Ordinary, yet extraordinary

It is indeed strange how certain thoughts always reside in the recesses of your mind and come back to life, as soon as anything even remotely connected to it occurs. Here’s a chaotic account of all that happened today.

Where? My sofa.
Time- 9:18 am
Duration of this episode: 7-10 mins

Today morning as I started to plan my day ahead, I began to think about what I would eat in the day. Recent health concerns have made me look into what I eat, and I am not as carefree and reckless about my food as I used to be. (To give you context, in a two person meal, I would eat the major portion of the food that was ordered) Those were the golden days! Anyway, coming back to Earth, my mind wandered when I thought about food and I decided on making a broccoli soup and a mushroom sabji. I do not know how to make either, just in case you were wondering; but I was up for the experience of learning! But we did not have broccoli or mushroom at home, and I wondered what now. My mind quickly settled on the option of ordering the necessary ingredients from Amazon Now. So easy, so convenient. Life sorted!

But being myself, another door of thought opened up. I started to think about the experience I was denying myself, because I chose to order food ingredients online. Say there was no Amazon Now, and I had to go myself to the market to buy these ingredients. When was the last time I went to the market to buy anything? I thought for a minute and gave up. Isn’t going to the market, or let’s upgrade ourselves and say going to D-Mart also an experience? Say I meet a person I know, we talk. We share what’s been happening in our respective lives. You think about it even after they have left. Say I meet a friend who stays in the same area, after a long time. Usually, we never find time to meet each other; we have such busy schedules and lives. Say you meet that one annoying Aunty you always try to avoid. Learn to face her, you know you will have to face many such people in the near future.

My point is, how many times do we deny ourselves an experience because we have gotten used to a certain life of convenience? The experience I am talking of, is of running into people. Sure, there are these orchestrated social avenues which create such chances to meet new people. We all take part in such social activities from time to time. What I am after, however, is to make everyday life interesting and meaningful.Let me give more examples.

I am a little crazy about books, and they instantly make me happy. In the recent past, any time I wanted a book for myself, I ordered it online. Delivered at my doorstep, I unpack the package and that’s it. But earlier, I used to visit bookstores a lot to buy books. Not only does the physical presence of books make an impact, but it is also how I observe and interact with people who happen to be in the bookstore at the same time. I never remember being alone at a bookstore and not having a conversation with a stranger. It always makes me feel positive, meeting people with varied interests and yet a like-minded love for reading. I also get to find out what others are reading, what are they checking out. Sure, the online equivalent of reviews and ratings on Goodreads is available, but I prefer the other mode to be frank.

There are many cases like these. Our food ordering patterns, is another example. Going out to dine versus eating alone in your bachelor pad.Working out alone at home? Go to a gym, go for a run in the park. If you like the comfort your home provides, form a group of people who’re interested in the same and work out together. Thankfully, shopping is still largely done via physical stores instead of incessantly ordering online. I sometimes wonder if the number of logistical vehicles have increased on our highways and our roads, because of the increasing home based services. And I do not get this thought sitting at home, I get this thought when I am in the bus looking out, while coming back from school.

Going out of your house, outside of work can open up avenues to new thoughts, to new observations and to new experiences. Most of us get out of the house to meet friends which is travel from point A to point B in the rickshaw/cab/private vehicle. We spend that time mostly with our smartphones. When the concept of sharing cabs came in, I was actually interested. I have heard so many stories about the conversations that have happened while sharing a cab, which re-affirm my take. And these interactions do not need to be permanent, or do not have to be carried forward. They are just what they are, an exchange of words that open up another person’s world to you for a brief moment.

How many times do we get out for the little things? I am not saying that never do things of convenience. There is a utility value to these things, when they are done in moderation. There is a certain time and need for it, and it is justified in their existence. The numerous apps I mentioned have helped in a lot of ways to refine some of our choices. All I am opening up the discussion is for this, that we need to create a balance between saving time vs. cutting down on experiences of human interaction. Think about that uncle who always greets you on the staircase/lift, the smile that appears on his face when he asks if everything is alright. The next time you are in need, you might not feel awkward approaching him for help. Similarly, there is a beauty in doing things which are mundane as well, they increase the overall value of attachment. If you cook your own meal, it gives you a greater sense of satisfaction on having your meal. If you clean parts of your own house, it gives you a greater sense of belonging.

Maybe, this is not a big deal at this moment. Maybe, it is not for everyone. I have considered the possibility that it can only be I who is feeling this way. But it certainly has the possibility to snowball into something alienating. We already feel scattered and isolated. Maybe not talking to enough people and having to communicate has got to do something with it? Why does life have to be about a few important events and monotonous on the rest of the days? I want to believe in the power of the ordinary. I want to believe in the value of everyday communication. Not overdone, but subtle and charming in its own ways.

With that, I decided against ordering the ingredients online, but at the same time, I did not go out either. I just dropped the idea of the broccoli soup. (:P) But I want to explore this idea, and see if my thoughts can translate into actions.

P.S. 1. I realize after reading that it indeed came out to be as chaotic as it was in my head. Apologies if you couldn’t follow my wavering thoughts.
2. My sister informed me that Amazon Now does not sell mushroom or broccoli. *facepalm*



About Dhvani Parekh

A simple girl in a complicated world.
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