Recent events in my life have made me realize that Im lucky to have had parents, and a family that indulges in, and has taught us to inculcate, a life outside of life. By that, I mean a family that spends time and energy in enriching life with things outside of the mundane everyday occurrences. That believes in the arts and books and solitude, to get away form the mundane things we tend to fill our every day lives with.
This is perhaps why I can spend days on end within the 4 walls of my house, and only sometimes miss friends, the world outside and restaurants and movies; while the husband sometimes cannot bear to get thru a Saturday spent wholly at home. He has been brought up to believe that “having fun” almost always means indulging in some momentary entertainment or happiness fix. Namely, good food and drink at a restaurant or a 3 hour movie that transports you to a world so far from your own that you actually begin to love how unreal and stupid it is. Its probably why at the end of a hard day he needs a couple of beers, and I can cool off with a nice work out. Its probably also why after 1.5 years of living the married rat race in the cushioned environment of a joint family, I really craved a life of my own. One where I could spread my wings and fly, so to speak. One that allowed me to indulge myself, my senses and my sensibilities, and grow into my own person, rather than someone in the shadow of an existing framework.
Its probably the reason why after spending a serious amount of time in activities that don’t enrich my soul, I crave that something more. I wish to spend time with myself, read, write or listen to music. Im okay with that sometimes. Im okay with not having a plan, with having empty time, with not being entertained 24/7. Im okay being with myself. This is something that has been dinned and taught to me all through my life. While we were growing up, we weren’t encouraged to go out and splurge a good load of money just to feel good or chase the blues away. We weren’t told that we would get gifts and goodies if we did well at school. We weren’t always instantly given things we desired. Yet, I think we turned out quite okay. We’ve learned to take the good and the bad, not seeking superficial placebos to make the lows go away. Yes, this attitude and upbringing has also taught us to deal with problems in a more rational, non-hysteric manner, as opposed to brushing things under the carpet and satisfying ourselves with an external stimulant.
I know Im probably rambling now, but this morning, after exchanging a few smses with the mother, I realized that what sometimes seemed as a hard-on-us-children kind of life while we were growing up, is definitely going to pay off. Growing up in a world where everything is increasingly short lived, everything is “instant”, everything is zipping by, Im glad my sister and I have been taught well, to slow down, to enjoy the moment even if it seems “empty”, to live like there’s no tomorrow, not to depend on external pleasures, and to make do an be happy with ourselves and what we have. And I know that many years from now when I look back on life, I’m probably not going to remember how many movies I watched, how many fancy restaurants Iv been to, how many parties I went to or how much jewellery I owned. But I will certainly remember my childhood and how enriching it was, my parents, my grandparents and people who have touched my life, my time in Goa and what a time of self-discovery it has been. And I will remember the moments in life that have taken my breath away: beautiful silence in a forest, an exquisite sunrise, the whitest sea sand, the hugest wild elephant, the peace of solitude, the calm and happiness of euphoria, and the satisfaction of a job well done. And for this, Im glad I the universe chose to give me to my parents, and vice versa.