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!