Monday, 28 July 2014

On Gratitude


You know how rain falls. 

Stray drops at first, as if the cloud is still making up its mind. You stare at the cemented courtyard floor waiting to see if the black dots are increasing, wondering if it is indeed rain and not the first floor people hanging their washed linen. You look up at the clouds, and then down again. Seeing the smaller circles dry, already, but almost hoping there’s more where that came from. And then, it does come. Slowly at first, and soon enough much faster, taking over in sight and sound what was once just a dull broken floor with a tulsi plant in the corner thirsting for respite. Finally you breathe, ‘It’s raining!’ Instinctively, you inhale. Expectantly too, for you know the earth will smell good, for you. The leaves shine greener, for you. The breeze blow cooler, yes, for you. 

Why not! If belief can move mountains, just imagine what contentment can flow from believing in a larger loom of goodness making weaves of happiness around you, just for you. And then, just half a breath is all it takes to send a quiet paper plane of ‘thank you’, sometimes with the destination marked, but often simply skywards charting its own path. 

I don’t think I have said as many thank-you's ever in my life as I have in this month of July speeding by. 

My son started formal schooling and best wishes for a boy who loves back as unconditionally as the love he receives came pouring in. My seventh wedding anniversary followed close on the heels of his big school milestone, and over mails and messages we were blessed with many years of togetherness. In walked some extra smiles, as someone’s ‘many happy returns of the day’ made our Facebook friends post birthday wishes on both the husband’s and the wife’s walls. We corrected them, of course, but thanked them too for their wishes, because each came with a ‘happy’ in it. And then, when a short story written by me saw itself in print, with a lovely book cover and a launch date complete, the excited flow of congratulations from those long lost in the play grounds of school or nooks and corners of college life had to be met with a barrage of equally elated  thank-you’s in return. 

Just when I thought it must be over for now … 

Strange are the ways in which small gestures make you feel all warm inside, make you appreciate things as they stand. To have been on these people’s minds made me feel good. It also made me wonder, beyond all the music and noise that we call life, about what I truly am grateful for and to whom.

And when I say ‘Thank God’ it’s not Him alone I mean, or Her…

I also mean People.

Those who I call family and friends and those who like to be called family and my friends. Whether around all the time, or once in an important blue moon, they help me form a chain of support much like bars on a ladder which I climb – sometimes with feet planted firmly on the rungs, other times with my hands and arms taking the weight, with each muscle aching for a push from below. And getting it. A phone call, a text message or just a ‘Hi, long time!’

And even those people who recede from my life. Relationships once forged but only to die a natural death, as if the bond came with an expiry date, and reached it. Those friends of yore who took a few steps back, first, and then many more to go beyond what the naked eye can see (not memory, no) for not always can two different minds be ready to grow together? Those people conspicuous by absence on my most happy days, and on those which broke my back. A natural severing. Meant to be. And so, not a loss but as if making space for others, for how many can we carry as we move ahead in life? 

Strangers too, who make their presence felt where even once is enough. That woman in a maroon and black suit who asked an old man to de-board a bus because he was behaving badly with the girl that I was in college. That guard at the school gate who calls my son ‘sir’, waving a goodbye through his big moustaches. Making me feel my son is safe. That auto driver who dropped me home, sans haggling sans cheating sans over-charging on a day Delhi swept off in the rains. And that lady who I shared the auto and broken Punjabi with, for there was a river on the road and she did not mind taking me along, making her two kids sit in her tiny lap. Thank God! 

When I say ‘Thank God’ it’s not Him alone I mean, or Her…

I also mean Circumstances.

Some call them results of free will some pronounce them pre-destined. Some look for beautiful patterns in life and call them coincidences. I have had my share of each, even as I type. For how can I not say thank you for that moment which got me to write? And write again? And be read and read some more? The circumstances which seemed vile but were blessings in disguise, and those which remained so sweet I never need sugar in my coffee any more. Those situations which may mean nothing today, but may acquire meaning tomorrow. And decisions from days gone by withering away as irrelevant this day. Each, no matter how small, a fitting piece of this jigsaw puzzle we call life. Propelling it forward, or making it reach a break. All for  good reason. For, what other reason can we need to believe in? 

