When I was little, I fantasised about flying to places for meetings. That was my idea of a successful and glamorous life. I also dreamt about carrying a smart briefcase and donning a stiff suit. This was the 80s, I lived in Gaya (small town in Bihar, birthplace of Buddhism) and there was no internet. So all my fashion cues came from my father who only put on a suit when he had to go out of town for a meeting.
These days most of my time is spent in either going to meetings or sitting in them. Its mind numbingly boring- the introductions, the ice breaker, the beating around the bush and always, always the polite dick swinging. I want to tell the five year old me that its a huge waste of time! And instead of fantasising about meetings, I should have dreamt of travelling to eat great food, meet new friends and explore. The problem is that once you have sold a dream to yourself, its hard to accept it was kind of stupid. So, I have turned into the sort of person who gets anxious when she is not working on something. I think its a classic case of needing validation, of feeling that my life is productive, significant. But we all know thats a lie. A good life is about balance. Doing meaningful work, spending time with loved ones, taking your pleasures seriously and lots of rest to do absolutely nothing.
I bake for work and I bake for pleasure. So maybe, I got a few things right. Like this delicious recipe for orange brown butter madeleines, which I baked for my accounting team to make doing taxes a little bearable. And when I am stuck in endless meetings, I fantasise about being a kid again who chased cows, terrorised the other kids and climbed into her mom’s lap when everyone was pissed off with her.