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The Pursuit of the Little Things

The Pursuit of the Little Things

Discover the beauty in life's small moments. Embrace gratitude, joy, and ordinary pleasures. A journey of mindfulness and positivity awaits.

Jaladhi Shah (BBT 3rd Year)
August, 31 2023
1752

The smoke spirals through the chimney and disappears into thin air, failing in its desperate, frenzied attempt to change the colors of the evanescent sunset sky. I look up to the magnanimous stretch of canvas, blocking out the clamor. The sun sets in the sky, as bold as one of Mom’s tangerine jellies. It's as if an artist had haphazardly flicked their paintbrush across the perpetually white page; the endless sky - a painting - scarlet, orange, bright yellow, and rosy pink merging with each other. The sun shines its god-like glory, its rays unfurling and setting ablaze the cotton balls in the sky, with shades of red and gold. Of course, I pull out my phone to take yet another picture of the sky. It’s the 238th picture in my prestigious collection. I think about my brother rolling his eyes, and my face lights up with impish glee. Honk! Honk! The pandemonium from the beeline of cars eventually bursts my thought bubble. The Corolla next to our cab is being driven by a rather grumpy, flustered old man who grunts at the red traffic light. There is a baby crying crankily somewhere nearby, flashing taillights and shrieking cars as far as my eyes can see. On any given day, a traffic jam on a sweltering, humid day would make up the perfect starter pack to get me irritable and ranting. Yet, today I sit back in my seat and smile.

You see, sitting back in the plush seat of the cab, watching the sun ebb away from the stilled traffic, all while Taylor Swift sings "Everything has changed" in my ear, has its own charm. Beyond the delay that the traffic brings along, I long for the time at hand. To do nothing; the time that passes by slowly enough, in a city that never stops. I have gratitude for the stillness while the rest of the world rushes, for the serendipitous conversations with the taxi driver about his kids, and for the exchanged smiles with co-passengers. Staying away from home really does teach you a lot.

I reminisce about Sunday picnics to the beach with grandpa. Shimmering blue waters sparkled in the presence of the flaming inferno as it rose from the horizon and burst into a bright, passionate mix of scarlet and yellow. The clouds have no place in the morning sky as the majestic Sun reigns supreme. Sandwiches, once-cold lemonades, and towels are bagged up and slung over grandpa’s shoulders. The calming, repetitive sounds of the waves crashing against the shore, seagulls swooping overhead, and the overwhelming scent of sunscreen blanket the air. I crave being mollycoddled with ice creams at the end of the day after my precious sandcastles were overtaken by powerful crashing waves. The Sun. The sea. The shore. The sand. Funny how time would while away at my happy place. Close your eyes and you’re there.

I live for the trivial, easy joys: finding money I had forgotten about, making other people smile or crack up, watching my favorite TV show for hours, and the one that tops it all - waking up too early only to catch up on some more hours of sleep. Never underestimate the influence of including these little things in your schedule. There’s nothing as therapeutic as sleeping while the rain gently beats against your window, receiving a sincere compliment, watching children laugh, or munching on your favorite snack after duress.

But if there’s something that one longs for the most, it is home, one’s cocoon. Home is where I laugh until my muscles hurt, and where I can expect to be fondled after tiring days at school. I look forward to coming back to a home enveloped with the aroma of home-cooked meals, soul-stirring, vulnerable conversations with loved ones, and comfortable silences. It feels good to not have to explain intentions behind actions, to have giggles and arguments, to be taken care of, to just be. It took me a while before I realized the difference between a home and a house. A house is a structure, a home is a sanctuary. Coming home brings along a dozen other treats too. There are days when I wake up to the sound of sizzling pancakes in the kitchen, perfectly paired with Dad’s echoing hums, and nights when I have solo dance parties in front of the mirror. There’s nothing compared to being sprawled under a blanket, clasping a steaming cup of coffee, while watching kids splash around in puddles as it pours outside. The joy of not burning the kitchen down, successfully cooking a meal, and the excitement building up in the pit of my stomach before regrouping with my best friends, is what I strive for.

So yes, whether it’s the sunsets or the reassuring "I love you" from loved ones, life is made up of moments. And it feels like life is nothing but a mission to collect these moments. I’m a firm believer in the healing power of ordinary things: the sharing of stories, feeling the grass between my toes, deep conversations, and just the feeling of being alive. I stay up at nights, reminiscing and smiling like an idiot thinking about the little things, for they fix ‘bad days’ and stir positive energy into the melting pot of thoughts in my mind. Of course, seeking the little things in life, in no way, will solve genuine perils, but it will make going through them easier. The magic of starting to focus on the little things is that it helps instill gratitude for what one possesses rather than cribbing about what one’s missing. The act of expressing gratitude has a way of feeding back into the soul. It makes me have faith, and I wonder if the little things are the biggest and best things after all.

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