All I wanted was to prepare at least one dinner for myself without assistance, yet all I managed to do was destroy practically everything in the kitchen.
My mother used to say that cooking is an art and that an empty pan should be viewed as a blank canvas ready to accept anything and make it into something tasty and beautiful. You can cook whatever you want, and all you have to do is pour some love and passion into it, and the meal will taste wonderful, if not to others, then to yourself.
These are the words of someone who cannot cook properly, which may be why she added that final comment.
When I saw the sauce smeared across the wall mocking the artistic comparison of my mother, and the food made with edible goods tasting anything but that, I lost any hope and determination I had to pursue cooking as a career – yes, I had thought of it as a plausible career even before I knew what cooking would entail. Didn’t I pour enough love? Or were all of her words merely ineffective motivation?
I scowled at the mess I had caused and dejectedly marched out of the kitchen, vowing never to cook again.
I'm quite aware that I give up easily. My mother used to chastise me for never putting in enough effort in anything I did. I am a highly ambitious person who wants to do everything – from painting to cooking, singing to athletics – yet all I have accomplished is a continual climb in the meters of irritation.
As a youngster, I was a consistent attendee at my vocal classes. Never made any excuses and accepted all of the hard work and failure with grace. But, after a few days, singing had changed from a pleasure to a chore, and all I wanted to do was get away from it all. My resolve crumbled, and I eventually stopped singing.
I didn't have time to lament over my lack of singing skill – which I had evidently convinced myself was the reason for abandoning those courses – and instead moved to a new art form.
This time, my curiosity lasted a few days longer. It might be because I had an incentive in the shape of my friend, Vivek, entering the badminton academy alongside me.
Those were the best days of my life. Day and night practice, food as a treat, and incredible teammates. However, nothing nice lasts forever. I also quit badminton within a month, but for a different reason.
I understood badminton was merely a form of entertainment. In this field, I will not become renowned or gain any recognition. I wanted to be famous and well-known, and badminton would not be able to give me that.
“Would you like to become a household name? The simplest way is to become an actor.” Vivek suggested, and I clung to that idea.
I looked for auditions in far-flung locations, making a list that was much too long, and my resolve to pursue acting was bolstered by my mother's supportive comments. What an actor you are. Go tidy up your room.
I did not even tell her about my new interest but she knew beforehand. That’s why she is a mother and also because she is a female but that’s different. These emotions make a ‘caring’ mother, not someone’s anatomy.
One lucky Saturday, I got selected for an audition.
“Be polite, hide your dumb self, and…and act well. Everything would be fine.”Vivek delivered such an inspiring motivational talk. My nervousness should have disappeared with such words but I’m not sure why it didn’t.
His final words before pushing me into the audition room that turns one into a self-deprecating idiot were, “Good luck”.
I stumbled, I tripped, I grinned and I grimaced. There were four judges who looked ever ready to fight me. I wanted to flee and I would have if not for my desire to last at least a day.
I stood there, my knees quivering and my hands shivering; it was a frightening situation, but I wanted to show my mother that I don't vacillate between things. I plan to pursue acting, become famous, and earn millions.
But all of my hopes came crashing down around me in a matter of seconds. This time, I did not leave performing because of myself. The judges cut me off in the middle of my performance and told me to either enroll in an acting academy or forget the prospect of being an actor.
Heartbroken! For days, I cried, then painting appeared like a beam of sunlight in my gloomy world, filling it with light as warm as my favorite jumper.
I would hurry in to bring in all of my painting supplies and paint for hours as soon as I woke up. Colors were splattered across the paintings without rhyme or reason. I'd heard that painting whatever comes to the mind produces the finest results. However, my final work always looked as if someone had vomited colors.
I didn't let it get to me, and I began taking painting lessons. My teacher was a patient, optimistic man who supported me whenever he could.
“You just have to fine-tune your edges. You will be good within some days.” He would say and pat on my shoulder.
Initially, he inspired me to give my best but whatever I made kept on deteriorating, and painting what was customary became a tiresome and monotonous chore. My teacher’s encouraging words slowly morphed into mockery due to my self–esteem issues. All I could believe then was him asking me to be content with what little talent I had in painting and that even trying hard wouldn’t help. And that’s how I left painting too.
Whenever I saw a painting hung beautifully on a wall in my house, tears would brim but my mother’s glaring eyes dried all my tears.
My mother was fed up with my antics. She would prefer me to be a very naughty, boisterous child instead of being fickle-minded.
“Do you ever learn from your mistakes?” Repeating them over and over. Do not pursue something out of a desire to get wealthy; instead, do it with love and enthusiasm. And then we'll see what heights you can reach.” She stated this as she cupped my face in her gentle, loving hands. I wanted to weep right then and there, but I restrained myself and nodded.
This is how I tried my hand at cooking, pouring all of my love into it, but in vain.
I got into a fight with my mum. It was her comments that caused me to waste my time with foolish cooking, but instead of admitting responsibility, she began complaining about how easily and quickly I gave up.
Is it my fault? Did I fail because of me?
“You don't have a plan. Perhaps this is why you bounce from one thing to the next. If someone has a goal, they will go to any length to attain it.” Vivek offered a bit of advice, but it was illogical.
I had a goal, an ambition, to be wealthy, to bathe in millions, to have everything at my disposal, and I did all in my power to attain that goal. But none of my ideas backed me up. Is it my fault?
I even considered marrying a wealthy woman and living in luxury for the rest of my life, but people scorn house-husbands. I want to be wealthy while also being respected.
How can I attain my goal?
“Focus on your education, get a desk job, and life settled,” my mother stated sternly as if she intended to bend my will to hers. “And quit being so greedy.”
I am now a first-year economics student but perhaps I can switch to animation? Won’t it be cool?