Broken… or… Beautiful

Sania was reading a book and got interrupted when the doorbell rang. She opened the door and greeted Anirban, her husband.

“Tea or Coffee?” she asked.

“Let’s have tea. I will freshen up in 5 minutes.” he replied.

Sania started crooning and went to the kitchen with a smile on her face. The evening was lit. Sania was liking the calm, pleasant, positive evening. Anirban joined for tea and they started talking about their day.

“Before I forget, we have been invited for dinner today by Aakash and Amrita.” Anirban said.

“Ok”, said Sania.

Suddenly, the vibe of the day changed for her. She started feeling a bit jittery.

Aakash is Anirban’s colleague and Amrita his wife. The couple likes dining out and road trips for exploring new places. Sania used to be excited to meet them initially. However, she realised that every time she met them, there was something that made her uncomfortable. It was the couple’s cynicism about everything and everyone. Every discussion led to them ending into judging someone, criticising someone or just gossiping about someone. Sania didn’t quite like that vibe. She also felt guilty of being a part of it, even though she never contributed. She would just smile and, she felt that by even smiling she encouraged those conversations.

Finally, they met for the dinner. Sania appreciated the preparations and before she realised, the couple started talking about their bad dinner experiences at another colleagues’ house. This was the beginning. Soon, they were talking about someone’s looks or mocking someone’s tragedies. They asked Sania if she had some gossip to share. When she said, she didn’t have any, they started pushing her to share something.

“Come on! There would be something spicy that you know. How about the Department Head’s wife? You met her last week.”

“Ok. Tell us about Department Head. Don’t you think he is too lean? Looks malnourished. Doesn’t he?”

Sania couldn’t take it anymore.

She said, “To be honest, I wonder if I have ever come across anyone who looks perfect in all aspects and has a perfect life all the time. And somehow, I have come to understand it’s our deviations from the standards of a perfect look or a perfect life that make us unique, that make us stand out and that make us beautiful. People with broken hearts, people with broken teeth and people with broken lives have stories to tell. They are adventurous, courageous and are living life to the fullest. For me, broken is beautiful. So, to answer your question, I have met only beautiful people with beautiful lives. In my view, these people deserve only respect and appreciation. I have promised myself to not judge or criticise them.

Not that anyone understood what she was trying to say. However, Sania started feeling better once she expressed this.

The Japanese art form Kintsugi is built on the idea of strength and beauty in imperfection. When a ceramic object breaks, the broken pieces are carefully mended by artisans and the golden repairs are visible — yet somehow beautiful. 

Best friends

Feeling horrible, right?

Yes.

How exactly are you feeling?

Feeling heavy… like there is a big stone on me.

Oh! That’s really difficult to deal with. What is this stone made of?

Many random thoughts and emotions.

Hmm.. that’s what makes it complex.

Yes

Let’s start by picking one thought.

Ok.. I tried my best today but I still couldn’t prepare good food for guests.

Oh!

You know I feel really ashamed, I feel inadequate. It’s embarrassing.

Hmm.. I know, you tried really hard with good intent, gave it all your time and it feels really bad when we fail.

Yes, exactly.

What else?

I also feel afraid.

Afraid?

What would those people think of me?

What can they possibly think?

I’m not good enough. I don’t have a cooking sense. I don’t know how to manage my home. I am not a great person to associate with.

That harsh?

Hmm.. you’re right. They wouldn’t be too harsh. They should be able to see that it happens. All of us make mistakes and fail at things despite our best efforts at times.

That gentle?

Hehe.. some of them will not be so gentle. They may judge for a while, gossip about
it.

Hmm.. are they the ones who will stop talking to you?

Hehe.. Now, if I think of it, they won’t. Everyone is going through so much every day, this will only make them feel better for a while. They will forget later.

Hmm.. that’s a great service. Youre making people feel better.

Hehe.. actually, our mistakes, failures and flaws help us connect with people at a human level. It’s okay to make mistakes in front of people.

Hmm.. that’s quite insightful.

Well, at least I learnt something out of this. My pain didn’t go waste.

Great. How’s the pain now, by the way?

Surprisingly, it’s not there anymore. I feel like that complex, heavy stone like structure has been smoothened.

That’s great. Sleep tight now. Good night.

Good night, indeed.

This was her conversation with her heart. Yes, she is her best friend and she understands herself the best. If she doesn’t, it’s not fair to expect others to. If she doesn’t forgive herself, how will others ever be able to. If she isn’t gentle on herself, others can be harsh too. If she doesn’t love herself and care for her heart, how will others find it worthy enough?



Brain in red

The usage of phrases like “making a difference”, “factors that contribute”, “final product”, “adding value”, “division on the basis of” are not very uncommon these days.

A careful look at the words ‘difference’, ‘factor’, ‘product’, ‘adding’, ‘division’ tells us that these are the widely used words of Mathematics. Now the question that pops up is whether their usage in common language is derived from Mathematics or Mathematicians have picked up these words.

“Who cares? Chicken or the egg, don’t know, don’t care!”

“Absolutely.”

But..

One fine day, somebody comes to me and asks, “What do you think adding value to something means?”

“Stupid brain. It just means enriching the quality. The end.”

“Absolutely”

But..

Another day, I am asking myself, “Am I a good child? Am I a worthy citizen of the country? How do I know I am not leaching on the resources alone and not giving back? Am I fulfilling my responsibilities as a human?”

“Bro, you need therapy!”

“Absolutely”

But..

Maybe, if I can understand what “adding value” means, I could do it in its truest sense. Maybe, if I can understand what “making a difference” means, I can do it and be proud of myself.

“Bro, why so serious? Google it, find out and do it.”

“Absolutely”

But..

Internet is full of answers and everyone has something to say about it. Isn’t every company in the world “making a diffence by adding value to their final product while discouraging factors that contribute to division on the basis of gender, caste, religion and region”. Atleast that is what I read on the internet.

“So what?”

So aren’t we living in an ideal world where there is equality, harmony and celebration of diversity everywhere?

“Yeah, right! The other day he got promoted just because he knows how to lick the right spots”

So not an ideal world, maybe! But then everyone seems to know the right thing to do and they claim and seem to be doing the right thing.

“Correction. They are trying to do the right thing with the best they know.”

Over optimistic me : True!
Over pessimistic me: No, they don’t!
Thinker in me : Is it? Do people really think about environment before every action of theirs? Do people think about the impact of their actions on society?

“Dude, I am starting to feel you really need psychiatric help.”

Agree or disagree, many people have thought about it and since these questions are not trending on the internet, these must have been answered somewhere.

“I don’t know. Maybe you are not crazy.
Hey, why don’t we start seeking answers to these and try to give back to the world.”

Naah!

“Why not?”

Because I am tired, we are out of drinks, I have office tomorrow and the kids need me. Good night!