Yesterday, a visiting faculty in college had an interesting activity planned for us. Bear in mind that his subject is photography and he was trying to teach us about the basic aesthetics of everything.
He opened two packets of the homely Parle-G biscuits and distributed one biscuit to each student present in class. With my fingertips gently stroking the edge of the biscuit, I could feel myself alternating between temptation and curiosity.
He then asked us to spend a whole of five minutes chewing on the biscuit. That’s not it, though. He especially requested us to spend those five minutes completely immersed in the act of consuming it, to pay attention to every detail of the biscuit and ourselves devouring the biscuit.
The result of this experiment was expected but it made me smile anyway. A lot of people shared their views, describing how, for the first time, they noticed the intricate detailing of the biscuit that they had been having for the past eighteen years; for some it brought back nostalgic memories and for others it amplified the feeling of desire and contentment.
Personally, the experiment bore a slightly long-term effect on me. (One I shared in class after a lot of hesitation)
More than the biscuit, I realised, I was paying attention to myself; the way my fingertips wouldn’t leave the edge of the biscuit, the constant movement of my legs, the anxiety upon having to chew so slowly (I normally eat way too quickly for my own good), the way my mouth preferred dissolving the biscuit and then gulping it down and the way my mind kept drifting off to the slow thumping of my heart in the silent room.
It was all so… mundane! But beyond imagination.
I noticed how, subconsciously, I’ve been aware of all these things but the actual awareness hadn’t arrived until then.
I was smiling the entire time, simply because of how fascinated it left me!
Coming to the long-term effect: I became more aware of myself. All of my senses suddenly felt very active to the extent that I heard every word of the remaining half of the lecture better than I have heard any other lecture throughout the semester. I even mentioned this to the professor before leaving and he said-
“Do you realise how it’s all inside you?”
And that gave me so much to think about.
This whole experiment left me with so much. The rest of my day was a joy ride! His pep-talk inspired me, too, as a result of which I did a few irrelevant things that made me feel a little more at peace with the world, and myself. Surprisingly, I slept early that night, after I don’t know how many weeks, and woke up at 6 AM sharp the next morning! (As you can see, I’m clearly very enthusiastic about waking up early in life)
I don’t behave like one, but I really am a morning person. I do most of my productive work in the morning. But lately, it has been quite hard to stick to old habits but I’m going to try to fit go back to my schedule.
It’s healthier and my days go better.
So, why not give it a try?