Today morning while preparing lunch in the kitchen my mind was constantly working side by side on a list of the expenditures as it was almost the end of this month. The rent, school fees, light bill, phone bill etc which usually fall due in the first week of every month was being meticulously calculated as I was tempering the spices in ghee for preparing Rajma (Red Kidney beans with gravy). Another month of the year 2020 gone by in the mundane and monotonous struggle for survival, trying to beat Corona at its game, playing hide and seek with it, taking all necessary precautions to avoid being caught by it and hoping and praying to emerge healthy and victorious at the end of the game ! So July too was coming to an end i thought, leading us into the festive month of August.
Festive August ! its just around the corner. A month which marks the beginning of a series of festivals in India lined up annually in the upcoming months starting with Rakshabandhan in August to Krishna Janamasthami, Ganesh Chaturthi, Navaratri, Dussehra, Karwachauth, Deepawali, Bhaidooj and Gurpurab.
Even though I know that this year the celebrations would be in a different mode keeping in view the mandatory restrictions imposed by the Pandemic, still keeping my spirits high I decided that I would at least clean the house thoroughly and decorate it a bit before the 3rd of August, the day of Rakshabandhan. Closing the lid of my pressure cooker, i adjusted the flame to medium as the red kidney bean curry would take the next 40 minutes to cook. Meanwhile I started removing the curtains and pillow covers for washing. I noticed my pillows were old and had suffered the wear and tear visibly. After putting the pillow covers in the washing machine I mended and sewed the pillows and was happy to have saved them. I also thought about the money I saved by mending the pillows instead of rushing to the market to buy new ones. Yes, the stitches and the thread were visible on the pillows but who cared it would be hidden under the washed, clean and colorful pillow covers.
How much happiness such small act of savings bring around. We maintain our furnitures, electronic items, our vehicle and all the other non-living things in our living space and life with utmost care and perfection to keep it durable and usable for a longer span of time. After all everything comes for a price, isnt it? Of all the times, this year especially requires a special care on this front too for the income has suffered as well due to salary cuts and lack of business in market. So that’s another lesson that this phase of Pandemic taught us that each penny counts! While carrying on my other tasks i was also paying attention to the number of whistles of my cooker and the time for which it has been on the gas burner. Overcooking the red kidney beans would make my curry mushy so i had to be careful to cook it appropriately to get the perfect taste.
We humans want to see beauty and perfection in whatever we do and undertake, it gives a different satisfaction altogether. Everything in our living space has to be neat clean and presentable, all that we cook is done perfectly to get the desirable taste and blend but then what exactly goes wrong when it comes to maintaining the beauty of inter personal relationships in a difficult situation? How come we give up so easily in that aspect? An invisible ego or a mistake becomes so larger than life that it consumes all our sensibilities using which otherwise we turn all things beautiful and nice?
We do care for a torn pillow to sew and mend it, we pay attention to the cooking time to get the desirable taste, we add curd to reduce the taste of excess salt if added by mistake in food, we flip the bed mattress if we spill something on one of its side by mistake, our mind is attuned to do a damage control in any adverse situation and yet the irony is that the most priceless, precious and god gifted relationships within families are broken apart for trivial issues.
There is a festival – Rakshabandhan coming up on the 3rd of August which celebrates the beautiful and loving bond of brothers and sisters. A day specially assigned to appreciate their place in each other’s lives. But what about the families where the siblings are only sisters or only brothers? Even though there is no particular day to celebrate their relation yet the bond between siblings irrespective of their gender should always remain special and strong. They are offsprings belonging to the same family and are meant to look out for each other.
Just like one can choose to overlook the threads and stitches on a sewed and mended pillow and cover it up with a washed, clean, colorful pillow cover similarly one can also choose to overlook small disagreements, differences and ego tussles and cover it up with love, care and acceptance.
The corona virus is invisible yet dangerous to the extent of being fatal and so is the human ego which shares the same qualities of being invisible yet capable enough to destroy families. As we choose to wear masks, use sanitizers, take all precautions and care to protect our health from this invisible enemy, we must also choose to protect our loving heart and precious relations with a thick insulating coat of loving memories and acts of togetherness to destroy the ego and win in life…!
Wish this month of August which marks the beginning of festivities also marks an end to any misunderstanding, ego issues or rift in our lives and keeps our family ties steady and strong..!