Wednesday, August 5, 2015

WHAT GIVES YOU JOY, KEEP IT...




Pic.: Pradeep Nanda

My wife was telling me, this morning, about something nice she had read yesterday. It was an extract from a Japanese author’s book which had appealed to a vast audience in the West, particularly in the US. My wife told me, that the book was about how to keep one’s wardrobe neat and tidy (An American closet can be as large as an Indian bedroom!). And, if one kept dumping in such a wardrobe all sorts of stuff, you can imagine what a colossal dumping-yard the wardrobe would look like!

So, apparently, this Eastern author had shared some simple tips through which one could keep the closet free of clutter… neat and tidy. What had appealed to my wife, when she had read about it, yesterday, was this simple, yet profound, tip:
“What brings you joy, keep it… What doesn’t, give it away.”

I do not know why my wife remembered, after so many years – and of all the things we had stuffed and unstuffed in our wardrobe – that cute-little sweater of our son. When my wife was expecting our son, her granny’s elder sister – we fondly called her Lilly aunty – had so lovingly and so patiently hand-made this cute-little sweater for her would be great-grand nephew or niece … That’s how Lilly aunty would greet all her great-grand little-ones… She would put all her love and affection and embark upon her grand mission: a lovely sweater for her beloved little-one who was expected to arrive soon…

Lilly aunty was weak and frail, her eyesight was poor… Yet, amidst her all other household chores, she would take away time and work patiently and diligently on the sweater… a little bit, every day… and, by the time  her great-grand-little-one would arrive, she would be ready to greet him/her with the pretty-little present… It would take for her months… But, aunty would engage in her labor of love not just for our son, but for all her great-grand nephews and nieces… She continued to do it till she passed away, some years ago!

“So cute our son looked in aunty’s sweater,” my wife recalled this morning, “He wore it till he was three!”

When our son had outgrown Lilly aunty’s sweater, we had given it away to our maid servant’s little-baby… The sweater had given us great amount of joy… and, yet, we had given it away… Perhaps, we had found more joy in seeing it on our maid’s baby than in seeing it lying unused in our closet…

As my wife was describing to me about the Japanese author’s tips, my mind went back to those innocent – yet beautiful – cards our little-son would painstakingly sketch for his parents on their b’days and proudly, with sparkles in his eyes, would present early in the morning to say “Happy b’day daddy” or “Happy b’day mummy.”

“I wish we could keep all those cards,” I was thinking aloud, “They had made us so joyful!”

“What beings you joy, keep it… What doesn’t, give it away.” There, certainly, is great wisdom in this simple tip…

But, in life, some things can be so beautiful – and make us even more joyful – when we outgrow the joyful experience they bring forth…

GERALD D’CUNHA

No comments: