Posts Tagged Happiness
The partner comes home after working out really hard at the gym. Who knows what he did, he reveals to me that there’s incessant pain in both hands/elbows. And with all that soreness he is unable to move his arms as usual. Every time he tries to the ache shoots up. Amma watches his expressions intently all evening long. After a lot of observing, she turns to the sister and wonders, out loud, what has happened to him. My sister wears a puzzled look and tells Amma to ask him if he bench pressed too much.
“Bench what” says Amma.
I turn to the partner and tell him that Amma has a question for him.
“What is it, Ma?” he asks her.
She glances around and inquires, hesitantly,
“Is something wrong with your ankle?”
And all of us take a minute to process her concerned words and then roll on the floor laughing.
Amma is using the tablet to watch some videos. The charge on the device is falling fast. She turns to me and voices her point,
“This is plugged in. I did it in the morning; still, it doesn’t seem like it is charging. In fact, the charge is being drained. It started off few hours ago with more than 40%, now it’s only 25%.”
“Is it really plugged in, Mother? Check the wall socket.”
“It is! I checked and double checked everything.”
I walk over to inspect – I find that the charger is plugged in to the wall and it seems like it is connected to the tablet too. I wiggle the charger out of the wall socket. Did it help? No. I plug it in to a different socket. Did that help? No. I take the tablet in my hand and notice that the other end of the charger is not pushed into the port but between the tablet and its cover. It just looks like it’s plugged in when seen from far, when in reality it’s only jammed in somewhere, which nowhere near the actual port. I show it to Amma and her reaction is priceless.
“I thought I did it right, she says, it’s my eyes you know, getting worse by the day,” she concludes.
The partner, Amma and I settle in the living room once we finish dinner and do some cleaning. After a while, the partner gets up to go to the kitchen. As he walks away, Amma turns to me and whispers her trepidation
“Ask him not to touch the pan on the stove. It’ll still be extremely hot.”
“Mummy, why would he go there and touch the pan on the stove for no reason?” I ask.
“Well, I don’t know. What if he gets overly curious? You never know…better warn him than let him get hurt, right?”
To date, just the thought this incident brings loads of laughter…I fail to understand why she thought, at that moment, that the partner’s curiosity is such that he will walk into the kitchen to put his hand on a hot pan.
Family and friends. Every corner of the house filled with the aroma of freshly baked homemade pumpkin cake. Surprises and thoughtfulness that sees happy tears trickling down. Cozy and comfortable throw to keep me warm on the coldest of cold evenings. Yummy mixed berry smoothie for breakfast. Tickle fights. Laughter and screams (ones filled with joy!) that ring through the walls. Books to love. Sweet nothings. Deep, overwhelming emotions felt. Piggy back ride up the stairs. Lunch, shared in the same plate. Adorable poem written while I take a nap. The said poem excitedly recited to me as soon as I open my eyes. Head massage. Hot bath. Made up songs sung in made up tunes. Never-ending reasons to smile and rejoice. Candle lit rooms. Dinner time conversations. Milkshake on a cold night. Endless hugs and kisses.
Love. Three hundred and sixty four days plus one. Blessed, yes I am.
The partner and I lived by ourselves for years, even though for few months here and there during that time we actually resided in the same city. It’s not that we didn’t want to live together; it’s just that whatever plans were made never actually materialized. Every time we looked into moving in together something or the other would come up and eventually we would end up dropping the plan. And all those weekends that the partner would visit (or the few times that I went to visit him), were hard. When it came time to bid goodbye, I would turn into a well of tears. Going back to the apartment, leaving the partner to go his way, wasn’t something I looked forward to, even though I was going home.
Things aren’t the same now. If someone asked me for a snapshot of my idea of ideal life, I would close my eyes and picture the two of together in Boston. But life took a different turn and here we are. We’ve been living together ever since we moved away from Boston. It’s been over a year. I still go through that bout of yearning to be in Boston, but those are few and far between compared to this time last year. And, to make the most of what we’ve got, the transition of calling this place home is happening, albeit slowly.
After every vacation or weekend getaway, I look forward to getting back home. There are no more waterworks to worry about, no farewell to bid. Even returning home after work every evening is a pleasant urge. I enjoy the feeling of comfort that surrounds. I quite like experiencing the contentment that it offers. I love that it is ours.
Our home, our haven.
We have had friends and family visit us in the past year. While there is nothing remarkably beautiful about the décor around the house (I must admit that I don’t have eyes for decorating. I can go ‘ooohh’ and ‘aaahh’ looking at photos of beautiful interiors, but when it comes to doing that myself I lack the talent and enthusiasm. Credit goes to the partner for small things that have been done right) , I have had people notice and comment on two things in particular.
One – the books that are all over the place. It makes me particularly happy when someone notices this. I don’t know why. Most of the books in my possession I know I have bought with a lot of love. It takes me back to all those times that I’ve walked around different bookshops and bought the ones I fell in love with. And the rest came into my life in the form of gifts. So, each and every one of them is precious to me in one way or another. And someone taking interest in that makes my heart swell with joy.
