Joy of Little Things

The other day, I happened to meet a friend of mine. We were quite close while in school. But in the later years, though not intentionally, simply drifted apart while in pursuit of our respective careers, and had lost touch with each other. Now, though both of us are well past our fifties, with expanding waists and receding hairlines, the very sight of one another made us give delighted squeals like hyper excited kids as we gushed over our chance meeting.

Busy individuals, be that as it may, both of us were relatively free and at leisure on that day, and decided to walk into a small nearby restaurant to catch up on our missed years over cup of coffee. Seated across table, looking at him, I could see severe age-lines and crinkles appearing around his eyes, each time he smiled.

Perhaps he had similarly observed these features on my face too, as noticing with his frank eyes, he commented, ‘Boy, seems like you aren’t paying much attention to your health either! You are looking far older than you are!’ We both laughed loudly. Seeing a nearby mirror we looked on, and saw reflections of ourselves, of two oldies seated across the table.

It could be that, till that point in time I had never actually looked at any mirror consciously or even at such close quarters. It sorts of jolted me. I looked at my friend. In my mind’s eye, I could still see him as a mischievous, ever smiling young boy that he always had been in school; as perhaps he too could be holding in his mind, a similar image of me. But the fact remained, it was past forty years now since our school days, and we had, being seriously engrossed in our jobs, careers, and family, barely noted the long years that had slipped by!

In our hearts we still were young boys waiting, longing for our lives to bloom; for that glorious future we had dreamt for ourselves. But reality presented us a different image as we sat and happened to stare at a mirror.

But then, I guess that’s how it is with most of us. We get so immersed and busy with the nitty-gritty of life that we hardly notice the years creeping upon us, before we realize we have lost out on the joys of multitudinous little things; things that really matter and are to be cherished. In the longer perspective, these make our lives fullsome and fill it with happiness and ecstasy.

Watching the sun rise or set, or the sight of a dew-filled flower over a morning walk may not bring us material prosperity, but at the soul-level, connect us to the very source of creation. The innocent smile of a child or the unadulterated love of a dog can light up your day as nothing ever can.

I guess things that are precious, those which really matter in this world, don’t really have monetary value attached to them. I suppose it’s because they’re priceless. I’m equally sure, taking out time to help someone in need, or many little unnoticed acts of kindness would rate far high on the list of little joys that adds to a fulfilled life; just like rain drops course on to become the very ocean.

Life is too ephemeral and precious to be frittered away in vain and ordinary pursuits. But unfortunately, willy-nilly, we all get trapped, getting attracted to the trinkets rather than to the real treasures of life which can give real meaning to our lives.

All I say is, let’s smell the roses. Life is short. We are mere tourists here enroute. We really do not know if we ever will come back to this world again.

Prakash Nagarajan