At the outset, Happy Diwali to everyone. Hope you are enjoying your Diwali in whatever way possible with a little thought for the environment as well. I know I’ve been MIA for quite a bit from this space but believe me, I get these exceedingly great blog post ideas a few minutes before shut-eye and the next morning I dont remember any of it! But this post is more of a personal experiment (read: change) that I’m trying to perform. I call it the de-grudging, much like de-cluttering. Except here, it is all in my head.
When I was a little kid, my dad gifted me two special books. One was this thin red book that had a tribal or some international art form (I dont remember now exactly) and read “Folk Tales from around the World”. It was a special book for me for not only its stories and exotic settings ( Poland, Peru, Thailand etc.) but it had a different font. The paper was also a little creamish and felt so different. I always like the feel of a book. I like to hold the pages between my fingers and feel the page and admire the font settings and appreciate how beautiful some words look in print (wrapped is one such word – dont ask me why) and enjoy the prettiness of it all. Ok ok , I will stop ranting but you get the idea. So this book had this story about a little girl from Poland who had a lot of grudges against people. She was always miffed and angry and sported a scorn at all times on her face.No one liked her, she had no friends, she was never happy. Then one day an angel ( Now Im not sure if it was an angel or God but some holy spirit) decided to teach her a lesson. Every time she sprouted a grudge against someone, a brick appeared in her room. So as she kept getting angry with people, more and more bricks appeared. Slowly, they began to fill her room, her house and it became impossible to live. Her parents were desperate and did not know what was happening. Everyone was very unhappy, including the little miserable girl. One day she got an idea to drop grudges against people. And she did. As she forgave them, the bricks started disappearing and lo behold! not a single brick remained. The girl forgot about holding grudges and became a very happy little girl. They all lived happily every after.
So you might ask, what has this got to do with me. I realized about the “bricks” in my head. Of course as a child I thought they were real bricks which appeared, but the real meaning sunk in much later. I realize I was the one at a loss when I kept sprouting reasons to dislike people. And it was infectious. Then I thought of this story and realized well, it is only me who will be left miserable at the end of it all and started dropping grudges. As I went about clearing that pile of bricks I realized I was so happy and relaxed. I no longer had a reason not to talk to someone or remember misdeeds and heat up my brain. I could use that memory space for more beautiful and happy ones. Really, sounds like a lot of tosh on paper? No, trust me. It feels wonderful and I feel cleaner and lighter than I’ve ever been.
If Diwali is a time to clean, I think the timing is perfect. I have cleaned my most important asset, my head and am happier than ever. Im not qualified enough to ask anyone else to do so, but it is a wonderful feeling. I would really like to get my hands on that book again. It was lost in so many transfers. I will hunt it down though. ( It had this story about what mosquitoes really say when they humm near your ears- they are actually asking if you have their queen’s earrings!!)
On another note, the second book I was referring to was called “Popular Tales from Rajasthan”. It had a blue cover with a side-view face of a Rajasthani woman I’ve replicated like a zillion times. It had great stories, some ghostly, about Rajasthani princes and brides and forests etc. It was also where I first read the word “magnanimous” and impressed my first-grade English teacher with reasonably accurate usage. Sigh, fond memories.
Happy Diwali again folks! And happy degrudging! 🙂