Saturday, January 16, 2010

1015 : Saying the obvious

A week ago was with my sister and a few others. Quite unexpectedly, I was tasked with going down and getting some munchies. I decided to walk instead of take the car.

She jumped in, offering to walk along with me. Am assuming it was her 15 minutes of trying to connect with me (a sweet gesture, that one), shorn away from the urban noise that constantly surrounds us.

We both dote on each other, and yet we don’t meet often. The little instances when we do meet, she makes me invariably feel special and completely cared for, almost as if, I was the best human being around – almost as if, if my nephew grew into someone like me – she would be delighted and happy, and that I must admit, is a rare and precious feeling, at least, for me.

The walk actually stretched through 30-40 minutes and we spoke through this. Two adults holding hands and walking past shops, and talking gingerly about “our lives and times”.

She never avers telling me how I make her the best breakfast experience. Somehow this crept into our conversation on that evening, and…..(conversation sort of recreated)

Sis : I really miss your goody breakfast, come home this weekend and make it.
Me : I will try, (feeling modest and shrugging), but I use the same eggs and bread as you, how different can my cooking can be.
Sis : It is really the best.
(some more conversation on that topic, before we get into senti and emotional territory….)
Me : You know, culturally we don’t hug each other often, we don’t tell each other how much we value each other, we don’t tell others what we love about them, like you just told me about the breakfast. Its a simple thing, nothing deep, but it makes me feel good to know that “my cooking” means so much to you.
Sis : You do that a lot yourself don’t you, I noticed you hugging Ma and telling her how she makes the best coffee in the world, after each of the 3 cups you had today (laughing).
Me : (sheepishly laughing) I seriously think she makes the best coffee in the whole world.
Sis : I know you mean it, but you also say it – you make it explicit.
Me : Yes, I always believe that if I don’t tell her today what that cup means today, tomorrow might be too late, and I really believe that, life can go kapoosh in an instant…..No matter what happens tomorrow, I want her to know today, how much that cup means to my personal happiness – and that she is singularly responsible for that “moment of joy.”
Sis : Not many of us do that.
Me : Yes, and we are culturally not encouraged to do that. We don’t praise our little ones when they do good things, neither do we thank our “big” ones when they do something for us. Its culturally okay for us to assume “business as usual” and assume things for granted.
Sis : I agree completely….
Me : ….and for me, a thanks, is not a “box ticking thanks”, its actually a silent assimilation of this moment of joy, which you or someone created for me. Its a genuine little prayer to the larger universe - “I like this moment, it makes my life worth living.”
Me : ….you don’t have to “say a thanks”, a tap on the shoulder can mean the same, a peck can mean the same, a clasp of the palm can say it….whatever works.
Sis : ….we don’t often tell others how good everyday things are. If there is one mistake in the food, like salt is missing, we shall all highlight it, but we shall never praise “business as usual” and say, that today’s dal-rice tastes great, just like everyday.
Me : Precisely my point….and yet, making that single cup of coffee, requires the same amount of love and effort as the 2000 other ones amma has already pushed into my blood. And to me, it is also just as invaluable as the 2000 previous ones.
(and the conversation meandered around….)

Get the drift?

I believe with all my heart (and head), that life is very short, and terribly fickle. If we don’t tell people “things”(which could initially appear very obvious or plain jane to us) like signing off an email to your sis with “luv” – of course, I care and love her, but writing it down, and saying it with real feeling at that “moment” is necessary, because remember – that might be the last time I ever get to do it.

I peck my spousey’s hair and head probably 20 times a day. Everytime I do that, I tell Uncle Universe – “I love this moment”.

(and all along, you rowdy fuckers thought – I did not have any EQ at all :-) guffaw))

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