I was on Work From Home, or W.F.H., for the last five and half months and had rejoined the office a few days back. Spending time with the family is the most beautiful thing, and it was great being at home for such an extended period, thanks to Covid-19 putting a break on my international travels which is a part of my profession. The new W.F.H. phase was a learning period, and I wish to share with you something that I learnt. We have a day-time housemaid who visits us twice a week, and she has a schedule of cleaning the non-floor structures like tables, shelves, bedroom light-stands, etc. once a week. I noticed that by the time the weekly cleaning day arrived, it was all dust on these structures. Hence, I decided to clean all the non-floor areas daily in the morning, using a piece of cloth – 15 minutes were enough to complete the task. I felt good and happy seeing the cleaned areas.
Courtesy Covid-19, mask has become a part of our attires. After one-time use, I soap-wash, dry and dispose them off. Accidentally, I found that such used-masks were good at absorbing dust, hence, started to use them, instead of clothes, to clean the home. It made huge difference as compared to the cloth, for mask’s micro cloth could remove even smaller dust particles and clean the surface very well. Yes, the dusts that were not visible to my eyes were captured and removed by the used-masks. I did it every day, relieving the maid from that work. Spending 15 minutes every day in the morning made the home much cleaner without allowing it go dusty. In effect, I was able to clean the home before dust became visible, thanks to the used-masks.
One subject that took my overwhelming attention during the graduation was freezing; I graduated in Fisheries Science from College of Fisheries, Panangad, Cochin, Kerala. Freezing is an interesting topic in the sense that, as the word amply pronounces, it only freezes and does not kill. Freezing freezes only water!
A little bit on post-death physical spoilage: Corpses of animals go through a process called Rigor Mortis, or R.M. When an animal dies, no physical change happens to its dead body in the first 2 to 6 hours — depending on the type of animal — and from the 3rd/7th hour, R.M. sets in. Rigor Mortis is death stiffening, meaning dead body gets hardened due to anaerobic chemical changes and as evidenced by the loosing of its natural softness. Rigor Mortis lasts for 6 to 8 hours, which means that no spoilage happens to a dead body within the first 14 hours after death if we consider the upper thresholds. From 15th hour, spoilage brought about by enzymes and bacteria begins. Freezing stops this spoilage through arresting the activities of bacteria and enzymes by freezing their water contents into ice as without water, both bacteria and enzymes cannot work. This is the reason that you have to quickly cook a thawed-product because thawing releases the frozen water and reactivates the bacteria and enzymes, hence, the spoilage. Everything has a shelf life so does freezing. Freezing can inactivate bacteria and enzymes only up to six months to an year, and beyond this timeline, the spoilage agents find ways to sidestep freezing and start spoilage.
A lot of dust in the forms of hatred, anger, jealousy, disappointment, frustration, etc. falls on or generates in — whichever the way we look at it — our mind. This is unavoidable — though not inevitable — as we are being human, and it is almost impossible to stop oneself from having these negative thoughts. So they do crop up more often than not and would not be palpable to oneself initially. However, over a period of time, they snowball into something bigger capable of self-destruction. This unknowingly-suppressed negative thoughts are like the spoilage-causing bacteria and enzymes, and the suppression is like freezing. The suppression neither kills nor neutralizes the negative thoughts but only temporarily freezes and shelves them in your mind-fields. Like freezing, the suppression runs out of its fuels at some point of time, hence, loose its shelving abilities, thereby allowing the suppressed negative thoughts to do mayhem with renewed vigor and damage your physical and mental health. But if you can clean your mind off the negative thoughts before they snowball into visible chunks, i.e., before they get into the self-destructive mode, then you can make your life shine like a perfectly cleaned surface that is devoid of any dirt. How do we do it?
A routine of self-reflective correction before you hit the pillow in the night is a perfect way to avoid the suppressive-freezing of negative thoughts. The cleaning-mask of self-refection should generate corrective — positive — thoughts to wipe your mind off the dirt of negative thoughts. Such an introspection lasting, say, a few minutes, involves you doing an impartial assessment of yourself about how badly you were dusted by the day with negative thoughts and followed up with wiping the negative thoughts out with the positive thoughts like love and hope as well as with the feeling that there is enough in this world for everyone. If you can do this on a daily basis without waiting for the dusty negative thoughts to become visible like a frozen chunk, then you will be successful to make your life shine like a clean surface.