There are certain locks that remain locked for days and months, sometimes maybe years too. I too have one such lock that remains unopened, even though it presents itself almost everyday. The key is missing. I have to, rather I must find the key to my lock.

The lock here is my deep-seated conditioning of not being able to express my appreciation for the wonderful, exquisite and delicious dishes (food) that are being served to me day-in and day-out by my wife, who is such a talented, innovative and great cook.

Trying out new recipes is her passion and the preparation invariably turns out to be awesome both in taste and aesthetics. Whoever gets to partake in meals cooked by her thoroughly enjoys the treat and has not left the table without appreciating and thanking her. I too love and enjoy eating every bit of it but I’m such a ‘kanjoos’ in expressing my gratitude and appreciation owing to my rigid conditioning.

Outside of the home, at other people’s homes, appreciation comes easily to me and when I do that, the Agynya glances from my wife, as though saying, “Charity begins at home, my dear husband”; raise some element of guilt in me. I ask myself, ‘Is this also my Ego?’ Perhaps. It is one of the levers in the lock. Rigidity, indifference, lack of gratitude and suppressed expression of joy are some other levers making this lock a multi-levered lock, the hardest one being the conditioning.

So, the key better be right, firm and strong with its teeth, ridges and notches perfectly matching the levers. The only obstacle is the mind and if this mind is disallowed to dictate my behaviour. I will be able to change it, transform it and put it into the desired action.

Let me begin today itself. Enough of procrastination already. I will surely put this act of kindness in place. This, I promise to myself.

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Arun Goel

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