Sharing the Things that Count


The moment I stepped in for lunch at home, my six year old niece, Sia, came running, scanning me from head to toe. With a slightly worried, curious look she asked, “You are wearing my Mothers shirt!?!” The look on her face suggested  that she was worried about me infringing into her mother’s wardrobe. Without thinking twice I remarked, “Yes I am! Did you know that you are wearing Yog’s (my son) shirt. And Yog is wearing his cousin brothers shirt.” Both Sia and Yog’s heads dropped instantly to scan their respective shirts. I kneeled down to look Sia in the eye and said, “Isn’t it fun to share clothes?” For a moment, she was at a loss of words. The look on her face said it all. She did not feel lucky wearing a boys shirt which was a size smaller for her. I honestly could not blame her for not sharing my sentiment. I remember, as a child, I too felt like the unluckiest person in the whole world who got to wear second hand(often third hand) clothes passed on from her sisters.

How time flies and we completely change perspectives as an adult. Now, I feel blessed to have a large family consisting of mothers, sisters, brothers, and children. A family, which passes around pretty much everything on this planet. All women in my family have the same body size, so it is but natural that we have clothes, shoes, and accessories floating around among 4/5 different households. With the grace of God, we also have children who are younger/elder to each other only by a few years. Therefore, it is obvious that clothes, toys, books and even utensils keep getting handed down from one child to another. This sharing and passing around creates such a feeling of abundance, not only from a materialistic point of view, but more importantly from an emotional point. Wearing my sister in laws clothes who is now 8000 miles away from me, reminds me of her and the bond that we share. By covering myself with a garment which once belonged to her, takes me a tiny step closer to her life. In a way, it helps me feel her warm hug even when she is not around me.

As an adult, I would have life no other way. If I were to imagine a different world, where each toy had one life with one child only. As the child outgrew the toy, the toys life came to an end. In that world, the lovely Benarasi saree that I purchased for 25,000 had only one life with me, in which I could have worn it for maximum 3 occasions. Such a world would be so boring, not to mention so expensive. I believe in letting the Benarasi saree travel the world to be a part of different celebrations with different households; always getting centre stage attention cause it is so beautiful and was purchased and shared with so much love. I believe all good things in life were meant to be shared. Sharing, by default, multiplies the life span of things that count.

As we close this year and start a new one, I can only thank God for gifting me a family which happily shares their life with me. In the coming years, I hope we can continue to share our celebrations, sorrows and more importantly our love even when all of us are physically miles away from each other.

Here’s wishing a very Happy New Year to you and your families!


Five Whys

Day and Night

Five Whys is a common management tool used for identifying root causes to a problem. It is all about asking “Why” repeatedly till you come to the real root of the problem. Five Whys is also Yogs favorite technique to understand the world around him. This is how most of our conversations, these days, go:

Yog: Why do I have to wear a sweater today?

Mama: Because it is cold outside.

Yog: Why is it cold?

Mama: Because it is winter season.

Yog: Why is it winter season?

Mama: Because the earth has tilted away from the sun.

Yog: Why did the earth tilt away from the Sun?

Mama (thinking a simple way to explain this to Yog while driving to his school): Yog, we reached the school. I will need to explain this to you again.

We approach the school gates and the school staff reach in to take Yog from the car.

Yog (still full of questions in his mind): Will it be winter on Saturday also?

Mama (sighing): Yes Yog, it will be winter on Saturday as well.

Yog: Why Mama?

With that final Why, he is whisked into the school by the school staff. I start to drive off smiling at his inquisitiveness and wishing I had more time to explain the revolution of the earth to him. Slowly I start to wonder, if he did not have to go to school to learn  Maths, English and Science, and I did not have to go to work to earn enough money for his school fees, we would have all the time in the world to learn not only Maths, Science, History, and Geography but much more about all forms of life around us. That, I suppose is the biggest Why of my life!

Who created the Distance?

Day and Night

Distance, by definition is not related to one point
Distance, is and always will be the difference between two points
When you stand far from me, you see the distance between us
Does it matter how the distance was created; who moved backward, or who did not move at all?

What matters is that do we want the distance to be bridged or do we want the distance to grow
Rather do we believe this distance is worth bridging