On summer afternoons, sometimes, I watch the sunlight streak in through the window and drop onto the floor. It is usually golden. It reminds me of sitting on the floor surrounded by sketch-pens and drawing paper, accompanied by a glass of lemonade, a bowl of mangoes and a very excited Mom. She laughs when I tell her about my reminiscence. “That is a nice and subtle way of saying you miss me. I had warned you as much when you were busy buying wedding saris.” To make me smile, she sends me pictures of the potted plants in our backyard. The colourful new blossoms dancing in the wind instantly cheer me up.
To be honest, nostalgia can be immensely absorbing. Ditto for foreshadowing. When I am on my own, in the solitude Wordsworth talked about so generously in his poetry, I find myself indulging in both. Going out into the evening to play Badminton with Grandpa. Fidgeting all around the dining room in anticipation of the chicken I could smell in Grandma’s kitchen. Penning down a perfectly crafted tale. Dreaming of my next vacation when I would see clouds peep in at my door. Planning my wardrobe revamp for Durga Puja in October. The exercise always ends with a bang – or rather, the ring of my mobile phone, a knock on the door, the beep of my microwave.
Interestingly, when I am transported back to the present, the little gifts in my life become evident. My husband returns from work and we have another glorious evening to spend together – something which was only a dream back when we were dating. Distant thunder rumbles in the sky and the plants in the neighbourhood park whisper melodies of rain. Little kids in the colony abandon their outdoor sports in favour of a game of table-tennis in the club house. We stand in the balcony, holding hands and nibbling at potato pakoras.
By the time the first stars come up, we have fixed yet another date to renew our gym enrolment. We have also planned to spend the weekend re-watching our favourite movies, this time with home-made summer beverages in our special crystal glasses. “But I had kept them away for special occasions.” I complain. “Life with you is special enough to be celebrated every day.” I roll my eyes; he hums a little tune over and over till I throw a cushion at him.
In all the hard work that life can be, we end up taking so much for granted. A grumpy boss overshadows the satisfying work we are assigned; fatigue makes us irritable and oblivious to the peace that is home. Putting off all our plans for “when I have more time” makes our happiness elusive. We can see it up there – tantalisingly close – but never quite reach it. Over time, I have realized that my “big” moments in life have been as much that milestone birthday as that time Mom and I spent our Sunday watching television, eating pizza and singing Hindi film songs.
When the sun rises over our home every morning, I let go of a little regret, make peace with a painful memory, and forgive myself for last night’s show of temper. I wave at the plants taking in the early morning breeze. I eat a hearty breakfast, feel the sun warm my freshly showered skin, and celebrate the fresh opportunity to take stock, make amends, laugh. Then, I open a blank page on my word processor and proceed to tell the stories that have grown up with me. With every fresh word, I celebrate life – a celebration like no other.
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*Picture from imgarcade.com
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