Monday 17 August 2015

M to D - Be a little less exhausted and live a little more

"Mom?", I peeped in through the half closed door. Seeing her room lit up at this hour of the night, I thought I'd check in on her. 

"Hi baby. Umm, wait there. Hold on I'll come out." she replied, but it was already too late. I entered and saw her trying to make her way from under a heap of clothes. She was sitting on a small stool in front of her wardrobe and nearly half of her sarees and her kurtas and her patiyalas were out of the cupboard, either on her head, some on her shoulder, some in her lap and others scattered around on the floor and the bed. I could see a certain pattern in the scatteredness of the clothes.

"For the love of God, it's past midnight! Why could you not wait till Sunday to clean it? It's 3 days away, Mumma." I replied with a look of nark on my face. Her love for cleanliness has always irked me and she has always had to tussle between her love and my mood.

"Well, to begin with, I wasn't expecting you here this late." She clearly had no urgency-excuse this time.

"It's not about me here. I don't want you to stay up late nights to clean your stuff not because I'm vexed by it. Unless I don't have to help, it doesn't bother me. But I don't want you to do this right now because you have an early morning appointment and we don't want you all sluggish the entire day tomorrow, now do we? You're no more in your 30s mother, you need to and have to take care of your health, take ample amount of rest. And for the number of hours you work relentlessly everyday, I believe nothing less than a good 7-8 hours of sleep can suffice."

"But I have other work chalked out for this Sunday. And I'm relatively not that tired tonight."

"Did you even register what I said? Okay forget it. Do what you have to. Here, let me help." I offered to help halfheartedly. I hated when she was so adamant but I couldn't leave her alone with all those clothes lying around. It'd take her the entire night to arrange them all.

"No no, it's okay. I don't want to bother you." I could sense the guilt of being a cleanliness freak in her voice. I continued to collect clothes from around the floor and folded them without looking at her. "Umm, listen, don't...oh wait not that yellow Kurta..okay stop. I've arranged them according to how they're supposed to be put. Don't mix them all together."
Yeah, this is typical of my mom. A perfectionist. Cannot put the darker yellows in the browns or the oranges in reds. Folds are to be exactly according to the crease. Regular wear sarees to be different from winter sarees or summer sarees. I don't know what I disliked more- she taking her health lightly or helping her take her health seriously. Mom will be mom!

After an hour or two of collecting, folding, ironing and arranging, we finally sat down on the bed, admiring the tidy and organised almirah.

"Yeah, this perfect look is worth all the hardwork." I smiled at her.

"It's not only about the end. I love the process too. I love cleaning. I love arranging stuff." She replied, beyond my understanding.

"I like to reach the aim ASAP and just enjoy the fact that I achieved what I sought for. Bask in the glory of what I achieved. The path to reaching the aim is so exhausting." I told her.

"What do you mean? The path, the process, almost takes up most of our lives. You surely don't mean you spend that 80% of your life in waiting to enjoy the apprehended rest 20%?"

"I never looked at it that way. You know how I keep wondering what the purpose of my life is and when would that time come when I'd finally have achieved my purpose. I just keep living what life throws at me. What if I was meant to do something absolutely different?" I asked her.

"You're meant to do what you really want to do, baby. Do you enjoy studying medicine?"

"I do. I really do. But I'm so scared about my future. The placements are decreasing at an appalling number and I don't know if I'm working in the right direction. I read all these success stories of medical students on the internet and read their researches. It all scares me. I'm working towards it, but I'm seeing no future. I just work and work and work and yet there's no finish product in front of me. It is very disheartening. I feel like quitting sometimes. How am I anyway better off than those who are not working as hard? How can I be sure of a good future?"

"Poor girl. Listen to me. The process that makes life is this- Aim, Thrive, Achieve. This makes life, but what makes life worth living is when you enjoy this process. If you spend the first two phases waiting for the third phase, the third phase will never be satisfying enough. You'd have thought about it so much, and you'll have a way in your mind of how it should turn out to be. But, my dear, it'll never turn out the same way unless it's a Yash Chopra movie." mother dear explained.

"I know! The movies influence a great deal!" I was excited, she was hitting somewhere at the right spot in my brain.

"So what is more important is that you enjoy the other two phases too. Don't keep waiting for the third. Life is sometimes an incomplete cycle, you may never even get to the third phase. So chill it out Soumyaa." She winked. I found her very cute when she tried to be my age! "Enjoy the process on your way to accomplishment.
For example Cleaning as it looks to you, is not how I see it. Because I enjoy it, it no more exhausts or frustrates me. Do that with your smallest or the largest of goals. Enjoy the way to reaching to them."

"That's what they mean by the saying 'journey is more important than the destination'!" I was understanding.

"Exactly. You know you're living your life and not just breathing through it when you enjoy every step of the process of its journey- Aiming, Thriving, Achieving. And with this I'm gonna tell you to bugger off, I have an early morning appointment tomorrow!"

We laughed and I kissed her a good night. I went to bed a little less exhausted that night.


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