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Small Things, Big Things

I’ve been looping a song over and over again while at work for the past few weeks. Not that it’s a brilliant number or has top notch music. In fact it has a terrible chorus at the end of each paragraph which goes ‘va va va va va’. Sukhwinder Singh chews and spits out Thamizh mercilessly as usual, but the opening lyrics of the song totally floored me.

புன்னகைக்கு நேரம் ஒதுக்கு

பூப்பறிக்க நேரம் ஒதுக்கு

நிலவுக்கு நேரம் ஒதுக்கு

தினம் நிம்மதிக்கு நேரம் ஒதுக்கு

மழைத் தண்ணீரோடு ஓடும் குமிழி போல்

வாழ்க்கை இருக்கு

பொழுதோடு காதல் வலு காணாமல்

வாழ்க்கை எதற்கு?

which roughly translates to

Set aside time for a smile

Set aside time to pick flowers

Set aside time for the moon

Set aside  time for some peace.

Like a bubble with rain water, Life is washed away

What is Life, without Love getting stronger everyday?

If you have already excused the terrible translation, thank you, let’s move on. I make it a point to listen to these lyrics everyday morning just to remind myself that there are certain things to life other than ambition, money, career, fame, power. That there are Small Things that make a Big difference to what life means to you at the end of a lifetime. The world now is fast food and cut throat. It is considered a heinous crime if you stop by at the office cafeteria to smile at a colleague. “You could have fixed two bugs and got a pat on your shoulder instead of wasting time smiling at strangers”, Ambition sniggers. “Soap up the manager. Don’t you want a raise this time?” Career jeers. “You don’t have to know people. Let people know you”, hisses Fame. Amidst all these Big Things, the smaller players lose out. They are crushed, forgotten and battered. We are all busy scheming and plotting to pull each other down and Love lies tossed aside, unwanted and unattended. We remain caged in glass cubicles, staring at computer screens not knowing who sits next to us. Friendly Banter lies gagged, hushed up and stuffed into the cubicle locker. We travel in luxury cocoons, irritated at a drop of rain on our faces or a ray of sunlight on our eyes. Nature lies ignored and unsought. The mobile phone mints money and makes business across continents. Family lies uncared for next door. We exchange Rainbows for Mirages and remain content. Only when the Big Things are all there, we realize that we still aren’t happy with Life. We are still restless, sad, disappointed and hopeless. We realize that we’ve locked up Happiness, Love, Kindness, Peace of Mind and lost the key somewhere along the way in the mad rush for Bigger Things.

Do we have the time for a cup of coffee while looking at the sun rise over the horizon? Do we have a few minutes to share secrets with the moon at night? Do we still have time for Love, Joy, Peace and Happiness? The Small Things are all there. Waiting for us. Do we have the time?

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