“Delete ho gaya,’’ he said, with a horrified look on his face. ‘Huh?’ “By mishtake ho gaya madam. All data erased,” he gulped, almost ready to duck if I decided to throw a brick at him. For a few seconds, I felt tizzy at what this IT guy, who was trying to help with some changed settings on my phone had ended up doing. My cellphone had actually been formatted, with all data gone. “Aap khud kyun nahi delete ho gaye, by mishtake?” I growled. “Backup toh hoga,” he retorted, painfully reminding me of how I had promised myself each week for the past … err two years, that I’d take a backup of my phone data next week. The ‘next week’ never came. “I had all my contacts, to-do lists, and notes in it, apart from loads of photos,” I mumbled to myself, with my BP shooting up at the thought of starting from a clean slate all over again. In a few hours however, it didn’t seem all that bad. At some level, I was feeling a bit free with the clutter suddenly vanishing from the gadget I was holding day and night. On another, I also realised the value of the comfort it was giving me by keeping all the info I needed, so handy. I mean, I didn’t remember or hadn’t noted down the number of my driver of five years. It was just in the phone and now that it was gone, I didn’t quite know how to reach out. A simple act of ‘deletion’ had brought sudden changes – good or bad in my life. So I thought why not focus on this act this week. Here are some very basic, very simple things I feel we could ‘delete’ from our lives to ‘add’ joy in turn.
1. DELETE small comforts to know their value: Simple funda hai. Till the time they exist, they are taken for granted. It’s actually true for human beings too, but we shall go that deep in philosophy some other day. Here’s the formula. Delete one comfort from your life for just one day each week, to realize its value and thank God for it. 40 degree se upar chal raha hai, you know what. Ek din stay away from the AC. Trust me you’ll forever stop whining and cribbing about the electricity bill. Do the same with something as simple as cold water. Delete it for a day, and you’d be a more thankful person the next day. God’s given us so many things we just grab as our birth right. Thank you kaun bolega, aapke papa?
2. DELETE toxic people to add positivity: Every person who comes in our contact each day, consciously or subconsciously lends us vibes that stick to us. Great if they are positive, but most often one encounters people who are crying, cribbing or complaining about something, or just ranting about someone else. Whether you realise it or not, their negativity rubs off on your psyche. Kabhi try karna, after listening to a whining session by a negative person, if you take a deep breath or swallow a sip of water, it’ll seem heavy on your chest. Apni khud ki itni problems hain, you don’t need the added negativity. Delete toxic people from your day, and you’ll see the difference it adds to the joy quotient in your life.
3. DELETE efforts to always please everyone: It’s easier to reach the moon on a Tata Nano than be popular all the time with everyone in your life. Try karna hi bekaar hai. Because it takes so much energy to please people, especially if you are having to do something that’s against your basic nature. Understand the difference between the need to be a nice, good person, and being a popular person. The former is a need, the latter is a desire. Focus on fulfilling the needs, and the desire may just get fulfilled on its own. Try too hard to come across a certain way in front of people, and the desperation that shows, makes it worse.
4. DELETE the tendency of self pity or self criticism: Khud ki zyada buraayi karo toh log usey seriously le lete hain. Self deprecating humour works, but in stand-up comedy shows. In real everyday life, you’ve got to keep a check on self-bashing. Feeling sorry for how fat, thin, short, dark, fair, blah you are, is inversely correlated to your self esteem, which is directly correlated to your joy quotient in life. Am sure this law of nature has some fancy name but I’m saying it in the language I understand. Love yourself the way you’d want someone else to do, and that someone else follows. Pity yourself over things, and it attracts pity from those around you. Simple.
You don’t need to store everything in your mental database. Just delete them.
5. DELETE the temptation to borrow worries: Ek kahani sunayi thi is column mein kuchh saal pehle. There was a guy who was driving through secluded road in a remote hill station when the tyre of his car got punctured. He realised that he had a spare tyre, but there was no jack in the boot, which is needed to change the tyre. He saw a bungalow in the distance and decided to walk up to it to borrow the jack. While walking, his mind started filling up with imaginary worries. What if the owner of the bungalow is a rude man? When I’ll say Sir, I need to borrow the jack, what if he abuses me and asks me to get lost? What if he thinks I’m a criminal trying to cause him harm? What if they don’t even open the door and call the cops on me. The closer he reached the bungalow, the more his mind kept getting full of negative thoughts, imaginary fear and anger. The moment he reached the driveway, he saw the owner, and before the owner could say anything, this guy said, “To hell with your jack! I don’t want to borrow it.” He turned, leaving a befuddled owner who was actually holding a glass of water for the unexpected guest. So you see, we borrow worries when none exist. Stop ‘borrowing the jack’, and deal with demons when they actually confront you. They normally don’t even exist.
Sonal Kalra was so involved in deleting that she ended up deleting this article before saving. She’s writing it again and cursing everyone in sight. Mail her at email@example.com or facebook.com/sonal.kalra. Follow on Twitter @sonalkalra.