Now is the time to savor your precious possessions

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Post Covid, I have become more selective about what I buy. Illustrative image
Image Credit: Agency

I went to meet Amrita, a close friend of mine, after centuries. As we sat down to enjoy a cup of tea, she joked, her voice tempered by a myriad of emotions: “These aren’t just ordinary cups and saucers. Therefore, I took them out to celebrate our reunion today. This tea set gives me a lesson in life. The porcelain cups and saucers were exquisite. It dated back to her mother’s marriage and dowry, her brother had given her this set with a pair of gold earrings, with her first salary.

Pastel pink with semi-spiral and fluted patterns on the sides, as delicate as seashells. “And so many feelings flow into the soul of the tea set – Ma’s memory of her wedding day, her brother’s first earnings and filial love. I don’t think Ma ever drank it, I don’t even remember if anyone did. A sacrilege would be committed if they did. It occupied a prominent place in the cupboard even after many changes of address. Little by little the pretty pink faded, the cups cracked.

After her mother passed away, Amrita started using the set. These were two of the unused cups and the saucers still standing. That day we drank in the spirit of friendship, love and momentary happiness! The “special day” that we are waiting for, to use all these objects that we treasure, isn’t that an elusive idea?

It’s like that first snowflake of winter, on the windowsill that we hold in the palm of our hands with admiration in our eyes and before we know it, melts into a liquefied nothingness. Or that last drop of autumn dew, gently caressing the glass before it disappears. No, we have to find something special in the present today, now.

My friend, Sana’s husband had a penchant for shoes, he bought a pair that his favorite actor wore and put on, after much hesitation. Indulgence and guilt were synonymous. But after buying it, he kept the shoes in the chic package that came with it and waited for a special occasion to wear them.

The shoes were still in their fancy packaging, however, the man who purchased them fell victim to Covid-19. Sana hugs them affectionately and a little with anger, and says sadly: “Let us savor what we love ‘today’ because no one knows what tomorrow will bring.”

The pandemic has heightened this feeling of uncertainty. Today, rummaging through my wardrobe, I find so many new clothes waiting to catch a glimpse of the outside world. The pair of earrings that I feel need an extraordinary vibe to be done justice to stay snuggled up in a pretty velvet box, untouched, unused. Then it occurs to me that these are goods that I bought for the pleasure of my soul, so why do I need to wait for the external validation of this “extraordinary day”.

The precious collection of ink pens neatly wrapped in the cozy cocoon of a box have been removed and used. I thought I would use them someday to write a book or sign that precious book contract. Today I wrote a poem with one of them in my journal and then wrote my grocery list with another!

After Covid, the shopping sprees were kept at bay, because I became much more selective about what I buy. I began to attach a note to the gifts I buy for my friends: “Use and wear this today, for the ‘now’ is what we have for real. “

Enjoy what you admire … use it, savor it, finish it because you can’t take it with you and others might not be able to take care of it like you do, they can even do not wish it.

Navanita Varadpande is a writer based in Gurgaon, India Twitter: @VpNavanita


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