In search of simple joys

Everyday, Priya’s heart feels touched by that indescribable feeling of unconditional love for those few moments.
In search of simple joys

After glacial Delhi, the deliciously warm and relaxing climes of Hyderabad helps add comfort. I am here for an exhibition with my friend Priya. From tomorrow, we are going to be working long days. But today, we are settled languorously in her hotel room, pyjama-clad, for chai and chatter. All women will testify that a chatter with a friend is a soft pashmina sheath of warmth. As we go on, I tell her something I read recently: the opposite of the word ‘trigger’ is glimmer.

Trigger, by definition, is the involuntary rise of defensive or negative emotions at the press of emotional memory buttons. In contrast, glimmer is an oasis of cosy warmth, joy and safety—even if experienced just for a few moments. If a trigger takes the body into flight-or-fight state, glimmer gently settles it into the ventral vagal zone, helpful for cell regeneration and every kind of healing.

Priya has a habit of feeding a bunch of stray indies every evening. Her face lights up when she tells me about a dog: an old fellow—mangy, dishevelled and homeless—who ‘demands’ love from her. While all the others pounce on the food, this oldie’s eyes only seek her. He walks decisively over to her and boldly rests his face on her leg. Then, looking up at her, he goes away to eat the nibbles she has spread out. There is a catch in her voice as she tells me the story. Everyday, Priya’s heart feels touched by that indescribable feeling of unconditional love for those few moments. We go on to talk about these tiny instants we all experience every day, but often, let them slip away without full awareness of their value.

As I write, I think about a little boy I met in a narrow alley in Munirka that leads to my studio. He must be six or seven years old. He is also a part of a larger group of school children in humble, faded school uniforms that are either too small or tent-like. It is possible they are handed down by an elder sibling or bought with great deliberation by hard working parents to last through that maddeningly fast growth track of children.

Anyway, this little boy escapes the group and runs up to me. I stop inquiringly and he looks up at me with large shy caramel eyes. I see that the little brown fist is clenched around a fresh pale pink rose, like a blush. He presses it into my hand and bolts as fast as only little kids—or maybe rabbits—can run before I can thank him. When I reach home, I put the flower in a little vase. After a few days, when the rose starts to dry, I press it in a book of Amir Khusrau’s poetry.

Look for glimmers. Live in glimmers. Love your glimmers. The god of glimmers chuckles as he rains more your way!

Anupamaa Dayal

This fashion designer is about happy clothes and happy homes for happy women

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