Good Things and a Lesson in Gratitude


Sometimes good things happen to people like me. Things with the intensity to alter the course of our lives we thought we were destined to tread. We find it surprising, shocking, we’re taken aback. We’re not used to good things. We haven’t had them happen to us in a long time.  But we’re thankful for them, with all our soul.

After a moment’s profound happiness, doubt creeps in. We wonder if they were really directed at us or if they landed in our lives by accident. We treat those things with distant consideration. We don’t want to get attached. We believe that they’ll be gone sooner than later- this assumption stems from experience. We get anxious, knowing that any moment could be the moment when things go wrong. The initial excitement is overwhelmed by apprehension. Like a crouched tiger we wait for a wrong move. But unlike the cat, we wait, anticipate even, for catastrophe to strike. We hope for tragedy to come quickly and take away whatever we aren’t meant to keep, so that we can finally claim whatever goodness is left for us- whatever goodness is meant for us, knowing that the ‘impending doom’ is over and dealt with. We, now, don’t keep ourselves from cherishing the goodness we’re left with.

But when a disaster doesn’t strike, we live in fear. We worry every day about losing it. We refuse to acknowledge it and call it our own. We are hesitant to accept it wholly. We say ‘It’s too good to be true’ because we wait for it to lose some of its excellence to befit people like us.

I realize now that despite my doubts and unbelief, I need to be thankful. I cannot put conditions on my gratefulness. Whether the tragedy strikes or not, I don’t deserve good things. Its only grace.

And I am gratified and humbled. That’s all I should focus on.



Languidly Cynical

I’m not a romantic but I’m not one of those cynics either who discredit the phenomenon of love completely. I am one of those cynics who believe in the existence of romantic love but know that its existence is almost Utopian, that very lucky few will experience it in its true sense. I’m the one who, when they hear their friends say “I’m in love…”, can’t help thinking- ‘Love’? Yeah okay. Let’s see how long that idea lasts.

But admittedly, I don’t hate love songs. They make me believe in a make-believe world of perfect people where love in its purest form exists. In that world, a sincere man wearing a hat says “It cannot wait… It is our fate, I’m yours”; a lonely guy promises to wait to two more years for his girl and promises to pay the bills with his guitar; a goofy teenager loves his girlfriend’s flaws because it’s her it all adds up to and the bottom line is he’s in love with her; and a man asks a woman to let him love her until she learns to love herself. Nobody in that world calls a woman (no matter how endearingly) “shorty” or “bitch” or refers to her ‘ass’ or use any crude/ filthy innuendos. These things may or may not happen in the real world, but that doesn’t mean that I will hate listening about something as wonderfully happy. For the same reason I also believe in- Santa Claus, inheriting money from a rich unheard-of relative, my favourite pair of shoes never wearing out, the non-existence of politics, me being a dog-whisperer, dogs going to heaven, being fit without working out because climbing stairs to the office once-a-day is exercise enough, and accidentally running into Bradley Cooper and us getting along fabulously. I could go on but I won’t digress.

So, if a toddler listens to these love songs and sets high standards dreaming about the perfect partner who plays the piano and says “You’re amazing just the way you are”, I say, let them. The real world needs them to stop making bad life decisions that affect them permanently at an age when they don’t even know how to spell ‘prophylactic’.

And if you truly believe in perfect romantic love and soul mates, I envy your rose-tinted glasses.

And if you have lived it, well… good for you. Now go back to living in the Diana Ross-Lionel Ritchie song, you don’t belong here.