It is the second day of the first month of 2011, people have been in high spirits welcoming the year with a warm hug. Like always, I was a spectator this year too. I find inexplicable happiness in listening to others have a good time. Be it the excited countdown, the highly polluting crackers, or just laughter. To me, this has been the perfect way to embrace the new year. My phone was loaded with calls from dear ones and many not-so-dear ones. I find it strange that most of us wish each other like it is a duty to be done on time. I have vowed to stop being a cynic and so I’d like to look at it as, we call people who made a tiny difference to our lives, to wish them a merry year.
On one such ‘dear’ phone call, my friend told me of how his new year had kick-started around strangers. Of how much fun he had wishing a wonderful year to tons of strangers. It definitely must’ve been a wonderful feeling to not know someone yet, be a well-wisher.
I smiled to myself when I said that to myself, for I recalled so many faces that I dint know by name, but only through smiles. Take the friend I mentioned for instance, I have never met him, but I know he is one of the warmest people to tread on earth. Many such subtle acquaintances are the morsels that make my day.
My neighbor’s driver is the first such I gaze at in the morning. He has a friendly smile that could make anybody’s day. We smile at each other just before I get into the car. While he waits for my neighbor, I provide him complete entertainment. He gives out a mocking smile when I don’t start the car right or when the tyre sticks out revealing a clumsy driver. I’m unaware of his name, but he sure is aware of my poor abilities when it comes to taking a reverse. He has on several occasions guided me with actions and motioned his lips to pronounce “right,” “steady,” and “left.” Over the months he has seen me get better at it. He flashes a wide grin when I reverse right in the first attempt now.
The milkman is the second. Our hellos being just a coy smile before I drive to the gym. He made feeble attempts at teaching me how to drive long ago; it failed because I understood too little of what he was trying to explain. We have never spoken to each other since; all that remains is that familiar smile. Today, I know he is proud to see me drive so confidently over the ascend he once taught me on for hours.
I work late as my profession demands it. For the first few weeks, I had to wait at the gate for my watchman Gopi to let me in. He would be fast asleep. Yes, we are surprisingly safe around such diligent watch guards. Off late, he has been staying up and keeps the gates open until I get home. He quickly shuts them after me. It feels great having someone beside family wait for me to get home safely.
The anonymous storekeeper at ‘Amba Bhavani Store‘, who waits for my cab eagerly during the day. He waves with a grin as I board it. I’ve known him for over 10 years now, but we never talked beyond biscuits and bread.
The elderly man at the gym who says I resemble his lazy daughter. We usually converse only through smiles. He is perfection personified. He motivates me to workout harder. On the first he told me, “It is good to see you in the gym on the first. Is it a resolution?” I replied, “I don’t believe in resolutions. I tend to always break them.” He chuckled all the way to his bike parked outside in the compound. It felt nice to be a reason for his laughter. I’m hoping that made his day.
Sometimes we overlook the morsels of our day that later form fragments that make our life. I have identified the fragments that make my life. I’m completely aware that none of them will ever get to read this. This write up is to silently acknowledge all those familiarly unfamiliar people who have made a difference in my life. I cherish their subtle presence in my life and hope to make them feel the same way in the days to come.
So, the next time you’re rushing into the day, stop to identify the fragments that make your life. It will definitely make you a happier person.