ATTACHED TO MY MEMENTOS

Preserving souvenirs has always been my habit since teenage. I preserved every letter that I used to receive. For any chocolate that was gifted to me,  I used to preserve the wrapper. My diary notes, my to-do lists, greeting cards, newspaper articles that I liked, magazines… the list is endless. I still have the special edition of the newspaper on the Golden Jubilee of our nation’s Independence Day.  I even have the wake-up notes that I used to put up on my room’s door for my parents to wake me up as I used to study till late night. From small pebbles with a different appearance that I got from a couple of places to Deodar leaves I brought from Patnitop,  I have a lot of items in my memento folder. Years later, when I grew up, I started collecting the restaurant bills, especially when I ate with my husband before marriage. And now when I have kids, my focus has shifted to them as I have preserved their clamps from umbilical cords,  their first sippers, first birthday candles, milk teeth, scribblings, drawings, etc.

My memento folder is precious to me and yes I am attached to it,  though not too emotional about it simultaneously. I just love keeping them and feel great on having a look at those things after ages. Yes,  I was too emotional earlier for my stuff, but my thinking skewed a bit because of my husband. He says one shouldn’t be emotionally attached to non-living things as they are temporary. So,  your first bike, car, or house isn’t going to be forever with you, or you are not going to stick with those forever.

Children also get attached to their toys. There is one special toy which they will tag along wherever they go. But,  as they grow up, they develop new interests and forget about those special toys. We should also learn from kids and shouldn’t be too attached to non-living things. Because at the end people matter,  not material things.

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ATTACHMENT TO MY PERSONAL DIARIES

Trust me, this was difficult. When I was told to write on this topic – it was difficult to think of a non-living item that I am attached to and feel I need to have it with me at all times. I thought of my mobile, laptop, kindle, clothes, jewelry, shoes etc. as the first items. But those are needed because my life depends on them – I don’t have any attachment with these items. If my laptop breaks today, I wouldn’t care much provided all important data that I need to run my life is safe.

I am attached to my past, memories, people but not really things. While I was almost thinking that I will give up writing on this topic – something came striking to me. It was the fact that I have preserved my school diaries and personal diaries that I wrote as a child. I have carried them all throughout my life. I had them with me in my hostel while in college, then while working before marriage and then kept while moving multiple homes after marriage.

Now I feel that soon I will have to keep them in a lock because my son might someday sneak in and read my childhood secrets – which I wouldn’t want. Childhood secrets, they are such mesmerizing memories.

While writing those journal, I used to write the whole conversations in my diary, sometimes the whole day’s schedule, sometimes just my feelings, sometimes just the questions that I had for life. Whenever I read them, I go back to that age of innocence, craziness and confusion. And needless to say that I love that. One can say that I am actually attached to those memories. But the fact that I have preserved those memories so carefully in pieces of papers – I am attached to those precious diaries.

There are 5 personal diaries and a few school diaries also which I used to scribble on. And they are full of text that is written nicely and sometimes scribbled. At some places the pages are torn because I was so angry while writing it. If I read all of them one after the other, I can see myself grow from a little child to a grown woman. And it is a very exhilarating feeling to see what I was and how I turned out to be me.

I wish I could share these diaries with my family and friends, but that would be a breach of trust to the little me who actually wrote it. So, I will not do so. Because if someday I meet the little Prabhjot, she would be very disappointed with her own future. Well, now I am talking of time travel ☺

I don’t write daily journals anymore. Maybe because I have started blogging. But writing blogs is very different than writing a diary. While writing a blog I need to keep up to a standard because there are readers who will read it and judge it. However, writing a diary is just me. It will never be read by anybody other than me. And so it is me in my purest form. Probably that is why I am so attached to my diaries much more than my blogs.

This makes me feel that I should start the practice of writing daily journals. If I do, I wonder what 50-year-old Prabhjot would think of the nut case that I am today!!

