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I learnt the hard way that we need to live our happiness now, that every day is speacial, and every moment an occasion to celebrate.
A gift from my cousin from UK, I was the owner of a bag that many of my female friends always wanted to have for themselves and I was really proud of that. It was a beautiful white hand bag, and I had saved it for a very special occasion. It was not meant to be used for small occasions or for daily use.
Years passed and I didn’t find any occasion ‘so special’ that it was worthy of taking that possession out of my cupboard.
I would remember that bag before some get-together or occasion, calculate its worth, and would always keep it safely back in the cupboard for using it for some even more special occasion.
After almost 7 years, there was a day when I was told that on the annual function of our organisation, I had been nominated for an award. That was a ‘special occasion’ for me.
I decided to pull out that stunning bag, which I would flaunt amongst my female colleagues. There was a beautiful dress which would go very well with my bag.
It was like taking out a preserved property into the air for the first time. Looking at it with so much pride, I felt like having a ceremony for coronating the bag before it goes out in the world. This sounds weird, but it was the reality.
After getting decked up, I had a full dress rehearsal in front of the mirror. The moment I glanced at myself in the mirror, I saw white patches on my dress over my shoulder and in front.
I was shocked to see what had happened to my favourite dress, but on checking the reasons of my dress getting spoiled, I found that it was not a patch but a powder like material which was all over my dress by then.
Suddenly I noticed some grey material popping out of skin of the bag. On checking I found that the material of that bag which I had ‘preserved’ for years and years had lost its natural oil and supple quality, and had become brittle because of which the material got dried, and a powder like material started coming out.
To tide over the occasion, I changed my entire dress and my bag, and drove to that destination. It was an hour drive. The excitement of the award function had already evaporated with whatever happened at home.
But then I chose to think about what I had to learn from that bitter incident.
This incident took me to the past. I remembered a strange argument which I had had with my niece some years back, when I had really been upset with her thought process.
At dinner, we had served her a big slice of a cake which she loved to have. Instead of eating her meal first, and having the cake for dessert, she gulped down and enjoyed her cake first. I remember scolding her, and telling her about the ‘correct’ way of having her food.
That set off an argument.
She was very clear with her thoughts, and very assertively told me that “Massi, I love that cake, so want to enjoy having that. If I have my food, I am sure the meal would satisfy my appetite, and I would not enjoy that cake the way I want to; this special cake is something which I don’t get so often, so when I have got it, I choose to have it, enjoy it the moment I get it.”
I didn’t agree with what she said, and adamant on my point, I was upset and told her that she was growing into an obstinate teenager.
As I remembered this, I felt sorry for having had that unnecessary argument and calling her obstinate, but now I could understand that she was right. I learnt it only after experiencing a fiasco.
I could have used my bag, and could have relished being in a position of possessing such a beautiful and coveted bag. But I made a choice of keeping it safe for one occasion which would be close to my heart. Unfortunately the occasion came after 7 years, and by that time the bag had lost its life.
I contemplated that somehow we have been conditioned so much, that we close our eyes and ears when the new generation tries to present a logical argument against our old, beaten path. I learnt this the hard way, and I feel sorry about not valuing what my niece told me that day, that too when she was just 12+ years old.
Readers- Think about it. Are we not postponing our happiness on a daily basis? We are seekers of happiness, and we don’t understand that happiness lies in all those little things which we ignore, just like eating the cake first?
I think having used that bag could have increased its life. I think eating cake before the meal was nothing but a little diversion in the daily routine. Every day is an occasion, and little modifications will make the occasion brighter and memorable.
Look at the difference. I am sure my niece would have a small happy memory of gulping her favorite cake that day, and I have a regretful memory of keeping that bag safe and sound in my cupboard, and not letting it serve its purpose of being.
So pull out your favorite things from your cupboards ‘saved for an occasion’, and start using them immediately before it’s too late.
Image source: a still from the short film Dying to be Me
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