Cool Beans & Frozen Lentils

beans

One of the many things I love about moving to new places, is the chance to learn a new lingua franca. The colloquial, if you prefer. There are so many nuances to different places, and exploring them is a whole new adventure.

From the blank look on your face when you hear a new phrase to the wonderful highs of explaining phrases you’ve picked up elsewhere to others.

I consider myself extremely lucky to have lived in a few different places and to have been exposed to different cultures and ways of thinking. From the quiet, respectful glances of the Arabs to the chalta hai – attitude of the Indians to the culture of queuing up in London (this one wasn’t as easy!). Once you learn to keep an eye out and observe the world around you, you begin to notice these little snippets that can tell you so much about people and places, how they are intricately intertwined, and neither can exist without the other.

Getting back to my title, Cool Beans was a new one for me. And new = looking it up on google. It still doesn’t make sense, but at least I don’t look like a total tool when people say it. I did have a conversation with a friend about how odd it sounded and his opinion was that frozen lentils would sound weirder.  There also happens to be vegan restaurant by that name somewhere!!

cool beans

How’s tricks? Would be another one. The first time around, I seriously thought someone assumed the fact that I had a dog named Tricks! Had I not been this lazy, I probably would have looked up the history on these, but to be honest, they are hilarious enough to overlook. You don’t always need to know why.

I still haven’t figured out where I’d like this blog to go, but it does seem like a great place to get some thoughts down and more organised. When I first started blogging years ago, whilst in college, the blog was primarily a place for me to publish my short stories and opinion pieces on current events. This one could be similar or take a new direction altogether. I probably need some more time to decide, but then again, I could just leave this as an everything blog. We spend most of our life in daylight masquerading as someone else, maybe this could be my way of making sense of it. Let’s see where this goes!

P.S: If i do get a dog, the name would be a coin toss between Jeeves and Tricks!

Innocence

Happiness, for the vast majority of the human race, is contingent on material possessions. The primal  urge to possess an object, an idea. To savour the sweet hint of victory when you finally own it…….

…..only to move to the next object, as what is owned is no longer desirable.

In simple economic terms, we call it the Law of Diminishing Marginal utility. What can we call it from a human perspective though?

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The photograph above was taken earlier this year, while I was on holiday in Cambodia. I was being a regular tourist, minding my own business and clicking away at the temple ruins. People don’t interest me much as subjects for a photo. But something about these four children captivated me.

Completely oblivious to the rabble around them, four little humans with some rather interesting interactions. They were siblings, perhaps. Maybe, they weren’t. In any case, what they were not, is strangers to one another. And as I watched them there, sharing a snack and all peering into a phone, I felt a smile creep up my face.

I did not know those kids and I did not approach them. Somehow, I knew that would ruin it. Because it was one of those random moments in time, where everything is perfect, and every other point in time is irrelevant.

What held me captive, was the myriad of  emotions expressed by the children. Let me refer to them by the colours of their shirts.

Little White is content sucking on his candy, whilst watching the girls. Red seems curious, while Pink contemplates, if Red should be allowed into whatever secret the phone holds, like most big sisters do. Yellow looks on, as the protective big brother, like he knew he was born to watch over them.

The picture cannot tell you what happened after, but I can. The two little girls got into a squabble and Yellow had to intervene. With no one watching Little White, he wandered a little further away, tripped over a stone and began bawling. The three older children quit the squabble and immediately rushed over to soothe him.

The moral of the story for me, so I don’t drift away from the point of this post, is that we don’t really need much to be happy, do we?  We could always say we’d like the newest phone, or a bigger house, or more money for a holiday. But what we really need, is to be secure in the knowledge that there is someone out there looking out for us, that child like assurance, that everything will be alright, that all we need are the little things to be happy.

We all know it, but wont admit it.  We’ve worked too hard, we deserve more. Do we really? What makes you really happy at the end of the day? Your 30 inch flat screen television? The new DVD player? Or is it someone waiting for you at home? A loved one, a pet, a book a few moments of peace?

We try to complicate our lives and clutter it with what we believe are essentials. What if we just try to strip those away?

Give it a try, and look at the world with the same wondering, curious innocence that you had a long time ago as a child. And maybe, if you give in it to just far enough, you’ll find a part of yourself again.