Last week I did something I have never done before. I spoke live for one hour to an audience that watched me from all over the world. Later that week I also cooked live for another set of audience.
It is no big deal, really. In a world where every one is always on the camera, why should it be?But for someone who is usually behind a screen and has immense camera anxiety, it was. I fretted all week, I cribbed all day and I cursed myself for having accepted the offer to speak. But like all bollywood films I managed to speak at the end, and quite satisfactorily at that.
So far so good.
Then came the second part. The live where I had to cook. No, no one had forced me to do that, no one had any high expectations either, but here I was fretting and panting with anxiety.
The thing is that I am a very spontaneous person. I cannot plan what I will say or prepare a script. I cook the same way — no recipe, no precision, and no elaborate processes. I like it practical, fast and intuitive. But as far as I had seen everything that’s done on media — social or otherwise — is always so beautifully orchestrated. Would I be able to do that? I kept wondering.
Turned out I didn’t have to.
Just before I went into the talk, I decided to be myself and just go with the flow: so what if you are not choreographed, so what if you are not elaborate, so what if you are not cooking like a professional chef but like someone who does it since she was 10. And so it went.
The chat went off beautifully and the cooking looked very organized on the camera, actually. What with my outfit matching my food and all our collective mood. That many many people watched it, loved it and cooked it was a relief as much as it was a confidence booster — something most of us can do with.
This week again I am back to being on the camera. Although not talking just about food but about my story — something that I do not do very often. It is on Instagram at @crossborderkitchens and I’d love for you to join in. Friday 15th at 5:00 PM.
When the pandemic started, I was not sure where is it taking us. We are in the middle of a move, one of the two children does not have a school. We do not know when will we finally get out of here or if at all we will. My work has suffered in a big way and none of my payments have come in. But I also knew it was, for the first time, not a unique situation. I was not the only one affected. I was not the only one stuck. After a few hard weeks, I made peace with the situation. Well, sort of.
In the past few weeks I have done many new and interesting things that I hadn’t done in a long, long time. I have watched films and read books. I have connected with family and friends, I have attended small sessions (you know the ones that are everywhere but you never have time for?) I have cooked and cooked and cooked. I have made some new friends, I have cleaned and cleaned and cleaned.
And of course I have done lives too now.
It may seem cliched but from what I see, a lot of us have done the same. Some a little more than the others, some not so much. Every one is pushing herself to do new things, everyday we are learning some new skill — even if it is cutting your own hair!
As they say #Covid is here to live with us and we must learn to enjoy its company. Seems like I have finally started to do that.