Like my mum says, I am jinxed when it comes to maintaining a mobile phone. She reminds me how even before the era of the smartphones begun, my dainty red flip phone plopped into the cooker filled with water! So two years ago after my third smartphone conked off making me fret, it didn’t deter me from switching my brand loyalty and buying a sleeker and a prettier phone. And two days back, it went crashing on the floor bang on its face. The screen smashed with its epicentre being the top left corner.
After forcing myself to feel bad (I would have genuinely felt so if it had stopped functioning) I looked at the newly smashed screen. It looked beautiful. It was like a piece of an intricate art. The branches and off-shoots of a tree spreading from the top left all the way to the centre of the screen. I loved looking at it. And those little mists between the cracks looked like leaves. I touched it and felt proud somehow of owning it.
And then it made me think – of small daily tragedies that we encounter every single day of our lives. No, not the big ones. I will never belittle those big tragedies. Just the small ones, like my phone. It is a part of us. Little miseries. Be it your family or friend you talk to and it is usually about the cold war with the boss, the skirmishes with that pestilential colleague at work, the non-committed boyfriend, the indifferent husband, the snooty daughter-in-law, the absentee maid and the list goes on. The everyday sob stories. Yes, you do have happy stories too but they are only squeezed in-between the unhappy ones.
And then you have the thinkers, self-motivating authors and their ilk telling us how it is essential to keep negativity at bay! Well, if we do, then we will all be aloof! We are complaining every single day of our lives and we are enjoying it somehow. We have adapted ourselves to it: unhappy things that don’t make us unhappy any longer. It is just there.
I bet you will be taken to a shrink if you are found to be too happy happy. It is too good to be true. I recall how a usually happy friend of mine was recounting a few months ago about another friend of hers who was having a distressful married life. The only way to make her friend open up to her was by talking somewhat forcefully about her own married life…those little troubled bits. And that way the friend of hers poured her heart out. It is a give and take. You tell a sob story to get one (and plenty) in return and vice versa. And this way you remain in the social circle as well. I had once nothing to share about my in-laws like my other two friends since I had no in-laws! And it seemed as if I was as good as invisible for them till the end of the get-together. Perhaps, I should have started off talking about my issues as a single woman instead of just bobbing my head like a duck listening to their marital woos!
Life’s little miseries. Like my broken phone. They just start to look beautiful.
(image: a dead butterfly clicked some months ago in Gurgaon)