***** Reflections that change only to become what they were *****
Today, I happened to have a girl’s outing with my mother. Nothing that resonates with the girl’s outing of current times, but this was purely shopping together, having tea together and, nursery hopping together. Realized how much this outing would have meant to my mum whose movements are restricted, given the delicate health of my father. So, while I had invited my son to this outing, he negated with a vehemence as he is averse to shopping of any kind! Also, today Sony Max is running a movie marathon of Jurassic park! Dinosaurs always have had an upper hand when it comes to son’s preferences.
So, we went about shop hopping in a mall. Did we buy? A Jenga set by an adoring granny for the grandson, a mother finally chancing upon the exactly right peach coloured top in some store (a colour which isn’t quite visible eveywhere) and, some chocolate pastries for the dinosaur loving human back home!
Had a chilled out session with mother at a coffee shop. She had coffee while I stuck with tea. While I was paying for the beverages, her eyes rolled seeing the amount for the coffee. She murmured…..the same coffee shop in Gujarat…it was half the amount! I sighed as I reminded her, that was about 15 years ago! However, I get her resignation at the amount we pay for stuff which is labelled fancy when the actual stuff isn’t exactly the elixir we are promised more often. Consumerism is an illusion, I tell you. A recent visit to a famous Ashram down south opened my eyes to the way it is played. You go with the flow to know why it works. Talking of which, there were two ponds, one for men and the other for women and the rules were that, we must bathe in those cool waters before proceeding to meditation hall. Beneath that orange robe, needless to say each was to be in his or her birthday suit (In Irish lingo – weebabby naked). You know when you constantly hear about how the waters infused with the Sun beams and Moon beams regulate every flow of fluids in your body, you tend to get drawn into believing everything you question normally. Trust me, meditation that day was a beautiful experience for me. However, the effect lasted till the exit and, then we all were back to square one – grumpy stressed out humans who remember every body ache that they could think of.
So, that is how consumerism works. It is like the spa you go to on regular weekends to feel good about yourself. The consumerism culture had just begun to bloom when I had just started out as a fresher in an MNC long back. And now, it is like a retreat that you fall back on when you don’t have much to do on weekends.
I remember in my growing years, mum had her group that indulged in kathas and bhajans. I have attended a few. Though I was never much into religious stuff, I wasn’t against them either. I loved to see women sing in a chorus and, all faults in sur and tal would get covered up. That is what I deduced from those instances of rendezvous – Together, we are a psi ball of cosmic energies. Also, as a family we would compulsorily visit the Durga Pujo pandals and, I would stand in awe as men and women took turns to wave the Dhunachi for the Goddess in a dance worship as the Dhaki drummers beat with a consistent vigour.. that is how a part of me loves festivals and traditions even though I am inherently passive to anything that demands me to adhere/change my tiger spots.
So coming back to what I began with, I have gone through the phases wherein I was infatuated with consumerism, at a time totally addicted to it for a long time until a phase arrived when I finally comprehended why the generation of my parents stood by “Less is more”.
That is exactly where I found my reflections now syncing with those of my mother as I realized how the filter coffee that mum makes is any day a better option to having the same in an over rated coffee shop. The same thing applies to the toys ans games that we often buy for children. People who know me and my home are aware that we don’t have a single toy exceot a few board games like jenga, Chess, Carrom, business game and Ludo. It is always a warm rush of euphoria when window shopping toy stores like Hamleys but then, the question pings…”what is its relevance in future?” And, I finally have come to terms with my father’s repetitive advice, “There is this thin line of difference between Needs and Desires that must be realized soon in life. It is as important for an adult as for the child.”
Our trip ended with a visit to a near by Nursery where my mother was in her most comfortable self..yes, she is self taught and her gardening skills are self honed and absolutely delightful as she had maintained beautiful garden in our earlier place… and though we shifted to a smaller accomodation a couple of years back in a city, her love continues as she has her own small beautiful family of ixoras, holy basil, oleanders and crepe jasmines…et al…
Sometimes, I wonder how much we all tend to accumulate without knowing how we will manage what we accumulate over a period of time..
It is a question that brings out who we are despite what we want to be superficially.
It is a question that we often avoid answering to selves as we desperately crave for approvals from cliches that we barely associate with..
It is a question that prods us towards taking the road less taken and yet, we often succumb to noises that discourage our verve to listen to what speaks from within.
Reflections, I believe often change with time only to sync again with the ones that we all began with.
Talking about reflections, there is more to it than what meets the eye.. and that is a blog for another day…