Spice of Life: Gratitude a great attitude to find lasting happiness - Hindustan Times
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Spice of Life: Gratitude a great attitude to find lasting happiness

ByMegha Garg
May 27, 2024 01:19 PM IST

I admit I’d never seen happier faces. Both the boys jumped into the car excitedly and I took them for a spin around the block and stopped at a coconut-seller’s cart

As I stepped out for brunch with my family on my favourite day of the week, Sunday, I couldn’t help but smile when I realised how holy this ritual had become for us. The pleasure of driving my sports car with my son sitting in the passenger seat and listening to music acted as a much-needed dose of meditation after the week’s gruelling schedule.

No matter what the circumstances, one can always thank the higher power for the gift of just being. (HT File)
No matter what the circumstances, one can always thank the higher power for the gift of just being. (HT File)

While parking the car outside our usual restaurant, I heard a tapping on the window. A little annoyed at the sight of two grubby little boys almost as old as my son, I tried shooing them away having resolved never to lend money to beggars. Expecting them to be dejected by my behaviour, I noticed the boy in the red T-shirt smiling and saying something to me. My curiosity got the better of me and I rolled down the window. His smile got wider as he asked, “Didi, is this a Porsche? How fast does it go?”

Surprised at his knowledge, I enquired how he knew the details about the car. His answer melted my heart. “Didi, I have seen videos on YouTube.” Swallowing hard and trying to hold back my emotions, I said: “Come, sit in the back seat and I’ll show you.”

I admit I’d never seen happier faces. Both the boys jumped into the car excitedly and I took them for a spin around the block and stopped at a coconut-seller’s cart. Sipping on the cool water on the hot Sunday, I got to know that the boys were studying in a Punjabi-medium government school and during their vacation, they were trying to sell stationery items to make some money to buy toys and clothes.

I encouraged them to use public resources like parks and grounds to spend their idle time playing football or running around. Upon which they told me that the gardeners at the park did not allow them to use the public toilet or the swings. A little taken aback, I took them with me to meet the gardeners and arranged a donation box for sports equipment and toys for them.

They were jumping and skipping around at this new proposition when I asked if I could drop them back to their house. They refused and said that they were used to walking the distance. I bid adieu to them and made my way to the car park.

On the way back, my son asked, “Mumma, despite being poor, the two boys were smiling throughout and seemed happy. They spoke about not being able to afford things that we don’t even think of as luxuries. But the whole time they talked as if they had deliberately decided to be cheerful.”

I too had been thinking of their faces and their demeanour and how just a little while ago, I had been worrying about Sunday zipping past so fast and dreading the next working day. I was flummoxed by the scene I had just witnessed and so was my son. Suddenly, the realisation dawned that no matter what the circumstances, one can always thank the higher power for the gift of just being, and I vowed to always remember and pass it on: Gratitude is the best attitude.

ashmeg20@gmail.com

(The writer is a Ludhiana-based freelance contributor.)

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