Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Goddess of Small Things

It’s not the big things that make me happy. I don’t crave for diamonds or expensive gifts. Little things, tiny gestures - they touch me, make me feel loved. I am the Goddess of Small Things...

I was looking at the mysporepa, sitting proudly inside the glass case, while my husband was paying for the mirchi bajjis we had bought. Its colour, its shape, the texture - oh, everything was inviting me. I was lost in a sweet world, imagining, how it would melt in my mouth, lacing it with a sweetness divine...”Bhaiyaa, yeh sweet zara ek plate mein dena, madam ke liye,” I heard my husband telling the shopkeeper, handing me the one thing I wanted, taking me down beautiful memory lanes.

I vividly remember a little me, dressed in a cotton floral frock, two neat fountain-like pony tails sticking out from my head holding on to my dad’s finger and hopping along with him, trying to match his pace. I remember how I would try to synchronise my footsteps with that of his - right-right, left-left, and raise my head to see if he’d noticed that we were walking in sync. I remember how the bazaar frightened me out of my wits - the scores of people with bundles of plastic bags, the pan-spitting shopkeepers, the bikes splashing jets of slush, the din, the stench of fish...

I remember how my dad used to carry the veggie packets, using one hand to hold them together, the other hand reserved for his darling daughter. I would sense the weight was troubling him, and I would happily shift to the other side, hopping around between mom and dad, holding my dad’s hand on the left, and my mom’s on the right. The fear of big bad bazaar would suddenly disappear...It seemed I had a wall to protect me from the pushing and pulling..

I remember how we had gone to a sweet shop to get some paneer - mom, dad and I...I was looking around, bored, when I noticed a tray of neatly stacked sweets, inside the glass case. It was beckoning me to taste it - the rich, mild golden colour, the glaze of the ghee - it pushed me into a trance, where I imagined how it would feel to take a bite, how it would melt inside my mouth, the sweet taste lingering...

Dada, paneer,” said the shopkeeper to my dad, handing him a packet, waking me up from my reverie...My dad hadn’t taken the packet, he was looking at me. I looked at him, our gazes met, and he looked away, telling the shopkeeper, “Two of this,” pointing to the thing I was looking at with wide eyes. In a minute’s time, I was holding a little paper plate in my hand, the taste in my mouth, way better than the one in the trace...Maybe it wasn’t the sweet...maybe, it was my dad’s love that made it taste even sweeter...The child in me couldn’t stop grinning...

And today, the child in me grinned again...not because of the sweetness of the mysorepa, but because of the sweetness of the gesture and the sweetness of the memories it refreshed...

Yes, it’s not the big things that make me happy. Little things, tiny gestures - they touch me, make me feel loved. I am the Goddess of Small Things...