Archive for January, 2015

Elastic bands (popularly known as Rubber bands) are known for their elasticity. Pull it apart and release it, it assumes a similar shape back again. Every such band has a shelf life though. Every time you stretch it and release it, the rubber keeps losing elasticity. Keep doing it often and it would give way to pressure one day. Or stretch it too hard all at once and it might snap before you realize it. What ever way you do it, the band is never the same again. It can never be back to the same state it originally started with. Laws of physics at play here.

I was comparing this to relationships. I found this uncanny similarity between the two. Let me tell you how.

Every relationship has its ups and downs but they are kept together with a similar kind of elasticity. At times when it goes through stress, the band gets pulled apart. Then you patch up your problems and the stress on the band is released. The relationship comes back to its similar original shape again. But it is now not as good as it originally was. The fact that it was put under stress would always remain somewhere at the back of your mind. However hard you try, its close to impossible to bring it back to the original state.

Now keep doing this many times. Over and over again. At times pull it a bit, at times a lot. Every pull is pulling it away from its original shape/state. Cross the limits and one day it snaps free. Breakups and incurable sorrows.

On the other hand, keep the band as-is and don’t put any stress on it. It would get quite boring. After a while it might just decompose and lose everything it could have done. Lifeless and meaningless relationships!

Rubber bands need to be seasoned with care. You pull it too hard in the the first go and it snaps out without a fight. Early breakups and sorrows. It has a better chance of surviving if stresses are on a low side at start and the rubber gets seasoned. After a bit, it would have better chance of surviving a bit more stress. After a while a bit more. Gradual increase in stress makes us seasoned and we learn how to handle it well. A bit more and we readjust and learn again. Control the stress on that band!

Some bands are thick and some are thin. The better the band is, the better the survival rates. Similar analogy can be made with relationships. The more flexibility between the two, the thicker the band is.

Isn’t it a bizarre similarity!

What kind of bands are your relationships? What state are they presently in? Keep the elasticity in check. Something to think about…

Hot or Tasty?

Posted: January 8, 2015 in Thoughts
Tags: , , , ,

Have you ever had friends in your group who brag about how much spice they can handle in their food? Am sure every group have some set of folks who do this. They order the spiciest food available and they eat them as though the spice makes no difference to them. To top that, when others say that the food is spicy, they lift their brows and say “Really? That is not spicy enough for me”. At times like this I wish I had access to the spiciest chilies and dump all of that on their food and force them to eat it. Handling spice gives bragging rights to folks like these.

While I admire their passion to prove that they can eat ridiculously high spice levels, I often wonder if they really enjoy food. I recently was in a situation where I had to eat through quite spicy Indian curries and I wanted to go through the experience fully to understand what makes it so exciting. I did manage to eat all that spice with an expectation that the experience would be exciting. On the contrary, after a couple of bites, all I could feel is spice for the rest of the dinner. There were so many complex flavors which were right there along with the spice. All that got killed and over powered by the spice. The food from then on was just one-tone.

That made me wonder even more. What really makes folks eat so much spice when there are so many other flavors to go with it. May be it is an addiction or may be it is just bragging rights they are looking for. Whatever the reason is, I was left dumbfounded on why someone would want their food to taste one-tone.

Folks who eat high levels of spice and disagree that this happens are just outright lying. Biologically and scientifically you are bound to lose taste reception for a while after eating high levels of spice. On ingestion of Capsaicin (which is the active ingredient spicy peppers) taste receptors send signals to your brain that there’s pain in the form of hotness or heat. The brain’s immediate reaction is to start producing endorphins to block that pain, which causes numbness. This mean numbing out the taste receptors which means you don’t get to taste any other flavor.

Though the effect is not permanent, it would last long enough than your meal.

I would say – Have your spices in moderation and enjoy the rest of the taste spectrum. You can brag about your abilities doing something else.