CONTENTMENT

Its a collection of small pockets of time that we manage to steal for ourselves

The Thesaurus and Oxford dictionary use synonyms like happiness and fulfilment to describe it.
According to Urban Dictionary, it is “The state of mind you reach when you look at your life in all its imperfection, and say good enough”.


The first shower of the season came as a shock rather than a surprise.
Being stranded in a place for 90 minutes more than required.
A dearth of connectivity from current location to the closest metro station.
Someone burning a hole in my shirt. An overly bumpy ride to my station.
A cranky kid blaring.
An air-tight compartment packed with staleness burning my breath.
Dirt and other particles staining my bag.
A phone that’s waiting to die on me.
A walk through a smoky, crammed road.
Splatters of muck making me dirty waist deep.
A soiled pair of shoes and frizzed up crown of hair.
Being recognised by an acquaintance who decides to park aside for a little tête-à-tête.
Welcomed home by a guest whose arrival I had forgotten all about.

I walked into the house this evening looking like seven kinds of hell. All the above things had happened on the same evening, within a period of 45 minutes. But there is one more thing that had happened. It wasn’t an event. It was just an underlying feeling that I had through all these events. A Satisfaction of sorts!
Let me take you through the details of these 45 minutes for better understanding…

So after a brief day of work I decided to take a walk through the mall. A browse through the windows and half an hour later I was ready to leave but the climate had other plans and had me stranded for 90 extra minutes. But the drop in temperature was a welcome relief. Once the down pour mellowed down to comfortable drizzles I took to getting wet in search for a rickshaw to take me to the closest station.
Before I knew it there were sparks flying and there was a hole in my shirt. On following the direction of their origin I found a street vendor fanning at coal and roasting corn; such a delight!
Taking shelter under his make shift tarpaulin tent, I shared some corn with the local kids who were more than willing to share their summer expedition tales in exchange for some warm snacks. After a good laugh, Lakshmi (one of the street children) offered to ask her uncle to drop me at the station. His rickshaw was rickety and the cushions pokey, but it was a blessing to find a ride.
Onto the first stretch of my metro, there was ample room and breathing space. Once I switched lanes and hung up on an ongoing call upon seeing the rush, I had to fight my way onto it. Pushed against the wall, two women squeezing me for some extra square feet from either sides and a baby bawling its eyes out and making the already stuffed space grow smaller. The mother earned multiple angered looks as she struggled to shoulder her baby into comfort until someone took notice to the fact that the clothing of the mother wasn’t conducive to the young skin. To distract myself and be of use I offered to hold the infant and we gibberish-ed our way through.
Getting off on my stop and onto the roads, completing the last stretch to reach my destination, I was greeted by a biker speeding over a puddle of water, leaving me amazed at the way he swerved through the crowd. It was a relief to know that my laptop was safe but I knew my pants were soaking wet- can you imagine my comfort at the end of a hot day (imagine me winking while I say this).
The next 400 meters were spend jumping in almost every puddle that I could find and watch people judge me for being immature and crazy… only I knew how good I was feeling and couldn’t care much. Things sure got a bit awkward when a familiar face popped out of a car and asked me to get in. Hopped in and got a ride, left behind a thanks and lots of slush to remember me by. Entered home with a bounce to my step, a nest hair on my head and a song on my lips only for Mumma to show me her signature glare that has the capacity to send me places.
‘Hello!’, came a flying hug with a dejected smile from our guest who had realised all too late the sorry state of my appearance.
Maybe it was the look of contentment on my face that had distracted them from my physical reality…

The Tale of The Medicine Man

And just like that, baba walked away with a satisfied smile, after sharing this little tale with me.

A long time ago, in a village of modest means, there arrived a medical emergency that the local remedies could not fix. For the love of the ailing member of the community, the members responsible agreed upon sending a bullock cart to request the doctor from the adjacent village to pay a visit. The ailing member seemed to be spending his limited supply of breaths, very soon.
The village that was accustomed to believing that they are one huge extended family, was desperately waiting for the bullock cart to return. They were all waiting at small distances from the furthest end of the village to the bed side of the suffering, each trying to provide comfort in anyway possible.
However there was one man that sat aloof from the rest. Seemingly unbothered by the events of the village, seated on a high branch of a sky-scraping tree. Many swore at his dis-concern and some swore to isolate him once they had averted the crisis at hand.
The kids ran from house to house, to and from the furthest border of the village. Screaming heavy breaths, raising dust clouds and earning applauds from all the others. There was chit-chat of concern and prayers that could be heard on every street and alley. There were complains about the absence of any signs of the return of the cart with the doctor- every eight to ten minutes, which soon increased the volume of the over all chit-chat.
Suddenly there was a loud horn blown that silenced the co-habitants and got them back to a decorum of sorts. In a matter of few seconds, the little border guards saw a large cloud of dust raising and charging at a galloping speed. And just like that, the cart with its guest traveller sped through the lanes and alleys with all the villagers making way for it.
A few hours and rushed supplies later, the suffering had received due attention and the sufferer was resting his illness away. And as a matter of principle, to keep their word, the adults began to look for the one who showed no concern. They ordered him to climb off the summit of the tree and receive the judgement for betraying the community in its time of need.

