UNGRATEFULLY GRATEFUL

Is 9 equal to -(-9)?

Yes, of course, you got that right. 

Is being not ungrateful, equal to being grateful? 

Let me help you by sharing what happened with my neighbour

My neighbours are an elderly couple with a son and daughter. Her son Sushrut and daughter Sunitha. Sushrut is married and lives along with his wife in a different city. Sunitha moved to the US on an assignment 5 years back and continued to live there ever since. 

My neighbour aunty passed away two years back. Sunitha was abroad when her mother passed away. She flew for the rituals and returned to the US a month after her mother passed away, leaving her father along with her brother. Sunitha thought her father would be well taken care of as long as he is with her brother. On the contrary, Sushrut and his wife tortured him for the property. When Sunitha got to know about this, she left her job in the US, returned to India so that she could take care of her father. Sunitha’s brother and sister-in-law threatened her that they won’t let her father live elsewhere. Sunitha’s father was determined to give his property equally shared between his daughter and son. Sunitha’s brother was not agreeing to this, so, Sunitha had to file a police complaint against her brother. After the police intervened, Sunitha’s brother let her father go along with Sunitha. 

Sunitha’s brother continued to have arguments with their father for the property. Every other week Sushrut would visit his father only to ask for more and more money. This continued for six more weeks and that is when the pandemic struck. Due to the lockdown restrictions in India, her brother could not drive down to where Sunitha lived anymore. One thing Sunitha said hit me harder, “After my mother passed away, it was already difficult for my father. On top of that, arguments with my brother aggravated his anger. I will always be grateful to Covid, Modi ji and the police who never let my brother cross the border. My father lived in peace for the last two months of his life“.  Uncle passed away before the lockdown ended in India.

Taking things for granted which are considered “normal” is a human tendency. When things go wrong in life, often people start to wonder, what are those things they have been ungrateful for. I have also realised how lucid my life is only after Covid.

If not for Corona and the lockdown, I would not have realised 

  • How important is human interaction even if that’s just a smile? 
  • How unthankful I have been for all those tea break conversations at work
  • How much I took me being healthy for granted. 
  • How important survival is and what is needed to survive. 
  • How much online banking, remote payments and internet at large have comforted us.
  • How apart from family, no one can really be “there” for you. (Only family members were allowed to travel due to restrictions)
  • Waking up every morning. 

I remember telling my parents several times, “If I live in Bangalore I can take a flight to be home in less than few hours. The same would be difficult if I move overseas“. I still feel this is true, but the lockdown meant, this was not possible anymore. I should never undermine the chances I get today to be with friends and family. I  am ungratefully grateful to Corona to have taught me the best lessons of life which otherwise would have taken decades to learn. It is unfortunate, the lessons came with a cost though.