We all have priorities. Material priorities. Those that we think we will solve all our problems. Like an Audi Q7 instead of the shitty Alto we drive, a suburban villa next to the woods in place of the cramped apartment in that polluted rundown neighborhood we live in, a 43 Inch Sony Bravia instead of the 5 year old 21 inch Philips TV, Johnnie Walker Black Label in place of duplicate Old Monk Rum and so on.
Well didnt we have priorities once upon a time too, when we were still innocent and far removed from the greedy monsters we are now? Like, that snotty 5 year old you were? Remember when the biggest priorites in life were different? I have Breaking News for you: All that you thought would bring about heaven on earth then, and seemed unachieveable, is easily gettable now. And can make a difference too. One for instance, is chocolate.
Yes, chocolate. Growing up in pre-liberalized India, I don’t think there are many who have not gazed hungrily drooling at the precious few Cadbury’s products that the friendly uncle of the local next-door-one-room-supermarket-cum-bakery-cum-bookstore had stocked up in a glass jar, while simultaneously tugging at dad’s shirt sleeve or mom’s pallu and looking up imploringly with puppy eyes, pointing at what we used to think at that time, was heaven in a paper wrap. Alternatively, if you had the privilege of growing up in a real supermarket economy with real superstores with aisles of chocolates lined up, all the more imploring would have happened complete with roll-on-the-ground-and-wail-till-my-demands-are-met hostage taking tactics.
I was never denied chocolates much. But that was not according to my terms. ‘My terms’ was chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 24×7. So naturally when I was not granted my wish, I silently took a pledge. “When I grow up and start living life to my own terms, I will buy all the chocolate I can dream of, stock up my fridge with chocolates (and Ice-Cream) of every conceivable kind, and revel in that cold, smooth, creamy heaven till I can have more chocolates! Yeah!”
So I grew up, at least physically. I started earning, at least something better than nothing. India had changed a lot, but the old Cadbury’s were still there, in the same jar in the next door shop to the shelves of gleaming supermarkets. But all my ‘priorities’ had changed. The innocence of chocolates was lost long back. Like everyone else, I too had started running after stuff that was more and more unattainable. Oh and instead of Chocolates, I always made a beeline to the Booze departments. Liqour. So there was Booze where in my childhood I thought there would be chocolates. Well, the bottle didnt solve the problems or answer the questions (It did help forget the questions, though :)) And all this time, the poor chocolates were sitting on their shelves, looking up at me with the same imploring puppy eyes I had gazed at them years earlier. Then it hit me, one day. I started stopping at the chocolates shelf no matter if I went to the Liqour department or not.
One has to grow up. And priorities do change. But it does good to stop once in a while and turn back, remember what you were, what your hopes and aspirations were, and where you are now. Such revisit does well. No, really. I relish chocolates today, sort of re-discovering a lost part of my childhood. You should too.
By the way, chocolates are delicious. And yes, as I said in the beginning, they do some problems!
#NowPlaying: Return to Innocence – Enigma