Runs on food and music, will sing for chips and pasta.

Friday, July 13, 2018

The Gingerbread Witch Diary - FB post @ July 13

July 13th, 2018 - Danny & Soon Yoon 

The witch and her producers - This loving and “incestuous” threesome of Soon Yoon HoDanny Chen and myself, not unlike a few other ‘liaisons’ that I have with Malaysian thespians and music folks. We have all worked together as stage lovers, family, people of Peking (Turandot in 2003!), and other fun theatre outings. 

And fast forward to more than a decade later, I’m a proudest friend with these two - for their colossal hard work and passion in bringing classical music and operatic works into Malaysian life. What kind of boring artsy landscape we’d have if not for such crazy dreamers and doers like Danny and Soon Yoon? I’m a proud unapologetic fan girl since the inception of EST (Eat, Sing, Travel), now Kuala Lumpur City Opera.


I’ve been playing audience in almost every single productions (having missed only one show ever) presented by KLCO. Fast forward again to now, a week fresh off after I wrapped my first show with my two old friends, this time playing the role of my producers - I’m such a blessed soul to come one full circle with these two - co-actors, friends and now my producers. Just thinking of this brings a smile to my face 🙂 ...they’re always there at my solo concerts and I’m there at their operas. 

May our friendships AND KLCO’s good work grow ever more and let the music play on 🙂 it ain’t over till the fat lady sings!

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The Gingerbread Witch Diary - FB post @ July 11

July 11, 2018 - Cecilia Yap 

This is a funny woman, Cecilia Yap - in more ways than one, I kid you not. It’s funny that many years ago, her reputation in the voice industry that I know of was she’s fierce; but when I started singing lessons with her, she was anything but fierce in class - she’s funny and witty, and even a bit silly sometimes, she's honest and steadfastly holds on to insist that students work and sing with healthy habits and technique - the essentials of a good teacher. 

I will always recall with a smile, of how she convinced me to audition and later accept the Gingerbread Witch role. You see, she undersold the level of difficulty of the music and praised highly of the amount of fun and self development I’d get in singing the role (well she’s more than right about the latter). 

When I whined and ranted about the music she always responded with a hearty laugh and told me I’d be fine if I work at it. At rehearsals with her as vocal director, I marvel at her imagination and exquisite direction in shaping our vocals for each of our characters. 

Thank You laoshi, for your trust and faith in my ‘manic-ness’ and abilities 🙂I had the best times of my life! XoXo

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The Gingerbread Witch Diary - FB post @ July 10

July 10, 2018 - Juan Montoya 

This man gave new meaning to the song [Can’t Take My Eyes Off You] - conductor  Juan Montoya ...All of it was new to me - well not anymore since last week! - to sing and act on a big stage without taking my eyes off the conductor and his baton. 

My colleagues assured me I’d get very clear conducting from him before we started rehearsal; but when we started music rehearsals, I found that he’s also a world class human being in being patient, understanding and encouraging to singers and musicians. 

Opening night was extra interesting for me - the jitters and new ‘mechanics’ of singing in opera, etc. Not flinching a bit, he reassured me I would do better and fine the next one up, if I would just trust my work (and review the score!). When the show closed on Sunday afternoon, I can confidently say that I know how and when to breathe and enter a vocal cue when working with an orchestra and conductor. 

The witch had to prance around the stage throughout her entire scene and I felt Juan’s guidance with me through all the passages. It was such an enormous privilege for me to have worked on such challenging music and role as a newbie. I’m still having music hangover from the production. Thank You maestro Juan for the wonderful hand-holding and your trust. See you soon this November from the audience seat in the Puccini outing! And then wine!

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The Gingerbread Witch Diary - FB post @ July 10

July 10, 2018 

Dominique Devorsine and I were trying to recall how we met all those many years ago, I did a bad job in remembering and she remembered better. Fast forward to more than 17/18 years after we met (and many productions later), she recently designed this costume for my Gingerbread Witch role in Kuala Lumpur City Opera's staging of Humperdinck’s Hansel  & Gretel opera. 