I KEEP COUNTING

What would you call a person who gets upset at the simplest things like losing a single spoon from the cutlery set or a porcelain plate crashing to pieces? Emotional or Maniac?  I think the second one fits the bill better. And I fall into the second category 🙈.  Such trivial things could upset me, sometimes to an extent that I nag my partner to grant me the permission of shopping again😁.  Because a set shouldn’t be disturbed – as if the other spoons are going to ask me about their lost relatives 😂😂.

Over the years I have started letting down my hair and not to react so much to a lost spoon or spoiled mat, courtesy: Kids. They have taught me “Mom why to worry about a mere mat when you have spoiled mattress there” 😂😂.  I have started taking things lying down and that’s good for my blood pressure 😂).

Well, that was all in light vein. If there is someTHING(s) that really moves me emotionally, that happens to be Photographs, for there are numerous memories associated with them. And since I am from the generation of camera and a roll, my memories span about two decades 😂😂.

What Memories? How funny we used to look, how awful our fashion sense used to be, what games we used to play, our favourite hangout, our hideout, fractured bones, medals won, fights ensued, our secrets, Mom’s delicacies,  Dad’s affection, first crush, first job, marriage, kids … I can go on.

Photographs are my escape to my past, my moments – moments that I have enjoyed but can’t relive, moments that I want to treasure for life. Photographs are precious to me (especially the ones taken with a camera because once lost can’t be retrieved from the cloud 😂😂), they relax me and spread a happy curve on my face.

My habit of counting and worrying over spoons, glasses, clothes might die a silent death someday but I can’t stop counting the moments I cherished and memories I made with my family, my siblings, my friends, my kids. Photographs make it possible for me.

NOTE: Guard your photographs well. If jewellery is lost you can get the exact or even a better model but if photographs are lost you won’t get the exact moment recreated, IMPOSSIBLE!

MY LOVE FOR YOU IS STILL THE SAME

We all know attachment is the fondness towards someone or something. This occupies the soft corner of our heart because it binds us to a person or a thing or maybe a place. The same has happened to me also.

I am attached to so many inanimate things in my life but in this post, I’ll be talking about the most favorite of them. One is Patna, my beloved city and the other is a book.

Patna is the place where I was born. Though it’s not my native place, I have an unexplained love for this place. I love Patna since when it was not so developed. The roads were not so smooth. Rainy seasons meant water logging and no schools. There were no shopping malls and flyovers. During that time, weekends meant having fun at the science center and going round and round around the historic Golghar. The zoo was our monthly picnic spot. Sunday mornings were dedicated to the famous jalebi of Hanuman Nagar. And every year during Chhath Puja, we would witness the beauty of Patna and the Ganga Ghats. Everything is still the same with development in addition to it. The modern Patna is still so beautiful. It still has the essence of the ‘Litti Chokha’, ‘Shalimar k Gulab Jamun’, ‘NIT Ghat ki Masala Chai’ and ‘Sattu ka Paratha’. The Morya Lok Complex and the Gandhi Maidan are the same as they were years back. The city has so much love. I know people will say, Patna is not a metropolitan city and the traffic sucks. But let me tell you, no other place can be like Patna.

Now, I don’t live in Patna but my heart does. Even if I travel across the world and get a chance to live in a different country, my heart would long for Patna. Here is one line written by me, that I would love to share,

“When I looked back, I saw it was still the same.
My love for Patna!”

One day I was walking down the streets when my eyes caught the sight of a book. It was “love stories that touched my heart” edited by Ravinder Singh. The cover of the book was faded but I felt it is something I shouldn’t miss. In no time, I became the proud owner of this book. I decided to read the book but in a different way. I decided I would be reading only one story in a day. The book is not about fantasy love stories. Those are heart-warming and moving stories. The stories were selected after a national contest and were published in this book. Every story says love perseveres and is kind. The book teaches you, no matter what happens, you have to trust yourself and follow your heart.

