Small pleasures, big deal

(Saturday, 19th Dec’20, 1:30 AM)

Reading a few pages of a book every day.

Looking outside the window, at the tall trees or the vastness above.’

The rhythmic pitter-patter of the rain.

Praying.

Listening to my favourite music in the shower.

Conversations with him over a cup of coffee.

Cooking meals for the family.

… and much more!

I spend a lot of time at home, doing the usual stuff that I like to do… Sometimes, we all cuddle on the sofa or paint together. We have some hilarious pretend and play with our little big girl. At times, we laugh at each other. It’s a sight when we all dance like idiots. The highlight of my day is when my daughter calls me in the morning upon waking and we snuggle together and share our dreams from the last night. Throughout my time with him of more than 14 years, we’ve been on some great holidays. But my most precious memories of our time together are of our walks or sitting on the bench with a picnic. Or working together in the house. These are some of my small pleasures of life, which are a big deal for me. I never get bored, and I’ll trade those for nothing else in the world.

On the contrary, we’re surrounded by some powerful ideas about the sort of things that will make us happy. Like, owning something rare, exotic, or unfamiliar. Or, we get pleasure from economic endorsements. As in, Caviar continues to sound more stimulating than a chicken egg. Or, we are inclined towards the larger schemes that we think are naturally fitted to delight us more, like marriage, career, buying a house etc. I won’t say that these approaches are entirely wrong but when I think deeply, these somehow create a brutal and an unfair bias against the cheap, easily available, familiar and small-scale things… and the result: if someone says they’ve been on a trip to the Bahamas by private jet we automatically assume they had a better time than someone who went to the local park by bike. A fancy restaurant dinner sounds more impressive than a simple supper of ‘Daal Chaawal’ at home. It feels more normal that the highlight of a weekend should be an extraordinary indulgence, rather than a few minutes spent looking at the cloudy sky!

Pleasure is promiscuous. It may not necessarily accompany us on fancy holidays. Or it may not collect in an exotic bouquet. Isn’t pleasure vulnerable to a bad mood or emotional trouble? A disagreement turning into a fight ruins all the benefits of a luxury beach resort, while a cone of ice cream with friends at Marine Drive can make one’s day. A pleasure may look minor, but it can have moving and satisfying effects. It doesn’t matter what or how much the small pleasures have to offer us; it is a reflection of all the good things we all neglect unfairly.

As a human tendency, we keep striving: for better relationships, work and personal lives. And in this race, we mistakenly think that being restless is being successful. It’s funny, sometimes when we are asked about our day off, we talk about things that brought us peace and a smile to our heart. But in the end, we downplay our small pleasures by saying ‘nothing very exciting’. Because in a calculable measure we didn’t do anything ‘big’.As I grow, I cherish and value the smallest pleasures of life because the small stuff is indeed the most precious memories. Like, the childhood memories when everything was small: me, my resources and my exposure. And yet, life was at it’s best!

What are your small pleasures… something to think about?

The mad race!

Race For All Mankind | Vicki Hurley

(Sunday, 13th Sep’20, 23:12)

Our societies have advanced tendencies to label certain people ‘winners’ and others – ‘losers’. Aside from this mean categorisation, the underlying problem here is the suggestion that life might be a lone, singular race, at the end to which one could clearly rank all the competitors from highest to lowest. And this is where I get confused!

The complex truth is that life is made up of a number of races that unfold simultaneously over different paths and with different sorts of cups and medals in view. There are races for money, fame and prestige – and these attract many spectators. But there are also races that measure other kinds of prowess worth venerating. There is a race for who can remain calmest in the face of frustration. There is a race for who can be kindest to children. There is a race measuring how gifted someone is at friendship. There are races focused on how attentive someone is to the evening sky or how good they are at deriving pleasure from autumn fruits.

Despite our enthusiasm for ranking the competitors, a striking fact is that no one is ever able to end up a winner in every genre of competition. If you are extremely skilled to win one race, it does not automatically guarantee you a win in the other. For example, winning at being extremely successful in business might not go hand in hand with any real ability at the race to appreciate the sky or find pleasure in small things!

As it seems, we cannot be winners at everything. Those who appear to be carrying off all the prizes as superhuman of life might not really be triumphing in all the areas of life. They are bound to be making a deep mess of less prestigious races they are a part of; they’ll be falling over, tripping up and perhaps be complaining about the track conditions in some corner of the stadium!

I ponder further and understand that if one cannot be a winner at everything, one cannot be a loser at everything either. When we have failed in certain races of life, we still have ample opportunities to train and develop our strength to win in others. Then why do we stress at all? Unknowingly, we compete in the race for fame, honour or money, but it’s still entirely open to us to compete in the race for kindness, friendship and forgiveness. Why do we not consider enjoying one’s own company or sleeping very soundly for many hours in the sun as a race? Maybe it’s insignificant but worth running for!

In my eyes, there is no such thing as a winner or a loser. There is only a person who has won in some areas and messed up in others. When we mess up in worldly areas and feel dejected and isolated, we still hold a chance to become star athletes in other less well-known but hugely important races – races around keeping a sense of humour, showing gratitude, forgiving, appreciating, letting go – and making do. These are the noble tracks, tracks where those who have ‘failed’ can finally and properly learn to ‘win’.!!

Diary enrty_Sweden_19th Sep’19_11:17 PM_Thoughts again!