This flamboyant and obviously maniac vibe of the costume design is quite a departure from the look we did (last photo in this series) at the publicity photo shoot months ago. Each time she pins the wig on me and as I lace up my 6-inch or more platform boots to climb up to the 9-feet tall set where my gingerbread house sits, I couldn’t help but know that this getup is doing half of the work to bring the character to life, the other half starts when my music and my vocals come on, with the lighting designer’s work. 

Thank you old friend Dominique for your (yet again) ingenious design and your art direction on my makeup, and Eunice Ng for executing it beautifully...and boy am I glad that I found the most comfortable and wicked pair of boots in Sg Wang. 

Photos by Eunice, Cynthia TanChong See Ming and Sean of Pixel Pics for the publicity photo. 



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The Gingerbread Witch Diary - FB post @ July 9

July 9, 2018 

All over in a blink of an eye. Baby step for me, learning not to mourn the end but to celebrate the event. Cast party for Hansel & Gretel last night was everything it should be for me - relaxed, silly, poignant, moving, joyful, melancholy, loving; in celebrating comradeship, family, friendship, music, art, passion for living abundantly. 
For now, I miss the lush music, the set, our ensemble (principles, kids, chorus), the musicians, the crew, our creatives, the green room conversations, the dressing room shenanigans, the makeup rush, my broom and my wand...yet I’m reminded for exactly that, I shall move on to continuously cherish each coming project as if it’s my last day...before you get pushed into the oven. 
Viva la music, thank you Kuala Lumpur City Opera and Englebert Humperdinck 🙂 see you again soon all my new friends from Hansel & Gretel! 

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The Gingerbread Witch Diary - Facebook Post @ May 16

May 16th, 2018: 

Long post here>


Late last year one night when I was out drinking beer with some jazz kakis I got a call from laoshi Cecilia Yap, inviting me to audition for a part in an opera this year. She assured me that it would be a wonderful opportunity for me as a singer and performer to play the role of The Gingerbread Witch in Hansel & Gretel (in English). She even said that if I took it up, I would finish learning the music fast.

I accepted the invitation and started learning the 12-page long of rather complicated music with the very talented and very patient pianist Soon Kun Ming. I remember midway through my practice one day, I left voice memos for Cecilia through WhatsApp, wailing and crying about how hard the music is. She replied me with another voice memo: laughing at my antics but reassuring me that it would be worth it.

Came the end-of-January audition, I went in telling myself: no stress, no expectation, you owe it to yourself to do something new - a first opera audition in more than 10 years. 
Two weeks later, late one night a message came from producer and founder of Kuala Lumpur City Opera (KLCO), Danny Chen, saying they would like to offer me the role of the witch. Before I had any time to express my (annoying bad habit) self-doubts and concerns, I was welcomed on board and informed of the collection of the full score for the opera. 
Anyway I have decided to bite the bullet and face the challenge head on, this is a very special gift to my 41-year-old self a chance to do...a few things I've never done before: playing a principle role in an opera, playing a witch, and being part of an ensemble and company - KLCO - that I have admired and am mighty proud of. I am grateful for the confidence and faith the company have on me - Thank you Cecilia YapDanny Chen and Soon Yoon Ho
Thank you for reading this granny tale of this chapter of my life. I can't wait for my next rehearsal...the work is tough, the people I work with are wonderful, I will work hard. 
Shows on July 5, 7 & 8 at KLPAC Pentas 1. Early bird discount (20%) is on now till June 4. Tickets on sale now on TicketPro website.

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Sunday, July 01, 2018

the other kind of loneliness

A new experience tonight.  Just a short while ago.

This kind of loneliness - you're home early from work and you still have the evening free to rest, catch up on some reading, long shower, slow emails and a leisurely prepared dinner, the solitary kind as usual.   You're in a good mood - always enjoy the quiet evening in at home with lights set as dim and low as it allows for slowing down the day.

