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Sometimes we live in a bubble and surround ourselves with things that become unnecessarily important for us. We don’t really need these things for survival but we put a lot of our life into them. This is exactly what had happened to me. I was lucky enough to be able to live in a lovely house in a plush locality of a city, which is otherwise known to be brutal to most who come here with dreams. I had more than required resources to spare which pushed me deeper into the bubble where it became a habit to be the center of attention wherever I went.
Mostly for what I wore and how I wore it. This was feeding my ego. Obviously, I must thank my provider for it as not everyone gets these extra, extra resources. But I think I was losing myself deeper into this bubble.
To rewind a little bit from my bubble state, I grew up in a very different atmosphere. It was far from the Glitz and the glamour I was getting myself used to. That does not mean that I studied under the lamp post or had to walk miles to get to school. Nor was food or basic resources ever a problem. In fact, they were just optimum. At that time, a pair of Lee or Levi’s jeans was a luxury. So was owning a VCD player at home. I remember rewarding myself with an ‘Esprit’ wrist watch with all the money I had saved since I learnt the art of saving when I completed my graduation with distinction and got an admit to a good university abroad.
Yes, I studied abroad, so that explains that I grew up with enough resources. Getting back, that Esprit watch still remains to be my most valuable purchases. A decade ago, there wasn’t a massive rift between what we call as the “haves” and the “have nots”. There was hardly a distinction, forget discrimination. And here I was a decade later, judging everyone around me by how they “carried themselves”.
When I became a mother, it became almost necessary that my child always dressed well. Dressed to be complimented, to be honest. It became an addiction to making frequent trips to shopping malls with expensive brands and designer labels. Before my daughter knew her A B C, she knew Zara, Nike, Gap, Ralph Lauren and hold your breath, Gucci. Yes, my daughter knew Gucci and could tell a Gucci from a Burberry. What had I done? I had sucked her into my bubble. I was trying to make her the child I never was. And why? Just because I had those extra, extra resources and that exposure?
But I didn’t realize it until I moved back to the city I grew in for a few months. In the first week itself, I started shedding my inhibitions about wanting to look and feel rich, important, glamorous and hoity-toity. I told myself that I was going to give my daughter a peak into how I had grown up. So we started doing more “normal things”.
Taking an auto wherever possible, going to the temple every week and sitting there for a few minutes to see how people prayed. Climbing up the hill in the evenings to experience what fresh air really is. Painting with our hands more than the brush. Letting our clothes stain.

Letting our shoes get muddy, dirty. Stepping into puddles. And the best of all, riding on a two wheeler. Something that seemed surreal and extremely adventurous for her.
These were things that gave me immense happiness. I started puncturing that bubble bit by bit every day. Letting fresh air come in and relieving myself of the pressure to feel important. However, it’s kind of inevitable now to completely cut off from the world of many hundred bubbles. But I have found myself now. Found love beyond the material. Does that mean I have donated all my Guccis??

No. It’s just that I don’t depend on them anymore to make me feel alive.

 

Sonia Gandhi

Guest Blogger

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