She woke up at six in the morning. The wind was billowing outside. The rain was tip-tapping at her window and the sky was still dark. Taking care to not awaken any of the other members in the family, she quietly opened her cupboard, pulled out her favourite cream coloured sari along with her matching hand-knitted sweater, soft Kullu shawl and socks. Dressing quickly, she softly opened the door to her balcony and stepped out into the light rain.
Feeling the sharp chill in the air, she wrapped the shawl tightly around herself. Leisurely she walked around the periphery of the balcony, enjoying the rain, watching the deep orange sun rise slowly at the horizon and hearing the birds chirping in the early morning hours. After spending 20 minutes or so absorbing nature’s beauty around her, she slowly walked back inside her room to find her son standing there, frowning and looking a little upset. He looked at her wet socks and chappals and the droplets of rain water clinging to her shawl. Disapprovingly he said ” Amma-ji you should not venture out by yourself so early in the morning. It is cold and dark, and it’s raining too. You have to be careful at your age. What if you had slipped and fallen?”
She replied “I wanted to enjoy the rain. It was beautiful. You missed it.” Saying so she smiled gently. Her heart-felt smile dissolved his annoyance in an instant.
At 90 her enthusiasm for life often surprised her middle-aged son. He spent most of his time in high rise buildings, sitting through top-management meetings, taking key decisions for his company. He rarely had the time to appreciate the small, beautiful things in life. He knew they existed but it was hard for him to slow down and really look at them. His mother’s child-like enthusiasm about the smallest and simplest things in life made sure that every now and then he would step back, pause and view things from an entirely different point of view. Her point of view.
His mother was a refreshing change from his monotonous, almost drudgerous life. She helped him see beauty. She helped him see the bright side of life. She helped him appreciate things that held the capacity of giving true happiness. He was grateful for all of that. He wished that he had inherited some of his mother’s enthusiasm.
Note: This is a slightly fictionalized version of a real life incident that I encountered. I don’t know how I will fare as age catches on. But I know this for sure, I would like to be like Amma-ji – genuinely happy, enjoying the joys of each passing day and spreading cheerfulness all around. (At least I hope I will be like this!)
This was my 100th post. I spent a lot of time thinking about what to write but couldn’t come up with anything worthwhile. I didn’t want to do another post mentioning how things at office were. Or how strangely cold Mumbai had become this season. Or any of the other mundane things in my life. I wanted to write about something deeper, more profound but couldn’t find anything. And then this incident came along. It just had to be recorded.