Spice of life: The journal of good times

  • Neela Sood, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Apr 30, 2015 14:52 IST

Everyone’s life is a rollercoaster ride, a mix of good and bad events, but wisdom lies in not carrying the baggage of the latter. Instead, look back on incidents that gave us happiness, for these memories will nullify the impact of anything unpleasant that happened, and save us from taking extreme decisions as a story that I am about to tell you demonstrates.

Jyoti is my friend’s daughter. Her mother never misses an opportunity to give her tips on leading a happy life. At the time of her marriage, my friend presented her with an unusual gift, a beautiful diary, and explained to her how to use it. “Jyoti,” she said, “this is my parting gift. Whenever something good and memorable happens to you, jot it down in this diary and record the date. Also, put in one snap of that event. Avoid recording unpleasant, forgettable events. Keep it as you keep ornaments.”

Jyoti followed her mother’s instructions religiously and would record all pleasant happenings — husband’s birthday, holiday in Kerala, birth of their child, fanfare on the boy’s subsequent birthdays, and so on. After a few years, however, differences cropped up between the couple, leading to frequent arguments and scenes.

A situation arrived when they regretted entering the wedlock, and decided to separate. Jyoti rang up her mother, recounting the developments and informing her of her decision to file for divorce by mutual consent. Her mother listened patiently, and replied: “Sure, girl, that’s no big deal. Just do whatever you want. It is your life... but before that, I advise you to read the diary I had presented you on your marriage, and I’ll be happy if Vinod (Jyoti’s husband) also reads.”

As Jyoti was reading the diary, pleasant memories started coming back, removing the thick nest of hatred in her mind. By the time she had finished, her eyes had welled up. Impulsively, she ran to her husband and remarked sobbingly: “The past is not history, it is an inspiration. See for yourself.”

Reading the diary took the couple to the time of bonhomie. Vinod took Jyoti into his arms said with the romance of the good old days in his voice: “Hey, let us also fill these blank pages fast, and ask Mummy for another diary.”

Instead of using the mind as a trash bin to fill with negative thoughts until life starts to stink, be wise and make it a treasure chest of cherished memories. All that we need is to revisit our good times. What method we adopt depends on us. One of the ways is to look into the old photo albums. Nowadays, we take a lot of pictures, but the more we click, the less we revisit. Do make time for it. My husband has been writing a daily diary for the past 50 years. Every day he writes only one page but reads three from the old volumes.

The writer is a Chandigarh-based freelance contributor

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