Two – the fragrance that encases the rooms. It’s no secret that I love candles and incenses. Back in Boston, that small room of mine in that apartment used to be lit every single evening that I was home. The ambiance of a room changes when the flame of candle gracefully sways. And to me, especially, it feels magical. So, even after moving here, I have kept up with the tradition of lighting candles and incenses every chance I get. And people spot it. A friend visited us earlier this year… as soon as she entered our home she said she loved the way it smells. When we went to her place a few weeks ago she kept mentioning the same and asked me over and over what I did to make the house smell so heavenly. And with that remark, she made my day.
So, there. While I may not have given any artsy touches to the house, I still have my books and fragrance to take the attention away from the otherwise ordinary place. My most cherished collection of books. My divinely scented candles. My blissful adobe. Life is good.
…peeking into the partner’s book, asking him what point he has reached in the story to be met with him pointing to the name of the chapter. I don’t remember, what happens here? you ask. Read the book if you want to know, he says and smiles gleefully, satisfied with giving you a dose of your usual response to his questions about the book.
…waking up to the ring of doorbell and receiving a big package filled with Diwali delicacies and loads of love.
…letting the partner work his magic. All pain melt away!
…being fed amazing homemade dishes, one meal after another, at your Uncle/Aunt’s, until you are too full to move even an inch. To top that, they also pack a bag full of sweets and savories to take home. What a delight to the taste buds!
…having friends over to light sparklers and fountains on Diwali night. The laughters that echo through the backyard is enough to call it a grand celebration.
…turning on the fireplace for the first time and enjoying its warmth on a cold night.
…looking at different photos of diyas and candles on emails from friends or on some of your favorite blogs and reveling in all that beauty.
…seeing a beautiful drawing made for you by a precious little one. The thoughtfulness of the said little one’s Mom is no less.
…watching the partner place an order for one of the book collections you’ve been eyeing for years.
…treating the kids that come dressed in various costumes on Halloween evening.
Surprise is… coming home late at night to find three adorable baby deer grazing on the lawn. Their shiny, beady eyes follow your steps as you get out of the car, fetch your bag from the rear seat, go over to check the mailbox and, finally, walk towards the front door. They intently watch you for as long as they think it is safe and then run away as they sense you getting closer and closer, leaving you with a huge smile. What a way to end the day!
And I did.
The weekend before last we rented a cabin in the mountains and took off Saturday morning. The drive was a bit stretched out (breaks, traffic, etc.), but it was fun nonetheless. We had two cars, six of us shuffling between the cars. And once we got near the mountain area, the fall colors were so breathtaking that the drive wasn’t a bother to anyone.
We reached the cabin around four in the evening. Temperature had gone down considerably by then. Heater was turned on. Fireplace was put to good use. All of us gathered around the orange-yellow flames of the fire for a while before venturing out to the balcony to enjoy the mountain views from all angles. Cameras were brought out and click, click, click – photos were taken of the colorful mountains, dark grey clouds, shy sun, fallen leaves.
Once it started getting dark, Ran stepped into the kitchen to start preparing for dinner. He started with cleaning and marinating the fish and the chicken we’d bought earlier that day, followed by cutting the veggies and prepping them for baking. Each one of stepped in and out of the kitchen, offering a helping hand every now and then. And the partner, as always, began playing music to up the cheery mood that all of us were in. And a song or two later, he also began moving to the rhythm.
There I was standing on the sidelines, watching the big smile on his face as he danced around, sinking in all the joy that the evening brought with it, and moments later he pulled me in. And what happened next surprised me to no end. I joined him! Without any hesitation, without second thoughts, without feeling conscious about everyone else around, I was hopping along on my happy feet.
These were some of my closest friends I was with. And then of course there was the partner. Yet, it startled me to spot that behavior of mine. It’s so unlike me to have given in so quickly. And there I was, doing just that. Of course, I am glad I did. Because had it been any other way, it might not have been as much fun and I may have regretted it later. That evening brought with it a lot of excitement. Enough to last the days to come.
We danced. For hours together. Some more than the others. We danced as the dinner cooked. We danced as Ree took a nice relaxing bath and then had her dinner. We danced as the food called out to us. We danced until our feet hurt. We danced like there was no tomorrow. We danced until we could label it one of the most memorable evenings ever, because almost all of us hadn’t danced like that in years. And yes, we danced like no one was watching.
And after about five or six hours, it came to a stop. The partner and Ran still had the momentum to go on. But hunger and weariness took over the rest of us. So we dropped, one after another. And that was the end of it… well almost – the partner and Ran danced for one last song before calling it quits. The others sat and watched, astounded by their energy levels.
We had plans to play a game of Monopoly after dinner. But none of us had it in us to sit a few more hours and see a game through. After the time that we had just had, sleep was extremely eager to embrace us. So we called it a night right after dinner.
Great friends. Tons of fun. Delicious food. What’s not to love?