(As told to Anupama Kondayya)
Shad Rasas. Six Tastes.
The Sweet– to build, to calm, to satiate.
The Sour– to cleanse, to increase absorption, to stimulate.
The Salty– to lubricate, to digest, to improve other tastes.
The Bitter– to detoxify, to lighten.
The Pungent– to clear the passages, to aid circulation.
The Astringent-to promote healing, to absorb, to tighten.
Six tastes. More than nutrition. An experience. A sign of completeness. An indication of wholesomeness in nourishment. No element, too important. No element, unnecessary. Too much of any and the balance is lost.
In moderation. Whether it is in a meal or marriage?
We idealize relationships without conflict. We idolize people who never disagree, never fight. We want to be like them. And we feel guilty when we face conflict with those we love.
But conflict, disagreement, a difference of perspective among individuals is natural, even healthy.
Related reading: 10 reasons why Indian couples fight
It makes for variety and diversity. It steers clear of tunnel vision. Even siblings brought up under the same roof do not always see eye to eye. How can two individuals coming from different households always agree with each other?
The style of conflict resolution may vary from plain denial and suppression to blame, manipulation or a peaceful discussion. But to expect no conflict to arise at all in any relationship seems unnatural. Just like one needs each of the six tastes in moderation to make a meal complete, wholesome and nourishing, I believe that one needs all six tastes in moderation in a marriage to make the relationship complete, wholesome and nourishing.
To build bonds, to calm the mind, to satiate the soul. The tender moments. The light caresses. The thoughtful deeds. The sharing. The understanding. The sweet surprises. The smiles. The stuff that memories are made of.
To cleanse the mind, to increase the absorption of each other’s perspective, to stimulate conversation and debate. The disagreements, the disillusionment, the disenchantment. To gain valuable insights into the other’s mind, heart and soul.
Related reading: Seven things that keep a relationship going
To lubricate life, to digest everything easily, to improve other tastes and make light of the heavier emotions. The naughtiness, the jokes, the laughter. The fun that brings a smile back on the face.
To detoxify the relationship, to lighten the weight of unspoken words and unexpressed emotions. The anger that masks hurt. Better said than not. The vent that prevents clogs in the relationship.
To clear the passages and allow fresh air to flow through the relationship, to aid circulation. The spice in the relationship.
To promote healing of the hearts, to absorb love, to tighten bonds. The cooling touch, the soothing words, the sorries, the special gestures for making up. All the stuff that makes you fall in love all over again.
A sweet base with a hint of sour, a dose of astringent, a sprinkle of salt, some sprigs of bitter and a dash of the pungent and there you have it!
With moderation. The perfect meal. A memorable marriage.