Battle that boredom, fear and frustration - The New Indian Express

Battle that boredom, fear and frustration

Published: 18th August 2013 12:00 AM

Last Updated: 17th August 2013 11:34 AM

Another table talk. At least one of the following three emotions—fear, frustration and boredom—is evident in people today. Just like any community with nonstop work and less time for themselves, our workforce also has diabolical emotional issues which make them vulnerable. Lest folktales continue in circles, it's hard to understand the legibility of people's lifestyle or prescribe a remedy. The fact is, a comfortable life is denied to loyal and successful individuals even after so much of hard work. It has been an enchanting journey to understand the root cause of people's unhappiness through the eyes of a restaurant, as we do care.

Among many competent chefs, Ramu arrived with lot of spark on a dark winter evening, but he had inescapable issues and an unfortunate past. He overcame the history under guidance and care from our system and emerged as a fantastic cook. Ramu learned the skills and taste faster than others, his elevation to the higher ranks and recognition came fluidly. Cooking together for a private party, we created a spiritual mood with candles and floral decor. All of a sudden Ramu posed a question to me and invited an opinion: "What's your take on fear? I have been stuck with it for a long time." It was an immaculate idea, I was looking for a theme to begin our opening talk for the evening in an eloquent narration, Ramu unleashed segments of his life where fear held supreme and his pursuit to overcome the hidden struggle. We made it open to question and debate across the crowd, confessions followed from many people, fear about health, wealth,relationships and even death! We concluded the chat and agreed  to evaluate the emotion of fear and invited people to look at it just like all other feelings, by doing what you could to easily lessen the distress and learn to be fearless in life.

Richard the banker and an appealing individual visited the restaurant as a passionate convert to vegetarian food. Memory of our first meeting was very mixed, his thoughtful look with dark-framed glasses and an imposing body presence, he never looked like he would be my friend. Along with his newly married wife Andrea, Richard forced his way into our family of friendly staff. We had many conversations about his life's ups and downs. We stood witness to his silly frustrations and the way he shamelessly served it on to us like playmates. He was extremely talented and employed nicely in a bank, nevertheless his life was full of complaints and he enjoyed ploughing deep into other people's lives, especially colleagues. As a Indian food enthusiast, Richard was never fond of greasy Indian food he knew from his hometown and loved our masala dosa and delicious veggie banquet once a week. With every meal we added to the transition through conversations to become take small issues at work and life sportingly. Recently a  transformed Richard admitted his positive attitude, saying, "I see the strength of others more now and silently watch my issues to be a better person."

Gloria Stewart was our lady cab driver who took customers home and occasionally delivered takeaway orders to local residents. She was smart and earned enough money in her busy weekend job, had plenty of people in her life and a nice little home too. Gloria's problem was getting fed up of the same job even though she met different people everyday. She always claimed she could have become something else and was bored of her life. As we got to know her, her boredom and missed opportunities became our topic of conversation. Time and again we taught her how to see the best in the current environment and give life a chance to surprise. Alas, it never worked even though Gloria knew everything, just like many others who find it hard to feel the blessings and be grateful.

I have discussed fear, frustration and boredom with various people, many of them just like the three people above.  I would simply say, approach life just like cooking where outcome is like a miracle. With more focus, faith and love, taste gets better and easier.

The author is a London-based restaurateur who owns the Rasa chain

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