Paarth Madan

A medium to iterate on my own thoughts.

Pressure Cooker

Posted at — Mar 29, 2021

Traditional Indian cooking calls for the usage of a pressure cooker.

It’s a unique utensil––essentially a stove pot with a lid on it.

You excite the pot by placing it atop heat. Normally, you place the ingredients and water inside the pot. With enough heat, the water creates steam. With enough steam, the pressure inside the cooker is expelled through a whistle on the top of the lid.

The pressure cooker comes with an acute, ear-wrenching, high pitched sound that cuts through the air as steam pours out. Steam exits the lid in bursts, minutes apart.

The food cooks by way of this process.

Pressure Cooker

My Mom and Grandma use this utensil, frequently.

Recently, I’ve developed sensitivity to loud noises, so it’s really quite startling for me.

Normally, they’ll let me know that it’s time for the सीटी (see·tee), or “whistle”. I promptly run upstairs, or put on my noise-cancelling headphones.

I’ve learned that the sensitivity is correlated to the anticipation of the whistle. As I sit on the table eating, I hear the ascending pitch of the steam exiting the pot until, finally, it begins to scream.

It’s at that moment I’m most startled.

This time, I decided not to give the external stimuli so much attention.

Instead, I observed the sound as it came. I observed the sound as it went.

I decided to get up close and personal, and snap a picture of it doing it’s thing.

The noise didn’t bother me as much when I was hyper focused on snapping a good picture. It appears pain is related to attention.

There’s a lesson to be learned here.

The feeling of pain is related to the anticipation of it.

We’re scared and startled by our reaction to the pain, not to the pain itself.

Tangentially, I suppose the best way of dealing with pressure is letting it go.

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