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?

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