The late dinner is good, you're too lazy to do the washing and chopping up for a stir fry so you made a sandwich - sourdough, salted butter, basil & garlic cheddar, organic tomatoes, local cucumber, and a fried egg - it's oily and juicy and full of flavours.

It's so good, you chow down the last bite of the sandwich and get up to wash the plate...just then, when the tap water hits the plate with your hands covered in dish soap you think, "If someone's here with me now and he is hungry too, I would have offered to make him this sandwich too and I'd be curious to see if he thinks it is as delicious as I did."


"I would gladly feed someone right now."

Except there is nobody hungry here, next to you.  It's just you, and the toaster oven next to the sink, still warm from the toast 10 minutes ago.

You're a bit lonely tonight, you realise.

It isn't entirely unpleasant, just a bit lonesome.  You know you haven't anything to complain about...you like the solitary life; walking around naked, making wonderful and silly meals for one, sleeping at whatever hour you fancy and playing music at whatever volume you like, and doing laundry for one.

Yet, sometimes, you just realise, that you would like to cook the second portion for another person - watch a man eat the meal you'd put together and take in the satisfaction from the corner of his mouth that work into a smile, "This is so good, thank you."

Conversations not needed, just the tenderness of chasing one's hunger away with some gift of love in the form of a meal made by you.




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Friday, June 29, 2018

Letters number one hundred and thirty-three: The days go on

Dearest J,

I was at an event yesterday, scheduled to sing at a WWF project launch...when in the holding room, I met someone we used to know (I've forgotten that this person knew you even), Dr Ong Kian Ming.  He is now a politician and member of parliament with DAP and Pakatan Harapan.  While in mid conversation about the new government, he paused to ask me about you.  "I wanted to ask you if you know what happened to that friend of yours, that guy who used to do the Food Not Bombs work with you.  Where is he now?  Still in the country, etc?"

It was...an interesting experience - to tell an old friend...(ok, perhaps more appropriate to call Kian Ming an acquaintance) who knew nothing about us, what happened to you.  I just realised now that I told him nothing else yesterday - other than the fact that you had a fatal motorbike accident...and that you had attempted a few times, some rehab work with a few addicts we met at Food Not Bombs.

Guess I was caught off guard, and I wasn't sure what else to share with him.  Anyway, Kian Ming gave a wonderful speech at the launch.  It was a collaboration project, [Wedding Without Fins], between WWF and Association of Wedding Professionals.

I am getting more and more used to the fact that I can tell that I am forgetting more things about you.  There are days when I think of something about us and wanted to dig up a piece of information and I just cannot recall... like now, I cannot remember what I couldn't recall about you, the other day.

This getting used to is not a great feeling, it's a bit of a pain - the kind you can't do anything about and you are too sad to want to linger any longer at it.  So I would scurry off, mentally...to busy myself with other things or thoughts.

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I was hanging out the laundry just now when I had this thought:

'A dream come true', on papers and in writing in a sentence, looks like a fantastical thing that happens to someone.  I realise in my life, I have had a few dreams came true and in real life, the actual experience of the 'dream come true' is nothing like how it sounds like when you put it in a sentence like that.

Here I was doing the laundry, and in less than a week I would be on stage, playing and singing a role in an opera.  This is a dream coming true for me.  A year ago I wouldn't dream of doing what I am doing now - not the doing the laundry at home bit - to play a principle role in an opera.

Living out a dream in real life has an almost sloth-like sequence and quality to it - the millions of seconds of doing a million of different tasks that may eventually lead up to the moment when you pause and gasp, "Wow, I think my dream just came true."

Take this opera singer dream thing for example, the first second of the millions that took place was when I decided to accept the invitation to audition for the role.

