Thank you.

Courtesy: Ankita Shreeram
The other day, mom brought a book on gratitude from our local library. The author suggested starting every day by expressing gratitude for everything that's good in your life. I ran through the list mentally and thought I'd be done within seconds. :P But then, when I actually sat down to do the exercise, something magical and heartbreaking happened. The list was endless. I began with myself and then the things and people that populated my life. Then I realised it didn't end there. I had to include all the films I had seen, all the songs I had heard, all the books I had read, all the paintings I had set my eyes upon, all the trees whose breeze I had been cooled by, all the birds I had waved at in the sky. What's more, I even had to include the films I would see, the songs I would hear, the books I would read and the paintings I would gaze at, in future. There was no limit to the things I could be thankful for. And the bounty was more than I could bear. We don't really understand how blessed we are until we start measuring our wealth and our happiness by experiences rather than possessions. Because when it comes to the experience of the sea or the sun, the beggar on the street is as blessed as the CEO in his ivory tower. And I imagine, if we really could recall glimpses from our past lives, we'd recall faces and smiles and sensations; rather than the expensive cars we owned or the couches we sat on. How silly it is to even entertain thoughts of poverty or inadequacy when we have all these senses, capable of absorbing so much beauty. And how silly it is to be scared or to ever allow yourself to be miserable when the next smile is only a sunset or an embrace away.

The seconds turned into minutes and the minutes walked past, but I remained seated there in my veranda, cross-legged and teary-eyed, while dawn smiled indulgently, caressing my skin with her sun-warmed finger tips. If you're reading this, I suggest you perform the gratitude exercise too. You might be surprised with how much there is, to be thankful for. And then you feel so wealthy, so full and so gifted that you wonder how your frail human body will be able to bear it. Unimaginable that the whole world should be at your feet; that an ocean of books and music and dance should await your eyes and ears. Unimaginable that within this one tiny life, there is so much to be lived. Unimaginable that we still have words like 'boredom' in the dictionary.