This photograph was taken in a street market at Hyderabad, India. The local chudi-bazaar (market for bangles) has densely packed bangles up for sale. The dense packing adds to the glitter of the jewelry, often attracting people from a distance.
Spectacles are one of the best inventions of mankind. The ability to correct a faulty vision has given so many people an opportunity to witness the beauty of this world. From being a sign of a nerd to a style statement, eye glasses have evolved a long way. For someone who has been using spectacles since the age of 11, there is a special bond with those two glass lenses held together by a frame. Do you feel a similar bond with your spectacles? I will never forget the day I was asked to start using glasses. Like a lot of school kids it started with headaches and an inability to read what was written on the black board. Alphabets and numbers appeared fuzzy and blurred (Clearly eating carrots and coriander for 10 years had not been useful enough!!). Then as soon as the doctor slid various glasses in the holder for me to try, my vision cleared up! I could see things that were far off with clarity. With focus. I could read comfortably! My spectacles introduced me to the meaning of the word ‘clarity’ in its entirety! My first pair of specs was a hideous brown frame that had stripes all over it…. Something that seems so cool when you are 11; and absolutely disgusting by the time you turn 16!! And from then on, its been half rimmed, full rimmed, rimless, square cut, round, plastic, metal all kinds of frames and all kinds of glasses in my life. All pairs of specs have their own charm, but are united by one purpose- of presenting the world with clarity. Its grown to become a part of me. A few attempts to use the cumbersome contact lenses were futile. My eyes kept rejecting them. My mind had rejected them long before my eyes tried them 😛
Over the years, I believe my glasses have shown me the world with the maximum clarity that they could, be it people, or visible things in the world or structures inside living cells. Sometimes it has also shown me apparently hidden tears, sometimes cheeky smiles, sometimes happiness, sometimes deception, sometimes selflessness and so many other things!! And through this contribution, my glasses have become a part of my thinking process, my perception process, my imagination process. And so, when someone says put on your thinking caps, I put on my specs and get to work 🙂
I don’t know if they have a World Spectacles Day or something. But for all of you with specs, take a moment to thank this everyday tool that lets you see the world with clarity (and hey, unlike most everyday tools these days, it doesn’t even need a charger 😛 ). And for those of you who don’t use spectacles, you too should thank them. Cos I am sure at least some people important to you among your friends or family or better/worse halves have noticed you with clarity only because of a pair of spectacles 🙂
This blog is a series of write-ups that describe thoughts and ideas that are bubbling oh-so-always in my head. Being an analytical Virgo, my mind is always at work, wading through days and events with my brain’s magnifying glass. And the thing that I enjoy the most is thinking about how do people live their day everyday? What comprises the daily thoughts, decisions and chores of people? What are their everyday essentials? Each time I pass by a building or a house, a sneak peek through an open window shows me a cupboard, a clothes-line, or a cooking range or a study table or some such aspect. And each time I wonder how must people in the house be using all these things everyday? What must the cupboard or the refrigerator be witnessing ? If these inanimate things could speak, how would they describe a day in their lives? It’s one of the most fascinating thoughts of my head that every person in this world lives a different ‘everyday’ than anyone else!
Unfortunately though, off late, one thing about the everyday bothers me. And that is a continuous blacklisting of the everyday routine that I notice a lot of people doing . Let me explain.
A lot of advertisements and hoardings these days talk about a ‘break from routine’, ‘a change from everyday’, ‘a home away from home’. Traveling to a new location, sitting by a plush green lawn sipping your favorite beverage, dancing to groovy disco musics and letting your hair down – these seem to be the ‘to-do’ things to unwind. Weekend plans, travels, parties are so much more on the rise than what it was, say ten years ago. True that a break from monotone is required to refresh you from routines; but I am worried about a bigger message that this culture is conveying; especially to the gen-next out there. And that is of a near complete necessity to go away from routine to seek happiness. And amidst all this, the ‘everyday’ is constantly being accused of increasing the stress and negativity in people’s lives. And that concerns me.Why is ‘life’ only in the ‘break from everyday’? Why is there an underlying assumption that everyday things are totally boring and you ‘need to’ break free out of those to gain happiness? Instead, can you get two flavors of happiness in your life – one that emerges out of routinely things, and a different one from days that are spent outside your routine?
My bottomline here is simple – Everyday is beautiful. Or rather everyday can be made beautiful. You can find amusement and joy in your routines and everyday things. The stuff you do everyday, the people you interact with everyday, the routes you take, the food you cook – basically your everyday is your identity. Not just professional, but also personal identity. It is what makes you ‘you’. And it is what gives you those little experiences in learning, and this totally fascinates me. And on the other hand, the not-so-everyday life of yours gives you a different beautiful aspect of your personality to experience – one that does other hobbies and activities, interacts possibly with different people and enjoys a different series of events. This is your more leisurely state, which gives you amusement out of a greater creative spirit in you.
This almost equal emphasis on everyday stuff, mundane activities and on unconventional not-everyday stuff will be the theme in this blog series. I believe every little thing we do, we use or think about everyday is important, and fun – be it a regular home chore or an exotic piece of art; and deserves equal attention.And hence I invite you all to join me in exploring my wondering thoughts about each and everyday and the stuff we do, see and learn everyday.
I will sign off by saying that this picture here represents the constant element in everyday – sunrise. And with it, I will attempt to introduce to you one more constant element that sits deep within the sunrise – the beauty of everyday 🙂