Life is a Celebration


Life is a balance of holding on and letting go: a philosophical and sagacious dictum of life. Deep down we all know and agree, yet when it comes to actual day-to-day affairs, especially pertaining to our relations, we falter and seldom adhere to the principle.

At the onset of wedding season when we receive an invitation, our primary concern is not our itinerary or work schedule. In a jiffy on our mental screen, the entire saga of the invitee unfolds. Whether our invite was honoured? Our response is more often than not reciprocal. He did not attend our function so we too are not going, or they were so helpful in our function so we too must be our courteous best. At times, the first look itself triggers a chain reaction. The invite reads Mr & Mrs, it should have been ‘With family’. Joint families have their share of protocol. The invite should have been addressed to my in-laws. Our fragile, vulnerable, susceptible Punjabi hearts suffer enormously on a mere formal invitation not accompanied by a customary phone call dripping of entreaties and punctuated with kasme vade.

We, the middle-class, have a ubiquitous diary with all major entries registered for future reference. Trust me, it is only an add-on to our sharp memories. The sanctum sanctorum ready reckoner plays a crucial role. Family X gave this much shagun, so obviously we too would reiterate. Y attended our house warming function with family, so we must copy ditto. After all, we have to return what we have received, why should we cross limit?

The all-too-familiar flying saucers on festivals like Diwali where sweet pieces are dexterously rearranged and forwarded to the next neighbour with aplomb are integral practice of our culture. Passing on gifts during the festival season is normal in every home. A sneak peek from the corner is sufficient and one need not unwrap the gift.

At our workplace also we are obsessed with others than ourselves. No sooner is a duty chart circulated than we scan it and dissect it thread bare. I have been assigned three, while my colleague, two. We quickly categorise them into heavy-light, major-minor etc. We crib and squabble over invigilation/observer duties, time-table, class allotment and what not. Our arguments are peppered with previous data and we stay put on no-compromise stance.

Life is not lived in a barter system. Emotions/ sentiments/ relationships are not weighed on a physical balance. The joys of giving and celebrating life are an abundant reward in itself. Instead of moaning and clinging to the past, we should move on. Clogging our mind and carrying the burden of unnecessary baggage bogs us down. At times your worst enemy is your own memory. Clinging to the past we fail to enjoy our present. The hardest prison to escape is our own mind. Let us steer clear of petty webs.

So, accept the next invite with grace, participate wholeheartedly and celebrate life. Enjoy life as it unfolds and the greatest pleasures that come with it. Nothing is perfect. It is up to us and let us make the most of it.

Suruchi Kalra Choudhary