What happened after that were hundreds of boring, some scary, some frustrating, many thrilling, nauseating moments - printing out the audition scores, making appointments with pianist to work on the music, meet the pianist, record the music I need to learn and memorise, getting distracted while trying to learn the music, realising the music is hard, fearing the music, getting over the fear and frustration, getting the music, enjoying the lines finally, memorising the lyrics, forgetting the melodies, remembering it, attending vocal lessons for the song, being nervous about the audition, paying the pianist, trying to stay warmed up before the audition, singing at audition, enjoying the passages, feeling awkward at some points, feeling shitty about certain high notes, feeling relieved that it was over, leaving the audition behind with other distractions and not giving much damn about getting the role or not, feeling proud of myself for auditioning, feeling proud of myself for having learned a difficult piece of music...

You get the drift - I am narrating the millions of tasks and emotions that lead up to my laundry moment of realising - this is a dream coming true - next week.

The offer came a few weeks after the audition, accompanied by the reminders from the vocal coach that the gig does not pay much.  The next defining moment was when I did nothing to turn down the offer - thus accepting it - knowing the money is little, the work would be tough, I would be stressed amongst other things.  But clearly the pros make up for all the difficulties.  Despite the stress, and my very noisy and busy inner chatter about what could go wrong in my performance - I am pinching myself everyday and saying thanks to the universe for this gig.

I'd go through moments of wondrous gratitude in the most mundane times of the day, sitting in a traffic jam, getting dressed to appointments/rehearsals.  It moves me to no end that in the height of my weariness about my quiet and down times in the booking calendar, I am living in full sobriety and being aware of the gifts I have in this life, at this moment.

I have music, I perform music, I have a roof over my head, a car that takes me to and fro rehearsals and home, I have food on the table and in my fridge (cabinets, drawers...).  I have more than just music in my life, I am such a privileged being to perform beautiful musical works, and much more than that - I have my endless fascination and admiration for these exquisite things of life.

Anyway back to the 'dream come true' - dream-come-true is made up of a millions of mundane-scary-stressful-frustrating beautiful things.

I want to make a diary or a list of my past "Dreams Came True".  But now I best whip some dinner and prepare to go to the sitzprobe rehearsal for the opera.

Hansel & Gretel, next week :)



Love, Always,

B

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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Letters number one hundred and thirty-two: The days go on

Dearest J, 

Sometimes I wonder if you're still around - would you love this person that I am now, this 2017 version of the woman you were in love with.  I know I'll get nowhere with that thought...just a silly wander and wonder of the mind, like when I wash dishes after a meal at home.  

I cook for myself so much nowadays, and loving the taste of it so much that I could barely stand eating out at sub-standard restaurant/mall eateries.  Sometimes I get a little embarrassed with myself, how much I enjoy cooking for myself...not that I hate sharing my cooking with others.  I wonder if it is a case of being conceited?  That I love to cook for just one.

Rationally, I'd say it is just one of the manifestation of me enjoying my own company.   I do think of friends and people when I eat alone, so and so would love this dish, etc.  I've shared my cooking numerous times with friends, they enjoy it.

Quite sure you would approve of the cooking if you were here to taste it :) You always liked those pasta thingy I made, those rare occasions when I did make them.


Lost my voice last weekend, at a gig.  It was horrifying but I think I came out of it pretty well on the show, I have proof --> audience came up to me to ask to buy my albums, and many more wanted to have photo taken with me and said how much they enjoyed my performance. 

Saw ENT twice in one week, got prescribed steroid, antibiotic and bunch of other medicine.  Recovery is apparent, but too slow to do another show now.  I had to cancel two gigs this week.  Spent the week excelling at writing apologies to clients, and had bouts of disaster recovery training on the go.  I am giving myself an award for Best Performance in Disaster Recovery, or was it Disaster Management?

Had a lot of time at hand, thinking - besides cooking, going to doctors, napping, popping bills, chores, looking for replacement singers and firing orders.  

Thinking, why had I worked so hard and done so little travelling for myself?  

Thinking how I could work on a paradigm shift so I could focus - and be less kiasu - on experiencing more...the world, outside of the work.  

