When you think of empathy, what do you think it might be-
A brilliant gesture that changes the world?
A flash of lightening that pushes away the negative thoughts?
No. Not really. Nothing as dramatic as that. It is so subtle that you do not even notice it at times. So quiet that you cannot hear when it tiptoes into the moment.
The “dhobi” / ironing man came to hand over the washed clothes that I had given to him for ironing. With no one else at home and my little girl crawling all over the place, I was rushed for time. I opened the door, he told me the total was Rs 133. I handed over Rs 200. As he looked for change, I ran back to the kitchen where my girl had decided to open up the section with the biggest utensils ! When I got back with her in my lap upset because I had taken her away from that particular utensils cupboard , he handed Rs 100 back to me. I told him that I didn’t have the change so he can keep that as an advance to deduct the next time.
He said he will take the pending amount of R 33 next time. I thanked him and shut the door. At leisure when I thought about it, it made me wonder – for a person like him, each day’s earnings matter. It would have made no difference to me if he had taken the extra amount to adjust against next time. But to him it will make a difference if he cannot take that back home. Yet he figured out the situation ( me busy with mollifying the baby) in a glance. Without a word he understood that he will not take up my time for those 5 minutes that might be needed to look for change.
That is empathy. Unobtrusive, done without any show or noise. And subtle, just like the flavours in this Gluten-free Buckwheat Coconut Pistachio Biscuits.
1 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
3/4 cup jaggery powder
1 tsp freshly grated cinnamon powder
50 grams melted butter
Pistachio – chopped as per your requirement.
Mix the first 4 ingredients well. Add the melted butter slowly to bring the dough together. Add the chopped pistachios. If you find it dry, add a tbsp of milk.
Keep the dough in the fridge for an hour.
Take it out, shape it as per your requirement and bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees C, in a preheated oven, on the baking tray.
Allow them to cool off well before storing in an air tight container.