The best thing about the book is: it contains the stories penned by different writers. Their stories are worth reading. When you will read the book, you will learn, though love is only a four-letter long word but it is so powerful that it motivates you to conquer your fears and accomplish your dreams.

Right now I am far from both of them and I miss them a lot. Inanimate things are sometimes so dear to us, that we consider them as an integral part of our life. A time may come when you will sound different to the world, but when you will be with the beloved things of yours, you will be ‘you’. And this is the beauty about these things which never fades.

YOUR THINGS AND YOU

Ever clung to that old rugged jacket of yours every year when it was time for the annual disposal of ‘things you know you would never use again’? Or an old pair of shoes or that grand old wristwatch of years before?

You are not alone!

Yes, most of us are attached to things in our lives that we don’t wish to part with. Though the phenomenon of attachment as such starts from the pre-natal stage itself (attachment with the mother), in this article I am focussing on attachment with inanimate objects.

Many of us wouldn’t have paid a serious thought to this aspect of our lives. Maybe we have considered it too casual to spare a thought about it. But, actions spell more than mere overt behaviour.

Let’s explore some of the reasons for attachment to inanimate objects.

Memories – I treasure things that I receive from people, irrespective of how low or how high the price tag may read. Those things may be mere showpieces or objects of utility. And, I have a tough time discarding such things after a while. Even things like bookmarks, calendars, those small handmade greeting cards exchanged in school days – are my treasures. They bring a smile to my face. The reason why I consider them priceless and of more value than expensive or branded stuff is the memory of the person or situation attached to it.

On my study table sits a table-clock worth INR 30. It was gifted on my birthday almost twelve to thirteen years ago during my undergraduate studies by a  batchmate. It is precious to me! The reason being that the giver came from a not-so-well-off economic background where even sparing INR 30 would have meant that she cut some of her personal expenses. Though I have the means to buy a better-looking table-clock to adorn my table, I won’t be going in for a replacement.

Memories make us hold on to things. Letting go of certain things would mean discarding the memories attached to them.

Emotions – Inanimate objects, though lack the ability to elicit emotions, have emotions attached with them. This is probably why the first thing that most couples do after a break-up is to return the gifts received during the phase of a relationship. Certain objects make us cry, while certain others make us laugh. For some people, there are things that remind them of an injustice done and so they seem to have a sense of attachment to such objects to keep alive the emotions associated with the wrongdoing.

Security – We must have come across children holding onto their stuffed toys while sleeping. Some children carry their toys with them at all points of time. For children, this attachment is a sense of security. Though all children show this behaviour, it is seen more in children belonging to single-parent families, families where both parents are employed and are not able to spend much time with their children, families having an air of tension at all times and in autistic children. Attachment to a toy or a pillow gives a sense of comfort and security to the tender minds. However, if such a thing is observed in adults, it’s time for therapeutic intervention.

Obsession – Obsessive attachment means showing an irrational fondness for an object. Obsession over things leads to mindless hoarding – especially when there are multiple things that one is obsessed about. Obsessive attachment with things goes beyond a simple desire to possess. It is a subtle indicator of an underlying trait of selfishness, covetousness and a desire to flaunt. If any possession of yours is lying unused completely out of the radar of your memory for more than five years, it’s time for you to let go of it. If you have not remembered it being with you all five years, means there are less chances that you actually need it.

Attachment for inanimate things may be because of any reason. But, the bottom line is that there is an earthly tug in most of us. Knowing and reminding ourselves that all matter is transitory and that we humans are mere sojourners on planet earth is something that would help us shed the pull of material attachment to things and turn our focus to concerns of a higher order.

“Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.” – The Bible

 

LOVE MY NEIGHBOUR

When I was a kid I used to get very interested when the secretary of the church used to announce about giving out old normal clothes as well as warm the clothes for free distribution among the poor on the streets in the winter time. And I used to feel bad that I was not able to participate in that noble act carried out by my elders. But when we initiated a project called ‘Love My Neighbour’ officially I was so delighted to be part of that.

