There are phases in life when nothing seems to fit. You are restless, bored, frustrated, anxious, oh hang it, let’s not beat around the bush, you are unhappy. And of course, there is no real reason for your unhappiness. You have so much, so much more than so many other people, so much more than starving children, or poor villagers, or illiterate women, or people at war, so much more that you need to stop being unhappy, pronto.

Everything you have ever been taught, everything that jumps out at you from around you, tells you, to put your chin up, and be grateful for what you have. Oh yes, that is the way to salvation.

As for me, whenever I am expected to be grateful, I find myself getting annoyed at just those things that I am meant to be grateful for.

Gratefulness is like isabgol. Yes, if your stomach is aching, you can take it, and you will feel better. But it tastes like nothing, it makes you gag if you don’t get it down in one gulp and you can’t make a cake with it, or chocolate, or even curry.

Keeping a gratefulness diary is much like keeping a diet diary, good for you, but you are kind of soft-selling transgressions all the time. It’s easier to make a note of the things that make me happy. Do we really think everyday, about the things that make us happy?

We do spend a lot of time on things that bug us, that irritate us, or things that we need to do to get on with the daily business of living, we make our ways through, but things that bring a smile, nothing much, just make you grin to yourself, make your eyes light up?

And no, I don’t mean the company of loved ones, and the blessings of having friends. I mean, the things, that make you happy, when you are alone, wherever you are, whoever you are with or not,  irrespective of whatever else is happening in your life.

Your list of favourite things?

This is mine.

Red flowers growing on a plant.
Tea and sitting around, drinking it slowly.
Watching an old film. A really, really old film. A really old film in a theater.
Listening to the birds over and above all the noise of the city.
Folding clothes.
Reading a book, that takes me into its own world.
Nipping dead leaves or twigs from plants, with my fingers.
Walking around a city, just looking.

red flowers