Article for Bethlehem Matrimonial - Nov 2015
It has been more than half a decade since I got my first opportunity to cross the Atlantic and experience the place nick named as ‘Land of Dreams’, the US. We were a team of six from my company and were to spend the next three months in Atlanta on a project for a large airline telecommunication company.
Being my first ever trip outside India I was obviously super excited! Though the excitement did last throughout the trip, after a few days I really missed being back home, especially the aroma of desi food. The American cuisine wasn’t bad, but my taste buds craved for some Indian spices. One month passed by and we did find a couple of Indian restaurants and I even remember driving down almost 40 miles, approximately 65 kilometers to have idly and vada from the closest Saravana Bhavan by paying 7 US Dollars when idly back home in India would’ve cost me not even 7 Rupees!
Things were going in this fashion and that’s when I got a call from my cousin sister in Chicago. She told me that her sweetheart is sending me a round trip plane ticket so that I can visit them over the next weekend! I was totally bowled over by such a wonderful offer from my cousin’s husband. He really had no reason to extend such an act of kindness to me, but did it with all his heart, I learned. I was overjoyed and immediately planned for the trip.
Weekend came and soon I was at my cousin’s place enjoying the warmth of their comfortable home. My happiness was doubled as I knew one of my favorite aunts was also there at her place. They all made me feel right at home and had prepared one of the most delicious meals I probably ever had in my life! The stay with them gave me so much of happiness that the feeling of joy is still so deep rooted in my mind that any given day, the mere thought of it brings back a smile on my face wiping away all the stress and strains life offers.
I had thought about this many times later in my life. The delight that my cousin sister and family brought to my life had no parallels to compare with. I tried to visualize the other side of the fence and realized that the joy-of-getting was made possible only because there was a joy-in-giving. A fact that many of us take for granted. We all love it when people gift us with surprises and other wonderful presents. We are always eager to unpack and get drenched in the pleasure of receiving the gift. Hardly do we register the joy on the faces that gave us these gifts. That joy I must say is more valuable than the natural feeling of your happiness of receiving a gift.
Giving someone something takes a lot of courage. It is so easy to gift someone close to your heart as you find no difficulty in parting with your hard earned money and precious time to do so. But it is definitely not easy to do that for someone who could be an extended family or friend of yours. It is good to remind ourselves once a while that all the joy-of-getting you experienced was only because someone decided to experience the joy-of-giving.
I remember packing my bags after the three months of our stay in US. There was something or other for every member in my family as well as my cousins and kids. I felt so happy to see their faces when I handed over these gifts after I got back home. I shared the joy-of-giving experienced by my cousin and family. While unpacking my bags back home and telling my mom what I got for each one of them she asked me a question, “What did you get for yourself?”
I smiled at her and said, “Three bags full of happiness”!
May the good God bless you experience the ‘joy-of-giving’. May this joy bring a lot of smiles on many faces making the world a much better place to live in!