Sunday, 19 September 2010

The memories we talk about

I recently finished reading a book by one of my favourite Indian authors - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. The book is called One Amazing Thing. To cut a long story short, it is the story of 9 people trapped under the rubble of the Indian Embassy after an earthquake. And as they wait to be rescued, they begin to tell each other stories of that one amazing thing or moment or event of their lives. And as I was reading each story I realised, they were all sad in some measure. No story was completely happy, from start to finish.

And so I started thinking back I realised that we tell our sad stories more than our happy stories. We take the happy stories for granted and wallow in the sad ones. Like telling them somehow eases the pain or gives more purpose to our lives. And that's really all wrong. Purpose in life should come from its happy parts. The things that made you giggle and laugh till your jaws hurt, till you are clutching your tummy and rolling around helplessly, hoping something will make you stop before you choke. And those moments are rare. Much rarer than all the sad things that life has to offer (it really has plenty of those).

One Amazing Thing is poignant and the stories are beautifully told. But somehow, I finished thinking amazing things should have left me smiling more than sighing.

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