Monkey see monkey do

Perspective-ly Speaking

Photo by Laurent Dejente

I’ve always believed that life is all about perspective. Get the right one and u become unstoppable. Quite like beliefs.
The way u see things can make or break u. But the coolest part is, unlike beliefs u can change ur perspective in a jiffy! I mean, it’s a known fact that our beliefs not only define but actually create the quality of our lives. And most beliefs are formed in our formative younger years. But this perspective thing goes beyond beliefs.
Let me tell u about an incident from my college.

I was in IHMCTAN, which was ranked as one of the best institutes for hospitality industry training in SE Asia. And the first year there was super exciting for each one of us coz we were introduced to this whole new world of Pate de Foie Gras and Brandy Balloons. The knowledge part aside, I was excited to discover how the basic act of cooking, serving and consuming food and beverages could be transformed into an art, an experience. My respect for serving grew by leaps and bounds thanks to my professors who inculcated the right values about the difference between the art of serving vs being a servant. Perspective.
One day, in our bartending class our teacher was telling us how we would be cleaning up after our shift and I noticed the ‘Nooo, come on man!’ look on everyones faces as he said, “Wash and polish, everything from the countertop to the silverware and glasses should be sparkling clean!”

And then, right at that moment, a big part of the fantastic art of bartending became a boring chore. Cut to years later I got my first set of fine crystalware (code for expensive. And no I didn’t buy it, some idiot thought my butterfingers deserved this as a gift) Initially I spent a few years NOT using it coz I wanted the set whole when I died. Then I realized wtf, life’s too short to hoard, let’s just break out the good stuff! (and not literally) So, one day as I was wiping them with a cloth as soft as a baby’s bottom, it struck me…this piece of glass I was holding in my hands was a like a painter’s canvas for their art. This glass was a part of the experience a person had when they sipped a beverage so refreshing that it took away the stress of their entire long work day or even week. It wasn’t just a glass that held a drink, it was a body that gave life to the soul…u may feel this is a bit much, but seriously, why do u think there are 100s of different types of stemware, tumblers, snifters, etc?! Each of them has a scientific and aesthetic significance. U will never see a painter disrespect his canvas. Well, the same goes here. And for the first time in my life that night, I lovingly wiped and proudly placed that glass back on the shelf, imagining which artwork of mine it would hold next. Perspective, again.

I was mistaken when I thought that great bartenders or artists or even industrialists did what they did only coz they were passionate about it. The truth is, passion is the fire but the right perspective is the fuel! And we can teach ourselves the art of valuing something seemingly mundane or insignificant or even an activity that we may dislike, when we acknowledge what it contributes to. The larger picture here is that whatever we do touches people’s lives. And when we do it with love, its impact grows incredibly! Perrrrspective.

The 3 years in Catering College…among the best of my life, I grew so much. (Thank you to everyone in my journey!) But the aha moment happened in my kitchen, thanks to the naive soul who gifted me my first set of crystalware and strangely enough he was right in trusting me, the entire set is still intact and very very beautiful 😀


It’s not just what u see, it’s how u see it! This photo campaign used light photography to promote pet adoption. Look at the depth of the message, Isn’t it beautiful!



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