Life is all about choices. Hard choices. Choices we have to make at some point, no matter what. Choices upon which the fate of our lives depends on. Sometimes we get to choose even before something significantly dangerous happens.
Last day I went to visit my grandparents. My dad was planning to help them with some work in the backyard and so, put on his lungi which is a comfortable wear in Kerala. (it is a lengthy cloth wrapped around the waist without a belt and stays in its place because of some secret magic). I thought I would help too, but I didn’t have a lungi of my own with me, since I was not quite used to it. Anyway, my appappan(grandpa) was kind to let me use one of his lungis. I wore one of his old lungis. Still, I could not be of much use to anyone. Mostly I was standing and staring at the sky and clicking photos of the old house.
In the evening, while I was clicking the photo of a chethipoo(jungle geranium flower), I saw my appappan walking out of the house. He was going to the nearby shop to get some milk for the evening tea. I thought it of as the perfect opportunity to prove my non-futility and told myself I would go instead. He gave me his umbrella, and some money and told me the directions to the shop.
I bought two packets of milk, one packet of ‘pathiri’ and a packet of ‘puffs’. The shopkeeper told he do not keep any polythene bags now and wrapped everything in newspaper. I had some change left, and I started returning.
While walking next to the canal, it started raining a bit. I pulled open the two-fold manual opening umbrella by balancing it between my neck and left hand. The paper covering cold milk packets got separated with the condensed vapour. Now I was carrying 2 packets of milk, one packet of snacks and an umbrella between both hands. And to add to the scare, I was having my mobile in my shirt’s pocket along with the change and a lungi at my waist.
I imagined a difficult situation where the wind blew hard taking away my lungi and umbrella with it, me bending forward to catch the lungi, losing my mobile phone and the change from my shirt’s pocket, and losing the milk packets and snacks amid all these events. I foresaw a choice-making situation about what can I afford to lose in my life from thereon. Drop the milk packets and snacks and face my appappan’s wrath; Drop my dear mobile phone and lose all the data and stuff in it; Lose the umbrella and get wet with a consequence of a damaged phone; Lose my lungi and become a live seminude show to the bored villagers. I thought fast… And walked fast. By the time I concluded that my mobile phone, lungi, and umbrella are the most important, I reached back home safely, saving me from all these hard choices.