Lesson 5: I am never upset for the reason I think
Lesson 6: I am upset because I see something that is not there
Walking up to the cupboard, I clutched the money tightly. As I kept it inside the safe, I couldn’t help but wonder if the money I had just withdrawn would be enough for the month. I hoped it would be. It had not been pleasant to go to the bank and find that my bank account didn’t have much balance. I was a bit shaken up, even though I knew it couldn’t be any other way. Bhaskar had not repaid me the money as promised. My fixed deposit would mature only next month. Shonali’s college fees had been paid the previous month. It was impossible to have a larger balance in the account! And yet, when the teller handed me the statement, I had been startled to realize it just above the minimum required balance. What if there was a sudden expense? What if someone fell sick!
For a moment, I was tempted to go and unburden myself to Sujata. I could hear her humming in the kitchen. No. It made no sense to go and disturb her. She was clearly in a good mood. Her melodious tone wafted through the air. Hmm. There was something so soothing about Rabindra sangeet. I walked to the chair and sank in its comfortable embrace. Sujata wanted me to get a new one. But I could not get rid of this chair. It has been with me since my college days. Worn out and shoddy it looked to the eye, but to me every time I sat on it, I felt like I was ensconced in the arms of a dear friend.
“Sujata, can I have a cup of tea?” A moment after I yelled for tea, I felt like I had made a mistake. Maybe I should cut down on my tea intake. It would save some money on milk and sugar. How many cups of tea would I have to reduce for it to really make a difference in the household budget? But if I did that Sujata would suspect something. Rubbing my neck, I leaned back into the chair and looked at the fan whirring on the ceiling above.
Why was I so worried about money? Nothing had changed and yet suddenly I was so anxious. Was I upset at myself for not saving more or was I angry at myself for loaning money to Bhaskar? Every time the balance in the bank grew low, I scared myself with thoughts of unexpected expenses turning up. The fan never paused for a moment. Nor did my mind.
Sujata was singing my favourite song about the river which never paused. An analogy for the incessant flow of life. Her singing always lifted my spirits. Here I was worried that we might need money. I was always imagining scenarios. In truth, we were fine at this moment. There was enough money for the month. Why was I unnecessarily scaring myself with fearful thoughts and unnecessary anxieties? I tapped out the tune of the song on the chair’s armrest. In sync with Sujata’s voice, flowing like the river, aware that I worried about imaginary issues. I am never upset for the reason I think. I was upset because I was imaging problems that were not there. Maybe not the best way to spend my day I reminded myself. I closed my voice and let the music carry me instead.