I was immersed in work when the phone rang. It took me some time to take my eyes off the laptop screen and refocus on the small screen. The unknown number flashing on the screen annoyed me. Nevertheless, I picked up the call. A cheery voice on the other side challenged me-Guess who?
I was in no mood to play games and was wondering how to respond when I suddenly recognised the voice as belonging to a childhood friend!
Floodgates of memories opened up as we travelled in time, opening chests of precious moments along the way, lingering a bit here, hovering a bit there, moving back and forth between childhood and teenage, marriage and children....We laughed, we talked breathlessly, we lapsed into silence, we got wistful, we tripped over words in our hurry to share milestones………Oh! The joy of conversing and catching up with a friend after aeons!
Such moments of pure happiness usually happen unexpectedly like welcome showers in the blistering summer and leave us bathed in rapture!
The other day or rather night, as I was shifting into a more cosy position to sleep, I thought I heard the alarm go off I reluctantly opened an eye to check the time and realised that I had two more hours to sleep. The exhilaration that I experienced at that moment was beyond description. Another instance of purest form of joy!
A friend once confided sadly that she had lost one piece from her favourite pair of earrings. She searched high and low for it for days on end but to no avail. She even tried to buy a matching piece but found no success. She gave it up for lost and stopped searching for it.
One fine day she opened a drawer and she saw one piece in it and on an instinct she opened another drawer and found the other piece in it. All these days, both pieces were there, but in different places. Her moment of realisation and joy happened when she opened the drawers together!
Most of the time these precious moments, which stay with us for a lifetime occur infrequently, thus adding to its value.
My son was disappointed when he didn’t qualify for the science quiz despite his best efforts but next day he came home elated and jubilant. ‘I am going to host the quiz!’ he screamed, ‘ If I had qualified, I wouldn’t have got this awesome chance!’
Talk about priorities going for a toss and being replaced by immeasurable cheer! He went on to host the quiz and garner an amazing experience, the stuff that fond, proud memories are made of.
The students at my school had been practicing a skit for many days and when the day for presentation arrived, the main character of the piece couldn’t make it to school. There was panic all around when a little fellow stepped up and said that he can do the part.
As everybody stared at the quiet, unassuming boy, he busied himself wearing the costume and getting ready.
He walked onto the stage and gave a flawless performance that the audience watched spellbound! Nobody would even know that he had never practised or that he wasn’t in the skit at all till that time!
He was greeted with a thunderous applause after the performance and as I looked at his beaming face and happy grin, I knew that this unanticipated moment of adulation would stay with him forever.
I know this boy from yesteryears who could never quite get the hang of fielding or catching the ball in a game of cricket. It brought down his confidence and his cricketing skills were often ridiculed.
Once it so happened that as a ball whizzed past him he stuck out his hand disinterestedly and Lo and behold! The ball stayed put, secure in his palm!
As he stared at his palm and the ball in utter disbelief, he was lifted up into the air, thumped on his back and cheered for long as it was an important wicket.
Though his morale was boosted and he played a tad better, never again did such miraculous moments occur in his life but the memory of that glorious moment will never fade.
Recently at one of the malls during the weekly shopping ritual, I saw a baby walking purposefully towards me. As I looked around for the parent the baby quickly approached me and put her both hands up to me urging me to pick her up.
I was in a terrible fix but soon an embarrassed dad came chasing after the baby. As I looked at him imploringly, he allowed me to pick up the little one.
As she put her chubby arms around my neck and refused to let go, I felt on top of the world!
The awards and accolades we win and all our accomplishments do bring us immense joy and pride but life is made magical by these fleeting unexpected moments of unbridled happiness.
Annie Mathew is an educator and writer based in Dubai