The notion is to work and achieve as much as I can now, while I still have the fire in me.  I think the fire is strong still, and thinking about performing always excite me...except now my body is slowing down.   The days after the Kuching-Singapore "tour" I dazed through my classes, rehearsals and appointments, sleepy at most hours of the day.  Sore throat started as early as Sunday itself after I touched down from Singapore...really didn't see it coming, of how that would eventually escalate to losing voice a week later.  

I haven't cancelled on any clients or shows since 2008.  I remember that time when I lost my voice completely for weeks and sometimes you'd come over with home cooked from Mama :) It was also October then...it was super stressful then, cancelling 3 shows and dealing with different levels of wrath and scorn from clients and agents.   I think this time round things were more calmly managed, though the emotions are the same - poignant, regrets and upset. 

The bright side of things...there are always positive that come out of bad things that happen; the good things that came off this are: 

1) Realising how much I have established (unknowingly to myself) in my stage profile that clients really see me apart from others.  What I have been delivering and building, is indeed in a class of its own -- despite all the shortcomings I've encountered and nitpicked my performance.  

(It's hard to find replacements for the jobs that I was supposed to deliver, it was hard to convince clients to work with the alternatives)

2) A quiet time to reflect on my future perspectives and some past ones.  The all important question: What and who am I living for? 

3) I could pack leisurely at home for the NZ trip coming up in 3 days!


So, I want to start doing something about the wanderlust - travel more.  Not just in the frame of mind to 'take more holidays', but to travel more, see more.  


The papers for the condo transfer to 100% my name is almost done...after 7 long years with the laywer...high court, land office, etc etc.  I am down to my bits of paying back Alex for the bank loan that he paid for Viva.  

I've worked hard to accumulate cash in my bank the past 7 years, but I think I have spent quite fiercely too...I could be a little more stingy but it wouldn't be me.  What is money for if you don't spend it?  I hope you look out for me when I am out and about on my own, learning to move around the world, little by little, on my own.



Miss you lots, 

B




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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Letters number one hundred and thirty-one: The days go on

Dearest J,

It's been too long.  Since my last letter here.  More than a year.

I took my parents on a beach holiday last week, with the great help of my sister in hand.  I don't know if I have ever told you, but I grew up at home never knowing what a family holiday was like - we never had any.   It didn't seem like I missed anything - I mean, you don't miss something that you didn't know anything about, right.

It dawned on me that I'd better take mom to the beach while she is still reasonably fit enough to move about.  So I went through the trouble of planning it.  I'm not one who does many things for my family, but I knew I had to do this.

Well, it was worth all the trouble.  In fact, halfway through booking all the logistics for the trip I even manage to start getting excited about the trip for myself.  Mom was really really thrilled with the experiences - she said it many times over that her wish really came true: the beach dream.  Nervous and frightful as she was, she survived it: getting in and out of boats, putting on life jackets, the boat rides, learning how to walk on soft sandy beach (both dad and mom were unstable walking on soft sand, at first), walking to and fro from rooms to meals, getting in and out of buggy rides, etc.   She took it all in, the things she was wishing for: walks on the fine sand next to the sea, playing with sea water, dipping her ankles in the water, posing for photos, sunset sightings...etc.

We actually really hung out, as a family.  For once, we just sat around and chatted, and ate without rushing off anywhere for the next appointment.  4 days 3 nights.


Dad is 76 now, mom is 71.  She told me she was never given that beach holiday since married dad.  I mean, I know them well in the sense that they have not had the chance to 'learn' to 'enjoy life' as how I know.  There are too many things that are too late for them to pick up at their age, with their background.   As limited options I have to 'make them happy', I just had to try to service their wishes.  I am glad we took the trip to Redang.  I booked a really nice resort for us, everyone was happy with the space.  It was sister's first holiday away from her kids and hubby, my first with my family, mom's first beach holiday...dad's first too.  All of our firsts.

