Something you should know about me is that I LOVE people and I LOVE stories. As a child I would sit with my grandparents for hours listening to stories about partition, religion, politics and more. The thing I love the most about meeting new people is really understanding where they’re coming from, how they think and how different their view of the world is from mine. I’ve always been the kind of person who can sit with anyone, from any culture, any age and just chat for hours. When I moved to Paris (at 21) I met someone in culinary school who soon became one of my closest friends. Henry Ting, was in his 50s when I met him. He’s Chinese American and moved to Paris because he was obsessed with the French croissant and wanted to learn how to make them.
We worked across each other’s station in culinary school and Henry and I soon became inseparable. We would go spend hours in cafes after class. He made the best cocktails and all our after school parties happened chez Henry. What I loved about him was that not only did he have the BEST stories, he also had this childlike spirit.
5 years ago, Henry came to India for my brother’s wedding. Soon after the wedding, a bunch of us went to Goa for a couple of days. One evening in Goa, we sat around in our balcony and I asked Henry “If there’s any life advice you would give me, what would that be?”
At first, in his classic style, he just grumbled. And then as if he had a eureka moment, he jumped up and said, “my advice to you is this – Pee when you can’’.
I just looked at him and laughed. I mean that’s great advice but maybe a bit random (right?). He then said that I didn’t get it. He meant that in life, whenever the opportunity presents itself and you have to go, just GO. He meant that don’t let a good opportunity pass you by. I also look at it in a way of acting on things with a certain urgency before, erm, things explode. Once he was done explaining this great mantra he said he had another piece of advice. He looked at me and said that most people miss out on the really good things because they don’t ask the right questions. So advice #2 is – Ask the right questions.
I think both of these have added a certain value to my life and I often find myself thinking about them. I thought I would share this with you today and ask you – if there’s any life advice you could give me, what would that be?