I am one of those humans who would think for a good 10 days before making a planned purchase; small or big. I am one of those who would wait a year or two before buying an electronic gadget after reading the reviews and talking to the millionth user of the product to learn about their experience. But when I decide to buy, no doubt, the most updated product comes home with me. Since there is a huge investment of time and money in each of my purchases, I have had them all safe for years now. I still use my sports shoes that I bought in 2004.
Now that my shopping pattern is established and more importantly, that my shoe size has remained the same since 2004, let’s move on! I recently visited Kolkata for a wedding and lost my OnePlus Buds Pro. I still remember the day I got it. I went into the store to buy the regular OnePlus Buds and when I stumbled upon the Pro, I fell head over heels in love in half a heartbeat. It cost about INR 10,000, so I came back home to calculate. I assumed I would at least use it for the next 3 years, which got me to a cost of ~INR 9 per day. I thought about my usage and if it was worth it. I placed the order for it online after a whole week!
This entire loss of my earpods made me sad and zoomed me into a past episode.
I was carrying my Sony camera to a hospital service in the early 2000s. I wouldn’t trust my things with anyone, but there was a situation due to which I had to hand them over to a friend. What was the result of it? It was my worst fear come true; he lost it.
I could not stop crying as soon as I heard. What was confusing was that I was not angry with him or with myself, yet there was a crippling affliction that I was going through. Everyone around me thought I was mortified that I had to confront my parents and tell them about it. I knew it wasn’t that but didn’t bother to correct it. Acting on their instincts, someone called Dad to tell him about what had happened and ask him not to be furious at me, etc. There were about 20 or so people surrounding me to console me, and there amongst them, I saw my rays of sunshine and hope walk in. I saw my parents come through the crowd with a smile (I could never explain what sort of smile it was). (These are also the moments where I wish my eye was a camera, capturing every single detail into something more visible to others too than just in my memory) that made me forgo everything. I hugged them tightly, got hugged back even tighter, and stopped crying in the following few seconds. After a few “hello, hi” exchanges between my parents and the team I was working with, my dad said something in the distance while looking at me and I saw my mom nod to it in agreement; in the faintest voice, I heard him say it. What I heard gave me a Eureka moment of realization. I figured out the missing piece of the puzzle as to why I was crying. He said, “She isn’t crying because she lost the camera; she is crying because she lost the pictures in it and also the memories associated with it.”
I come from a family that treasures memories predominantly in pictures. Even in their most struggling days, my parents made sure they developed at least 2 camera rolls every month. Now you know why I have my camera switched on most times, trying to capture the moment as candidly as possible. I’m just trying my best to make the memories last a lifetime. It is in my genes, blame it on them!
Nevertheless, my obsession didn’t just stop with just capturing pictures; it grew to include me realizing the value of everything in my possession. This attitude of treasuring things for all the memories they carry and the stories they tell is profoundly imprinted in me.
Taking a step back and looking again at that moment when I lost the camera, I found something more precious. The silver lining to losing the camera was the ultimate bliss of knowing that someone understood me better than I understood myself. It overpowered every other feeling. The fact that my parents were able to put my feelings into so many words and understand where they were coming from when I myself didn’t know them was heartwarming!
What is it that I am getting to? That every dark cloud has a silver lining? Predominantly that too, but also the fact that there is a golden lining over the silver lining. When you lose something, you find something else!
So when I lost the earpods, I went 2 days without listening to music. A 5-hour train journey, by the window seat, without music; would have been unimaginable before I lost my earpods. I did have a mental playlist running in my mind where I was the singer and the instruments. I would try to remember the lyrics, and along with the lyrics, I would also remember those other times when these songs have created memories for me. The loss gave me time to relive and remember the good old days.
I am not asking anyone to be careless and lose things, but the point I am trying to make is to look at the flip side of losing something. I believe most times when we lose something, we find something as a side effect. We might be too shortsighted to see it at the moment, but far later, it will all come together.
So when was the last time you lost something and what did you find in return?