O objects Opulence!

Opulence signifies abundance or excess. Not necessary of wealth.
These are the times of opulence. These days, everyone I know, is living a life of opulence. Too many clothes, no closet space and yet, nothing to wear. Too many shoes, and yet nothing comfortable. Too much to eat, and still hungry for more. You might say I am rich and have a friend circle of rich friends. But as much as I hate to burst your bubble, the truth is that yours truly is not richie rich by any standard measure.

The mantra that we live by these days is ” when in doubt, buy”. We shop all the time. Without rhyme or reason. We feel bored and we go shopping. We are depressed and we go shopping. In urban lingo, it is also referred to as “retail therapy”. I am sure this term was coined by a sales executive to comdition people into believing that the therapy part actually works. A lot of my friends swear by it.  But really, when it comes to real happiness, there’s nothing like an emotional and pysical stress free zone. Anyway, I digress. So the point is we buy stuff all the time. Stuff we don’t need, stuff we don’t have space for and sometimes, stuff, we don’t even have the money for. Long live the credit card!

Remember the times when we were bought new dresses only twice a year? It used to be a big event in our lives. We valued things and money so much more. Children these days are born into a life of opulence. An overflowing closet, loads of toys, gadgets, food. I feel we are denying them that happiness which we experienced. Would they ever know what it feels like to earn a rupee or a tenner for keeping the room and cupboards clean? The joy of receing the dress on turning an year older. The value of hard earned money which we knew because we were happy if we got to celebrate our birthdays with a cake. Children these days demand nothing short of themed birthday parties with matching return gifts to boot. And parents, well, who can deny a child’s wish?

Quite contrary to the theory, I find this compulsive shopping a waste of time, energy and money. I don’t want to buy stuff, then buy more cupboards to store it and then a bigger house to keep it all. I’d better keep the extra money with me and help someone in need. But I am considered quite a miser by friends and family for feeling and behaving that way. But trust me, I am as happier as anyone would be with all her loved ones and friends and family. And I have to go through the lows of my life all by myself. Shopping doesn’t solve anything. If at all it does anything, it adds to space woes and credit limit. And devalues everything.  At the cost of the environment.

 

The Birthday Diaries!

I turned an year older recently. Time to celebrate the beginning of a new one? Or to grieve the loss of one? I didn’t do either. I have never been too big on birthdays. Going berserk and celebrating and partying is not my style. The idea of a single day to commemorate an entire year doesn’t go down too well with me. We grow with each passing day. Shouldn’t we be doing our favorite things everyday? Reading, meeting family and taking vacations? 🙂

But that doesn’t mean anything because H won’t let the day go by as easily. He makes sure to make it special one way or the other. I love exploring new places, and so the last 2 years we just did that. We took vacations. I wrote about the first one, but never got around to writing about the vacation last year. We had gone to Amritsar and then the picturesque Mcleodgunj. This year, somehow, no plans materialized. The day was completely unplanned and we had just decided to take a leave from office and then decide on the day what we wanted to do.

We met both sets of parents and H‘s side of grand parents. Then went shopping and bought some stuff that we needed. Had my sweet cousins give us a surprise late evening as they dropped by and we cut the cake before 12. Again.

As for the gift, this is the best that a bibilophile like me could have asked for. Isn’t H a sweetheart? 🙂

From my to-read list!
An angry-birds reading light! 😉

Since M (the twin) is in US this year, the birthday cake was cut with the other half watching from skype.
Here goes the twins’ birthday cake and the skype session 🙂

Another one for the day! (courtesy my super awesome office friends)
 This completely unplanned birthday threw up some really unexpected surprises. Like every year, it was a day well spent with wishes from friends and family flying in from all parts of the world. The FB wall was inundated, so was the mail box and the phone was kept ringing. Thank you God for making me feel so blessed year after year 🙂 Thank you much!

Happiness and all that Hoopla !

Lately, I have been very miffed and very confused with the different definitions of happiness around me. Now different people tend to be happy about different things. ? I am sure that definition is different for each one of us. Some of us might find our salvation in retail therapy, some in our kids’ smile, some in their work; some in spirituality and a lot of people find it in power and money. And there are some who conform to somebody else’s idea of being happy and find their happiness in the other persons’ happiness. But since when did it become fashionable to equate happiness with money, and all things that it can buy?

 For once, I am not a conformist. And neither am I a believer in the shop-till-you-drop formula of girls my age. I, in fact, hate shopping. You know the kinds, where you keep hopping from shop to shop; mall to mall, oblivious of what you want, just waiting for serendipity to happen. That’s not my idea of shopping at all. I go shopping when I actually need something, buy it and come back. And since I am very choosy too, sometimes I don’t buy anything at all and come back. But some people just cannot digest the fact that a girl can act choosy and wise at the same time! I mean what have we girls been relegated to? Some sort of card swiping shopaholics, shopping bags toting maniacs? You know, people actually say things like she is stingy, she is a miser and so she wouldn’t spend on herself. Oh Please! For God’s sake, it’s MY hard earned money. Don’t I get to choose what I want to spend it on, and where? I mean, just because I don’t go out splurging my money on clothes, accessories and shoes that I may never ever wear (because I don’t like them as soon I reach home, but I bought it coz they looked so elegant on the mannequin), doesn’t mean I am a miser. Maybe you didn’t think I was being smart, or did you?

And yes, the other thing about money. I am a typical Cancerian when it comes to money. I like to have loads of it in my bank. You know we like being secured and all. So when I go out to shop, it helps me think rationally. When I see something ridiculously expensive, like a formal Van Huesen skirt for 3000 bucks, it helps me rationalize. I know I have the money to buy it, and so I will buy it Only if I need it. Because there are times, when you like something, and you don’t have the money to buy it. Then it doesn’t matter whether you need it or not, because you will always remember having not bought it because you couldn’t afford it. You know that self pity mode women are prone to go into. So that’s that. Having money to splurge actually makes me wiser.

I spend my hard earned money my way.  And that makes me happy. For me buying useful/useless things is not equal to happiness. I find happiness in buying my favorite books in original paperback, in buying books on a sale where every book costs only Rs. 100, and I am happiest if I can find some lazy time to lie down in my home and read that book. I am happy when I spend time with H and with family, cracking PJs, or playing with my nephew. And I love to travel. I would prefer to spend my money on a week’s vacation over buying something expensive like diamonds or an iPad. And that doesn’t mean I am averse to all the good things in life. It’s just about that ‘rush’ people experience when they shop. I am just not like that. Materialism is not my idea of happiness.

 

Now don’t try to look at me with those cat-ish narrow eyes, unbelievably. I am not trying to act all saintly, but yeah…I am kinda bore for people my age. I don’t go clubbing, partying or shopping on weekends. I try to imagine myself as this intellectual thinker and arty type, who reads and stare at the walls thinking what her first book will be about (Jeez! *fingers crossed*)

People, I am done with your judgmental genes, please. I am not here to please you in any which way by buying anything that doesn’t make me happy. I have never done it and I am never gonna do it. Every time you stoop down enough to say something like, “Buy this because everybody your age owns it, and besides, it will make you appear in that league”, your name is struck off from my guest list. What guest list? My first book launch party, stupid! (Don’t ask me when and where, because it’s still in my dreams). But you gotta watch out. You might just not want to repeat that and miss out on THE master piece 😉