As a child I remember that I used to like roties (wheat tortillas). The wheat roties. My aai (my mother) use to make them fresh and right from the hot Tava (hotplate), it used to come in my plate. The smell of it was like heaven!! I do remember that I used to eat more than 3 to 4 such roties and it hardly used to matter, as to what goes with it. My father used to eat those with milk cream. I often ate it with dal or vegetable with even ghee. My objective was to eat roties..!! It was my main dish and rest all were side dishes..!! Slowly, as time passed, I started liking bhakris (thicker tortillas made of local Indian grains such as jowari or bajari) and vegetables and dal more. I also became aware of eating more of green leafy vegetables.
As exercises became a part of my routine, I became more careful to watch the ingredients I eat. Life went on, and my likings also changed. I do not know if I liked what I ate, or I ate what was good for better health. I think it became my tendency to like what was good for health, and not necessarily which was good to taste.
Hence now I tend to eat more of dal and veggies (sometimes, a mix of both) or even salads (with variety of dressings), than roties. The side dishes became the main dishes and things changed and reversed.
Similar things happen in different modes of journey in our life. I recall, when I was very young, I wanted to become a writer. I wrote articles on scientific discoveries and innovative concepts (miracles, as I thought, at that age), like on Kaleidoscopes, planets and black-holes, to name a few. I thought I would become a writer as I grow up. But as time passed, I became a Physics person with teaching and research as my main profession. My skill of writing was still used, for writing research papers and project proposals; but was quite different. Writing became my side-dish and main-dish was my own profession (and all the paraphernalia which comes along with it, including administration, student mentoring and applied research). I enjoyed it thoroughly (and I still do!!) and hence my main-dish was quite sumptuous and satisfying. However, as time passed, I took to writing again, and try to write on various topics of varied domains; this blog is also one of them! This is a shift from main dish towards a side-dish!!! Similar things happened with my sports activities, when I shifted from playing badminton to gym to marathon-running and now bicycling.
I find this very interesting!! As a college-going student, we never think of our school buddies. We think that their paths are different now and they are “not relevant” to us, anymore. Slowly they are side-tracked. After few years of professional experiences, we again get attracted to those old buddies and they give us happiness, which is much different and pure. A shift occurs. We happen to take some important steps which are indications of this shift of “dishes” (these are like our preferences)!! It may be exactly this reason for people to change their profession dramatically at some middle age. The hobbies become a profession and the primary profession gets converted into a side-dish!!
There are several aspects and reasons to this phenomenon. One may be the boredom of the routine. Other may be an urge of every human being to try new things and explore new excitements. One another reason may be that we wish to explore new people and places around. I personally feel that even though all these reasons may be correct, it is basically “you” who is changing. It is said that after 7 years of life time, each cell within your body is new..! In that sense, you are a totally new person. You wish to have different experiences and also wish to have new people around. You want to explore new hobbies and therefore your side-hustle (side dish) tries to become main profession (main dish)!!
Let the passion be our priority and may courage drive us towards unknown territories: be those of food, profession, hobbies, geographic locations, arts or culture. As one walks through typical paths, whenever we see multiple routes ahead, its nice to choose a route which is not well defined. It is good to choose a small track, which is less-taken. Maybe it will surprise you and offer you a great dessert-like side-dish!!!