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Positivity is in the eye of the beholder

Jency Samuel| 03 Dec 2010, Vol 0 Issue 1

One

One fine day I attained ‘enlightenment’; I decided that I wasn’t going to crib about anything and be positive about any situation.
 

Have you heard of testing times? Well, they do appear; especially when you are gloating over your newfound wisdom.
 

One day my bike stalled. At 7.30 am, one cannot expect to find a mechanic. So I pushed it to my institute. But I needed to get back home. What are husbands for but to rescue their damsels in distress! Mine offered to pick me up. And there started my trouble. I forgot to inform that my class would get over by 11.30 am instead of 10.30am. So he had to wait. Needless to say, he was furious. But he decided to get me breakfast in a restaurant nearby with a stern ‘I can’t ‘lug’ you if you faint’.
 

Home-bound, there was a traffic diversion because of some procession. We took a detour, had problem there as well. After a bit of traversing lanes and bylanes, we were stuck under the scorching sun, with no trees or buildings to offer shade.
 

Now ‘Mode Wisdom’ took over. I said, “Good that you didn’t come by car. We wouldn’t have reached this far.” Silence. “Good that you got me breakfast. I might really have fainted”. Silence again. Ah! he is not enlightened, right?
 

“Good that we….”.
 

“One more word, and I will leave you here with my bike and walk home.”
 

I offered a beatific smile and said, “Be positive.”
 

“I know that’s my blood group. Now, Zip your Lip.” ‘Mode Wisdom’ was confused by the conflicting signals and became quiet. But it was certainly not ‘Mode Grumble’ now.
 

Then we had kitchen grey water overflowing in the backyard. Being in the ground floor, we had to bear the smell and the sight. The flat owners’ association took its own time in rectifying the problem. Earlier, I would have fretted. But now I had to be positive. Now, how can you feel positive about smelly sewage? I could not. But, finally I worked up enough courage and said, “God, I am sorry I am unable to say this from the bottom of my heart. But thank you for the overflowing sewage.” Even as I said that, I couldn’t stop laughing. Who on earth would be thankful for something such as this!
 

Later when I was in the kitchen, I noticed a streak of blue cross the window. I peaked through the window and saw a white-breasted kingfisher on a cable right outside my door, with something in its beak caught from the slush. (This species eats insects, garden lizards, etc.) It was a surprise and a delight to see at close quarters what we had seen only through a pair of binoculars. I got to click a picture too. But the sewage remained smelly as ever.
 

And then it dawned on me. When you are positive about something, the problem does not change, but your perception of the problem does. And then it is easy not to let the situation rule our thoughts and deeds.
 

  • Wednesday, December 12, 2018