It is dark now… very dark! I sit here alone looking outside, trying to listen to the beautiful silence, which has so much to say! Autumn is settling in and very soon the trees will start to change their colors. I actually like these changes because they depict a moving life. They tell me that change is the only constant and that believing in the permanency of something is only foolishness. When nothing in this world in perpetual, not even love and life, then why do we conceive the idea of living so gravely? What are we so scared of? After all, this is just life, my life, your life!

A life that allows us to change our minds when we want to. To change our heart. It is no crime to want to wake up like a different person one morning and not want to do something we’ve been doing all our life. We’re allowed to choose who to love and who to move away from. We’re allowed to live without baggage and regret. Importantly, we’re allowed to make mistakes. To learn from them or to not learn from them. It is okay to see those mistakes as the experience of life. We are allowed to forget our past if we want to. Something we once were or something we once lived is not who we are today. It’s allowed to live a guilt-free life. At the same time, we’re also allowed to live in the bygone years but it will not help us to grow. We’re allowed to switch careers, to dress inversely, to chase our own dreams, to change locations, even if it makes us terrified to do so. We’re allowed to experiment and be adventurous. We’re allowed to breathe!

Pondering further, I come to realize that amidst all the changes there is still something static, something that is not influential. We can’t change the way we are. We question, we reason and we feel. We are on a continuous journey, where we meet people and gather experiences. We are learning every day. We should embrace the fact that sometimes our heart changes faster than our mind and our mind doesn’t always know what to do. It is okay with not knowing everything!

… And here comes my beloved, my friend, my soulmate – The moon! My abstract thoughts return from deep within. Yet again, I admire the Moon’s unparalleled beauty and wonder how something can look so surreally alluring. It smiles at me and asks for stories. Tales that are fresh. I beckon with a smile and blush. I fix my gaze on the grey above and share many new stories with the keeper of my secrets. As always, it listens and understands. Oh, dear Moon, why do I love you so much?

It’s only the silence of the night, the brightness of the Moon and my thoughts doing the talking now. I let them take over. I let them communicate. I let them listen. Oh Moon, don’t let the clouds envelop you, for this story is long. Please stay with me tonight before you disappear in the vastness!

Set out…

Some things never change – like the joy of dancing in rain or relishing the petrichor that is left behind. Call me an old school girl, but the scent of handwritten letters sealed inside an envelope is unparalleled too. I go speechless when I think of my endless love for Moon and the way it connects with me; yes, somethings never change!

There is also something magical about long drives, something about being in a car and going somewhere, somewhere far, away from the hustle-bustle or amidst the hustle-bustle, but going to a distant place… something so enigmatic about it all! This is one joy that I have not been able to find a match for, even after so many years. Looking outside that small window, in peace – it does something to you, something unknown. It awakens you from the inside, makes you reminisce. It does make you wonder… Takes you back to the time you once lived and makes you think about the people you once met or loved. Sometimes, it makes you remember all the people you once shared your lives with, the ones you loved and lost. The ones you had to let go. These people can be anyone, a distant relative or someone close. I can’t say whether it is a song or just the silence of the road that brings back these people from the oblivion to your present moment. I don’t know! All I know is that driving does this to you – it makes you remember them and wonder if they’re okay. It makes you wonder if they, too, sometimes wonder about you.

A long drive to any place will do that to you! It will make you remember where you came from, your roots. Sometimes, you will get nostalgic thinking about your childhood and sometimes, you will smile remembering your youth. You unknowingly increase the volume of a song that touches some hidden, untold chords deep inside. You remember family and relatives. Cousins you once played with – those silly pranks and irrational games – they all come to life! You want to go back in time and relive those moments one more time, perhaps, one last time. You feel the sudden urge to make a few phone calls.

A long drive will do that to you. It will either bring out the past and break your heart all over again or make you smile for all the memories and experiences you have gained so far. It will have an effect for sure – it soothes you, relaxes your senses and prepares you for the next challenge; a long drive is always worth it!

Dreamer Me!

Damn!! I want to fall asleep again…

I try hard, turn sides, count from 1-100, hum lengthiest songs on mute.. but can’t go back to where I was woken up from.. from a dream, which, when I think now, was insanely unrealistic but I loved being a part of it. I want to know what next was to follow. I want to feel the same rush of emotions through me. I want to see where it would have ended. I want to remember where it began from. I don’t want to let it go… I want to be there, in that scene, even if it means dreaming again!!

Why is life unfair at times? Like, right now.
Or is it extremely fair? Like, I was made to see and be a part of what I would have loved, but since it could never be my reality, I was offered to experience it in the dreams.
Fair enough? Should I rejoice or remorse? I don’t know!!

Whatever it is, dreams are crazily beautiful. They allow us to be silly, wild, irrational, quixotic and abstract at times. Sometimes dreams make us super happy. Well, does that count? Sometimes when they leave us scattered and shocked, we are thankful that it was just a dream. How conveniently we change!!

…And yes, I accept that I am a dreamer… for my love for the Moon is unparalleled. We whisper and share stories. When the Moon is away, I create stories in my dreams. And some, like this one today, is left unfinished. I won’t leave the conclusion on the leaps of my imagination; rather I will sleep tonight in a hope to continue from where I stopped. Or to start a new tale. I will find my way through the moonlight, dream again and punish myself by seeing the dawn before anyone else!!