Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Blessed or Deprived?

A sparking stainless steel tea kettle now stands on my gas top. I find myself aimlessly walking into the kitchen numerous times during the day, just to take a peek at it. Kitchen was never the favourite part of the house for me. But seems like that’s going to change...as long as the kettle looks shiny and new. It’s the highlight of the last weekend shopping, when I bought loads of feel-good stuff ranging from incense sticks to tea lights. The kettle, however, is not just a feel-good item. It’s a saviour for me, really. No more making a mess when I pour tea into cups from a saucepan. Tea in a saucepan!! I hear you exclaim. Yes, I had an electric kettle that boiled water for practically all my kitchen needs ...from instant noodles to tea-bag tea. But occasionally, on Saturday evenings, when there was no plans to step out of the house, I’d make that much-loved masala-malai tea... and the two of us would huddle under a blanket, lie together on a sofa and watch a movie. That’s when I used a saucepan to simmer my tea leaves and let the milk boil and froth for ages, to create that thick malai layer on top. And that’s when I poured the tea all over the bench top and spent hours cleaning it afterwards.

But the kettle is going to change all that. I can now have a taste of India, without all the mess of an Indian kitchen. And it whistles too, when the water reaches boil! What more can I want? OK, I do understand I am over-doing the excitement...but that’s because I did feel a child-like excitement at a new toy.

I dragged A from the study to show him how cutely it whistled...a low, meek, whistle that seemed to say “yes-the-water-is-boiling-but-there-is-nothing-to-panic”. He looked at it for a second and with the nonchalant face of a sleepy sea-lion, he said “Don’t tell me you have never used a whistling kettle before? My mother probably got one as her wedding gift and has been using it ever since.”

Now, I am not the kind of person who turns into a live wire at the slightest comparison with the mother-in-law. I get along pretty well with her, touchwood. But his statement made me wonder...

My mum never had a whistling kettle in her kitchen, so I hadn’t grown up seeing one. True, it was not the first time I had seen one...but it was the first time I owned one. And hence all the excitement. For A, it was like looking at a telephone. Something we had all seen, used, over-used... and taken for granted. As life goes on, we will grow older...acquire more things, see new places, be able to afford much more than what our parents could back in their times (partly because they were in India and partly because technology hadn’t advanced that much anyway). Does that mean we will forget what it is to be excited? The real, pure, innocent, unadulterated, child-like excitement! The kind of excitement that needs an exclamation mark at the end of it, just for emphasis!

Will our children ever say “Wow, I love my new pencil box!” Or will they just say “thank you” and head back to their rooms nonchalantly with their booty? Will they ever spend sleepless nights, waiting anxiously to go to school the next day to show off their new pencil box? Will they ever nag us to let them sleep in the garage on their shiny new bicycles? Or keep the new CD player beside their pillows? Or wipe their new school boots with the edge of their school uniforms on the way to school?

Is excitement a fast-fading, soon-to-become-extinct emotion? Is “taking-for-granted” the new epidemic that will change “living” as we knew it? Are we “blessed” to have everything we ever want? Or “deprived” because we can’t feel the purest of feelings anymore?

8 comments:

TheKeyBunch said...

Enjoyed reading this one!:) You are a gifted writer!

S

GB said...

Oh girl, you keep the excitement and the wonder going.... that's a precious thing you've got going for you!

Lovely post. The tea kettle is cute (confession: I still use a saucepan to boil up our morning chai!) :)

PreeOccupied said...

I hear you! We have a whistling kettle too, red colored. My husband uses it to boil water for his green tea and even noodles. When we were courting, I could hear it from the webcam. I was so exited to see it when I landed here after my wedding. The Whistler I call it.

Debanjana said...

Whoa woman! Enjoyed this post. You're so right...enjoyed this post immensely!...that's an exclamation mark at the end of 'immensely'...

Sheeba Asariah said...

love the way you write.... totally gifted....... enjoyed it:)

Madmax said...

Eta ami besh koyekbaar porechi. And found it scarier each time. I somehow cannot see my son exclaiming the way I had, many many summers back, when my pop had broken the tradition and had given me an 'Omega Geometry box' instead of the cliched 'Camel' ... I don't see my son exhuberant over a tailored shirt, some years from now, given the fact that from his birth he has been exposed to FOX ... I don't see my son being delerious with joy upon hearing the pitter-patter of rain on an asbestos sheet .. I don't see my son appreciating the smell of 'evening' after a torrential downpour, given the insulated environment that he is growing up in ...

For that matter .. why blame my kid re .. If you sit down and introspect, you will realise that YOU as well are a prey to this whole phenomena ... It's just that for you, it's exhibited in the domain of diminishing marginal satisfaction .. I was ecstatic when I started my watch collection in 2005 ... Each and every new watch used to bring me loads of joy and satisfaction ... then it started waning .. I now have 27 watches .. But I just don't feel the 'urge' to buy anymore ... the first Omega I bought in 2008 made me stay awake in the night and keep staring at it ... now, after 1 more Omega and a Tag, that 'fun' is no longer there re Tuli ...

Why blame the kids ? WE are also getting 'satiated' ..

Scribbler :) said...

@ Madmax - Totally agree. We are the same. But with every generation, it becomes lesser and lesser...hence the fear that "excitement" may totally become extinct!

But if I had a Tag or an Omega, I'd be up all month (not just one night) :)

ItsOnlyMe said...

Absolutely beautiful!!! both the writing and the thought :)