The Fine Art of ‘BALANCE’

Cooking is not a chore I enjoy very much! Even though I hire a cook, once in a while I indulge in cooking to pamper my two boys  (The big and small one) Someone did say that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…isn’t it?

Cooking has never been my forte or passion, and I usually get done with it very quickly. Having about 15 years of infrequent cooking practice under my hood, the usual method I follow is to throw in everything into the pan without much conscious thought, pray a little and hoping for the best. Luckily, most often than not, I manage a pretty decent meal, even though the results are disastrous sometimes, and quickly hidden under the proverbial carpet.

This is why, I was surprised when the very task I do so grudgingly, taught me a very important life lesson!

Over the last few months, I seem to have gotten better at cooking (Smug smile) …Hey, it’s not just self-proclaimed! Ask my boys and they will tell you the same (They better say so)

By god’s grace and a lot of prayers, I seem to have understood the science of creating amazing flavors in anything I cook.  So, what has changed now? I have realized that the keyword in cooking is ‘Balance’ just like it is in life. Someone who has never cooked anything more than an Omelette and Maggie (The Indian national noodle) may not relate to this analogy of mine, but bear with me and I’m sure you will catch on! (Don’t we love showing off to people who can’t do even the little bit we can do?)

Anyways! I have had this eureka moment in cooking and without further ado let me share it with you. Cooking is all about the delicate art of balancing flavors. Ask any great cook about what they do if the dish becomes too sour or spicy? Add a little (very little) sugar. What wonders that half a teaspoon of sugar does! It does not give any flavor of its own but just balances out the others.  Salt does the same. A little less and the dish tastes mediocre, the right amount makes it yummy. Just a little bit of this and a little bit of that in the right quantity can make the dish finger-licking good! Knowing these distinctions makes a cook great or mediocre.

Isn’t life and relationships just like that? Isn’t the concept of balance the same here too?

I have coached so many people who have a lot, but missing some critical element in their life, or in their relationships. They are too sweet, or too driven or too giving or too rigid and too much of one thing does not make a great dish. To make life and relationships beautiful, learn to add a little bit of what is needed most.

If there is too much bitterness, add some love

If there is too much harshness, add some tenderness

If there is too much conflict, add some peace

If there is too much seriousness, add some humor

If there is too much speed, add some stillness

If there are too many rules, add some freedom

Life is no different from that great meal you cook. It’s going to taste great and will be good for you and those around you only when you ‘Master the fine art of Balance’

You have all the ingredients for happiness and fulfillment within you…All the best as you cook that scrumptious meal of life 

Much love and cheers!


(C) Seema Shenoy Manek, Transformation Coach, Indian School of Success, Ahmedabad, India.