Random Forays: Celebrations are necessary, gratefulness is essential - Hindustan Times
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Random Forays: Celebrations are necessary, gratefulness is essential

ByVivek Atray
Feb 11, 2024 08:46 AM IST

But even rarer are celebratory pauses to savour landmarks which have been hard earned. The maddening rush to keep moving on to the next milestone along the desired pathway to glory prevents us from relishing any happy moment to the fullest.

The catapulted craziness of life in the 21st century hardly leaves us with time even to celebrate our highs. It is another matter altogether that humans of this era typically forget to be grateful for the many blessings that they have.  Thus, birthdays and anniversaries are usually about receiving WhatsApp text messages and responding to them by the dozen. Cherished moments surrounded by one’s dear ones are typically dependent on everyone’s availability. They may or may not materialise. 

The catapulted craziness of life in the 21st century hardly leaves us with time even to celebrate our highs. It is another matter altogether that humans of this era typically forget to be grateful for the many blessings that they have. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
The catapulted craziness of life in the 21st century hardly leaves us with time even to celebrate our highs. It is another matter altogether that humans of this era typically forget to be grateful for the many blessings that they have. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

But even rarer are celebratory pauses to savour landmarks which have been hard earned. The maddening rush to keep moving on to the next milestone along the desired pathway to glory prevents us from relishing any happy moment to the fullest.

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Sportspersons are exceptions, of course, and musicians as well. When the moment of glory comes, most of them do not hesitate to display their ecstasy at the final whistle or after the final crescendo. Years of blood and toil lead to pent up emotions which find welcome release in victory, but also in defeat.

Usain Bolt, for me, exemplifies all that is right about life and sport. The sheer bliss of competing with and ultimately vanquishing top rivals was always reflected upon his visage. And when he steamed ahead of the pack to chest the tape, he often even had time to smile and raise his arms aloft. The typical Bolt celebration which usually followed yet another golden exploit was as dramatic as it gets!

Spin bowlers like Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir and the latest sensational celebrant, Kevin Sinclair, do not believe in holding back, when it comes to expressing their glee. The last mentioned performed a hitherto unseen, mid-air forward-roll to celebrate his first Test scalp. Any top gymnast would have been mighty proud of that leap!

Renowned actor Jaspal Bhatti texted me a word of congratulations on my promotion, a few days before his tragic demise. “This calls for confirmation!”, he added, somewhat mysteriously. And on being queried, pat came the reply, in typical witty Bhatti fashion. “Confirmation means celebration with drinks!” I didn’t have the heart to tell him that my favourite drink was coffee. Alas, our rendezvous never took place, and he was soon gone, forever.

Life is uncertain, fleeting, “like a dew drop on a leaf”. Celebrating moments that matter with friends and loved ones is almost imperative. Many a busy-dizzy, career-oriented person tends to ignore the need to savour life’s joys and is already on to his next ‘campaign’ though the embers of a recent success are yet to cool. 

The saying about not resting on one’s laurels was obviously coined by a well-meaning thinker. The need to move on and conquer greater heights is anyway more compelling today than ever before, given the ‘driven’ nature of our very existence. But the need to bask in the glow of one’s own accomplishments, not with pomposity but with gratefulness, is something which is often missing in modern lives.

Celebrations involving parties and dining out are much better than none. But inner celebrations without a sense of immodesty are more important. Many youngsters miss the chance to pat themselves on the back for having done well, because someone else has done better. Comparisons are odious, even today! And they result in piling on unnecessary pressure on our minds.

One common trait of human beings is to make light of a long-awaited landmark and to begin to dream of the next. Never has the proclivity to take our assets for granted been as glaring as it is today. The Zomatos and Amazons of the world have enabled the satiation of our ‘wants’ so facile that we hardly feel thankful for any new acquisition that may accrue to us.

The term ‘attitude of gratitude’ has oft been emphasized by writers. Yet, a general attitude of thanklessness pervades much of our society, especially the well-off segments of it. And Gen Zee is lapping up everything that it observes.

One way to establish appropriate priorities amongst them, is for maturer people to ingrain a feeling of appreciativeness in their own selves. Our teens and tweens will hopefully follow suit.

vivek.atray@gmail.com

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