A friend shared her experience, which made me think. They lived in Worli, Mumbai on the 19th floor bang opposite their windows was the Arabian sea. A couple of her friends had come to stay with them for a few days. Just before leaving for the train station, the guest said, “Oh! There is the sea out there. You have a nice view.” For the duration of their stay, they never observed the sea. Come on; you cannot miss the sea. The guests lived in a city which was far away from the sea.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder is the idiom that comes to mind. In dictionaries, the usage of the word beauty is explained as
the qualities in a person or thing that as whole give pleasure to the senses
the beauty of the landscape along the coast was enough to take your breath away
Some enjoy the beauty in the smallest things, and others miss the ocean in front of the eyes. Why is that so? It could be that some of us are too engrossed in trying to find out the next meal! It could be that some of us are too busy arranging the meal for the seventh generation, down the lane- engrossed in making money! Some of us need to have alcoholic support to enjoy tête-à-tête with a friend. For a person like me, meeting a friend gives me a high! But experiencing something beautiful comes naturally. The most beautiful thing is the smile of a child who starts recognising its mother. Nothing can beat the innocent smile. Would there be people in this world who do not enjoy this smile? Yes, there would be! What are such people made up of is difficult to judge! My favourite Q! Is it in their DNA? Are they born with this defect? If that is so, then they are most unfortunate.
We see many people with lines on their forehead! Their brows are always indicating that they have to carry the load of the universe. People forget that they can do serious work, meaningful work, but for that, they need not take themselves seriously. You may be discussing the theory of nuclear energy or talking about military strategy, but during lunch or tea break, you can always share a joke or two. You might see some birds in the vicinity; and you may get a lovely drizzle, enjoy it.
There is a story that shows the thinking of people. We had a family friend living close by, in Pune. He was a nice person, but he had a different way of thinking. In Pune, we generally have beautiful temperate weather. For a week in monsoon, a couple of weeks in summer weather is not comfortable. Whenever I spoke to him, I would ask him how he was. Depending on the time of the year, he would reply, “Oh, it is so hot!” “Oh, it is so Cold!” “Oh, there is so much rain!” Surprisingly, these statements were made about Pune weather.
I will share with you a few things I have enjoyed in life. In our younger days, we always had a cat at home. One of them was smart. She had a few deliveries in our home. The cats change places where they keep the babies, till the kittens start moving on their own. The smarty would shift only one of the babies, and she expected us to move the other babies. We thought that we were smarter than her and shifted the kittens to a new place; it was a pre-emptive move on our part. Smarty did not like this. She moved one of the kittens to the first place and followed us in the house. We were wondering why she was following us. Then we saw what she had done. Then we moved all remaining kittens to the first place. She stopped following us and went to sleep with the kittens. It was a sight to see the cat teaching her kittens to catch small mice in our garden.
You do not need to go to Tajmahal, Niagara Falls or St Moritz to enjoy the beauty. These are of course beautiful, but in smaller things also you can enjoy. You must enjoy the paintings of Picasso, Rembrandt and Hussain but do not forget that HE is the most celebrated painter on the earth, he offers art show every day if you have an eye for it. It is free. We enjoy that show from our balcony every day! Who can paint better than HIM?
Now there is a trend to take holidays, and we travel with tour organisers. They spin you around for seven to thirteen days. When we take this option, we try to see that the coordinators do not have a hectic schedule. Also, we check in advance that they allow us to spend a day or two on our own. We want to enjoy at our pace, at the same time we want to soak into the beauty in our way.
In St Moritz, Switzerland, they had suggested that we go and enjoy the beauty of four peaks in a day which included Matterhorn. We did only two. We spent a lot of time at Matterhorn. We believe in soaking into the beauty at our pace!
We have a home where we lived for about seven years. It is a row house. There we have a garden, and there was greenery. We used to have an adda of friends quite regularly, having tea-coffee and Gappa. We had garden chairs and a table under the shade of trees. When the chairs were full, there was a platform to sit on. I remember sessions after sessions of Gappa even in monsoon during a drizzle. It is the atmosphere, it is the ambience, and it is most important how you want to seek the beauty with which you are surrounded. In Madikeri resort jungle, I would enjoy early morning tweets by birds. I was hoping to find in vain the sequence in which different birds tweet- I never succeeded. I thought that they chirped at random- it only showed that my knowledge of the subject was poor!
Our life is full of ups and downs but we need to handle it in such a way that we find good stuff from what is around you. Do not shut eyes when at home; to enjoy the beauty of the world we do not necessarily have to travel. When you can find good things from the world around you, you improve your life’s balance sheet by making entries to the credit side!