Like every child, my five year old is very much fond of gifts wrapped in colourful wrappers. Every day she demands new surprises from us, and it is quite a task to keep her enthused, by giving in to her little desires. The moment she reaches home from school, she wants mommy genie to present her with a surprise. So much is her obsession with the gifts that we hardly leave any birthday party without her having cried her heart out, for not receiving as many gifts as the birthday kid
Down and out, we finally decided to throw a party to ring in her sixth year, so that she doesn’t feel left out. I and my husband are generally against such grand affairs, but this time the parent in us had to bow to her whims. She was happy and excited for being the centre of attraction and her little eyes use to reflect colourful hues, on receiving every single present wrapped with those glittery covers.
So the birthday party ended in a blink and we landed at home, with all her newly acquired possessions. We had hardly stepped into the house and she was jumping with excitement to unwrap all the new acquisitions. We were in no mood to spoil her fun, so once again we gave in to her childish tantrums. One by one, the floor was covered with colourful packaging and the presents were being piled up mercilessly over the bed. She was hardly interested in those covers and was equally disinterested in those gifts. Her happiness was only till the point those gifts were wrapped. So there I sat, surrounded by all the trash, for which I had to scout a place soon, to store it securely for some godforsaken reason. While I was mulling over the fate of those presents, the realisation struck me like a bolt of lightning.
“What have I been collecting all this life? Lumber and only lumber; trash and more trash.” Like my daughter, don’t we all dream for such presents day in and day out? It’s just that as we age, the nature of the present changes and its monetary value goes through the roof. For some it could be a big house, a big car, a diamond necklace or for some it could be something as intangible as love or fame. Come on friends, please answer me honestly-Are we really interested in the present or are just lured by its packing? Do we really get permanent happiness by just converting a 3bhk into a 4bhk? If we do, then why does our mind raise up the bar every time and wants to add another room. Even if, one gets satisfied with the number of rooms, then we want to add a garden, followed by a pool.
Our desire to achieve a dream is nothing different from packaging and it keeps us glued to that dream. The moment that dream is accomplished, the wrapper comes off and like a five year old, we move on to chase yet another “present”. So, the question remains that how we grown-ups are any different from a child? What these years of growing up have done to us, if we are still lured by these dreams covered in wrappers?
How light this journey of life can be, with a little less of wrapper and unwanted presents. It took me 30 plus years to learn this valuable lesson and I have decided to choose my presents wisely, as I want to travel light, on this journey called life!