I try to cook for them at home as much as I could, showing mom new recipes of simple and delicious dishes like pasta options.  My impatience with them remains, I still can't wait to get back to my own routines of life, and having the pad to myself.  I've learned to control it better, my mind seems to get into this "service-mode".  I want to do the best I can (given my limited patience) to provide my care and services as a daughter to mom and dad.  I cannot yet see how our future will pan out, their wealth conditions and the way they live out in Taiping stress me a bit but I am determined not to let that ruin my days.

I'm 40 now.  I don't know how to describe this but it seems, I feel that I've never really grown up - inside me everyday I have many moments of surrealism....the memories of that really young, insecure, feels ugly, un-clever girl - she lives in me still, everyday I see her - even as I am doing big, clever things like taking care of business, making things happen.  I am 40 but I feel like a 8-year-old who has grown used to getting round to do things she's never thought she would one day could.

Can't put my finger on this feeling - what you call this...

I've recently - just a couple of days ago - got re-aquainted with my old diary, the 1996 one.  I was 19, left Taiping to live in the city with sister for the first time.  The city, the new home, new life - it was also my sister's big new life that year: marriage, first born, a new house, a husband...she was only 24.

There were so many entries that shocked me, for I couldn't remember the things that happened.  I stayed shocked and feeling messed up for two days.  My thoughts when I first read the diary: maybe I am really messed up as a person, and maybe I don't know how I got here but maybe the past had something to do with it.

I feel much better now though.  So many things happened this year.  I managed to cough up my second album, Cinnabar Rouge; managed to produce and stage another concert...it was bigger and grander - I went through hell with all the work (stress, as the leading lady and as the producer).  It was a challenge to find a moment to feel proud with the work/achievements of this team - of Janet Lee.

Really, I cannot complain.  I wanted to do all that: another concert, to dance, to entertain and to work with the people, the music - to give a good show.  I guess I just wanted a shoulder to lean on.  I cannot even imagine how it would be like if you were still around.

Post concert - post album launch depression came.  Things are different this time round, times are harder, ticket sale took a while.  I had 80% attendance.  Album sale is slow now, I work from day to day to figure out what is next step to sell the next album.  I paid off everyone, having savings helped. The low-down isn't in the fact that I dig out savings to pay for things - it is in feeling inadequate to market this piece of work better, the fact that I am not getting as much attention from people as before - it is just my feeling.

I understand, as my work matures and the higher I climb - the higher the expectations and the bigger base I need.  Yet I haven't a bigger base - fan base hasn't grown big enough, I still work alone...

And I am just tired, and lonely.

Strangely though, after I was done making a check list of all the downs and feeling bad about feeling bad - I have a surreal sense of excitement.  I wonder where all these emotions are taking me next.

While I am sorting things out - or waiting it out - or just floating along - I am hooked on Alain de Botton's work.  I got addicted to watching his The School of Life videos and his talks on YouTube every night/day.  His teachings on pessimism calms me.

And back to basic - I am allowing music work to excite me and to ground me once again.  Forget the shits of life for a moment, I shall face the music and let myself get whirled into its magic once again.

I am inherently grateful to be alive.  I think of your kindness.

The pad is quiet again, it's back to just me here.  I love it here.


Love you much,

B









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Monday, February 13, 2017

Romancing Life: To cook

Ever since the time I started cooking more regularly at home, after been nagged many 
times over by my friend and colleague,Tay Cher Siang (“How hard it is to keep food at home 
and make a simple noodles?”) - I found myself getting addicted and attached to the act of 
feeding myself - it makes me feel more responsible and useful as an adult who lives 
alone: Someone who is mature and a professional who shows up at rehearsal with 
her pianist, focused and sans hunger :)
I have also come to realise by myself, how sexy and romantic it is to have a routine of
cooking at home and feeding myself; that I am directly involved in the act of caring for
my own basic welfare (besides washing up and grooming) - the act of self-love. I just find
that incredibly romantic. Now who says romance of life always have to have two persons
in it?