Few very important and interesting facts I want to share with you all today about LMN.

In the beginning, we approached our friends, families, church members, different other partner organizations to give out their old but usable clothes or warm clothes. Then we stock them in one of our office rooms. We allotted few of our young boys to sort them all out according to their sizes and usability. One very committed young staff took initiative to supervise the whole thing and I want to draw the attention of my readers to this guy’s attitude towards this whole distribution project.

He discarded all those clothes which were torn or not in a usable condition. He organized to wash them all and he iron pressed one after the other personally. He folded them after ironing and put them in brown paper envelopes. He categorized each of those envelopes according to the sizes of the clothes inside them.

In the end, he was itching and scratching his skins because of handling dirty, old clothes of different people.

We initiated the distribution work at 12 AM to 2 AM in the night and gifted those packets when the beggars and poor people were fast asleep on the streets. On receiving his share of the packet, one old man started singing an old Bollywood song, “Ajeeb Dastaan Hai. Kahan Suru Kahan Khatam…” (What a surprising tale it is… when it begins and when it finishes…what’s the destination no one knows…).

This whole project gave us immense pleasure and joy. We were blessed by those old men and women on the streets.

But what caught my attention was that young colleague’s attitude towards all that he did. That was commendable. He was applauded and appraised greatly for his work and attitude. He didn’t do it as an assignment or ritual or tradition. But he did it out sheer love, care, and warmth for those who were desperately in need. And I feel this was the best way we should be celebrating or letting those deprived people part of our celebration during all these events we lavishly enjoy every year.

Stay Blessed!

REFLECTION ON CELEBRATION

My favourite month of the year is ‘December & January’ because it’s Christmas and my Birthday! The December advent smells me Carols, Christmas lights, Cakes and Sweets, Shopping, Family get-together, a series of marriage parties, Christmas Night ride, Fun and Hang-out with friends. Moreover, ‘It’s time to get a lot of gifts’. Sadly, What-to-do now! It’s all over, yet to wait another 309 days.

Uff… wish these 309 days would pass away overnight!

Through-out the year, we work hard and saves for our Festivals and Celebrations. In my research I found, the minimum expenditure of a family for a small religious festival is at least Rs. 10,000/-  and for an average Urban marriage function, it is 15–20 lakh. According to the Reliance money research, the Indian wedding industry accounts for over Rs. 1,00,000 crores and it is growing at a rapid rate of 25-30% each year. But at the end of every event, someone’s punch line would be – ‘Oh, it’s nothing worth comparing to my colleague Mr. Dixit’s ring ceremony!

With the advent of 2019, the New Year night road accident statistic increased to 71%. In every Indian city, at least 5-6 young people below the age of 35 die in the road accident. On 2nd January 2019, India Today reported, UP guzzles down 50 lakh liters of alcohol on New Year’s Eve! To be more specific, 18 lakh bottles of IMFL were sold and 23 lakh bottles of Beer were sold, in JUST AN EVENING!

These staggering statistics triggers us to one question,

WHAT IS THIS CELEBRATION ALL ABOUT?
WHERE DO OUR CELEBRATIONS LEAD US?

The celebration is a gathering of people which DEFINES a Definite Reason. It is an opportune time to Include people in our happiness, Interact with them more significantly and Convey our Love for them. The joy we share with others precipitates good wishes, blessings, and gifts.

I have received many expensive gifts from my family and friends in my life yet, for me the most priceless birthday gift I have ever received was in a piece of paper – A beautiful poem was written by my most beloved friend. I still treasure it in my wallet and carry it everywhere I go. It is just a piece of paper but the emotions, the love and the feelings it reflects are true and sacred.

Celebration and Gifts strengthen the bonding of our relationships. It reaffirms the JOY – SACREDNESS – SACRIFICIAL LOVE we have for them. The greatest evidence of it is – “God loved mankind and gave His only begotten Son, whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”.

What do our Celebrations and Gifts reflect today?

Keep thinking…