As he was dragged to be publicly humiliated and receive his verdict on misconduct, the sound of claps and applause began to vibrate through the streets, everywhere he passed. By the time he reached the townhouse, the venue of verdict, he was announced as the ‘Miracle Man’!

And the ones who were willing to think beyond miracles understood that it was no miracle that he knew exactly when to sign the horn. He just was sitting on a higher place, with a longer range of sight- because of experience and knowledge.


And just like the Horn Blower, Baba walked away with a satisfied smile, after sharing this little tale with me.

I had been troubled with a decision and he had been asking me to listen to my gutt and have some trust in him. While I continued to say that I trust him with all my heart, I was still full of little doubts of uncertainty. While the situation increasingly stressed me out as I felt like a deer caught in head lights, who seemed to have lost her better judgement. On seeing me breakdown and complain that I couldn’t make a call instantaneously because the complexity was over whelming and the consequences to the decision would have the magnitude that I had never yet faced. I had complained that he was pushing me too far and not being understanding of my situation.

After watching me go on for a while, when he saw that I had calmed down a bit, he sat me down and combed his fingers through my hair. Applying calming pressure on my scalp and shared this tale with me. Without having to blow his own horn, he left me with something valuable.
He smiled when he saw that I had begun to connect the dots. He walked away when he was sure that I had begun to understand that the higher branch was symbolical of a higher level of wisdom that had come with a combination of knowledge and experience, not just a higher level of a hierarchy through age and power.

Late Night Gratitude

I’m feeling good, particularly about nothing and yet about everything.

Lying in bed at the owl hours of winter night. Spread out like I’m making snow angels. Staring at the overhead fan, trying to count the number of rotations it makes in a minute and miserably failing each time. I laugh to myself and start over; there is no mad rush for doing something better. The strays on the streets have finished their scavenger patrols and the moon is glowing bright enough. It’s a strangely fulfilling feeling, to not be worried about wasting away time on mindless tasks.

It could be the weather or just the effect of watching multiple hallmark movies over the years. After having a full Wednesday and snoozing through most of it. But for now I’m just happy to be wrapped up in my washed-up comforter, wearing yoga pants from when I was two inches too short and a t-shirt I’m not sure how I procured. The night air is a bit chilly, but I’m just too comfortable to get up and reduce the speed of the fan.

Tomorrow is a workday, but for now I can only think of all the things that have been good and great. My mind is swell and humming a song I heard in an Italian movie with subtitles. I mean, we all have our days; I know I do. I have a range from Buttercups to Lisa Simpson, from Olive Oyl to Roadrunner, from Merida to Cinderella. But today, I’m just feeling good.

I’m feeling good, particularly about nothing and yet about everything.

On last new years’ eve I had made a resolution. It was to make sure that I’d try out all activities that have brought joy to me in the past. Why did I make it? I’m not sure; maybe I was just lazy to think of something new. Or maybe becauseI knew I would still find simple pleasure in some, if not all of them. And here I am, feeling content at the end of the year, making lists for the year to come and mostly feeling grateful.

If the past year were a book, its cover would be a vibrant blend of colours light and dark, all thrown together to create something abstract yet so beautiful. If it were a music piece it would have the music of a saxophone, electric guitar and a violin, all together. If it were a garden it would have grass in shades of green and brown, with some weeds and beautiful little flowers.

The opportunity to meet new people, from different places, has always interested me. I’m not big on socialising, but every once in a while I enjoy getting to know someone completely new and preferably very different from myself. I’ve had the privilege of befriending many people this time. Took a weeklong trip with strangers who became friends and some even influencers in their own way.  Took multiple weekend trips and re-connected with old friends and got introduced to some more. Travelled with family and had the chance to re-connect.

I took up many challenges, aced a few and failed a few, but tried all! Started the blog on the word of a stranger who is now a well-wisher. Tried to shrink the waistline, but that never panned out. Learned how to cook something new.Found some of my work targets unrealistic after having have dived headfirst. Defeated my sweet tooth and gained better control over my impulsive binges. Spent another year desperately wanting for a canine companion. Joined the management class and am actually enjoying it. Enjoyed some beautiful sunrises. Missed quite a few night outs and events. Lost my phone.  Ran the 10k I dreamt of. Read very little by comparison. Exploited netflix subscription. 

I found inspiration and admiration in nature. Learned to be more accepting of others. Struggled a bit with my self image. Mended some fences, lost track of some others. Indulged in self-care, gained some sunburns. Sprained my ankle. Developed better calf muscles. Started being more sensitive towards the environment. Dabbled in make-up. Cried till I couldn’t remember why. Laughed until I was doubled up with pain. Danced by letting it all go. Stayed hydrated through party nights. The year has been a ride, not a very smooth one for sure. But today when I look back at all that has passed and everything that I’ve learnt, I know it’s been a beautiful one.

Taking stock of everything that’s putting an aimless smile on my face sure feels good. While the fan continued to reel over-head, I can’t be bothered by the ramblings of the world. For once I’m not in a hurry to fall asleep or do anything else,because right here everything seems to be comfortable.

The song that I’ve been humming  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gk8oSNMQ6xU