There is just so much to be thankful about today. Say, this auspicious day of Eid, when ‘On Gratitude’ took birth on my blog. And I sit flying that paper plane skywards and saying Thank You!


50 comments:

  1. There are so many little things to be thankful for, no? Glad you have lots of them. And may you continue to remain happy. Now and always :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just too many, Sid. And I am sure you have as many too. :) I wish the same happiness that you bring everyone around you. :)

      Delete
  2. Thank you for posting this! You made me smile instinctively and I Thanked many for the life I am leading today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) Very good to connect, Datta. Thank you.

      Delete
  3. Blessed are you. And blessed are we to have come to know you. My words will not do justice to this soulful post Saks. Simply beautiful! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am blessed to have friends like you. Mature, caring, understanding and appreciative. I am very proud of our P365. Look how beautifully we have managed months of it sans any misunderstanding. Thank God for you, Rekha. The voice of calm in all this noise. Love you!

      Delete
  4. I don't find words when I read your posts. There is a soothing aura in your words, a calm magic that can not be defined but only felt. And with a smile, I say 'Thank You' for writing and sharing your beautiful stories with all of us :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :) You are one of the better writers around. Let me also so, you are one of my favourite poets in the world of blogging too. It is a pleasure to read you, Amrit and it's good to know the feeling is mutual. :)

      Delete
  5. Like Reks mentions in her comment, no words in comments can do justice to this poetic soulful heartfelt post. But thank you for writing so beautifully and from the heart Saks, you truly are a gifted wordsmith.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is so touching! You really have a way with words Sakshi. To turn the gratitude challenge into a blog post is such a beautiful idea. Sometimes verbalizing our gratitude reaffirms our belief in the same. And, I'm glad you put them in words in your own signature style.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks to you, Vinodini. We barely know each other and have connected only through our writings. I guess when you keep it honest such lovely connections are bound to happen. I now sit hoping your brushes are out and the paints creating a picture on canvas. Are they? :)

      Delete
  7. I love this. It resonates with my Facebook update today

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I will go over to your update right away! :D

      Delete
  8. Agree with Rekha. You are blessed indeed to have so many moments and people to be thankful for :) And its not easy expressing gratitude and the fact that you were able to do it so beautifully speaks volumes about how truly thankful you feel :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. July has been a month of awakening for me - not just the good bits I mention above, Seeta, but also the bad ones which need no mention. It is almost as if it needed to happen. Only now I realise how good I feel about both the whites and the blacks of life. Have I grown up suddenly? No. But am I happier today? Yes. Much more than a few days back.
      Many thanks for being a part of this, Seeta.

      Delete
  9. Well written feelings. A great way of expressing satisfaction and spreading love in the world. Great job.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Ranjana. Wish you well. :)

      Delete
  10. I am unable to find perfect words to describe your beautiful piece and the word you chose to write on means a lot in everyone's life...so 'Thank you'

    ReplyDelete
  11. Lovely piece on being truly grateful..

    ReplyDelete
  12. First congratulations on your sans seven year itch wedded bliss and son's joining school!!! these are indeed great milestones in our journey of life. You are so young and yet you already have wisdom of a wise old lady(sorry but that was meant to sound like a compliment)Lovely read as your usual posts are Sakshi loved reading this one too. Eid Mubarak to you and your family too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nima, thank you. I would like to believe too that I am wise. But truth be told, only in moments which I then quickly preserve in writing. :D
      Wish you a lovely Eid too, Nima.

