People watch films for entertainment and praise some of them a great deal. But do they really embrace them or learn from them? Just to clear the air, this article is not about films, its purpose is very different. I want to talk about a particular instance from a film that inspired me a great deal. It helped me to live a better life & find meaning in small things. The scene is from Bluffmaster where Boman Irani asks Abhishek Bachchan “How many days of your life do you remember?” and let me tell you, no answer is good enough!
When this question came up, my mind started racing, sifting through memories trying to locate the best ones. It was like the timeline from Person of Interest moving back & forth or maybe even like Sherlock, running across my mind palace opening one door after the other. I don’t think the point was to count nor was it meant as a memory test, it was to realize that the ‘pursuit of happiness’ should never end.
So what did i remember? after racking my brain, I stopped at a memory which was of a time when I was maybe 12 years old. I had been living in Bangalore for over 2 years and I had not been able to find a ‘Go To’ place for comics. One day in school, I heard about this library that rented out comics and I thought to myself “Could this be it or is it just a myth?” I took directions and peddled away on my Hercules Top Gear using all the strength in my legs. I reached the location only to spot a very small shop with an single bulb. My heart sank. “How could this be a library?, There is no way they would have any comics. All this peddling for nothing?” As I parked my bicycle next to a street lamp and started walking towards the shop, I started prioritizing. “Please please, if nothing else let there be Tintin, and may be Asterix and may be even Archies and….” Clearly I had no clue what prioritization meant. I reached the entrance and heard some kids shouting “Aaj mein leke jaunga, last time tu leke gaya tha Dhruv wali, Kirigi Ka Kahar“. I stepped inside and got blown away. Endless rows of comics stacked one rack after the other, the entrance was small but the collection wasn’t. It was like Alice in Wonderland, I tumbled down the rabbit hole and was amazed at the world of comics underneath. There was Nagraj, Dhruv, Chacha Chaudhary, Tinkle, Champak and….Archies, Asterix, Tintin and may more. It couldn’t get any better.
I took the membership, picked up a Tintin and rode back home without a care in this world. No thoughts of pending homework, assignments or upcoming tests could bother me. I reached home with a Joker-esque smile on my face, had a bath, picked up the comic and started reading it lying down on the bed. That moment, as I lay there reading, i remember very clearly, saying these words “This Is Life”. I was just so happy because my mind was constantly going back to the hundreds of comics still lying on the shelf waiting for me.I couldn’t stop smiling.
This was such a small incident and yet, it has been with me for so long. There are so many little things like this that make us happy. I think the problem is that we focus too much on that one big happiness (a huge birthday bash, a lavish wedding, a long holiday) rather than the small innocuous moments which we always recollect with so much fondness. That is why we forget a big dinner party at a friends house but remember countless moments from our college cafeteria with the same friends. So If you still want to ask for more, ask for more such days because no matter what you say now, these will be the only days that will be worth anything in your life.