What are you cooking during lockdown?

News / Updates

In prolonged lockdown, cooking takes centre stage but what’s cooking your mind and heart? Swami Anand Kul Bhushan received intriguing responses when he posed these questions to his friends.

Dinner thali

What are you cooking? I texted a young lady in my WhatsApp group after I received a good number of photos of mouth-watering dishes shown off by numerous friends.

Cooking has taken centre stage with these extended lockdowns in most countries hit by the coronavirus. Confined to one’s home, many men have entered the kitchen to help in cooking. Women have explored the net to discover new dishes and started baking too!

When asked to send some baking soda, our grocer replied it was out of stock due to heavy demand, so much so that a substitute has been found in Eno’s Salt! The internet is busting with literally hundreds of ‘Lockdown Recipes’ for all types of dishes, a new global trend indeed.

Back to the simple question: What are you cooking? She replied promptly, ‘Kidney beans and rice.’

Nah. Another question was texted: ‘What are you cooking in your mind and in your heart?’ Aaah! The reply came a couple of hours later: ‘Guessing, not sure.’

A life coach cum housewife replied, ‘Baking cakes, doughnuts and sometimes bread. Trying out new dishes almost every day. Teaching cooking to my twelve-year old daughter.’

When asked about cooking in her mind and heart, she wrote, ‘Calligraphy. Learnt it sometime ago but now practising it every day and uploading it on different calligraphy groups. Very interesting and satisfying.’

Sent the same question to a documentary filmmaker and a pot, pat came the reply, ’Basic food’. Nah. No reply to the follow-up question but he sent two poems.

A nursery school teacher replied, ‘We are preparing a recipe for sharing meditation with children.’

A dancer replied, ‘Vegan pizza, whole wheat with cashew sauce.’ And also sent its photo.

But what’s cooking in your mind and heart? Can you go deeper? The one-word answer was cryptic: ’Sure.’

A few days later, she wrote, ‘Now I understand. The lockdown situation is extremely confusing as no one knows the reality behind it; how it is progressing and what’s the future. In my heart, I feel the lockdown is a good time to pursue desires of my heart for which I normally do not get time. I enjoyed the lockdown pursuing some old and new hobbies.’

A 20-year-old university student answered, ‘Nothing, I was resting today.’

When asked what’s cooking in her mind and heart, she replied, ‘Hehe! Cooking plans in my heart to visit the mountains.’

A key member of the management team of Osho activities wrote, ‘Sometimes cooking, sometimes office work. Treadmill, yoga, White Robe meditation. In my heart, Osho and my papa.’

Now sent this question to a surgeon who replied, ‘Boiled vegetables with sprouts with some home-made butter.’ Plus, a video arrived of this yummy dish.

But what’s cooking in your heart? ‘Love for Venus, birds, trees, sky, and working on my chakras and nadis (arteries but in yoga they carry life force energy). Being out of the body and one with the all.’

When prodded for the second time, a para-medical replied, “Cooking daal sabzi (pulses and vegetables) for both of us. Occasionally, fish or chicken. Kids do groceries for us. Not sure if I answered your question.’

A dance instructor wrote,’ Today stuffed mushrooms and pizza.’

In your mind and heart? ‘When the pizza goes in the mind and the heart is in bliss.’ More seriously, ‘I am doing yoga and meditation everyday and listening to Osho before going to bed. Life is good. XX.’

Sure. It all depends on what you cook in your mind and heart.

After uniting with her husband following a split-up, a 30+ professional said, “Living with him in a small flat for over two months brought us close and we re-discovered each other. We both work and so we have little time for each other but this lockdown gave us plenty of time to talk and know each other. Thus, it helped us.”

A young couple decided to have a baby during the lockdown, and after the first month the woman became pregnant. She said, “I conceived during a relaxed time. Now we are looking forward to our baby around Christmas.”

A sharp professional in her mid-forties, said, “I’m busier than ever before [sounds like the Osho News desk, ed.] by working full-time. I’m enjoying my work without interruptions as all my work has moved online. Connecting more and more with people through IT, by mail, phone and video conferencing.

“Osho is expanding my heart as I connect more with nature now that the earth is healing. Enjoying the sound of silence. My cooking has become experimental and creative and I’m happy cleaning because it exercises my body. Not missing going out but missing the hugs of my loved ones. But now we have to live with this!”

A grandmother, aged 75+ years, who first met Osho in Mumbai in the Seventies and then visited Pune One, Two and Three with two trips to Rajneeshpuram, said, “Basically, Osho is cooking inside me all the time. I’m busy doing nothing. Every situation is Osho cooking.

“Now that there is no traffic noise, when I get up early in the morning to the music of singing birds, I feel vibrations like in the Pune ashram. If I sit with my eyes closed, I say I’m doing Vipassana. If I’m just sitting and staring, I say I’m doing Zen – sitting silently and watching the grass grow.

“When doing household work; cleaning, washing and dusting, it is ‘work worship’. If I’m cooking, I’m sharing my love with my food. When I shout, it is catharsis. When I am gossiping on the phone, it becomes gibberish. While playing with my grandchildren, I feel I’m in a Born Again group. Listening to Osho music, be it Taru or any Kirtan, I am transported to his presence.”

Kul Bhushan

Anand Kul Bhushan is a writer, journalist, UN media consultant and workshop/meditation leader.

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