Still a happy feeling

Bikram Vohra
Filed on September 17, 2020

In this besotted Covid age, where the recent past is a mirage and simple things we once took for granted are out of reach, I lay in bed at night, eluding sleep or the other way round, thinking of things that made me feel good.

For some reason, a motorist on the highway conceding me space and doing the decent thing always springs to my mind first. It is such a nice gesture from a stranger you will never meet again and sets the tone for the day. Like people behind counters who look up and acknowledge your existence. And actually help you. Immigration without any queue when you enter the terminal. Mail at your doorstep, that never happens anymore. Potluck and it is never really ever potluck, we have lobster every day, don't you know?

Spontaneity. Wriggling in the dust now, everything is so engineered and planned.

Travelling on the road. show me the way home. Sharing dinners on a train with people you have never met. Booking a call to another country and waiting for it to come through. three minutes only. Tightening a loose audio cassette with a pencil. Sitting through a scratched video tape. Wearing a digital watch that went peep peep. Someone to receive you at a strange airport in a strange land. Getting brightly-coloured telegrams for your birthday. Finding a pen to take down a message.

Laughter of children like the tinkle of crystal. Sit-down dinners and a little bit of class and style, not wolfing down stuff at a fast food place. A good, solid debate with friends on a crucial issue, we don't do that anymore. We one-up instead. Being funny without worrying about political correctness. Saying goodbye to loved ones at a train station, be careful, call when you reach, sweet nothings of another sort. Discovering there is one lemon tart left. Chocolate unshared. Putting blanco on your keds and seeing them shiny white next morning. Unwrapping a new blade. Newsboys rushing to your car at a junction.

Nice things. Like the cool other side of your pillow. A cheque that arrives before time. Kids saying, anyone can be a father, but how many can be dads. A fresh blade to shave with. Winning a match on the final point. Just having hassle-free kids.

Happy things. Doing what they say cannot be done. Clearing a medical checkup. Getting your licence. Watching your country win. Getting a lump in the throat when the flag goes up and the anthem plays.

Warm, friendly things. Like discovering an old music tape from way back and hearing it. Watching a video about when the kids were young and so were you. Rifling through a photo album and recalling the days that were. Migoodness, I had hair.

Being happy for someone else's success. Liking yourself for something nice you did. Giving up smoking and actually sticking to it. Losing weight and the scales agree. Looking at yourself in the mirror... and liking what you see.
bikram@khaleejtimes.com





 
 
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