Hah, and the poignancy or irony of it - having to grow up and live alone for more than
10 years, having starved many mornings and afternoons to come to this realization in my late thirties.

You see, cooking was not taught to me at home as an important skill/part of being a
good person , or as a successful individual. I was taught to be a good person by studying
hard in school and help mom around the kitchen by helping with the washing. But having
said that, I cook now, whoever late I started - better late than never.
My new lifestyle has given me endless joyful discoveries, not to mention that working 
in the kitchen has been one of my most treasured and therapeutic activities. Sometimes 
it is the one thing I look forward to at the end of a long stressful or tiring day (of course on 
some days I could only step in and head straight for the bed) - cooking helps me relax and destress. 

I love cooking when:

I want to reward myself of going to bed early to wake up feeling rested and ready for a
new day - a big breakfast of vegetables and carbohydrates and protein.
When I've done an hour of two of highly brain-juice draining desk work or music work - 
I give my brain a break by figuring out how to make a new simple dish I saw on social media videos. 

I get home from a vigorous gym workout or rehearsal - I reward my work by giving myself a satisfying meal cooked by me - just the way I like.
Friends come over for chit-chat or colleagues for work - feeding my peers help us bond 
deeper.
And it humbles and delights me that I am capable of both entertaining a large crowd with 
my singing as well as entertaining my own company with my own cooking. I started 
keeping a photo diary of what I cooked or prepare at home, and post them on my social 
media. Friends would respond to them by commenting how pretty they look, and 
that they wish they have the luxury of doing the same. Many of them say,
"I just have no time la."
I've heard it many times over and sometimes I am convinced that I am just more lucky 
than them. But deep inside I believe they just need more conviction to take responsibility 
in their time management and priorities. Once, when I was standing over the basin 
washing some vegetables for a quick stir fry - a thought came to me - the irony of our 
modern life:
How is it that we have come to live in such a way that we are so convinced that we can't
afford to spend time on the single most important act that sustain us as a living thing and 
the one thing that gives us possibly the most happiness? Eating.
"Says who? We love food and we spend lots of time figuring out where to eat the best food.”
True - as a nation of people who live to eat, we take a lot of trouble to feed ourselves good 
food, in the restaurants, more so than taking more responsible in preparing our own good 
food at home. We are cooking less and buying more prepared meals, and yet we are at an 
age where we spend more time watching others cook on TV shows. In my own culture, 
successful does not mean affording a world class chef to make my meals. Rather,
successful means being able to make time, to afford time (little bit of planning is required,
but much less than what you think) to spend time in the markets and kitchen to make my
own meals.
Anyway, whatever I've felt in my little kitchen about the romance of life, on humanity and 
our detachment to the most important act of being a human: cooking food - has already been thoroughly researched and eloquently argued by Michael Pollan, American author, activist
and journalist on the subject of history of food, modern food farming and modern living.
Everything that I have come to feel so strongly about in the last 2-3 years of feeding myself 
(self-love, and health), and more - are all beautifully narrated in his books 
[The Omnivore’s Dilemma], [Cooked - A Natural History of Transformation], 
[In Defence of Food], [The Botany of Desire], [Food Rules].
If you are not planning to go out and read his books today, I urge you to at least spend a 
few minutes to think about this: what can you for yourself that makes you feel loved and 
live?
For me, it starts from the minute I wake up on my bed, knowing that I could start my 
working day without feeling hungry before I leave my home to face the world - because 
I can feed myself in my own kitchen.
Here are some links that might stir your desires to learn more:
How Cooking Can Change Your Life: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX7kwfE3cJQ
Netflix trailder of Pollan’s TV series [Cooked]: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epMAq5WYJk4

Food Rules for Healthy People and Planet:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c31cAdYUvT8
In Defence of Food series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLQMKh4LBO6xOnlTjdCXpAjG-jQT9PwT8y

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