      Delete
  13. Beautiful post. From gratitude springs happiness. Eid Mubarak to you and Happy Anniversary too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for reading and for your wishes, Kalpanaa. :)

      Delete
  14. Each day is a gift and sometimes, the fact that we are blessed with it calls for a celebration. I love the way you have started off this post about the line on rains. You have described it so well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, A. Good to see you here, on this post and in my space. :)

      Delete
  15. Thank you for these uplifting words! Life has been rather confusing recently, requiring much rethinking, which has put my usually thankful self on the back burner! It needs to come right to the forefront again! God bless, Sakshi.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There has been confusion and disappointment on my side of the world too, Dipali. While I spent a couple of weeks wondering what was amiss, I now realise it's best to train energies (and time!) on the blessings in the basket. And you know, we are all blessed.
      God bless you too, Dipali. Missing you on FB. :)

      Delete
  16. You are right Sakshi in bringing up this discussion on gratitude. People these days have jsut forgotten about this. They assume that everything is their right and so there is no need to be thankful about it. Well, I learned about gratitude during my stay in Auroville. There people say thank you and express their gratitude even in small things and pleasure. Also, what's the harm in saying a simple 'Thank you' for it brings a smile to the person being said to and you in turn become a better and humble person. So gratitude to you for writing this and helping us ponder about it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have stayed in Auroville? How lovely!
      I agree with you. I think we draw our circles of relationships so narrow, we just don't feel the need to say 'thank you' (or even other words of kindness) to those who we don't call 'close' to us.
      Thank you for reading me, Gitanjali. Your thoughts are mine! :)

      Delete
  17. I am assuming that I am mentioned (even if not by name) somewhere in this cryptic, nameless list that you have 'woven' around Gratitude above. So, I shall just say - You're welcome!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, you are up there. Where exactly, I don't know. :D
      Thanks for coming by!

      Delete
  18. wow really very nice information

    thanks

    http://www.happyfriendshipdaysms.com/

    ReplyDelete
  19. :) .. a warm post which made me smile and reminded me to feel blessed about what I have already..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot for reading! :)
      Lots of love.

      Delete
  20. My comment vanished :( Loved this post. Gratitude is so under-valued in today's world, where everybody's hankering after that one thing they don't have and forget the whole lot of things they ought to be grateful for.. Precisely to reinforce this, I started a ritual of saying a bedtime 'thank you prayer' with my son, who I hope will learn to be grateful for all things big and small in due course..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I like the sound of that ritual. I am going to borrow it. :)

      Delete
  21. let me say THANK YOU for the article..

    Bikram's

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you read the article before saying that THANK YOU, B?
      Never waste a precious thank you! :D
      Also, you are welcome. Thank YOU for visiting my blog regularly.

      Delete
  22. These are small things that keep us going strong even when the tide turns against us. Nishad is one loving fellow whom I would love to meet in this life time. Your post is soothing to my nerves at a time when I am worried about my future, unsatisfying job and at the cross road of life, seriously doubting myself as a human being.
    Belated marriage anniversary. Yeah you are on a roll and an inspiration-I am not saying it for effects, Sakshi.
    Keep the faith:)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vishal, for all the encouragement you shower on me, here's praying for a worry-free life for you. I am sure this is just a phase and things will fall into place sooner than you imagined. Please, do not doubt yourself as a human being. Why would you?!
      Thanks for the wishes. I know you don't talk for effects. :)
      Sakshi

      Delete
    2. Thank u for ur kind and inspiring words, Sakshi:) As they say, one should go with the flow and that's what I am doing. Nopes, I wouldn't doubt and hoping for miracle of sort.
      Cheerz

      Delete
  23. How beautiful your post is, Sakshi! It echoes my thoughts that, often it is the small things that we need to be thankful about, for it is these that make us truly happy! I love your style of writing, and your clear mellow thoughts! God bless!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, Deepti.
      If we insist on being and keeping happy, I think we can see blessings where ever we set our eyes. :) Lots of love for your love, always.

      Delete
  24. The post went unread when it was written and uploaded... but I guess it is good for me to have read it today because sometimes when one is besieged by anger and almost ready to bash anyone, it is good to realise that each of these people have done something good to me at some point in time.
    Well, g-r-a-t-i-t-u-d-e is back inside me.

    Arvind Passey
    www.passey.info

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was written over a year back! Reading your comment makes me glad to have shared it today. Sometimes, writing can serve this purpose too, why not!
      Many thanks for reading.

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...