Over the years, life taught me an important lesson.

Slice 1: Several years back, I always finished my meals with curd rice and I remember declaring after a fully satisfied meal that I can never live without curd rice. As a South Indian, it was not uncommon to find the curd rice an indispensable part of my life; after all, we had it for lunch and dinner – twice a day – almost daily. But due to a curious turn of events, I turned vegan and I lived without the curd rice for 8 long years. Today, I eat it in moderation. Life showed me that sometimes what I considered indispensable was really dispensable. Cut.

Slice 2: Ever since my first job, one of the important criteria for me while choosing a job was if I had to work on Saturdays. I rejected some good offers which had working Saturdays or working second Saturdays as part of the deal. I dodged and ducked when I saw a job offer with a working Saturday, not without reason. I loved to spend time on my other interests. Not unheard of, right? But due to another curious turn of events, I worked Saturdays for about 5 years, most of those supposedly half-working days turning out to be full-working days. Life showed me that sometimes what I considered unbearable was really bearable. Cut.

Slice 3: I grew up in the cool city of Coimbatore, ridiculing Chennai for its hot tropical weather and other issues that a metro city faced. Later, I moved to the cooler Bangalore for about 9 years. By now, you must be getting the drift. Yes, another curious turn of events later, I moved to Chennai and I have been living for the past 13 years in Chennai. Chennai taught me that every city has its own merits and I have a love-hate relationship with it. Life showed me that sometimes what I considered unimaginable could become real. Cut.

Slice 4: About ten years back, I used to code in Perl. I enjoyed writing those tricky hacks in Perl that got things done super quick. It did appear a little obfuscated at times, but that is Perl. The flexibility was incredible and I had fallen for the language. Around this time, I distinctly remember a discussion with some of my fellow researchers on programming languages, when I commented how difficult it was to read HTML-interspersed PHP code. I recall adding something about how ugly it looked, blissfully unaware then, that I shall be spending several hundred hours in the future with PHP. 

So, it may not surprise my dear readers to know that another curious turn of events later, I voluntarily chose to code in WordPress and hence PHP. I look at HTML-interspersed PHP for a good part of my job. Life showed me that sometimes, I have to embrace things which I may not appreciate.

Today, as I pore over PHP code, there are times when I feel that it is not as ugly as I earlier thought it was. So, I cannot help but think that all along – in giving up something I loved, in taking on something I did not wish to, in seeing the merits of something I did not like, and in embracing something which I did not appreciate – life has been trying to teach me an important lesson, that everything has a place in life and I should reserve judgement.

As we prepare for the festive season, let us embrace all that life offers, whether we appreciate them or not.