home remedy for acne. It involved making a poultice of ginger paste asking with a few other household herbs. When we read that, my sisters joked about the remedy seeming like a recipe for curry rather than a home remedy. For those who tried Indian cuisine will recognise that ginger garlic paste is a staple in all curries 

We tried the remedy, nonetheless. The only problem was that, amidst all the jokes, my sister accidentally, used garlic paste instead of ginger paste.

As soon as she applied the poultice on her face, it started to burn. Garlic paste is acidic in nature, so any contact with open wounds and cuts causes severe inflammation and irritation to the skin. You can imagine the effect it had on my sisters face. It was red as a tomato and the acne was aggravated two-fold. We had to apply a lot of aloe vera and calamine lotion before the burns subsided. 

At the end of the day, the pimple did not vanish but our itch to try new remedies was cured for a few months. 

There was another instance when I accidentally used the whole egg instead of just the egg white in my hair pack. To make matters worse, I washed my hair with warm water. The stink it raised in my hair would not wash off easily, nor would my memory of it. My hair may have become soft and smooth because of the egg white conditioner, but the yolk in the pack and the warm water almost became a dish of scrambled egg on my head. My hair was left stinking along with the whole bathroom for a few days.

Despite such misadventures, I still turn to home remedies for most day-to-day health problems. I’ve just learnt to be careful before trying them. I have to add a cautionary note here. Try only those remedies from sources you trust, unlike the ginger paste remedy that we tried. Secondly, always follow the instructions correctly. Don’t mix up ingredients or instructions. 

Make Sure Your Sacrifices Are Valued

A sacrifice means an act of giving up something of value for the sake of others. You can sacrifice your time, money, any possession etc, for the benefit of others. These ‘others’ that I refer to can be family, friends, siblings, co-workers, or obscure strangers for the purpose of a good cause.

When we give up something as a sacrifice, we look at it as a good deed, we don’t expect anything in return. However, in recent times, I have seen a transformation in the meaning of sacrifice. We are starting to expect something in return every time we sacrifice something. We expect intangible things like gratitude, loyalty, love and in some extreme cases, even servitude of our sacrifices. This shift in our expectations has adulterated the meaning and importance of sacrifice. People started viewing a sacrifice as a tool to bind someone to oneself, with a sense of duty and gratitude. Do I sound too dramatic?? Let me explain.

How many times have we heard the term; ‘after all the sacrifices I’ve made for you, is this what you give me?’; ‘is this your way of repaying us for our sacrifices?’; ‘don’t let my sacrifice go to waste’. I’m sure we have all said this at some point in life or had people say this to us. But, the response to these charges is what shows the importance of the sacrifice. When the opposite person says, ‘well who asked you to make those sacrifices?, I did not’; ‘You expect me to repay you for your sacrifice?’; then all our troubles appear insignificant and egotistical.

Neither do these accusations nor do the rejoinders make you a bad person. I am not trying to judge anyone here. It is only natural for a person to have expectations from loved ones. We love them, we want the best for them and we are ready to give up anything for them. In our rush to shower them with love, we forget what they need and want. We keep them guarded against all hardships, grief and loss.

When our loved ones do not know what we lost for them, how can they appreciate it? When they don’t go through the trouble of purchasing groceries, cooking a meal, maybe burn a finger or two, clean everything afterwards, how can a person appreciate the value of a delicious breakfast? We cannot blame them for not thanking us enough when they don’t know what trouble we went through.

The example I have given is very small, although it applies to most things that we take for granted. You may ask me what the solution is? Obviously, we cannot go around enumerating what all we have forfeited, at every step of the way. At the same time, we cannot sit by and stay detached when our loved ones are having difficulty. Let’s give more importance to communication, speak freely about what is needed and how to get what we want. Stop assuming on behalf of others and then blame them for not valuing you. If you have any expectations from loved ones, state them frankly rather than disguise them as repayment for past sacrifices.

Let me know what you think about this. Is this a real problem or is this unreal? What do you think of my suggestion? Does it feel utopian to you?