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Updated: Jul 18, 2022

Cakes may not be originated in India but the tradition and affection that are perpetuated through them warm our hearts like nothing else. Though I love bakery cakes, self-baked cakes are like those close friends of mine whom I may not be in touch with for months and years, but I know that our relationship remains as integral as ever. I may have not baked a cake in a year, but I know the moment I lay my hands on the ingredients, they will just spell magic on the platter as well as on the bellies of my loved ones.

For me, baking a cake has always been a cathartic expression of my emotions, thoughts, and energies that somehow hold me back. The entire process of baking is quite synonymous with the art of living our lives. To achieve a flawlessly baked cake, the appropriate ingredients need to be introduced in a precise order and at the correct time to the cake batter (a liquid mixture of ingredients used in baking), the consistency needs to be perfected, and the temperature of the oven needs to be thoroughly regulated. Having these essential things in place ‘almost’ guarantees a fairly good outcome.

While I introduce my ingredients to the bowl, it makes me wonder how life is analogous to a cake batter – a concoction of diverse shades of people, emotions, and situations, which enter our lives at the precise time or perhaps when we need them the most. While good ingredients enhance our cake, just like positive people lead us towards growth; inappropriate ingredients are like wrong people who are erroneously greeted in our lives and spoil the taste of the cake. However, before exiting, they serve an indispensable purpose by teaching us essential life lessons. The most important one is, to not bake your life’s cake with the wrong people in it!

Perfecting a cake’s consistency needs various adjustments to its ingredients as well as making some judicious decisions. Identically, creating (and ultimately, leading) a blissful life is also a consequence of certain adjustments, tweaking our supposed timelines, making some tough choices, etc. No matter how difficult it seems at that moment, once we tread the path of life with determination and grit, the batter of life eventually turns out to be rich and silky smooth. So, just keep hustling and persevere!

The outcome of the cake would be contingent on the appropriate control of the oven’s temperature including pre-heating, manually setting the required temperature, and constant checks when the cake is about to be baked. I feel what an oven does to the cake is equivalent to what our mind does to our life. With appropriate self-control and restraint of the mind, a beautiful and constructive life will follow. If we are too complacent, indolent, or cold, the cake of our life will remain unbanked, and on the other hand, if we are always volatile, anxious, or over-sensitive, then the cake of our life will be brutally burnt due to overheating. Hence, control your mind before it controls you. Strike a balance with your mind to achieve stability, peace, and internal harmony.

With these thoughts in my mind, I baked the last cake of 2018. It fills my core with a deep sense of delight to know that not only was I able to add chocolaty sweetness and colorful moments to the lives of my precious ones, but their saccharine smiles are also embedded deep in my heart. With a fervent hope that the special effects of love, healing, and emancipation will carry over to 2019, I feel quite prepared to welcome the New Year!


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