Can you learn something by watching someone else do it? I mean without actual practice, can you seriously learn something? I say you can 🙂
Can you believe it, i learned cooking by watching my mom cook. Without getting my hands messy or burning them, i actually did a good job observing how she cooked various things. You can say i was way too lazy to try my hands at it practically. I also never had the time to try it out! While studying, I did my degree and computers side by side. Then soon after I was working. But if you ask me who roused my interest in cooking, i have to say it’s the most amazing cook i used to watch regularly on TV, Sanjeev Kapoor! I used to love the way he cooked. It seemed so simple. Then i would pester my mom to try some of them out (yeah, not make it myself 😋). That’s probably the only times she had tried on recipes from TV!
The real test came after my marriage. It’s an inter-caste love marriage and i took complete advantage of that! They knew I was not the typical homemaker type and did not expect me to cook initially. I was working and was away from home from 7 am to 8 pm. But I wanted to impress them and would claim to be a decent chef on Saturdays when my husband was working and I had an off.
The first thing i would do was to send my mother in law away from the kitchen. I would plead her to take rest or else get her to help me with cutting the veggies (I am a vegetarian). After that i would work completely on my intuition and taste buds. I will be adding this and that until it appealed to my taste and then only would serve. All my observations would come handy this time along with some tips she passed on hoping i would do this ‘some day’. But then, practice makes one perfect and i slowly caught up and emerged as a decent cook. My co-sister and mother in law were amazing cooks too. So to survive, I badly had to master this at least to some extent 😁. Just in case something did not conform to the standards, it would be ‘the way we made it at home’😋. That helped sometimes.
Make-up was the next thing i used to watch a lot on TV and read up a lot on magazines too. But till i was 30+ i never used it! In fact, i started using makeup regularly only after we got into retail. That was the first time i saw Mascara and used an eyeliner! We had a branded cosmetics’ counter and sold many other brands too. The brand with the counter had a lady for selling it, but for the other brands i had to do it myself as my staff were mostly young men who knew nothing about makeup! Sometimes, even the girl would struggle with difficult customers and i would step in as it was my shop after all. You may be surprised to know that all those videos i watched during my college days came really handy even 15 years later. The basics never change! I even had customers checking on my availability to help them choose what suited them well 😇.
Selling in itself was something i never considered myself good at. My husband was more outgoing. But because it was a ladies’ store with jewelry and women’s apparel, i had to involve more. I was an IT person. I had only been a customer till then and I used my observations here too and applied them to make myself a seller! To some extent that also helped. I run the shop for 8 years and never had a bad experience throughout. I always tried to give personalised suggestions rather than going with the trends.
So how did I do that (not that it’s anything great)? Sheer confidence I would say! I was always interested in those things and i always observed them carefully. Then i applied whatever i assimilated over time with confidence. Sometimes it backfired. But i learned from mistakes and kept going strong.
My intention of sharing this is to let you know that with some knowledge and good confidence, sky is the limit for you too. If I can do it, you can do it better. Do not miss a chance to learn something interesting. You really don’t know when and where it might help you! I even started writing as a pass time and later found my passion in it.
I keep learning, never miss a chance to watch cookery videos even now! Not that i really try them out 😁. But at some point i use one of those techniques while I cook.